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Wild Turkey Zone --Fall Kansas Turkey Hunting


Fall Season

The Sunflower State has been rapidly increasing in popularity as a destination for turkey hunting trips. Many people have asked me for guidance on hunting trips to Kansas so this is my attempt at answering a lot of the questions I've been receiving.


Licenses and Fees - 2005 Fall Turkey Season Info

The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks has the complete rundown on all of the regulations. The fall 2005 turkey season info can be found at http://www.kdwp.state.ks.us/news/hunting/turkey and I encourage you to download and print off a copy of the regulations if you are interested in hunting in Kansas this fall.

Here are some of the basics for the fall season:

Fall Season Dates - Oct 1 - Nov 29 and Dec 12 - Dec 31, 2004 and new for 2005 is a January season, Jan 9 - 31, 2006
Shooting Hours 1/2 Hour before Sunrise to Sunset
Season Limit 1 turkey either sex per permit
1 turkey either sex per game tag.
Any person who has purchased a Fall Turkey Permit may purchase up to 3 Game tags. Game tags are valid for Unit 2 only.
Resident Permit Cost $21.00 (Available over the counter for Unit 1, 2, & 3)
Nonresident Permit Cost $31.00 (Non-residents are eligible for Units 1, 2 & 3)
Additional Game Tag Cost $11.00 each ($21 for nonresidents) - valid in Unit 2 only.  (Available over the counter)
Nonresident Hunting License $73.25 - Must have hunting license to hunt turkeys. (Available online)
Hunter Education Anyone born on or after July 1, 1957 must complete an approved hunter education course before hunting in Kansas.
Legal Methods Turkeys may be shot only while on the ground or in flight. Dogs may be used while hunting turkey during the fall season.
Legal Equipment Shotguns and muzzle-loading shotguns 20 ga or larger using shot sizes 2-9; long, recurve or compound bows.




The Kansas Dept of Wildlife and Parks has a list of available public lands here. Many of the best areas are, of course, in the eastern third of the state which corresponds to the highest turkey populations also. The western half of the state does have turkeys but is limited in habitat.

There are also Walk in Hunting Areas for spring turkey hunting that are open to the public. The KDWP will have the atlas to these areas available online as well as the policies and rules for using these lands.


Rio Grande Territory


Many people travel to Kansas in search of a Rio Grande turkey. Kansas has Easterns, Rios and hybrid birds across the state. Generally, Easterns predominate in the eastern 1/3 of the state next to Missouri. The true Rios are limited to the south-central, south-west and north-west parts of the state. KDWP put together a map showing the general ranges of the different subspecies. From what I've been recently told about the turkey flock, your best bet at a pure blooded Rio Grande is to get as far south and west in the state as you can.

I do most of my hunting in a county that contains both Eastern and Rio/Eastern hybrid birds. I've seen some birds that look completely like a Rio but the majority are Easterns. What's interesting is that even within the same flock, there may be birds that look like a true Eastern standing by a turkey that looks like a Rio Grande so you never know what you might get.


Which Areas Are The Best?


Like I've stated previously the eastern one-third of the state has the highest population of turkeys. It also receives the most hunting pressure. I took a look at the Kansas Turkey Records and put together a map of where the record book entries came from. The counties which are shaded have entries into the Top 20 lists on either the Typical or Non-Typical lists or both for Kansas. I think this shows some general areas that obviously have some big birds.

This makes most of Kansas look pretty barren of turkeys which of course isn't true. There are a couple of factors involved here: First, there are more turkeys being taken in the eastern counties so the odds are in favor of more records being from there, and 2) Eastern turkeys are generally larger than Rios which also slants this map some. But if you are looking to shoot some big turkeys, you can't beat the southeast corner of the state followed by the northeast corner. Also, looking at the non-typical records, the southeast corner of Kansas has a fairly high concentration of multiple-bearded birds for some unknown reason.

Good luck with your trip to Kansas!!!





Kansas Turkey Hunting -- Rob Ramsdale
Turkey and Turkey Hunting Turkey and Turkey Hunting --- $14.95

Turkey & Turkey Hunting Magazine focuses on turkey hunting techniques, turkey behavior and biology, the latest wild turkey research for hunters, equipment, destinations, and hunting ethics.


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