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SAFETY KEY TO SUCCESSFUL SPRING TURKEY HUNT

April 5, 2012
Ensure a rewarding hunt with a few simple safety rules
PRATT — Kansas gobblers are in full strut, and avid turkey hunters are champing at the bit to get into the woods on opening day of the general spring turkey season, which opens April 11 and runs through May 31. And because turkey hunting is a safe, rewarding way to introduce youth to a heart-thumping hunting experience, many parents and mentors are already pursuing gobblers during the youth/disabled and archery only season, April 1-10.

While calling male turkeys is one of the most exciting hunts in the Sunflower State, Kansas hunters must remember one word that exemplifies the perfect hunt: safety. Responsible hunters are sure of their targets before firing, and they hunt defensively to protect themselves from the mistakes of others.

The following are just a few defensive safety tips to follow when pursuing America’s largest game bird this spring:

  • set up against a stump, tree, or rock that is wider than your shoulders and higher than your head;
  • never wear or carry the colors red, white, light blue, or black — the colors of a wild turkey gobbler — when turkey hunting;
  • eliminate movement and set up in open timber rather than thick brush;
  • avoid imitating the sound of a gobbling turkey;
  • watch other game and listen for the alarm cries of blue jays, crows, squirrels, or woodpeckers that can tip you off to the presence of another hunter;
  • assume any noise you hear is another hunter until you know; and
  • never move, wave, or make turkey sounds to alert another hunter of your presence, but remain still and call out in a loud, clear voice to announce your presence.

Including the archery-only season and youth/disabled seasons, Kansas hunters will be able to hunt for two full months. During the youth season, youth 16 and younger must be accompanied by an adult 18 or older. The adult may not hunt during the youth season (except with archery equipment). No hunting license is required for resident hunters 15 and younger, but a valid Kansas turkey permit is required for everyone.

For more information, contact the nearest office of the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism or visit the agency's website, ksoutdoors.com.
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