Turkey Hunting in Kansas

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  • B
  • 300,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Eastern, Rios and hybrids

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 50,000 (estimated)

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Two different specific turkey subspecies are available in Kansas – Rios in the west, Easterns to the east, with hybrids of the two in the middle. Though admittedly, flocks don't read such posts as this, so birds of this variation might end up anywhere.

In the end, they're wild, and they're turkeys. 

Over-the-counter tags offer additional appeal. As the 2022 spring turkey season approaches, Kansas offers one bearded turkey per permit, and one bearded turkey per game tag in units 1 and 2.

And speaking of beards, as a quick footnote from 20 years ago, state resident Jason Hay killed an atypical Kansas Eastern on May 10, 2002. The turkey had eight beards, with the longest taping 10.1250 inches.

How and Where to Hunt

You'd better be in shape for a long walk to the truck with a dead gobbler in the back of your turkey vest. Birds run heavy: 22- and 23-pounders don't even raise an eyebrow here.

As kill data goes, hunters took nearly 17,000 turkeys during the 2021 season. 

What’s Kansas habitat like? Expect prairie river bottoms to hill-country timber and farmland. The northeastern/northcentral regions hold good flock numbers. 

While outfitters have some land tied up, hunts are often affordable, and they make good options for the turkey hunter short on time. These guides will put you on birds.

Also, Kansas is as great a place as ever for knocking on doors and getting access. Much like Nebraska to the north, farmers here aren't enamored with seed-eating turkeys.

Finally, Kansas' Walk-In-Hunting Areas (WIHA) program provides private lands open to hunting across the state (over 300,000 acres of it) . 

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in Kansas. (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

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