Considerations for Timing of Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Seasons in the Southeastern
2019 Mast Survey Report
SEASON DATES AND
|Oct. 24 - 30 and Dec. 5-11, 2020
||Sept. 5, 2020 - Jan. 18, 2021
||Oct. 1-18 and Nov. 14 - Dec. 31, 2020
- Four birds total, no more than two (2) of which may be taken with a shotgun.
- No more than one (1) bird may have a beard length of three (3) inches or longer.
- No more than one (1) bird may be taken per day.
Adult hunters: Unless exempt, all fall turkey hunters ages 16 and older must carry with them in the field proof of purchase of a valid Kentucky hunting license and a valid fall turkey permit. Short-term (1- or 7-day) hunting licenses are not valid for turkey hunting. The fall turkey permit is valid for the fall archery, crossbow and shotgun turkey seasons and allows a hunter to harvest up to the fall season bag limit of turkeys. Youth hunters: Youths younger than 12 are exempt from license and turkey permit requirements. Youths ages 12-15 are eligible to purchase a youth turkey permit, which is valid during any turkey season for one turkey. Youth hunters must abide by season bag limits and harvest restrictions but can use the youth permit throughout the license year. The youth sportsman’s license includes two (2) youth turkey permits. Anyone may call turkeys, or assist in the hunt. Callers and assistants are not required to possess a hunting license or turkey permit, and may carry equipment while in the field.
LEGAL FALL TURKEY HUNTING EQUIPMENT
- Breech-loading or muzzleloading shotguns no larger than 10 gauge and no smaller than .410.
- Breech-loading shotguns must be plugged to hold a maximum of three shells (two in magazine and one in chamber)
- Lead or non-toxic shot no larger than No. 4
- Longbows, recurve bows and compound bows of any draw weight (no minimum).
- Crossbows of any draw weight (no minimum) with a working safety device.
- Non-barbed broadheads with a minimum cutting diameter of 7/8-inch, whether expandable or non-expandable.
Turkey hunters may not use firearms to take turkeys during archery or crossbow-only seasons. On some WMAs, special equipment restrictions may apply.
Firearm turkey hunters 15 years old and younger must be accompanied by an adult, who shall remain in a position to take immediate control of the youth’s firearm at all times.
HARVEST RECORDING and TAGGING REQUIREMENTS
The process and requirements for recording, checking and tagging harvested turkeys are the same as for deer and elk. See the “Recording, Checking, Tagging and Transporting” guidelines in the “General Information” section of this guide.
POSSESSION/RELEASE OF LIVE TURKEYS
Because of potential disease problems and genetic pollution, it is illegal to possess live wild turkeys. For the same reasons, domestic or pen-raised turkeys should not be released into the wild.
HUNTING TURKEYS OVER BAIT IS ILLEGAL
It is illegal to hunt turkeys over bait – an area where feed, grains or other substances capable of luring wild turkeys have been placed. An area is considered baited until 30 days after the bait has been removed. An area where grain, feed or other substances exists as the result of a bona fide agricultural practice or manipulation of a crop (food plot) for wildlife management purposes is legal for turkey hunting.