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Spring Wild Turkey Hunting in Kentucky

Dream Sporting Trips

Updated: June 29th 2016 @ 11:08pm

Spring Turkey Hunting Seasons in Kentucky

General Season - April 16 - May 8, 2016
Youth-Only Season - April 2-3, 2016

Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Hunters may be in the field before and after shooting hours.

Feeding of Wildlife

From March 1 through May 31, it is illegal to feed wildlife with grain, seed or manufactured animal feed outside the curtilage of the home (the area immediately surrounding a home or group of homes). This regulation does not apply to normal agricultural practices or food plots, or municipal areas not open to legal hunting or trapping.

Pre-Season Calling

A person shall not mimic the sound of a turkey in an area open to turkey hunting and where turkeys are reasonably expected to be present from March 1 until the opening of the youth-only turkey season, and from the close of the youth-only turkey season until the opening of the state-wide turkey season. However, locating turkeys with an owl, crow, coyote, or woodpecker call is permitted when scouting.

Permit Requirements

Adult Hunters

Unless exempt, all spring 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 Spring Turkey Permit. Short-term (1- or 7-day) hunting licenses or not valie for turkey hunting. The Spring Turkey Permit is valid for the general spring season and allows a hunter to harvest up to the spring season bag limit of turkeys.

Youth Hunters

Children ages 15 and younger may hunt turkeys during the youth-only hunting weekend and the general spring season.

Youth younger than age 12 are exempt from license and turkey permit requirements. Unless exempt, all spring turkey hunters ages 12-15 must carry with them in the field proof of purchase of a valid Kentucky hunting license and a valid Spring Turkey Permit. Youth ages 12-15 are eligible to purchase a Youth Turkey Permit, which is valid for the harvest of one turkey during a license year. Youth hunters must abide by season bag limits and harvest restrictions. The resident-only Youth Sportsman’s License includes two (2) Youth Turkey Permits.

Youth hunting licenses and permits are valid for the entire license year if they are purchased before the child’s 16th birthday. Youth who hunt turkeys with a firearm must be accompanied by an adult who shall remain in a position to take immediate control of the firearm at all times.

Spring Season Bag Limits

A hunter may take a male turkey or a turkey with a visible beard. No more than one (1) bird may be taken per day. No more than two (2) birds may be taken per spring season. Any combination of male turkeys, or turkeys with visible beards, may be included in this two-bird season limit. Turkeys taken by youths during the youth-only season count toward the spring turkey bag limit.

Harvest Recording

All harvested turkeys must be logged and telechecked. See the Recording, Checking, Tagging and Transporting section of the Kentucky Department of Fishing and Wildlife Resources website.


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.

Hunter Orange

Hunters are not required to wear hunter orange clothing during the spring turkey seasons. However, wearing an article of hunter orange clothing while carrying a harvested turkey is a simple and effective way to help prevent hunting accidents that can occur when a hunter is mistaken for game.

Possession of Live Wild Turkeys and Eggs/Release of Wild Turkeys

Due to the potential for spread of disease 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. It is also illegal to possess or attempt to hatch wild turkey eggs. It is further recommended that turkeys not be artificially fed during any time of the year. Providing standing corn, wheat or clover patches is a much better alternative.


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