Kentucky Eastern Turkey Hunts & Their Uncommon Magic
There’s nothing more exciting than hunting beautiful, wild Eastern turkeys in the rolling hills of Western Kentucky. The gobble of a male Eastern turkey sounding off from the rolling hills, ridge tops, or river bottoms of Western Kentucky is hard to escape. Once you've experienced a Kentucky-style Eastern turkey hunt, you'll have it in your blood from then on out. Eastern turkey hunts are great for experienced sportsmen, but they’re also good for any Kentucky hunters who are first-time Eastern turkey hunters, hunters who do not have good areas to hunt, or hunters who have not yet bagged that first long-beard Eastern turkey.
Many Kentucky outfitters spend time with hunters helping them understand the reasons behind what was done on a particular Eastern turkey hunt, discussing scouting, setups, turkey sign, various calls, Eastern turkey sounds, and what it really takes to get a trophy Eastern turkey within gun range – and of course, harvest it. Don't forget Kentucky has an autumnal turkey season. Archery runs from early September through mid-January. A week long shotgun season occurs in both October and December. Many guides have experienced considerable success on Kentucky Eastern turkey shotgun hunts, with most years being nearly 100%. Each shotgun segment runs seven days. A two-bird limit and a four-bird total – with no more than one containing a beard greater than three inches – are allowed. Kentucky law dictates that two birds (in this case, Eastern turkeys) can be harvested via archery, and two via shotgun.
Winter flocks of Eastern turkey can have upwards of 100 birds or more during the fall and winter in Kentucky, leading to a lot of bird vocalization and supporting education of hunters on the Eastern turkeys as they communicate with one another. Hunting licenses and permits in Kentucky are available over the counter, or online at http://www.kdfwr.state.ky.us/ . $130 is the cost for a Kentucky non-resident’s license, and $60 will buy you a turkey permit, which of course you’ll need for bagging an Eastern turkey.
If you were born on or after January 1, 1975, then according to Kentucky hunting law, you must possess a Hunter’s Safety Card, which is required for not only Eastern turkey hunts, but all other species as well. Additionally, you’ll need to bring your properly sighted weapon, whether it’s a bow, a firearm, or a muzzleloader, ammunition or arrows, Permanone (to ward off ticks), waterproof rubber hunting boots, a flashlight, binoculars, a turkey vest/seat, hunting clothing for Kentucky temperatures in the high 20s to high 70s, coolers for Eastern turkey meat, your camera for capturing your Kentucky Eastern turkey hunt of a lifetime, and the funds for hiring an outfitter, if you plan on doing so.