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Precautions can make a safe turkey hunt even safer

From the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks

-- Kansas youth/disabled and archery spring turkey seasons began April 1 and run through April 13, and the regular season runs April 14-May 31. During these seasons, 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.

■ 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 more information, contact the nearest office of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks or visit the agency's website at  www.kdwp.state.ks.us.

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