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Kansas walk in areas?
How hard are they hunted for Turkey?
No more than a dozen or two turkey hunters per day. Just a few less than mushroom hunters. In my neck of the woods it get hammered. Seems like there is an Arkansas truck parked at every spot and public lands too. I didn't think it was possible but there is more traffic in the spring than the fall.
Many of the turkey walk-in-areas hold few if any turkeys. Many of the public areas around lakes are better. As Aaron said you will get to see a lot of hunters from Arkansas. My brother sometimes hunts a public area in the NE part of the state and said on any given day the majority of the parked vehicles will have Arkansas plates.
The public lands around the lakes are hit even harder. They do hold birds for a little while. But with all the pressure they will disperse.
I’ve killed a lot of gobblers in the walk in areas there is a ton of walk in areas. Go to Walmart and pickup a free Kansas walk in atlas it will show every walk in property in every county. If you see a good spot on private stop and ask for permission, landowners are a lot more willing to let you hunt turkeys than deer. Find an ag field with some trees and a creek running through it and most times you will find birds.
Skip the first half of season and you’ll be fine. Killed piles of birds on wiha.
Wow, listening to the Kansas guys, it must be horrible turkey hunting on public! I guess I won't be going there!
Damn Arkansas hunters!!! (Before anyone goes off, look and see where I'm from)
Also, what elkmo said.
Doesn't Arkansas have it's own turkeys?
I am not bashing Arkansas hunters. It does seem odd that in the Eastern half of the state the high percentage of hunters from Arkansas. I don't hunt public but my brother does sometimes and he does kill turkeys there at times. There are still turkeys on public in the late part of season. While fishing in late May it is common to hear gobbles and see turkeys on public property. There are some good walk in areas but many of them with which I am familiar hold very few turkeys. As said above it is not real hard to get permission on private property. Some landowners really do not like turkeys.
I didn't say it would be horrible. Just answering the OP's question. Come shoot all the turkeys you want.
While in an RV campground last Spring, I ran into 2 Arky hunters that were hunting public areas around the nearby lake we were camping at (central part of KS). Over the 3 days that we were camped there they had each killed their permit bird and game tag bird. They were into birds each morning and evening. Really nice guys.
They said bird populations in Arky had taken a nose dive and thus tags had been reduced to either 1 or 2 for the season and killing jakes was prohibited. That is why they had migrated to KS to hunt the last 2 yrs.
I've heard the same thing that turkey numbers are on the decline in KS. I've noticed this same thing in Nebraska. I'm not sure why the decrease....possibly poor poult crops, predators, increased hunting pressure....the combo of all of the above.
I've heard that tag numbers may be reduced in certain parts of KS and that hen harvests in the fall may be eliminated. Eliminating the fall hen option makes a heck of a lot of sense to me!
It's true, numbers are down. Lots of speculation as to why the downturn but nobody seems to actually have the answer.
The eastern turkey population in Arkansas and SE Oklahoma have declined over the last decade. The season here in Oklahoma has been cut in half for years with bag limits reduced dosen't seem to help much.
I bet during duck season there's a bunch of Arkansas guys complaining about the number of Kansas hunters.
Turkey numbers in our area seem to be way down from what they were 10yrs ago, south central ks. I don't even have a good guess as to why. But I am sure it is not hunting that's the cause. I could count on one hand how many turkey hunters I have seen in my area over this time. And the ones I have seen wouldn't shoot a hen. So I dont see that being the issue. There isn't a lot of WIHA in our area but what's there I think a person could probably find turkeys on at times
Bird numbers are way down at our farm. We usually have a couple hundred birds winter on our place but had zero this year. Granted, we didn’t get our crops in until late but Dad and I might only shoot one bird a piece this season. We’ll see how the population looks this spring but this would be a good year to sit one out or go to another state.
Kind of grinning regarding the Arkansas comments. When I hunted Kansas a couple springs ago I was camped in a particular location for a few days. The local game warden stopped by each day and we'd shoot the bull. Anyhow, I asked him about problems with hunters. His reply...I have far more problems with guys from Arkansas than any other state.
Here’s “John Smith from Alabama” after I caught him trespassing on our farm with his son one morning. “Really? That’s what we’re going to do here?” Then I snapped their pics.
The game warden said he was from Arkansas and I laughed and said that I bet his name wasn’t John Smith either. We tried to press charges for trespassing but they wouldn’t pursue it.
JIMS, the facts for this spring and fall are well publicized. No need to "I heard."
Wasn't there an Arkansas connection when the hunters from the same hunting party were stalking each other with fans in front of their faces in 2017? One guy ended up shooting his brother and a friend.
I shoot Merriams every year which are not much of a challenge,, but hey its fun with the bow,,, and lots of TV shows on them, because of that,,,, Want an eastern? Best hunting in the country is Wisconsin,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, I would not waste my time in Kansas unless I lived there
I’ve turkey hunting all over Kansas, I would say someone is hitting them every day on the weekends, in the southeast multiple times a day sometimes. I will save the turkey hunting is slightly better than Oklahoma, you would do better getting away from people in Missouri Or Nebraska
In my opinion on turkey numbers taking a decline in pretty much all states is simply because of increased interest in turkey hunting and out of state hunting in general. There’s more hunters and it’s plain as day in my opinion
Michael Arnette - how does harvesting males in the spring impact turkey numbers? Also, Kansas has some huge ranches that don't allow turkey hunting or it's very limited. Their numbers have dropped just as much as the ranches that allow more hunting.
Turkey numbers are way down in my neck of the woods in Colorado, as well. Normally, I'd have 40-50 birds living on my place by this time of the year. I haven't seen one, yet. And it's NOT due to hunting pressure. Me and my buddy are the only turkey hunters on my place and my surrounding neighbor's property (about 1500 acres total). We only kill one tom each per year. The birds just aren't here this year, and I don't have a clue why that is.
I'll echo what has been said here, Turkey numbers are way down from say 5-10 years ago. Don't expect to be the only one hunting on any WIHA or public land. Its absolutely possible to be successful but I feel a lot of people expect it to be easy, and end up being very disappointed.
Definitely a lot more turkey hunters in general, at least where I live. I used to not see a soul, now it's not uncommon to see 3-4 rigs at each public area. Our turkeys are down as well, however its not hunters killing them. It's lack of nesting success and predators. Reduction in native grasslands here that hens use in the spring and other habitat/development issues are leading to the downturn in lots of upland game birds.
What's puzzling about my area, and Colorado in general, is turkey populations have been on a steady climb for the last 20 years. When I first moved to my ranch in 2000, it was rare to even see one. In recent years, I've had as many as 75 birds living on my place. Nothing has changed in terms of habitat, hunting, or predation, in my area. This is the first year in over a decade that I don't have birds by this time of the year. Strange.
https://www.fieldandstream.com/special-report-why-are-wild-turkey-numbers-declining-in-eastern-us/ It's not just Kansas. Turkey numbers are declining all across the eastern US
These threads are no different than the deer threads. The WIHAs can be great. If you work at it you will kill a bird if ya have 8 to 10 days to hunt. If you don't put in the effort that is on you. Shawn
Bird numbers are down across the board in KS and NE. My conscience will only allow myself to shoot one bird in each state, even though they will sell you 3 tags in NE and 2 in KS.
Alot of Kansas is allowing only 1 bird this year and our population is down from in the early 2000s I called KDW&P a several years ago because we were finding them dead while we were shed hunting but they didn't seem to care much.I think as hawks,owls and eagles continue to thrive and increase as they have been the small game and game bird populations will dwindle to nothing.Throw in the reduction of hunting and trapping nest predators such as coons,possums coyotes turkeys and quail don't have much of a chance of increasing
500+ acres of river bottom in South Central Kansas. I have not seen a bird since last spring. We use to hold a winter flock that was well past 100 birds. Oh well there is always fish to catch and Arkys to call in around the lakes. Just kiddn' Arkys you know we love ya!
Cool wet springs reduce the survival percentage of the hatch. I travel central Nebraska north central Kansas with my job. The past two years I have seen many hens without chicks. This time of year would be common to see groups of 25 to 100 birds two years ago, not now. Hunting pressure, in my opinion, in this area has remained the same.