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Wild turkeys are bountiful in Kentucky as hunting season continues

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources

It's the middle of turkey season. That would primarily be the “turkey eating” season. The fall turkey hunting season finds bow and crossbow hunters out with a limited gun hunting period. Zak Danks is the Turkey Program Coordinator with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. He said the harvested fowl is a different breed from what’s typically found on a holiday dinner table.

“It’s not as fatty like a domestic turkey that’s bread solely for its meat to be big and juicy and plump as possible. For these birds, that’s not the case. The breast is a little tougher, although it’s great. The legs are certainly tougher and most hunters don’t even try to eat the legs, although you can,” said Danks.

Danks estimated Kentucky’s turkey population between 200 and 300-thousand. The biologist said the Commonwealth is known to attract many turkey hunters from other states, particularly in the spring season.

There have been reports in western states of avian flu-related turkey deaths. Danks said Kentucky’s turkey numbers remain fairly constant.

“We’re always interested in disease and its potential application on turkey populations. However, we don’t have evidence right now, and we’re looking, that disease is causing a decline in turkey numbers,” said Danks

Danks said Kentucky’s spring turkey hunting season is much more active. He noted upwards of 30,000 turkeys may be harvested in the spring, compared with about 2000 in the fall season.

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Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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