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Officials encourage forest safety during spring hunting season


As the weather warms up, officials said non-hunters and hunters alike should remain cautious to protect themselves and others during spring hunting season.

The 2024 spring turkey hunting season, which began in mid-April, will extend through May 5. During this period, turkey hunting is legal from just before sunrise until just after sunset. Officials said people in wooded areas should take caution by wearing brightly colored clothes, though blaze orange is not specifically required for turkey hunters or non-hunters.

Zak Danks is the Wild Turkey Program Coordinator for the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife. He said if anyone realizes they’re in the vicinity of a turkey hunter, they should give a clear verbal warning that they are in the area.

“If you’re a hunter and you see another hunter, it’s best to speak verbally rather than walk to the person and create motion that could cause the person to swing your gun around in your direction. Same would go for non-hunters,” said Danks.

Danks said as long as hunters and non-hunters cooperate and stay alert, spring turkey season is typically safe.

“Every state requires hunter education, and basic firearm safety is covered in that. So, the number of hunting accidents is actually very low, it’s a very safe sport,” said Danks. “But in the springtime, turkey hunting does have the potential to be unsafe because of the calling and because of the camouflage.”

Unlike fall turkey season, hunters may use guns and crossbows throughout the entire spring season, though hunters are never allowed to use bait to lure turkeys.

A new 600-acre hunting and outdoor recreation area has been established in Morgan County, available for use this spring season. More information on hunting areas and regulations is available online.