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Guide to Kansas Public Land Turkey Hunts from iSportsman

April 18, 2023

Connor Merritt

Connor Merritt

Almost every seasoned spring turkey hunter knows the struggle of finding public land to call over a tom and fill your tag. For our Kansas-bound turkey fans, our guide has all the information to make this spring a success. From season dates and permits to regulations and location recommendations to help you find the perfect hunting spot, we’ve covered everything you need to know about public land turkey hunts in Kansas.

WHEN YOU CAN PARTICIPATE IN PUBLIC LAND TURKEY HUNTS IN KANSAS

Spring turkey hunting in Kansas typically runs from early April to late May. By the time you’re reading this it will be the spring turkey regular firearms and archery season (April 12-May 31.) During this time, toms are out and about trying to attract mates and establish dominance, making them more vocal and easier to locate.

WHERE TO PARTAKE IN PUBLIC LAND TURKEY HUNTS IN KANSAS

As to where to hunt, Kansas public land offers a variety of options. We’ve broken them down by region!

KANSAS PUBLIC TURKEY HUNTS — NORTHWEST

  • Griswold Wildlife Area

The Griswold Wildlife Area is open for all legal species during the season. The turkey population has been described as “good” and you can find a map of the area here.

  • Lovewell Reservoir

The Lovewell Wildlife Area boasts 2,215 acres of public land turkey hunts available throughout the reservoir. Though available, Lovewell is known to be one of the smaller Kansas public land opportunities so hunting pressure is high. If you want to try your luck at Lovewell this year, you can find directions to the reservoir here.

  • Ottawa State Fishing Lake

A prime spot for flathead and carp enthusiasts, Ottawa Lake also offers 215 acres of public hunting land. Due to the proximity of suburban environments, hunting is limited to shotgun and archery only. You can get directions to Ottawa Fishing lake here.

  • Smoky Hill/Kanopolis Wildlife Area

Hunting pressure here is described as “moderate” but it does have a history of being busier during weekends and spring turkey season. If you’d like to set up camp at Smoky Hill/Kanopolis Wildlife Area you can find directions here.

  • South Fork Wildlife Area

Located 12.5 miles northeast of Saint Francis in Cheyenne County, turkey are described as “transient visitors” at this public land hunting location. Directions to South Fork can be found here.

  • St. Francis Wildlife Area

Located three miles west and two miles south of St. Francis, the spring turkey action at this Kansas public land location has been described as “exciting.” Get directions to St. Francis Wildlife Area here.

  • Wilson Wildlife Area

Wilson Wildlife Area is another Kansas public hunting land opportunity where the turkeys are described as “transient” but not non-existent! If Wilson Wildlife Area is for you, you can find directions here.

KANSAS PUBLIC LAND TURKEY HUNTS — SOUTHEAST

  • Harmon Wildlife Area

Located near Neosho River, this prairie meadow is noted for its wildflower diversity and deer, fox squirrel, cottontail, and turkey hunting. Get directions to Harmon Wildlife Area here.

  • John Redmond Wildlife Area

Found on both sides of Otter creek, which flows into the John Redmon Reservoir along its southwest shoreline, this area offers turkey, quail, dove and waterfowl. Get directions to John Redmond Wildlife Area here.

  • La Cygne Wildlife Area

At La Cygne Wildlife Area, the turkey hunting has been described as “excellent.” If La Cygne is your next turkey hunting destination, you’ll find directions here.

  • Melvern Wildlife Area

Covered mostly by native tall grass prairie, Melvern Wildlife area has excellent turkey hunting opportunities. You can find directions to Melvern Wildlife Area here.

  • Mined Land Wildlife Area

Mined Land Wildlife Area is another Kansas public land location perfect for turkey habitation, with an abundance of native and cool-seasoned grasses. Find directions to Mined Land Wildlife area here.

  • Spring River Wildlife Area

Located within the Ozark Plateau, Spring River is known for deer, turkey, mourning dove, bobwhite, squirrel and cottontails. If Spring River sounds like your next destination, you can find directions here.

  • Toronto Wildlife Area

Toronto Wildlife Area offers 4,700 acres of land and water open to public hunting, including a special handicap hunting area! Visit Toronto Wildlife Area for your spring hunt and get directions here.

KANSAS PUBLIC TURKEY HUNTS — NORTHEAST

  • Clinton Wildlife Area

The Clinton Wildlife Area offers a mix of native grassland, deciduous forest, and cropland. Get directions to Clinton Wildlife Area here.

  • Douglas State Fishing Lake

Douglas State fishing lake is open for all hunting seasons, but hunters are reminded to be considerate of other public users and surrounding neighbors with domestic pets. Take a trip to Douglas State Lake today, and get directions here.

  • Hillsdale Wildlife Area

Hillsdale Wildlife Area turkey hunting has been described as “excellent.” Get directions to Hillsdale for your next spring turkey hunt here.

  • Milford Wildlife Area

Milford Wildlife Area offers approximately 19,000 acres of public access land. Get directions to Milford Wildlife Area here.

  • Perry Wildlife Area

Though Perry Wildlife Area is susceptible to flooding, the turkey population has been described as “plentiful.” Get directions to Perry Wildlife Area here.

  • Rutlader Wildlife Area

Rutlader Wildlife Area consists of 15 acres of native grass, a mix of farmland and brushy draws. Turkey hunting is described as “decent” in recent years. If Rutlader sounds like the perfect place for you, you can find directions here.

KANSAS PUBLIC LAND TURKEY HUNTS — SOUTHWEST

  • Cottonwood Flats Wildlife Area

The Cottonwood Flats Wildlife Area is adjacent to the south bank of the Arkansas River lush with native grass mix and forbs in the southern half of the property. Find directions to the Cottonwood Flats Wildlife Area here.

  • Isabel Wetland

The Isabel Wetland may be small in size, but the hunting there is rumored to be excellent. Find directions to the Isabel Wetland here.

  • Meade State Fishing Lake

This fishing destination offers 360-acres of wildlife area known primarily for doves and quail. Turkey hunters often experience a mixed bag of success, which just may make it your private oasis this spring. Get directions to the Meade State Fishing Lake here.

  • Pratt Sandhills Wildlife Area

The Pratt Sandhills offer unique dune topography to hunters, with mixed hunting pressures depending on the game season. Some visitors may find themselves out and about all day without seeing another soul, while others feel crowded in this sandy landscape. Try your luck by getting directions here.

KANSAS PUBLIC LAND TURKEY HUNTS — SOUTH CENTRAL

  • Byron Walker Wildlife Area

Hunting for spring turkey at the Byron Walker Wildlife Area has been described as excellent, with predictions of flocks up to several hundred birds. However, hunting pressure makes this location a hit-or-miss stop year-to-year. Get directions to the Byron Walker Wildlife Area here.

  • Council Grove Wildlife Area

The Council Grove Wildlife Area is mostly popular for its abundant fishing opportunities; however, some have had successful spring turkey seasons amongst the steep rocky shorelines and shallow mudflats. Get directions to the Council Grove Wildlife Area here.

  • El Dorado Wildlife Area

The El Dorado Wildlife Area is another popular destination for anglers, though turkey hunters can sometimes anticipate fair to excellent results. Get directions to the El Dorado Wildlife Area here.

  • Kaw Wildlife Area

One-fourth of the Kaw Wildlife Area is under cultivation and leased to local farmers, but the rest is made of grasslands and riparian timber. The turkey here has been described as numerous, but also very much sought after. Get directions to the Kaw Wildlife Area here.

  • Marion Reservoir

Nestled close to many metropolitan areas, the Marion Reservoir is a popular day-trip location that offers hunting without outdoorsmen having to travel far from the city. Get directions to the Marion Reservoir here.

BEFORE YOU GO

Once you’ve decided on the perfect spring hunting spot be sure to check with your state and local municipalities for all hunting and area rules, regulations, and restrictions. iSportsman wishes you a great spring turkey season!

Read about Kansas prairie dog hunts on iSportsmanUSA.
Photo courtesy of Confluence Group.

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