Decline in turkey population may bring changes for 2020 hunting seasons

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FINNEY COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – A decline in turkey population may bring changes for the 2020 turkey hunting seasons.

“This year, we didn’t get anything,” said turkey hunter Abbott Geil.

Father and son John and Abbott Geil typically come home with a turkey during the spring hunting season, but this year that wasn’t the case.

“We got one shot this year, but years past, we usually have a hunting group of about four or five people and every single person gets a turkey,” said Abbott.

“I went by a field where normally there’s 200 to 300 birds in this cornfield in the wintertime and there was maybe 25 to 30,” said father and seasoned turkey hunter John Geil.

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism will be voting Thursday night on suspending the Fall season and allowing only one permit for the Spring.

This would only affect units three, five, and six if approved and the reason would be due to a declining turkey population.

“With the declining adult turkey population, plus a declining level of production each year, and given the fact that we had record rainfall and flooding levels, we expect that we’re going to have this continued decline into, at least, the near future,” said KDWPT Small Game Coordinator Kent Fricke.

The Geil’s family said they wouldn’t mind the change, so they could see a better season next year.

“You can buy two tags for two toms and I think that’s a bit excessive,” said Abbott.

“One bird is good for me,” said John.

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