The 2020-21 Kansas turkey seasons have been set by the Kansas Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Commission.
The fall 2020 turkey season will begin Oct. 1, 2020, and run until Nov. 10, 2020, after the season was shortened statewide thanks to a measure added by Commission Chairman Gerald Lauber, of Topeka, during the KWPT's previous commission meeting. That is roughly one-third the size of this year's fall turkey season, which began with a first segment from Oct. 1 to Dec. 3 and continues into the New Year with a second segment from Dec. 16 to Jan. 31, 2020.
The shortened 41-day fall season excludes Unit 4, which has no fall season. It was approved by the commission as an amendment to a proposal made by biologist Kent Fricke to cancel the fall turkey season in Units 3, 5 and 6 only as part of the department's adaptive turkey harvest strategy to help deal with dwindling bird populations.
The 2021 spring season will begin with a youth/disability season April 1-13, 2021, with an early archery season beginning April 5 and also continuing through April 13. The regular season will begin the following day, April 14, and continue through May 31, 2021.
During the commission meeting, the KWPT approved Fricke's other proposal to limit hunters to one bird tag during the spring season, also as part of the adaptive harvest strategy. That measure takes effect beginning this spring and will likely remain in effect the following year unless the commission decides to change course.
Deer season dates also were proposed for the 2020-21 season. The proposed dates were Sept. 5-13, 2020, for the youth and disability season, Sept. 14-27 for the early muzzleloader season, Sep. 14-Dec. 31 for the archery season, Oct. 10-12 for the pre-rut whitetail antlerless only season and Dec. 2-13 for the regular firearm season, as well as three whitetail antlerless only options (10-day, 17-day, 24-day), which would begin Jan. 1, 2021, and the extended archery season for DMU 19, which is proposed for Jan. 25-31, 2021.
In other news, the state added Lyon State Fishing Lake to its Kansas Aquatic Nuisance Species designated waters list after finding zebra mussels in the waters and approved the use of electronic licenses, permits and carcass tags that can be stored on mobile devices. The KWPT Commission also adjusted some creel and length limits at select Kansas waters and selected June 6-7, 2020, as Free Fishing Days and May 2, 2020, and Nov. 27, 2020, as Free Park Entrance Days.
The next KWPT Commission meeting is scheduled for Jan. 9, 2020, at the Riverside Community Building, 510 Park Ave, in Iola.