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MDC offers free turkey hunting classes in the Kansas City region during March
Kansas City, Mo. – Hunting wild turkeys in the spring is the pursuit of a challenging game bird and an immersion in nature as warmer days trigger the growing season. Eastern wild turkeys have keen senses of sight and sound, and hunters must have the same to be successful as they observe nature around them. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is offering several free classes on hunting wild turkeys in the Kansas City region during March and April. These classes will introduce hunters to the sport and prepare them to be successful in the field.
Spring turkey hunting is only for males, called toms or gobblers, and the season is set after hens have laid most of their eggs in nests. Hunters must be well concealed and motionless to avoid a gobbler’s keen eyesight, as turkeys are very wary and will flee at the slightest sign of danger. Since it’s the mating season for turkeys, hunters “call in” gobblers by using calls that mimic the clucks, yelps, and purrs that hen turkeys make. The most successful time for hunters is in the early morning hours after sunrise. To be in the woods during spring and hear a tom turkey gobble is exciting and fun, whether or not a hunter bags a bird. A harvested turkey does make a tasty dinner centerpiece.
- A youth Intro to Turkey Hunting class will be offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 18, at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs. This class is for ages 9 to 15. Participants must be accompanied by an adult. John Rittel, MDC community education assistant, will talk about turkey habitat and where to hunt them, calling techniques, scouting, equipment, and strategies. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4g5.
- MDC’s Parma Woods Shooting Range and Education Center at Parkville will offer an Introduction to Turkey Hunting class from 5:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 23. This class is for beginners or experienced turkey hunters who would like to sharpen their skills and improve success. Instructors will go over turkey biology, hunting strategies, regulations, and equipment. It’s a chance to ask experts about turkey hunting and become a more confident hunter. This class is for ages 8 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4gS.
- MDC will offer a Youth Turkey Clinic from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 25, at the MDC Office in Clinton. This clinic is for youths ages 8 to 15. This clinic will explore turkey habits and habitats, hunting strategies, and care for harvested game. Participants are also asked to bring the shotguns they plan to hunt with. They will have a chance to pattern their shotguns. MDC will provide the ammunition. Archery turkey hunting will also be covered. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4gT. For more information or help with registration, call the Clinton office at 660-885-6981.
- MDC’s Lake City Shooting Range near Blue Springs will offer a Turkey Hunting Basics – Patterning Your Shotgun clinic from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 1. Instructors will talk about the most effective barrel chokes and ammunition to be successful at harvesting turkeys. Participants are asked to bring the shotguns and ammunition they will use when hunting. Patterning helps hunters evaluate how effective their shotgun is at various ranges. Registration is required and will open on March 1. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4gq.
COVID-19 safety precautions are observed at all classes. For more information about hunting wild turkeys in Missouri, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/Ztu.