null Skip to Main Content
Turkey Hunting in Kentucky



200,000 to 300,000

Wild Turkey Population


Number of Licenses Sold Annually


Annual hunting license, $27; spring turkey permit, $30; or sportsman’s license, $95 (adult resident, youth, senior or disabled).

Cost of Resident License and Permit


Annual hunting license, $150; spring turkey permit, $85.

Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Image: eastern_2_nation

Photo by Danita Delimont

Kentucky has secured a reputation as a premier turkey hunting destination, and rightfully so. The state offers mountainous big-timber hunting in the east, rolling pasture and farm country in the heart of the state and river-bottom birds to the far west. And if you like to explore, you can find quality turkey hunting in every region.

Although 95% of the state is privately owned, there are some good wildlife management areas and public spots where you can turkey hunt, both on national forests and state WMAs. Hunters took more than 35,000 turkeys during the 2023 spring hunt, which was 33% higher than the 2022 harvest and within 500 birds of the state's record 2010 harvest.

Editor’s Note: Articles about public hunting are always popular with readers, but we’re public-land hunters, too, and we recognize that technology has made it more difficult than ever to keep a great hunting spot secret. With that in mind, we have made some edits to this piece to trim out specific mentions of some public tracts. The information is still out there and easy to find for anyone who wants to do the research, but we’ve decided that with a platform of our size, it’s best not to share all the secrets. — Team Realtree

Exit off-canvas