Air Force Academy offers spring turkey hunting
By Laurie Wilson, April 8, 2019
U.S. AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. –- Thanksgiving is months from now but outdoorsmen will be able to hunt wild turkeys on Academy grounds well before the holiday during two 10-person sessions April 13-May 3 and May 4-26.
The archery-only event is hosted by the 10th Civil Engineering Squadron’s Natural Resources office to manage the wild turkey overpopulation. Participants are registered and have been selected in a random drawing held in March. Crossbows are not allowed.
Brian Mihlbachler, 10th Air Base Wing natural resources planner, said face-to-face briefings with Academy staff were mandated for all participants to review hunting procedures and safety requirements.
Unlike the Academy’s deer and elk hunting programs, turkey hunters are allowed to hunt without an escort, but only in designated areas. Hunters must also download a GPS phone app to reference an installation map of the allowed hunting areas.
“Doing so will help them stay within authorized areas,” Mihlbachler said. “The split hunting sessions will further minimize conflicts for the limited available areas.”
A hand-held bow meeting State of Colorado requirements is the only legal method of taking turkey on the Academy grounds.
Mihlbachler said the selected participants were vetted for base access and only one hunter will be allowed to occupy a hunting area at a time. Hunters must check in and out of the hunting areas each day at Natural Resources office.
“Maintaining public safety and security is the highest priority and will be enforced,” Mihlbachler said.
If the spring season is successful, a separate application and drawing process will be held, beginning in June, for the fall 2019 turkey hunting season — perfect timing for Thanksgiving celebrations.
Visit https://usafa.isportsman.net to apply for the possible fall turkey hunts, and https://usafa.isportsman.net for information and requirements.