Do you know a youth age 12 to 17 who yearns to be a “first” time wild turkey hunter here in Minnesota? Perhaps you know a youth who also wants to learn more about turkey hunting and is willing to attend a pre-hunt orientation session to start gaining these necessary skills? If so, have I got an exciting opportunity for some lucky kids.
BUT THE TIME TO ACT IS RIGHT NOW!
That’s right. Applications are currently being taken by the Minnesota DNR, but the deadline is less than a week away (application must be received by 2/13/12). To download the application and review the complete details, please link HERE.
This is the 10th consecutive year the Minnesota DNR has teamed up with the National Wild Turkey Federation to provide mentors for qualified youth who desire to experience this unique outdoor challenge. Over the years, more than 1,500 new wild turkey hunters have been successfully introduced to the outdoors thanks to volunteer adults who show the youth a safe, responsible experience out-of-doors.
To be eligible, a youth hunter must be the proper age on or before April 21; have a valid firearms safety certificate; and be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Please note the program is for first-time turkey hunters only. Any youth who has previously purchased or been selected by lottery for a Minnesota turkey license of any type is not eligible.
Most hunts will occur April 21-22, which is the first weekend of the regular wild turkey season. Nearly all youth will hunt on private land thanks to the generosity of private landowners and the NWTF volunteers who obtained permission.
Participants will be selected through a random lottery. Applications, maps and general information for the special youth wild turkey hunt are available online HERE.
Now for the important part. I have it on good authority that so far this year applications for this special hunt are way down—as much as 40 percent compared to last year, for various reasons. That means there’s a lot of willing, qualified mentors who could be missing an opportunity to make this program work unless we all take time to act now by encouraging a youth to get involved and to apply.
It’s worth noting that the average success rate for the mentored youth hunt in Minnesota is approximately 42 percent. That’s a full 10 percent higher than the regular hunter success rate. Why? Because these youth get paired up with some experienced, skilled hunters who typically do extensive scouting before the actual hunt. These volunteer adults know the importance of providing a positive experience, so not only do they dedicate their time, but often their best locations for the hunt, as well.
If you have additional questions about this great opportunity either post your question in the comments section below or contact Mike “Cold Front” Kurre at the DNR. Michael.Kurre@state.mn.us
©2012 Jim Braaten. All Rights Reserved. No Reproduction without Prior Permission.