Minnesota DNR, NWTF Expand Youth Turkey Hunting Opportunities in 2009

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Minnesota DNR, NWTF Expand Youth Turkey Hunting Opportunities in 2009The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the National Wild Turkey Federation will again team up to offer special hunts for youth who are first-time turkey hunters. And thanks to NWTF volunteers, about 130 more young people – up from 407 last year – will get a shot at one of the 39 mentored events.

But hurry – the application deadline is 4 p.m. on Feb. 23.

All but one of the special hunts will occur April 18-19, the first weekend of the regular wild turkey season. Nearly all of the youth will hunt on private land thanks to the generosity of private landowners.

To be eligible, a youth hunter must be age 12 to 17 on or before April 18, have a valid Firearms Safety Certificate, and be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Any youth who has ever purchased or been selected by lottery for a Minnesota turkey license of any type is ineligible. Hunters and their mentors will be assigned a NWTF volunteer guide, who must accompany both the youth and parent/guardian throughout the entire hunt.

“Mentored hunts are an opportunity for youth to learn from experience,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “They provide an opportunity for mentors to pass their turkey hunting knowledge onto the next generation.”

Applications for the wild turkey hunt are available online at the DNR Web site: http://mndnr.gov/youthturkey. Participants will be selected through a random lottery. A map of areas open to special youth hunts and a listing of hunts can be viewed and printed online.

To participate as a mentor or volunteer your land for the youth mentored hunts, contact your local NWTF chapter and click “In Your State,” on the left hand side of the page, for the nearest chapter.