From the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
-- First-time youth turkey hunters ages 12 to 17 can go afield this spring and learn from an experienced National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) volunteer.
Applications, maps and general information for the wild turkey hunt are available online.
The application deadline is midnight, Feb. 14. Participants will be selected through a random lottery.
"Mentored hunts are an excellent way to match a youth and their parent with an expert hunter to learn a life-long skill," said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator. "Not only do these hunts provide an opportunity for mentors to pass on their knowledge, they are quality family time afield."
This is the ninth consecutive year that the Department of Natural Resources and the NWTF have cooperated to provide opportunities for first-time youth turkey hunters. More than 1,000 youth have been introduced to this unique hunting experience since spring youth turkey hunts began in 2002.
Hunts will occur April 16 and 17, 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 permissions.
To be eligible, a youth hunter must be age 12 to 17 on or before April 16, have a valid firearms safety certificate and be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The program is for first-time turkey hunters only. Any youth who has ever purchased or been selected by lottery for a Minnesota turkey license of any type is not eligible.
Hunters and their mentors will be assigned a NWTF volunteer guide who must accompany both the youth and parent/guardian throughout the entire hunt.
Those who would like to participate as a mentor or volunteer their land for the youth mentored hunts, should contact their local NWTF chapter online.