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Take a veteran turkey hunting

From Pennsylvania Game Commission

-- Pennsylvania Game Commission officials in partnership with the state chapters of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) are encouraging hunters to help veterans discover or rediscover the thrill and joy of hunting, including fall turkey season that’s open on Veterans Day. This year, Veterans Day will be observed Nov. 12.

Hunters heading into Pennsylvania's woods for wild turkeys really need to be in tune with their surroundings.


“Staying alert and making sound shooting decisions will go a long way toward ensuring your safety and the safety of others in turkey season this fall,” said Keith Snyder, Game Commission Hunter-Trapper Education Division chief. “So, too, will always handling your sporting firearm in a safe and responsible way.


“The Game Commission has worked with the National Wild Turkey Federation and a cadre of volunteer hunter-trapper education instructors over the past decade to reverse the number of turkey hunting-related shooting incidents. Today, Pennsylvania's woods are safer for turkey hunters, but hunters must remain vigilant.”


Snyder offers the following safety tips:

Positively identify your target. Be certain the bird is fully and plainly visible before pulling the trigger. Don’t shoot at sounds or movement.

Never stalk a turkey. Movement or sounds you think are a turkey may be another hunter. Be patient, and let the bird come to you.

Protect your back. Select a large tree, rock or other natural barrier while calling. Hunt in open woods.

Shout “STOP” to alert approaching hunters. Never move, wave or make turkey sounds to alert others of your position.

Dress to be safe! Never wear red, white, blue or black clothing. These are the colors found on mature gobblers.

Cover up. Don’t carry harvested birds in the open. Cover them with fluorescent orange or completely conceal from view in a game bag.

Be seen. Wear or display the required amount of fluorescent orange, particularly when moving.

In addition, while wearing orange is required for all fall turkey hunters while moving, hunters should consider wearing or posting orange at all times. 

To recognize those who volunteer to guide a veteran, the Game Commission will conduct a drawing to present six framed fine-art wildlife prints. To be eligible, a participating hunter must submit a brief e-mail that outlines the name and address of the veteran taken afield, type of hunting taken part in, and county where the shared hunt took place. American Legion or VFW members who take another veteran hunting also should include their member number.


All participating hunters, including those not affiliated with the American Legion or VFW must send an e-mail to either dsandman@vfwpahq.org or hq@pa-legion.com.  A drawing will be held to select six winners from all emails received by Dec. 31.

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