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Youth spring turkey season offers kids the first shot

From the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation

-- Oklahoma turkey hunters mark April 6 as an important date to remember every year, but youth get an opportunity to hunt gobblers even earlier.

This year’s youth spring turkey season will be held April 3-4 statewide and offers youth under 18 years of age a chance to harvest one tom turkey while accompanied by an adult 18 years old or older. The adult may not hunt or possess archery or firearms equipment, and any turkey harvested by a youth hunter counts toward the youth’s county and regular spring season limits.

Youth who participate in the youth spring turkey season not only get an early opportunity to hunt, but those youth who do not harvest a turkey during the youth season may use their unfilled turkey license during the regular spring season, which runs April 6 to May 6.

To hunt during the youth spring turkey season, resident youth under 16 and non-residents under 14 are not required to have a hunting license, but they are required to have a turkey license or proof of exemption. Resident youth ages 16 and 17 and non-resident youth ages 14-17 must possess an appropriate hunting license and turkey license or proof of exemption.

Youth who have not completed a hunter education course through the Wildlife Department can still hunt turkeys during the youth spring season, but they must purchase an apprentice-designated hunting license and turkey permit as required, and the accompanying adult must be an individual 21 years old or older who is a licensed hunter and hunter education certified or otherwise exempt from license and hunter education requirements. See page 8 of the current “Oklahoma Hunting Guide” for details.

Seasons on public lands may vary from statewide season dates. Consult the current Oklahoma Hunting Guide for full details and regulations.

For a full 2010 Gobbler Report by e-mail, sign up online through the Wildlife Department’s website at  http://www.wildlifedepartment.com/wl_news.htm

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