The application deadline is midnight Monday, Feb. 13 for first-time youth turkey hunters, ages 12 to 17, who are looking to go afield this spring and learn from an experienced National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) volunteer, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Participants will be selected through a random lottery. Applications, maps and general information for the wild turkey hunt are available online.
This is the 10th consecutive year DNR and NWTF have cooperated to provide opportunities for first-time youth turkey hunters. More than 1,500 youth have been introduced to this unique hunting experience since spring youth turkey hunts began in 2002.
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.
To be eligible, a youth hunter must be age 12 to 17 on or before April 21; 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 coach, who must accompany both the youth and parent or guardian throughout the entire hunt.
Participation in the hunts is only restricted by the number volunteers and private lands that are available. People who have an interest in providing quality turkey hunting land for the mentored youth hunts should contact a NWTF chapter online.