Minnesota/NWTF Youth Mentored Turkey Hunt

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First-time youth turkey hunters ages 12 to 17 have the chance to 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.

Application deadline is midnight on Monday, Feb. 15. Participants will be selected through a random lottery.

"Mentored hunts are an excellent opportunity to match a youth and their parent or guardian with an expert to learn a life-long outdoors hunting skill," said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "Not only do these hunts provide an opportunity for mentors to pass their turkey hunting knowledge on, it is a great chance for quality time in the outdoors."

This is the eighth consecutive year DNR and 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.

All but one of this year's youth hunts will occur Saturday, April 17, and Sunday, April 18, 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 Saturday, April 17; 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 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.

People who would like to participate as a mentor or volunteer their land for the youth mentored hunts, should contact their local NWTF chapter online at www.nwtfchapter.org/minnesotastatechapter.

Click "In Your State" on the left-hand side of the page to locate the nearest chapter.