The Massachusetts spring turkey hunting season is just around the corner (April 25, 2011). Here are some important reminders for turkey hunters to consider as they plan for their hunt.
- Permit Applications-Hunters may still send in their permit application to the Westborough office; however, the DFW cannot guarantee those applicants will receive their turkey permit before opening day. Hunters who bought their hunting/sporting license over the counter will find the turkey permit application on the duplicate certificate. Hunters who purchased their license online through MassFishHunt and did not purchase their turkey tags must go to www.mass.gov/massfishhunt , make their purchase and print out their turkey tags immediately. DFW District offices and the Westborough Field Headquarters will be selling turkey permits over the counter beginning Tuesday, April 19, 2011. Hunters must present their 2011 hunting or sporting license to purchase a permit.
- Safety Stickers Required--An official turkey safety sticker is required to be affixed to firearms (not bows) in such a way as to be visible when sighting down the barrel. To obtain safety stickers, stop by a DFW District office or send a self-addressed stamped envelope, including a note requesting the stickers to any District office or the Field Headquarters in Westborough.
- Turkey Check Stations--An updated list of turkey check stations and hours of operation is posted.
- Youth Turkey Hunt Participants-Youths 12-17 years old may still be able to sign up to participate in a Youth Turkey Hunt Program offered by several sportsmens' clubs across the state. The program includes live fire, a pre-hunt experience and a mentored guided turkey hunt on the designated Youth Turkey Hunt day (April 23) under the supervision of a safe and responsible adult. Though some clubs have held their workshops, other clubs may still have openings. List of participating clubs with pre-hunt dates listed for April . Youth hunters may hunt on April 23 only if they have successfully completed the Youth Turkey pre-hunt program and possess a Youth Turkey Hunt permit.
- Past Youth Turkey Hunt Participants-12- to 17-year-old hunters who have successfully completed a MA Youth Turkey Hunt prior to 2011 and who plan to hunt on the Youth Turkey Hunt Day (April 23) need a Youth Turkey Permit. Find a Past Participant Form . To ensure receipt of turkey tags and permits before the Youth Turkey Hunt date of April 23, mail the form to the DFW Field Headquarters in Westborough no later than April 8, 2011. 12- to 14-year-old hunters will receive a tag with their Youth Turkey Permit and they will need to be accompanied by a licensed adult turkey hunter. Only 1 minor may accompany an adult. 15- to 17-year-old hunters will receive a Youth Turkey Permit only and will need to use the tag from their standard MA turkey permit. Youth hunters ages 15-17 years are also reminded a valid Firearms Identification card is required if they are hunting with shotguns.
- Turkey Hunting Safety Tips--Lastly, the Division encourages all turkey hunters to hunt safely. Check the Turkey Hunting Safety tips web page .
By using common sense and safe hunting practices, turkey hunters will have a safe and memorable experience. With skill and luck, successful hunters will bring home a tasty meal for the dinner table to share with friends and family.