New Hampshire’s 2012 youth turkey hunt will take place Saturday, April 28 and Sunday, April 29, the weekend before spring gobbler season gets underway. During the 2011 youth weekend, young hunters took an impressive 521 turkeys, or 14.2% of the total spring turkey harvest in the state.
To participate in the special youth weekend turkey hunt, hunters must be age 15 or younger and must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older. The adult may not carry a firearm or bow and arrow. Youth hunters do not need a hunting license, but they must have a valid turkey permit ($16 resident, $31 nonresident). Accompanying adults must hold either a current New Hampshire hunting or archery license AND a turkey permit.
For more information on turkey hunting in New Hampshire and a link to online license and permit sales, go to www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_turkey.htm .
The special weekend provides youth and mentoring adults a quiet, noncompetitive time in the woods, where they can focus on safety, ethics, hunting methods and natural science. “Nothing generates more compliments, letters of thanks, and photographs of proud parents and beaming kids, than our youth turkey weekend,” said Mark Ellingwood, wildlife programs administrator for Fish and Game. “We take great pride and satisfaction in providing young people and mentoring adults with the opportunity to learn safe hunting practices, to put lean, healthy, natural food on their family table, and to enjoy the spellbinding wonders and beauty of New Hampshire’s spring woodlands.”
Fish and Game urges all turkey hunters, including youth, to memorize the following list of ten safety guidelines before going out in the field:
1. Never stalk a turkey. It rarely works and it increases the risk of an accident.
2. Never wear red, white, blue or black over or under-clothing, as these are prominent colors of displaying gobblers.
3. Never call from a tree that is thinner than the width of your shoulders.
4. Never jump or turn suddenly in response to a suspected turkey.
5. Never call from a site where you can’t see at least 40 yards in all directions.
6. Never imitate a gobbler call while concealed in a stand.
7. Never presume that what you hear or what responds to your call is a turkey.
8. Never think that your camouflage makes you totally invisible. To ID yourself to other hunters, wrap an orange band around the tree nearest you.
9. Never hide so well that you can’t see what’s happening around you.
10. Never move or wave to alert approaching hunters; shout “stop” instead.