Getting more adults to take young wild turkey hunters into the field is the goal of a $10,000 grant from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
Grant funds were used to create a 30-second radio promotional spot and purchase air time during prime drive time on country music radio stations in Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Lake City, Mankato, Rochester, Wadena and St Cloud. The radio spots aired on the two Thursdays and Fridays preceding the April 18 opener. The spots let hunters know that youth can buy a turkey license for any date or area without being part of the lottery and encourages them to take a youth hunting.
An email message sent to 9,800 past licensed turkey hunters older than 18 also was part of the campaign. Like the radio spots, the email encouraged adults to help teens buy a license and take them into the field.
“Having adult hunters take a teen out hunting is one of the best legacies they can pass on,” said Jenifer Wical, DNR customer enhancement and marketing manager for the Fish and Wildlife Division. “We know they best way to increase participation in hunting is through family or adults taking youth into field and forest to learn.”
Effective with the spring 2010 season, youth 17 and younger who meet firearm safety requirements were exempt from the spring wild turkey lottery, allowing them to purchase a license for any area and date during the spring turkey hunt.