Until a wild turkey shows up, a novice hunter might not believe the scratchy, squeaky sound made with a turkey call will ever entice a bird into view.
“Whether you are an adult or a youth, hunting with a mentor can help,” said Mike Kurre, mentoring program coordinator with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. “Consider applying for one of our mentored hunts. Turkey hunting isn’t overly complicated, but it can be baffling for first-timers trying to understand the calling, decoys and where, when and how to sit during a hunt.”
Youth and adults can apply through Monday, Feb. 13, to hunt turkeys for the first time under the guidance of experienced National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) volunteers. New this year, the adult and youth hunts are all on the same weekend.
Hunts are Saturday, April 22, and Sunday, April 23, and a pre-hunt orientation is required. The cost of the orientation ranges from $5 to $10, and hunting licenses cost $1 for 12 year olds; $6 for ages 13 through 17; and $27 for hunters 18 and older. All participants will need to have a valid firearms safety certificate or its equivalent and youth must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
“This is the 15th year the DNR and NWTF have cooperated for these mentored hunts, and more than 5,000 youth and adults have been a part of the learning experience,” Kurre said. “New this year, we’re working with the Minnesota National Guard to introduce military adults and their families to turkey hunting.”
Applications and details about how to apply are available on the DNR’s website at mndnr.gov/turkeyhunt.
Overall participation in the hunts is restricted by the number of volunteers and private lands that are available. Anyone interested in providing turkey hunting land for the mentored youth hunts should contact the Minnesota NWTF Save the Habitat Save the Hunt Coordinator Keith Carlson at firstname.lastname@example.org.