It couldn’t get much easier to take a youngster hunting than the spring turkey hunt for youth [PDF]. Parents, guardians, and mentors can take any youth ages 10 through 15 who has a tag and license.

“This is a great chance for all of us adults, parents and hunters to grab a rookie and get in the game,” said Keith Warnke, hunter recruitment coordinator for the state Department of Natural Resources. “Now is the time to take the opportunity to take your kids, your kids’ friends or your friends’ kids and mentor a new hunter.”

The 2013 Spring Turkey Youth Hunt will occur statewide April 6 and 7. The two-day spring youth hunt, successfully initiated in 2007, allows one-on-one mentoring of future hunters in a relaxed atmosphere without competition for hunting spots from regular season hunters.

Thanks to the Mentored Hunting Program that took effect starting with the 2009 fall season, youth hunters aged 10 and 11, in addition to youth ages 12 through 15, also may now participate in the 2012 youth turkey hunt.

“To truly be a mentor means a commitment of several years, not a single event. We have a highly dedicated, highly skilled cadre of hunting mentors in Wisconsin,” Warnke said. “Now is the time to make that commitment and shine.”

Under the Mentored Hunting Program, youngsters ages 10 through 15 may hunt during the two-day youth turkey hunt without first having completed hunter education, so long as they do so with a qualified adult mentor and follow the rules of the program. Youth ages 12 through 15 who have already completed hunter education may hunt during the youth hunt while accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older. Each youth must have a valid spring 2012 turkey harvest permit, license and stamp.

Youth are allowed to hunt on April 6 and 7 in the turkey management zone [PDF] for which their permit is valid, regardless of the time period their permit is issued for, and may harvest only one male or bearded turkey during the two-day hunt.

A youth who does not successfully harvest a turkey during the two-day hunt may use the unfilled permit during the time period and in the zone for which the permit was issued. There is no special application procedure for the youth hunt, but young hunters must either be issued a tag through the drawing or purchase a leftover tag. All other spring turkey hunting regulations apply.

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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