This coming weekend, April 21-22, properly licensed junior turkey hunters ages 12 to 15 will be out in the fields and forests of the Empire State pursuing bearded wild turkeys from one-half hour before sunrise until noon. They won’t be out alone.
The special weekend hunt requires licensed adult mentors (with a turkey permit) to accompany the junior hunters. The mentors may not carry a gun or bow, but they may assist in calling. This is all about getting the next generation out and have them take center stage. The youngster will be the focus on the hunt.
Safety is of the utmost importance when hunting. Even more so with spring gobbler hunting because hunters are dressed completely in camouflage. Always point your gun in a safe direction – whether it is loaded or not. Never shoot at sound, color or movement without first identifying your target. If you hear a turkey, don’t try and stalk it. These are the types of lessons the mentor should be passing along.
If you are successful, make sure you tag it properly. You must also report your harvest via phone within seven days to 1-866-GAMERPT or online at www.dec.ny.gov. Stay safe out there.