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DNR makes it easier to get youths hunting turkeys

First-time youth turkey hunters ages 12 to 17 have the chance to go afield this spring and learn from an experienced National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) volunteer, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources said.

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Applications, maps and general information for the wild turkey hunt are available online at The application deadline is midnight on Monday, February 18. If there are more applications than available mentors, participants will be selected in a random lottery.

“Novice turkey hunters and their guardian will learn life-long outdoor skills and how to be a responsible hunter,” said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. “These NWTF volunteers want to share their many years of chasing toms and help new hunters connect to the outdoors. All they ask for in return is a smile or a high five.”

This is the 12th consecutive year the DNR and the NWTF have cooperated to provide opportunities for first-time youth turkey hunters. More than 2,200 youth have been introduced to this unique hunting experience since spring youth turkey hunts began in 2002.

Hunts will occur Saturday, April 26, and Sunday, April 27, which is the second weekend of the regular wild turkey season. Hunters and their mentors will be matched with a NWTF volunteer coach, who must accompany both the youth and parent/guardian throughout the entire hunt.

To be eligible, a youth hunter must be age 12 to 17 on or before Saturday, April 26; have a valid firearms safety certificate; and be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The program is for inexperienced turkey hunters only.

Hunters and their mentors will be assigned a NWTF volunteer coach, who must accompany both the youth and parent/guardian throughout the entire hunt.

Participation in the hunts is only restricted by the number of volunteers and private lands that are available. Anyone interested in providing quality turkey hunting land for the mentored youth hunts should contact a NWTF chapter online at

Beginning this year, all youth age 17 and younger by April 16 can purchase a youth turkey license over the counter to hunt all time periods across the entire state. Youth no longer need to select a time period or permit area.