Youth Turkey Hunt Program FAQs
FAQs For Participating Sportsmens Clubs
FAQs For Parents/Guardians
FAQs For Youth Hunters
SPORTSMENS CLUB FAQs
Q. What do clubs teach and do we need to follow a curriculum?
A. The Youth Turkey Hunt Planning Guide is available to each club on the MassWildlife website and provides a standard curriculum for all partipating clubs to follow. As long as you follow the guidelines, your club can add different events to the hunt. We encourage your club to go above and beyond our suggestions of including meals, raffles, scouting days, and dressing of game.
Q. Who can participate?
A. Any youth from the age of 12-14 who has passed a hunter education course and any youth from the age of 15-17 who has passed a hunter education course, has a valid Firearms Identification Card (FID), has purchased a hunting license, and has a turkey permit.
Q. Who can be a mentor?
A. Any adult over the age of 18 who holds a current Massachusetts hunting
license and has a turkey permit for the current year. Please encourage
parents and relatives to participate.
Q. What does our club have to do to participate?
A. Your club will need to appoint a minimum five person team to take on the coordination of this hunt.
- First team member will be the designated instructor during the pre-hunt workshop.
- Second team member will coordinate all of the mentors for the hunt and volunteers for the range use during the pre-hunt workshop.
- Third team member will coordinate all forms and participant sign in.
- Fourth team member, if your club is able, will coordinate a breakfast and/or end of hunt BBQ.
- Fifth team member will be coordinating the safe handling of firearms to and from the shooting range, and also in securing enough firearms for each participant to use if the participant does not own a shotgun.
Q. What paperwork is needed to participate?
A. The following legal forms (located in the appendix section of the youth turkey hunting guide and as separate files online) must be properly completed and returned to the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFW) in West Boylston. These forms may not be modified, must be originals and be completely filled out:
- Division Waiver and Release Form (requires notarization)
- Parental/Legal Guardian Consent & Indemnification Form
- Youth Registration Form
- Certification of Successful Training Completion
Q. What is the timeline for preparing for the youth turkey mentor hunt?
A. The timeline is as follows:
- Late February-Contact MDFW in Westborough to notify us of your club's participation, also start to set up mentors for the hunt, send a completed Division Release waiver form notarized for your club to MDFW Field Headquarters.
- March 31st-Youth Participant Registration Form, Parental/ Legal Guardian Consent Form, and Release and Indemnification Agreement need to be filled out for each participant and mailed to MDFW Field Headquarters
- Prior to April 12-Pre-hunt workshop needs to be completed
- April 12-Send in all Youth Turkey Hunting Training Program Certificates of Successful Completion to MDFW YATH Permit Specialist at the MDFW Field Headquarters.
- April 23, 2011-- Youth Turkey Hunt Day, have youth fill out Program Participant Survey after hunt and mail to MDFW Field Headquarters.
Q. How do we obtain safety kits for each youth and what is included in the safety kit?
A. MDFW and MA National Wild Turkey Federation will be donating all hunter safety kits. The safety kits will include; orange hats, ear plugs, eye protection, orange vest, and NWTF hunt safely stickers. Please fill out the request for youth turkey hunting kits form and return to MDFW. The safety kits can then be picked up at your closest MDFW District Office.
Q. What turkey tags are used during this hunt?
A. All youths ages 12-17 must have completed a basic hunter education course and have, in their possession, a permit issued by the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife to participate in the youth hunt. Youths aged 12-14 will be provided with one harvest tag, which is valid only on the date of the youth hunt. Youths aged 15-17 must possess a hunting or sporting license and a standard Massachusetts turkey hunting permit in addition to the Youth Turkey Hunt permit.
Q. Where do we take the youths hunting?
A. Mentors can take the youth participants any places open to hunting. Mentors must follow local bylaws, and all state hunting regulations. Please consider taking the youths to one of your favorite turkey hunting spots.
Q. How many youth can I mentor at a time?
A. Only one youth per adult. You may have more then one adult mentor for each youth.
FAQs for Parents/Guardians
Q. Who conducts the hunt and where does it take place?
A. The hunt is conducted in conjunction with participating sportsmen clubs and the Mass. Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFW). All activities except the actual hunt will take place at the participating sportsmen clubs grounds. The hunt will take place at a nearby location that the mentor finds suitable for turkey hunting.
Q. How does my youth sign up for the hunt?
A. First, find a participating club. Next, fill out the following forms and turn them in to the club representative:
Q. Who are the mentors for this hunt?
A. Any adult over the age of 18 that holds a current Massachusetts hunting license and has a turkey permit for the current year. MDFW also encourages parents and relatives to participate and mentor if they can. Most mentors are sportsmen club members who are safe, friendly and experienced.
Q. How do I know this turkey hunt is safe?
A. This hunt is designed around safety. The youth must go through a pre-hunt workshop where they will learn the aspects of turkey hunting and the safety involved. The second part of the program is for the youths to learn how to shoot at the range with instructors. This reinforces safe gun handling skills learned in the basic hunter education course. It also allows the youth to become more familiar and comfortable with their own firearm. Lastly, the actual hunt day will be with a mentor who will be directly supervising the youth and reinforce any safety decisions that may arise.
Q. What youth can participate?
A. Any youth from the age of 12-14 who has passed a state basic hunter education course. Also, any youth from the age of 15-17 who has passed a state basic hunter education course, possesses a valid FID (Firearms Identification card), has purchased a valid hunting license, and a turkey permit.
Q. How do I or my child find a participating club?
A. Please view the following for a list of clubs, call the MDFW at (508) 389-6300, or contact a local sportsmen's club to inquire if they are planning to hold a youth turkey hunt.
Q. Can I as a parent or guardian be involved?
A. Yes. The Division encourages parents/legal guardians to be involved as much as possible, even if it is just sitting in during the pre-hunt workshop or shooting instruction.
Q. How much does the Program cost?
A. There is no cost associated with participating in the youth turkey hunt. Youth ages 15-17 will need to purchase a regular hunting license and apply and pay five dollars for their turkey permits for the year just as they would normally need to do in order to hunt.
Q. Can my child participate multiple years?
A. Yes. We encourage youth to hunt on the Youth Turkey Hunt day as many times as they wish.They must meet the age requirements. The youth does not have to participate in the pre-hunt workshop and training every year, but they still have to apply for their youth turkey hunt permit and hunt with a mentor. Youths should fill out a past participant youth turkey hunt application and mail to Youth Turkey Hunt Permit specialist at MDFW Field Headquarters to acquire a turkey permit for the current year. Please have the past certificate number accessible.
Q. How does my youth obtain tags or permits to hunt on the youth turkey day?
A. When your youth successfully completes the turkey hunt pre-workshop with the club, MDFW will receive a successful completion certificate from the club that indicates the youth has completed the necessary training. MDFW will issue a turkey tag to be used only on the day of the hunt for 12-14 year olds, and a special permit allowing youth 15-17 to use their regular season tags on the particular day of the youth turkey hunt.
Q. What is the date of the youth turkey hunt?
A. The hunt is always scheduled for the Saturday prior to the last Monday in April. In 2011, the Youth Turkey Hunt Date is April 23.
Q. Can I take my youth hunting myself on the Youth Turkey Hunt day without going through a participating club?
A. No. The youth must participate in the youth turkey hunt program with a club in order to obtain a tag or permit to hunt on this particular day. If you would like to participate on this day with your youngster,you can be a mentor with the hunt.
Once the youth has completed a pre-hunt workshop and participated in the youth hunt, in following years he or she can apply for a youth turkey hunting permit and you can take the youth hunting yourself on the Youth Turkey Hunt day without needing to participate at a club YTH workshop.
FAQs For Youth Hunters
Q. How old do I have to be to be in the Youth Turkey Hunt Program?
A. Anyone 12-17 years old who has completed a state basic hunter education can participate.
Q. Can I participate multiple years?
Q. What do I need to bring to training/hunt?
A. You only need to bring comfortable clothes and snacks. For the actual hunt, camouflage clothes for the hunt are preferred. Be sure to avoid wearing any red, white, or blue; since these are colors of a male turkey. You can bring your own firearm, or your club/mentor may be able to supply one for you.
Q. What license or permits do I need for the hunt?
A. If you are 12-14 years old, you will need to have in your possession your hunter education card, your youth turkey hunt permit and tags supplied by the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MDFW).
If you are 15-17 years old, you must have a current hunting license with turkey tags/permit, FID card, and permit from MDFW allowing you to hunt on the youth turkey hunt day.
Q. What will I learn at the pre-hunt workshop?
A. You will learn the important aspects of turkey hunting. This will be done by some classroom teaching, but most of the instruction will be in the field going through scenarios of a hunt and also on the range where you will get to shoot your firearm.
Q. Can I hunt with my friends?
A. This will be up to your mentors and your sportsmen's club. You will be with your friends during the pre-hunt workshop.
Q. Can I participate only in the pre-hunt workshop?
A. Yes. Please be sure to inform your sportsmen club that you do not plan on attending the hunt, and only wish to participate in the pre-hunt workshop.
Q. Can I participate only in the hunt and skip the pre-hunt workshop?
A. No. You must attend and successfully complete the pre-hunt workshop
to earn a certificate of completion. This way, MDFW can issue you a
permit and/or tag to hunt on the special youth day hunt.
If you have already attended and participated in a pre-hunt workshop in a prior year then you do not have to attend the workshop again. In this case you can participate only in the hunt, but you will need to fill out a past participant youth turkey hunt application and mail to the YATH Permit Specialist at MDFW Field Headquarters to acquire your turkey permit for the current year. You will need your past certificate number accessible to fill out the form properly.
Q. What is the date of the youth turkey hunt?
A. The hunt is always scheduled for the Saturday prior to the last
Monday in April. In 2011, the Youth Turkey Hunt Date is April 23.