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A. The hunt is conducted in conjunction with participating sportsmen club 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.
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 young adult turkey hunt form 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 youth turkey permit to be used for the day of the hunt and the regular spring turkey season for 12-14 year olds, and a youth turkey completion certificate 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.
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.
Q. What happens if my youth harvests a wild turkey on the youth day?
A. Just as in the regular turkey season, youth have 48 hours to check in their bird either at a physical check station or online with the MassFishHunt system.