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Guide Youth Turkey Hunt Program

Know a young adult 12-17 years of age who wants to learn to hunt? The mentored youth turkey hunt is a safe and fun program to introduce youth to the world of hunting. This program is offered jointly by MassWildlife, the Massachusetts State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and participating Sportsmen's Clubs. The Youth Turkey Hunt Program consists of a turkey hunt seminar followed by a mentored turkey hunt. This year, the mentored hunt will be on April 24, 2021.
NOTE: In accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines, the 2021 Youth Turkey Hunt will be different from previous years. Scroll down for details.

Table of Contents

2021 Youth Turkey Hunt Program

The 2021 Youth Turkey Hunt Program will be different from previous years. Changes have been made to ensure the safety of volunteers and youth participants in accordance with current COVID-19 guidelines.

About the youth turkey hunt program

April 24, 2021 will be the day of the youth turkey hunt

The youth turkey hunt program is open to minors 12 to 17 years of age and includes a turkey hunt seminar and a mentored turkey hunt.

To participate in the 2021 youth turkey hunt the youth must:  

  • Graduate from a Basic Hunter Education course before the day of the hunt.  

  • Complete the mandatory youth turkey online seminar and field day before the day of the hunt. 

  • Be accompanied by an adult mentor (18 years of age or older) who holds a Massachusetts hunting license and turkey permit. 

All hunting laws apply. If the youth participant is 15 years of age or older and they wish to hunt with a shotgun, they must have a valid Massachusetts firearms license. To apply for a firearms license, contact your local police department.

Steps for new participants

To participate in the youth turkey hunt, new participants must be 12-17 years of age and fulfill the following: 

  1. Graduate from a Basic Hunter Education course (before the day of the hunt). 

  1. Obtain a firearms identification (FID) card
    This step is only required if the participant will be 15-17 years of age on the day of the youth turkey hunt and they wish to hunt with a shotgun. 

  2. Complete both the online youth turkey seminar and field day before the day of the hunt. At this time, all 2021 online seminars have been completed. This is a one-time requirement. Youth who have completed the seminar in prior years already meet this requirement. 

  3. Find a mentor. Mentors can be any adult licensed hunter (18 years of age or older). Only one minor per licensed adult is permitted. Due to Covid-19, MassWildlife is recommending all participants hunt with a member of their family/household.  

  4. Obtain the necessary license, permits, and authorizations through MassFishHunt. 

2021 mandatory youth turkey seminar

The youth turkey hunt seminar is designed to provide young hunters with specialized turkey hunting training and instruction, as well as reinforce what they learned in Basic Hunter Education. Young hunters will have the opportunity to practice all aspects of a safe hunt including calling, how to properly set-up, identifying your target and what’s beyond it, turkey biology and turkey hunting regulations.

Due to Covid-19, the youth turkey seminar format has changed for 2021. The traditional seminar has been broken into 2 parts. All new participants are required to complete both parts of the seminar.

2021 youth turkey hunt

Part 1: Online Youth Turkey Seminar
2-hour online seminar taught through Zoom. All new youth participants are required to complete the Part 1 online class PRIOR to completing Part 2. 

Part 2
Select one of the following:

  • Part 2: In-Person Field Day
    With the support of participating clubs, field days will be hands-on learning stations taught 100% outdoors. Consistent with guidance provided by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, in-person classes will include additional mandatory safety precautions to help protect against the spread of COVID-19.   

OR 

  • Part 2: Online Field Day
    Youth preferring to participate in an online course can attend and complete the online field day. This session includes both written content and videos on the three learning stations taught during the in-person field day. Attendees must also have access to a range and practice shooting. Once they have completed the online training they must fill out an online affidavit affirming that they have reviewed all online content and practiced at the range.  

To register for a seminar 

At this time, all 2021 online seminars have been completed and registration is closed.


Below is a list of clubs that will be conducting the in-person field day. You do not need to be a member of the club to register or attend this training. 

Club & Address

Date of in-person field day

Barre Sportsman’s Club
221 Spring Hill Road
Barre, MA 01005
Get directions

April 10,  9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Essex County Sportsmens Association
Mudnock Rd. Salisbury, MA 01952
Get directions

April 18, 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Carver Sportsmen’s Club
127 Main St, Carver, MA 02330
Get directions

April 17, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Falmouth Rod and Gun Club
203 Carriage Shop Rd., East Falmouth
Get directions
April 10, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.
Norco Sportsman’s Club
91 Houghton Road

Princeton, MA 01541
Get directions

April 17, 8:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Wrentham Sportsmen’s Association
7 Madison Street
Plainville, MA 02762
Get directions

April 10, 9 a.m. - 12 p.m.

What happens after the youth completes the mandatory youth turkey seminar?
Upon completing a Basic Hunter Education course as well as the youth turkey hunt seminar and field day a special authorization will be established in your customer profile within MassFishHunt. If you don't already have a customer profile, one will be created for you. This authorization will allow you to purchase either a Youth Turkey Permit (for minors 12–14 years of age) or a Youth Turkey Authorization (for minors 15–17 years of age).

You must receive this special authorization in order to participate in the hunt. See below for detailed instructions on how to obtain your permit/authorization.

Obtain your turkey permit/authorization for the hunt

New participants
Upon completion of a Basic Hunter Education course and a youth turkey seminar, a special authorization will be established through MassFishHunt. This authorization is typically available 1-2 weeks after the youth participant completes a youth turkey hunt seminar. 

Returning participants
If you have previously participated in the youth turkey hunt, you already meet this requisite and the required permit/authorization is available now through MassFishHunt.

Instructions

Participants ages 12-14 years old:

Follow the steps below or click here for detailed instructions.

  1. Log in to MassFishHunt using the youth's customer account.
  2. Click on License Sales (green button to the right of your screen).
  3. Once you click License Sales, the Customer Electronic Signature box will open, you must hit accept to get into License Sales.
  4. Click on Hunting Permits and Stamps from the menu on the left.
  5. Add the Youth Turkey Permit.
  6. Checkout when you're ready.
  7. Print your turkey permit.

Participants ages 15-17 years old:

Start by purchasing a Massachusetts Minor Hunting or Sporting license in person or online.

Then, follow the steps below or click here for detailed instructions.

    1. Log in to MassFishHunt using the youth's customer account.
    2. Click on license sales (green button to the right of your screen).
    3. Once you click License Sales, the Customer Electronic Signature box will open, you must hit accept to get into License Sales.
    4. Click on Hunting Permits and Stamps from the menu on the left.
    5. Add a Turkey Permit (tip: you must add the turkey permit to your "cart" before you add the Youth Turkey Authorization).
    6. Add the Youth Turkey Authorization Ages 15-17 (you must add a turkey permit before you add the authorization).
    7. Checkout when you're ready.
    8. Print your turkey permit.

    Who can be a mentor?

    Mentors can be any adult licensed hunter (18 years of age or older). Due to Covid-19, MassWildlife is recommending participants hunt with a member of their family/household. Only one minor per licensed adult is permitted. 

    Mentors must have the following in order to participate with a youth on the day of the youth turkey hunt:

    • A valid Massachusetts Hunting or Sporting License. Visit a license vendor or log in to MassFishHunt to purchase a license.
    • A Turkey Permit. Visit a license vendor or log in to MassFishHunt to purchase a turkey permit.
    • If mentoring a minor 12-14 years of age hunting with a shotgun, the adult must have a firearms license. No firearms license is needed by 12-14 year old minors.

    Requirements for the day of the hunt

    April 24, 2021 is this year's youth turkey hunt day

    Youth Turkey Hunt Participants ages 12 to 14 must:

    • Have a government-issued Basic Hunter Education certificate of completion. 
    • Have a Youth Turkey Permit.
    • Be accompanied by a licensed adult mentor (18 years of age or older) mentoring the youth participant. 
    • The mentoring adult must have a valid Massachusetts hunting or sporting license, a turkey permit, and any permits required to possess a firearm if the minor is hunting with a shotgun.

    Youth Turkey Hunt Participants ages 15 to 17 must:

    • Have a government-issued Basic Hunter Education certificate of completion.
    • Have a Minor Hunting License.
    • Have a Regular Turkey Permit.
    • Have a Youth Turkey Authorization.
    • Have a Firearms Identification Card (FID) if hunting with a shotgun. Firearms licenses are issued by your local police department.
    • Be accompanied by a licensed adult mentor (18 years of age or older) mentoring the youth participant. 
    • The mentoring adult must have a valid Massachusetts hunting or sporting license and their own turkey permit.

    More information

    • Hunting hours for the Youth Turkey Day are 1/2 hour before sunrise until 5pm. 
    • Youth turkey permits include are valid, not only for the day of the mentored youth turkey hunt, but also for the  spring and fall turkey seasons.
    • All hunting laws apply
      • Two wild turkeys can be harvested per day in the spring. 
      • You must report your harvest within 48 hours either online or at a check station. For instructions on how to report your wild turkey harvest, click here.
      • An official safety sticker must be adhered to any firearm being used to hunt wild turkey such that it is visible to the hunter when sighting down the barrel (typically placed on the tang). If new or replacement sticker is needed, send self-addressed, stamped envelope to any MassWildlife office.
      • To learn more about wild turkey hunting regulations, click here.
    • We encourage parents/guardians to take part in the hunt if they can. Legal guardians can involve themselves as much as possible and are invited to sit in with their child when they take the mandatory youth turkey hunt seminar.
    • Hunters 12-17 years of age have many opportunities to hunt in addition to the youth turkey hunt day. To learn more, get the Massachusetts Guide to Hunting, find additional outdoor skills classes, or learn more about the hunting regulations for minors.

    If you are uncertain on what to do to ensure your youth hunter is ready for the mentored youth turkey hunt or if you have questions about the youth turkey hunt program, please contact the MassWildlife Field HQ by calling (508) 389-6300 or emailing mass.wildlife@mass.gov

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