- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
This February, the Massachusetts Youth Turkey Hunt Program was honored with a national award by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) at their annual conference in Nashville, Tennessee. The Youth Turkey Hunt Program was recognized as one of the top five youth programs in the country. The Program was also selected as the national winner of the NWTF Recruitment, Retention, and Reactivation (R3) Award for its achievements in engaging with young hunters. The Youth Turkey Hunt Program provides a safe and fun introduction to the world of turkey hunting for young people between 12 and 17 years old. The seminar portion of the program includes firearms shooting and safe handling in the field, turkey hunting techniques, regulations, ethics, and game preparation. Following the seminar, adult mentor hunters provide a guided hunt for youth participants on the designated youth turkey hunt date in April.
The Youth Turkey Hunt Program is a partnership between MassWildlife, the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and participating sportsmen's clubs. Upon receiving the award, Massachusetts NWTF Chapter President Keith Fritze said, “The NWTF State Chapter is honored to play a part in the achievements of this program. We appreciate and enjoy working with the dedicated employees of MassWildlife, the participating sportsman’s clubs, our corporate partners, and the backbone of the program—the devoted volunteers and mentors.” MassWildlife Director Mark Tisa who was also on hand to accept the award added, “I am truly honored to accept this award on behalf of MassWildlife. These kinds of programs are a great example of the power of partnerships.”