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       Ask anyone who has hunted turkey and they’ll tell you the birds are smart, have incredible hearing and they are a challenge for even the most seasoned hunter. Now, Vermont’s youth have an opportunity to match wits with these crafty gobblers in a special Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend, April 27-28.
       “We want to give young people the opportunity to learn more about turkey hunting by participating in this event, held before the regular turkey season begins,” said Ronald Regan, Vermont Fish & Wildlife Commissioner. “The special weekend hunt encourages our seasoned adult hunters to accompany a youth and teach skills needed for a successful outdoor experience.”

A new law passed by legislature establishes Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend as April 27 and 28 this year.

Any youth under 16 years of age on April 27 and 28 who has successfully completed a hunter education course and who has at least one parent or guardian who is a legal resident of Vermont may obtain a free youth turkey hunting tag from any Vermont license agent.

The youth turkey hunting tag is only valid on April 27 and 28, and may be used to tag one bearded turkey. The youth must be accompanied by an unarmed adult over 18 years of age. The youth and the adult must each have a 2002 Vermont hunting license and a turkey hunting license.

Landowner permission is required by law in order to hunt on private land as a youth turkey hunter. Fish & Wildlife recommends obtaining the permission well before April 27.

All rules controlling the regular spring turkey hunting season except the bag limit apply for Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend. They are listed on page 51 of the “2002 Digest of Vermont Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Laws.” Young hunters should note, for example, that turkey hunting is only open in those Wildlife Management Units designated for the spring season.

Young hunters who would like more information about Youth Turkey Hunting Weekend should contact their local game warden. Their names and phone numbers are listed in the Digest of Hunting, Fishing and Trapping Laws.

Vermont’s regular spring turkey hunting season is May 1-31. Last year 4,626 turkeys were taken in the May season.

The turkey population we have in Vermont today originated from 31 wild turkeys live-trapped by Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department biologists in New York and released in Pawlet and Castleton in 1969 and 1970. The population is now estimated at 35,000 to 40,000 turkeys, and they occupy all of the suitable habitat in the state.

Uploaded: 2/11/2002