JEFFERSON CITY, Mo (MDC) - Ten youths from throughout Missouri have been selected to participate in the state's first Governor's Invitational Youth Turkey Hunt this weekend, April 3-5, in Jefferson City. The event is sponsored by the Missouri State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), the Conservation Federation of Missouri and the Missouri Legislative Sportsmen's Caucus. The Missouri Department of Conservation will host turkey-hunting seminars on Friday and Saturday afternoons, and Conservation staff and volunteers will guide some of the hunts.
The youths' hometowns include: Cassville, Chillicothe, Columbia, Florissant, Fulton, Kirksville, Warrenton and Winona.
Friday, April 3, 3 - 6 p.m.
United Sportsmen's Club
4750 Henwick Lane
Jefferson City MO 65109
Conservation Department staff will host a special hunting seminar for the 10 youths to introduce them to their guides and to demonstrate shotgun patterning, discuss hunting regulations and provide hunter safety instruction. MEDIA ARE INVITED FOR PARTICIPANT PRE-HUNT INTERVIEWS AND SEMINAR INFORMATION.
Saturday, April 4, 2 - 4 p.m.
Missouri Department of Conservation Training Building
(past visitor entrance, around and down drive behind main building)
2901 W. Truman Blvd.
Jefferson City MO 65102
As participating youths return from their Saturday hunts, Conservation staff and volunteers will instruct them on proper turkey cleaning and taxidermy preparation. MEDIA ARE INVITED FOR PARTICIPANT POST-HUNT INTERVIEWS AND SEMINAR INFORMATION.
YOUTH SPRING TURKEY SEASON BACKGROUND
Spring turkey hunting in Missouri will be kicked off by a two-day, youth-only turkey season for Missouri residents age 15 and younger on April 4-5. The goal of the youth-only season is to kindle the turkey-hunting spark in young hunters by giving them a "head start" on turkey hunting. The regular spring turkey season runs April 20-May 10.
In 2008, 21,595 hunters age 15 and under had spring turkey permits for the two-day youth season and 2,898 birds were harvested.
Individuals ages 11-15 who have hunter education certification may hunt with a regular spring turkey hunting permit. Individuals under age 12 who are not hunter-education certified may hunt with a youth deer and turkey hunting permit. The youth permit carries the stipulation that, while hunting, the youth must be in the immediate presence of a properly licensed adult who has hunter education certification.
Individuals ages 15 and younger, who are immediate household members of a resident landowner or qualifying lessee, can use a resident landowner spring turkey permit, which is only valid on their own property.
During the youth-only season, hunters may harvest only one bird. Shooting hours during youth season are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset. This differs from regular spring turkey season when shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to 1 p.m.
Like other hunters, youth hunters are restricted to killing male turkeys or turkeys with visible beards. All birds must be checked through the Missouri Department of Conservation's Telecheck system.