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April 4, 2013

Youth Hunters Set for Special Season April 6th-7th

The Easter eggs have all been found, so now it's time for area youth to move on to their next hunting experience. It's time to trade in the Easter bonnet and the candy filled basket for some camouflage and a box call.

The 2013 spring youth turkey season is Saturday and Sunday, April 6th and 7th. Hunters between the ages of six and 15 can hunt in the presence of a properly licensed adult. The mentor system, allows an individual who has received the hunter-education certification to take a non-certified youth hunter, in an effort to foster growth of the sport by introducing young people to the enjoyment of spring turkey hunting.

Youth must be at least 11 years old to receive the hunter education certification. Anyone born after January 1, 1967 is required to maintain the certification. Youth age 11-15, who have completed the hunter certification are allowed to hunt during the youth season, without a mentor. That same restrictions apply for the regular three-week spring turkey season that runs April 15 through May 5th.

The early season isn't the only perk for young hunters. Permits are half price, with hunters age 6 to 15 paying just $8.50. The standard spring turkey tag for resident hunters is $17. Youth hunters may also participate using a resident landowner permit, at no cost, or a non- resident spring turkey youth tag, which is the biggest bargain of all at $8.50 Regular non-resident spring turkey tags cost $190.

Youth season hunters may only take one male turkey or turkey with a visible beard.

That bird counts toward the two-bird limit for the spring turkey season tag. Youths who take a turkey during the youth season may not harvest a second bird until April 22. This is because the bird taken during the youth season counts as the first bird for the first week of the regular season.

The spring turkey season tag limits a hunter to two male turkeys or turkeys with visible beard with the following restrictions: You may only take one turkey during the first week from April 15 -21; If you do not take one during the first week, then you may take two during the second or third week from April 22-May 5, but you may not take them both on the same day.

MDC has announced a regulations change for 2013. Hunters are no longer required to affix "Be Safe" stickers to their shotguns.

Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise to sunset Central Daylight Time. That differs from shooting hours during the regular spring turkey season, which close at 1 p.m. CST. According to, sunrise on Saturday of youth season will be at 6:45 a.m. and on Sunday it will be 6:43 a.m.

Hunters who harvest a turkey must void their permit immediately by notching the month and day of harvest.

All turkeys must be tagged immediately after harvest and checked by 10 p.m. on the day taken using the Telecheck system.

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