CONTACT:
Ted Walski: (603) 352-9669
Mark Ellingwood: (603) 271-2461                   
Jane Vachon: (603) 271-3211
March 26, 2009

New Hampshire's Youth Turkey Weekend -- April 25-26, 2009

CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire's 2009 youth turkey hunt will take place Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, the weekend before spring gobbler season gets underway on May 3.  This year marks the sixth annual youth turkey hunt weekend in New Hampshire.  During the 2008 youth weekend, young hunters took an impressive 579 gobblers, or 14.1% of the total spring turkey harvest in the state.

To participate in the special weekend turkey hunt, youth hunters must be age 15 or younger and must be accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older.  The adult may not carry a firearm or bow and arrow.  Youth hunters do not need a hunting license, but they must have a valid turkey permit ($16 resident, $31 nonresident). Accompanying adults must hold either a current N.H. hunting or archery license AND a turkey permit.  Licenses and permits can be purchased at www.HuntNH.com

The special weekend provides youth and mentoring adults a quiet, noncompetitive time in the woods, where they can focus on safety, ethics, hunting methods and natural science.  For more details on youth hunting in New Hampshire, see http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/Hunting/youth_hunting.htm.

"Nothing generates more compliments, letters of thanks, and photographs of proud parents and beaming kids, than our youth turkey weekend," said Mark Ellingwood, wildlife programs administrator for Fish and Game.  "We take great pride and satisfaction in providing young people and mentoring adults with the opportunity to learn safe hunting practices, to put lean, healthy, natural food on their family table, and to enjoy the spellbinding wonders and beauty of New Hampshire's spring woodlands." 

 "Youth weekend is a great opportunity for an adult and child to spend time together without the stressful distractions of modern life," Ellingwood added.  "Our spring woods are full of spellbinding natural beauty, be it spectacular spring flowers, the melodious mystery of feverishly singing migrant warblers, or the thundering reverberations of gobbling turkeys from their ridge-top roosts.  Oh sure, bring your shotgun, but also bring your binoculars, your camera and your field guides; you won't be disappointed.  It's a sure-fire way to build bonds with your son or daughter that will last a lifetime."

In addition to their special weekend, youth can hunt during the regular spring gobbler season (May 3-31), when accompanied by a properly licensed adult age 18 or older (all youth require a valid turkey permit).

Enhance your knowledge of and appreciation for turkey ecology and turkey hunting by attending a wild turkey seminar at Owl Brook Hunter Education Center in Holderness on April 18, 2009.  Pre-registration is required. To sign up for the workshop, call 603-536-3954.

Fish and Game urges all turkey hunters, including youth, to memorize the following list of ten safety guidelines before going out in the field:

1. Never stalk a turkey.  It rarely works and it increases the risk of an accident.
2. Never wear red, white, blue or black over or under-clothing, as these are prominent colors of displaying gobblers.
3. Never call from a tree that is thinner than the width of your shoulders.
4. Never jump or turn suddenly in response to a suspected turkey.
5. Never call from a site where you can't see at least 40 yards in all directions.
6. Never imitate a gobbler call while concealed in a stand.
7. Never presume that what you hear or what responds to your call is a turkey.
8. Never think that your camouflage makes you totally invisible.  To ID yourself to other hunters, wrap an orange band around the tree nearest you.
9. Never hide so well that you can't see what's happening around you.
10. Never move or wave to alert approaching hunters; shout "stop" instead.

Hunter education is not required for youth hunters under age 16. Youth are encouraged to complete the hunter education course between the age of 12 and their 16th birthday.  A list of available hunter education courses is posted on the Fish and Game website at
www.huntnh.com/Hunting/hunter_ed_schedule.htm. Hunter education classes are made possible by the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program.

For more information on turkey hunting in New Hampshire and a link to online license sales, go to www.huntnh.com/Hunting/Hunt_species/hunt_turkey.htm.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is the guardian of the state's fish, wildlife and marine resources and their habitats.  Visit www.HuntNH.com.

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