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Youth turkey hunts available

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My greatest hunting moment came last year when my 7-year-old daughter killed a turkey during youth season.

If you have a youth in your life, I encourage you to take them hunting during youth season this year, which takes place April 19 and 20. The Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is helping make that possible by offering special youth hunts on 21 DNR properties during the special youth wild turkey hunting season.

The reserved hunts are at the following fish and wildlife areas: Atterbury, Crosley, Deer Creek, Glendale, Hovey Lake, Jasper-Pulaski, Sugar Ridge, Kankakee, Kingsbury, LaSalle, Pigeon River, Roush, Tri-County, Minnehaha, Fairbanks Landing, Hillenbrand, Chinook, Winamac and Willow Slough, as well as at Salamonie and Mississinewa lakes.

Unfortunately, there may not be room for everyone who wants to hunt, so youth hunters must apply for a reservation and, if drawn, will be guaranteed a spot.

To apply for a reservation, one must register in person or by phone with the property they wish to hunt.

Hunters should register between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. local time between March 17 through 21 or March 24 through 28. Hunters can register for only one property. Visit the DNR website to find the property phone number.

Any hunters desiring a spot at Fairbanks Landing and Chinook hunts may register at Deer Creek FWA. Those wanting to sign up for Hillenbrand or Minnehaha hunts may register at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area. If anyone wants to head up north and hunt LaSalle, register at Willow Slough.

If a property has more youth hunters registered than there are spots available, a drawing will be held on March 31.

Even if you unfortunately don’t draw for a special youth hunt, there is still plenty of opportunity to hunt public land. Indiana’s vast state forest system and the Hoosier National Forest offer roughly a combined half-million acres of turkey-rich habitat.

Applicants must possess a 2014 Youth Consolidated Hunting and Trapping License, a 2014 Nonresident Youth Spring Turkey License with a game bird habitat stamp privilege, or Lifetime Comprehensive Hunting License.

If adults are going to call, they must posses a license. Also, if the youth is hunting on an apprentice license, the adult must have a hunting license. Youth hunters may take a bearded or male wild turkey with any legal shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow.

See you down the trail.

Brandon Butler’s column appears Sunday’s in The Republic. Send comments to

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