Tips for Taking a Youngster
Turkey Hunting
Introducing a young person to turkey hunting will more than double the pleasure of the experience, according to Darlene Edge, Land Agent in Montana's FWP's Lands Division. Edge is also an instructor for FWP's popular "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" programs and regularly takes a young friend hunting with her.

"Kids love the extra attention and the chance to learn new things," she says. "And, there is so much you can do with them aside from the actual hunting — looking at videos, practicing calling, track and scat identification, reading maps together to find the right habitats to hunt."

Spending time with a kid turkey hunting is inexpensive, healthy, educational and provides them with an activity they can look forward to in the future, Edge said.

Here are some tips for hunting with a youngster:

• Get youngsters involved in all the different aspects of hunting that will be fun for them like practice calling, map reading, etc.
• Make hunting a casual adventure rather than a forced march through rough terrain.
• Give a prospective turkey hunter his or her own turkey call.
• Teach a youngster how to call, then let them call in the woods. Do this where it won't interfere with or spook birds you or others plan to hunt later. It's awesome for young hunters to actually communicate with a gobbler.
• Take a youngster along to scout for roost birds in the evenings.
• Teach the new hunter what turkey signs look like. Teach them the difference between gobbler and hen tracks and other aspects of reading wildlife sign.
• Watch turkey hunting videos together and discuss any questions or concerns the youngster may have.
• When it's time to actually go hunting, make sure the new turkey hunter is dressed comfortably.

Youngsters must be at least 12 years of age and have completed a hunter education course to hunt turkey in Montana. For other details, check the 2000-2001 Spring Turkey Regulations.

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