National Wild Turkey Federation

CALIFORNIA — The California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG) recently approved a youth turkey season. The season will allow hunters 16 years old and younger that hold a junior hunting license, to hunt turkeys two weeks after the general spring season.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for California youth to be introduced to, and participate in the rich tradition of hunting in this state; one which I am happy to support,” said California Game and Fish Commissioner, Judd Hanna.

Currently, California has an extended two-week archery season for wild turkeys after the general season. The youth season allows eligible youth to hunt during this extended season with either legal method of harvest, gun or bow, for wild turkeys.

“I am very pleased to see a youth turkey hunt in California,” said Ryan Mathis, National Wild Turkey Federation regional biologist for California. “Turkey hunting continues to grow in California, and now we have an avenue to introduce youth to a sport they will enjoy for a lifetime.”

Mentored hunting is a key component of the Families Afield program, a partnership of the National Wild Turkey Federation, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance that works to remove youth hunting barriers across the nation.

The Youth Hunting Report, written by Silvertip Productions, USSA and Southwick Associates Inc., found that some states experience better recruitment and retention of new hunters than others. They do so by permitting parents to decide when their sons and daughters are ready to hunt, and allow potential hunters to try hunting under the watchful eye of a mentor before completing a hunter education course.

The Youth Hunting Report also shows youth hunters are the safest hunters in the woods when accompanied by an adult. The findings were peer reviewed for statistical validity by the Triad Research Group. For more information on hunting safety data and the Youth Hunting Report, log on to http://www.familiesafield.org

For more information about the youth turkey season in California, contact Ryan Mathis at (707) 443-1646 or ryannwtf@yahoo.com.