The Sportsman’s Corner: Changes to Mass. Youth Turkey Hunt

  • Photo/Mass. Wildlife Photo/Mass. Wildlife

Published: 3/10/2022 4:23:20 PM
Modified: 3/10/2022 4:22:47 PM

An online learning option has been added to the Massachusetts Youth Turkey Hunt for this upcoming season. As always, participants must be 12 to 17 years of age and fulfill the following requirements:

■Graduate from a Basic Hunter Education course before the day of the hunt.

■Obtain a firearms identification (FID) card if you are age 15 to 17 years of age on the day of the youth turkey hunt and wish to hunt with a shotgun.

■Complete the youth turkey seminar before the day of the hunt. You can this year choose to complete the online seminar or the in-person seminar. (Youth who have completed the seminar in prior years already meet this requirement.)

■Find a mentor. Mentors can be any adult licensed hunter (18 years of age or older). Only one minor per licensed adult is permitted.

■Obtain the necessary license, permits, and authorizations through MassFishHunt.

Note about mentors: If you do not have a mentor for the hunt, it is best to complete the in-person seminar where you will have an option to be paired with a mentor from a participating club. If you complete the online seminar, you will not have the option to be paired with a mentor.

The online seminar uses videos and written instruction. In addition to this seminar, you must go to a range to practice shooting. At the end of the seminar, you must affirm that you have reviewed all online instruction and practiced at a range.

This seminar provides young hunters with specialized training and reinforces lessons from Basic Hunter Education. Instruction includes safety, calling, proper set-up, identifying your target and what is beyond it, turkey biology and turkey hunting regulations.

To complete the Online Massachusetts Youth Turkey Seminar, complete the Massachusetts Turkey Hunting Regulations Module online. This part of the seminar teaches about turkey hunting in Massachusetts, hunting safety, and shoot/don’t shoot scenarios.

The in-person method is what has been used in the past and is the preferred method of participation. You can go online to register for the nearby classes at the Barre Sportsman’s Club on April 2 or the Conway Sportsman’s Club on April 9. This option allows young hunters to participate in a day-long training. It provides specialized training and reinforces lessons from Basic Hunter Education. Instruction includes safety, calling, proper set-up, identifying your target and what is beyond it, turkey biology, and turkey hunting regulations.

Note: New seminar locations may be added in the near future. This is a great program, but you are reminded that participants must have completed Hunter Ed to be eligible. Everything you need to know is available online at the MassWildlife web site. This writer mentored his nephew, Jared Roche, a few years back at the Barre Sportsman’s Club. It was a great experience, and Jared bagged his first turkey that youth day!

Trout

MassWildlife has announced that once again the agency will stock nearly 500,000 brook, brown, rainbow, and tiger trout across Massachusetts this year. You can visit mass.gov/trout to get daily stocking updates and find a fishing spot near you.

In the North Quabbin Region, Lake Mattawa, Silver Lake, Laurel Lake, Sheomet Lake (AKA Clubhouse Pond), Moore’s Pond, and the Millers River are among the stocked waters. Stocking in southeastern waters has already begun with other regions of the state following soon after as weather conditions allow. Given the least week’s temps, that may be soon! MassWildlife raises these great fighting and eating trout at its five hatcheries in Sandwich, Palmer, Belchertown, Sunderland and Montague.

“Anglers can look forward to another blockbuster trout fishing season. Thanks to our dedicated staff, the quality and size of the fish we are stocking this spring is exceptional,” said Dr. Caleb Slater, MassWildlife’s Chief of Hatcheries. “MassWildlife stocks these trout in more than 220 cities and towns across the Commonwealth, which helps make great fishing opportunities more accessible to anyone who enjoys the outdoors.”

There are a few facts about the 2022 spring trout stocking:

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>Most of the trout will be over 12 inches

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>More than 160,000 rainbow trout will be over 14 inches

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>More than 50,000 brook trout will be over 12 inches, including 550 18-inch-plus retired brood fish

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>More than 52,000 brown trout will be over 12 inches, including nearly 1,000 18-inch-plus retired brood fish

<sbull value="sbull"><text xmlns="urn:schemas-teradp-com:gn4tera"></text></sbull>More than 3,000 tiger trout will be over 14 inches

Well, that should be enough to get the juices flowing! Get your fishing gear dusted off, or make a run and buy some new stuff to get ready. With year-round fishing, there is no opening day, and you can go when conditions are ready.

Like many, my memories of opening day are great and there was a lot of excitement but now there is so much more opportunity, and the stocking will continue through the next couple months.

Mike Roche is a retired teacher who has been involved in conservation and wildlife issues his entire life. He has written the Sportsman’s Corner since 1984 and has served as advisor to the Mahar Fish’N Game Club, Counselor and Director of the Massachusetts Conservation Camp, has been a Massachusetts Hunter Education Instructor for over 40 years and is a licensed New York hunting guide. He can be reached at mikeroche3@msn.com.


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