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Reserved Youth Turkey Hunts on DNR properties

The Natural Resources Commission recently gave final approval to administrative rule changes to expand legal equipment for hunters during the spring wild turkey hunting season, and DNR Director Dan Bortner authorized their use by emergency rule in time for this year's spring turkey season. The changes allow the use of 410 caliber and 28-gauge shotguns in addition to already-legal 10-, 12-, 16- and 20-gauge shotguns. It also expands the legal shot sizes (4,5,6,7, 7.5) to include smaller Tungsten Super Shot #9 and #10. Find out more.

Youth hunters (under age 18 on the day of the hunt) may apply for reserved turkey hunts during the special youth wild turkey hunting season on DNR properties from  March 21–April 1.

The youth turkey season is April 23–24. To provide quality hunts for participants, a limit will be placed on the number of youth hunters allowed to hunt a respective property on each hunting day. Interested hunters or an adult representing them must register in person or by phone during the normal office hours for the property they wish to hunt. Hunters are allowed to register for only one property.

Participating Fish & Wildlife areas include Atterbury, Chinook, Crosley, Deer Creek, Fairbanks Landing, Glendale, Goose Pond, Hillenbrand, Hovey Lake, Jasper-Pulaski, Kingsbury, LaSalle, Pigeon River, J. E. Roush Lake, Sugar Ridge, Tri-County, Wabashiki, Willow Slough, and Winamac. Two reservoir properties, Mississinewa and Salamonie lakes, will also take part in the hunts.

Those wanting to sign up for the Chinook or Wabashiki hunts may register at Deer Creek FWA. Those wanting to sign up for Fairbanks Landing or Hillenbrand hunts may do so at Goose Pond FWA.

A drawing will be held on Monday, April 4 at properties where the number of registered hunters exceeds the spots available. A youth hunter may be drawn for either one or both hunt days, depending on the number of applicants. All applicants will be notified of drawing results by mail.

Applicants must possess a 2022 Youth Consolidated Hunting & Trapping License, a 2022 Nonresident Youth Spring Turkey License with a gamebird habitat stamp privilege, or Lifetime Comprehensive Hunting License. Apprentice hunting licenses of the types named above also may be used.

Hunting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until noon at properties in the Central Time Zone, and one-half hour before sunrise until 1 p.m. on properties in the Eastern Time Zone.

Youth hunters who are selected for the hunt may check in at any time each day until the end of legal hunting hours for that property. Properties will not have a daily "no-show" drawing. Hunters interested in possible unfilled quotas at a specific property should call that property for more information before showing up.

Youth hunters can take a bearded or male wild turkey. The youth must be accompanied by someone 18 or older.

The youth hunter may use any legal shotgun, bow and arrow, or crossbow. The adult accompanying the youth hunter must not possess a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow while in the field. The accompanying adult must be licensed if they are assisting by calling or if the youth is using an apprentice license.

To register a youth for one of the hunts, the following information is needed:

Hunter's Name
Type of license and license number
Date(s) in which applying
Mailing address
Phone number
Parent or guardian’s name, address, & phone number
1. Atterbury
2. Crosley
3. Deer Creek
4. Glendale
5. Goose Pond
6. Hovey Lake
7. Jasper-Pulaski
8. Kankakee
9. Kingsbury
10. Pigeon River
11. J.E. Roush Lake
12. Sugar Ridge
13. Tri-County
14. Winamac
15. Willow Slough
16. Salamonie
17. Mississinewa
18. LaSalle

For more information, contact: Tom Despot, DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife, 574-896-3522.

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