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Continued: Youth hunts: Are they working?

  • Article by: DOUG SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Last update: April 17, 2013 - 6:07 AM

But no one thinks the events, by themselves, will recruit kids to hunting. Too many other factors are involved.

Numbers down this year

Minnesota’s youth turkey hunt began in 2004 and pairs youngsters age 12 to 17 and a parent or guardian with a mentor. Twenty-nine kids partook the first year. Around 300 kids have participated in recent years.

This year’s hunt is this weekend, but only about 200 kids registered, said Mike Kurre, DNR mentoring program coordinator. He can’t explain the downturn.

“We may have hit a saturation point with that age,’’ he said. Or it could be because youths now can buy hunting licenses over the counter. Glines thinks a glitch in the DNR’s electronic application system this year might have caused the downturn.

Regardless, Kurre and Glines are committed to getting more kids involved next year. Meanwhile, parents usually rave about the youth turkey hunts.

“I thought it was really good,’’ said Gerald Wright, who accompanied his kids on last year’s youth hunt near Redwood Falls. “We enjoyed it a lot. It was well worth the time and effort.’’

Despite the difficulty in getting Lorna and Nathan out turkey hunting the past three years, he’s hoping to rekindle their interest this spring.

“I think it’s important for them to get out and do things outdoors and have fun,’’ he said.

 

  • related content

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    Tuesday April 16, 2013

    One of Minnesota’s first open-water fishing contests of the season has been washed out — because of no open water.

  • Young turkey hunters gathered with their mentors and parents on a youth turkey outing near Redwood Falls in 2010. A question being asked: How many of those youngsters have bought a hunting license since?

  • Lorna Wright, 13, of Vernon Center, Minn., watched for turkeys from her hunting blind during Minnesota's youth turkey hunt last weekend.

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