Learn to hunt turkeys, win prizes

Merriam's turkeys are one of two wild turkey species found in Utah. You can learn how to hunt them at an upcoming seminar, Date and Location not given | Photo courtesy of The National Wild Turkey Federation, St. George News

IRON COUNTY— Young people can learn how to hunt wild turkeys, receive free raffle tickets and leave with free door prizes at the Second Annual Southern Region Turkey Hunting Clinic.

At the seminars, you can learn how to call turkeys in, Date and Location not given | Photo courtesy of The National Wild Turkey Federation, St. George News
At the seminars, you can learn how to call turkeys in, Date and Location not given | Photo courtesy of The National Wild Turkey Federation, St. George News

Heather Talley says the April 2 clinic is open to anyone 17 years of age and younger. If you attend, you’ll walk away with a basic understanding of how to hunt turkeys, as well as prizes supplied by The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF).

A special Jakes Day, where you can shoot at a shooting trailer and on an archery range, is also part of the free event.

Talley, regional wildlife recreation coordinator for the Division of Wildlife Resources, says the only thing you need to bring on April 2 is enthusiasm and a desire to learn about turkeys and how to hunt them. “We‘ll supply everything else,” she says.

Talley says several experienced turkey hunters will teach the clinic. “Having a variety of experts teach the clinic means you’ll learn a variety of hunting methods,” she says. “You’ll also gain different perspectives about what it’s like to hunt turkeys.”

The clinic will be held April 2 at the Parowan Front Wildlife Management Area.  The WMA is just east of Summit in Iron County. To reach Summit, exit Interstate 15 at the first exit north of Cedar City.

Learn how to find turkeys at an upcoming seminar, Date and Location not given | Photo courtesy of The National Wild Turkey Federation, St. George News
Learn how to find turkeys at an upcoming seminar, Date and Location not given | Photo courtesy of The National Wild Turkey Federation, St. George News

The clinic begins at 9 a.m. To register, fill out the online form at www.wildlife.utah.gov/sro-turkey-clinic.html. For more information, call Talley at 435-868-8756 or 435-865-6100.

“The clinic will end around noon,” she says. “After each group of participants has visited each station, a question-and-answer session will begin. A raffle will follow the Q&A session. After that, the Jake’s Day event will begin.”Jake’s Day is a free afternoon clinic offered by the DWR and the NWTF. It includes a chance to shoot at the NWTF shooting trailer, let arrows fly on a beginning archery range and visit the DWR’s Poaching Trailer to learn how poaching is harming Utah’s wildlife.

Wild turkeys crossing the access road at the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre about 36 miles southwest of Cedar City, Utah, March 27, 2016 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News
Wild turkeys crossing the access road at the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre about 36 miles southwest of Cedar City, Utah, March 27, 2016 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

Young people and wild turkeys

Those who organized the event say getting more young people involved in turkey hunting is important to the future of wild turkeys in Utah.

“Hunter recruitment, through increasing the interest youth have in turkey hunting, is essential for the conservation of turkey habitat,” says Ron MacIntosh, Cedar City Chapter president for the NWTF. “License and ammunition sales, and other related taxes hunters pay, fund conservation efforts.”

Gary Bezzant, regional habitat manager for the DWR, says conserving turkey habitat is the key to having good turkey populations in Utah. It’s also key to a successful hunting experience. “Learning about turkey habitat is the best way to learn about hunting turkeys,” he says.

Bezzant says wild turkeys are doing really well in many parts of southwestern Utah. This has allowed DWR biologists to remove turkeys from dense populations and place them in areas in southwestern Utah where there’s room for more birds.

Twitter: @STGnews

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