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DNR Youth Hunts bring home birds

Youth Hunter, Derek Rotering with his dad, Aaron, and his guide, Nick Courneya. The Roterings are from Fergus Falls, Nick is from Frazee.1 / 3
Mentor, John Johnson, youth hunter is Jadyn Nelson, with the biggest turkey of the hunt at almost 25 lbs and Jadyn's father Dale.2 / 3
Mentor Tim McCarte, Battle Lake, helps his youth hunter, Jacob Pitt, Walker, harvest this jake, or young male turkey.3 / 3

Twenty-nine 12-17 year old firearm certified youth enjoyed a weekend of turkey hunting most any outdoors person would enjoy April 17 and 18.

Ottertail County had two special youth hunts organized through the Minnesota DNR and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Each hunter was paired up with a mentor, someone who has had turkey hunting experience. They were also required to bring a parent or guardian with them.

The primary purposes of the hunt were to stress safety, call birds, know where and how to set up for turkeys, patterning shotguns, and how to enjoy the great outdoors.

These youth and parents all expressed gratitude to the landowners for their generous offer or permission to hunt some of the best turkey terrain in the county. This allowed for a very high success rate for harvesting turkeys, 12 for 24, or 50 percent.

The state average typically falls around 32 percent. It was a close race, for who enjoyed the hunts more, the kids, the parents, or the mentors.

A big thank you goes out to Dean's Country Market for generously supplying the food that was enjoyed at a picnic on Saturday, April 17 in Richville. Thanks to the Wagon Wheel and Sewer Service, Inc. both from Richville. The Ottertail Rod & Gun Club has also granted funds to help pay for the picnic and to enroll each child in the JAKES program or Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics, and Sportsmanship.