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Hunters, mentors go for gobblers

Youth hunter Derek Rotering with his dad, Aaron and guide Nick Courneya of Frazee got a turkey.1 / 3
Mentor John Johnson, youth hunter Jadyn Nelson and dad Dale took the biggest turkey of the weekend at almost 25 pounds.2 / 3
Mentor Tim McCarte, Battle Lake, helped youth hunter Jacob Pitt, Walker, harvest this jake, or young male turkey.3 / 3

Twenty-nine firearm-certified youth, ages 12 to 17, enjoyed a weekend of turkey hunting most any outdoor 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 with 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.