Subsequent weekend brings kid-style gobbler searching | Native Sports activities

One of the biggest events on Kentucky’s spring sports calendar, at least the junior version, happens next weekend with the teen-only turkey hunting season.

We are about to cross the threshold of April, and this first weekend, April 3-4, is the springtime opportunity for kids under 16 to go hunted for food. Every young hunter must be accompanied by an adult (18 years of age or older).

Youth hunting is a special occupation for several reasons. For one, it comes soon enough that turkey breeding season behavior, including the devouring vocalizations of tom turkeys, should be at a peak. Second, the youth season is the first turkey hunt of spring, which gives junior hunters the advantage of being outside before turkeys become more cautious due to the presence of legions of adult hunters in the forest.

It’s a prime time to be after spring eaters. And while it’s an option for child hunters, youth season is also a plum for adult overseers. Often times, family or family friends of the youth hunters, the adult chaperones, can help in many ways, except with the shooting. Accompanying adults often do the turkey calling for the teens and usually get an equal share of the excitement.

The regulations for juvenile turkey hunters are essentially the same as for all turkey hunters who will be active during the general spring feeding season, which begins two weeks later. This traditional spring hunt takes place across the country from April 17th to May 9th.

For full details on regulations, see the Kentucky Spring Hunting Guide for 2021, which is available in print, where hunting licenses are sold and can be viewed online at, the Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources website.

One standard that has remained unchanged through the turkey hunting years in Kentucky is the limit for pencil cases. The maximum harvest for all of spring, including juvenile hunting if applicable, and the regular feeding season, is two turkey-eaters or bearded turkeys. (The “bearded turkey” allowance applies to occasional bearded hens, birds that typically make up about 1% of the state’s turkey harvest.)

For youth hunters, 12 to 15 year olds should have a youth hunting license and a youth turkey permit. Younger hunters who are not yet 12 years old at the start of the season do not need a hunting license or a turkey permit. Each, of course, must be accompanied by an adult who, for safety reasons, must remain in position to take control of the junior hunter’s shotgun.

Youth hunters 12-15 should have certification to pass an accredited hunter training course, while younger children do not need hunter training. Those who normally require hunter certification can purchase a one-time one-year exemption through the KDFWR website. Currently, due to the difficulty of planning the training of hunters during the COVID pandemic, exemption permits are being made available free of charge for a limited time.

• Hunters looking for either the youth turkey season or the regular spring-eating season starting April 17th should remember that calling with turkey calls is not permitted outside of the hunting season.

The preseason turkey calling ban, which began in early March, is a regulation designed to prevent eaters from being call-shy and reluctant to respond.

Those who scout legally in the preseason can use “locator” calls such as crow, owl or woodpecker calls, which can trick tom turkeys into “devouring shock” and audibly revealing their whereabouts. The ban is specifically aimed at calls simulating turkey voices.

• The very last semblance of waterfowling in Kentucky for the 2020-21 season will end on Wednesday. This is the last day of Kentucky’s special conservation season for light geese – snow geese and the blue colored phase geese of this species.

The maintenance season for “snow” begins at the end of the regular goose season and lasts until March without a harvest limit.

As an unconventional bonus period for the hunt, the conservation order season is offered through allowances and promotions from waterfowl managers in the US and Canada to add additional harvest pressure in a species that has been increasing in large numbers. Managers want to reduce the number of snow geese because they overgraze and damage their own breeding space in the far north.

Even the Kentucky no-limit bonus season has little impact on snow geese, as few species are found at that latitude during the conservation mission season. Aside from strange weather conditions and fluctuations in migration, the bonus season is mostly only possible on paper.

• Golconda, on the banks of the Smithland Pool on the Ohio River, Illinois, will receive a major upgrade to the city’s existing boat launch area this year, funded by a $ 142,100 grant to develop the boat access area.

The project will refurbish existing facilities including expanding the boat launch area, adding a second concrete ramp, additional parking, a wheelchair ramp with accessible dock, a pier and floating dock for fishing, a new picnic area, new lighting and landscaping.

The Golconda River Access Project is part of the $ 721,500 total boat access development grant awarded to five communities. The income for the program comes from taxes on marine fuels and registration fees for boats and canoes.

Steve Vantreese is a freelance outdoor writer. Email messages outdoors or by phone at 270-575-8650.

Steve Vantreese is a freelance outdoor writer. Email messages outdoors or by phone at 270-575-8650.