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West Virginia Wildlife
Youth Turkey Hunting
Patrick McMurtry Start Small Before Taking On A Gobbler

April 30, 2014
Reporter: Patrick McMurtry
Videographer: Brad Rice


This has been a rainy week, but with things looking a little better for the weekend, this is the perfect time to get your kid out in the woods and do a little turkey hunting. It sure beats spending hours in front of a video game. Curtis Taylor is the wildlife chief of The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, he knows the importance of getting kids started slowly before putting them on a spring gobbler.

"Anytime a kid spends time in the outdoors with a mentor, a parent or whatever, you just can't substitute that. There's no video game in the world that can match that kind of interaction."

But Curtis says there are some things you need to do before you take a child out to hunt larger game. Getting them ready to take on deer and turkey really starts with introducing them to smaller game.

"You start out with something small like squirrel. We are in a white oak stand now which is an excellent wildlife food source. Getting kids out and getting them involved is very important. i think the mistake a lot of folks make is trying to start kids off on something too big when the weather is bad, like deer hunting." says Taylor.

If you have taken you child out to the range and then to the woods to hunt something small like rabbit, then chances are they're ready to take on a gobbler.

"Turkey hunting is a little different, it requires patience and that would not be the first thing I'd take a small kid out to hunt, they're a pretty formidable critter. Once they have those skills, a gun that fits, give them a gun they can feel comfortable with, they've gone to the range and shot some squirrels with it." says Taylor.

Find them a good, comfortable spot where they have a cover for their back and a good field of vision, call in a bird and have some fun.

LEARN MORE at the W. Va. DNR


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