Arizona Now Offering Spring Turkey Hunt For Juniors

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The Arizona Game and Fish Department has added a non-permit juniors turkey hunt this spring which is an opportunity to take that youngster on one of the most exciting hunts offered in Arizona. The spring gobbler hunt, when these birds are very vocal, can add to the thrill of any newcomer trying to outsmart “old longbeard.” 

If you have a daughter or son between the ages of 10 and 17 years old, and they are interested in spring gobbler hunting, then this is a great opportunity. The first-ever Spring Turkey Camp is being organized to prepare young hunters in the skills needed to be successful in the field.

The turkey camp will take place April 17-19 at the Colcord Ridge Campground, which is on the Young Road, also known as Forest Service Road 512. You can reach the campground by taking the 260 highway going east of Payson for 30 miles, then turn south on the Young Road and continue for an additional 3 miles on gravel.

Families are welcomed to camp at the campground where numerous activities will be taking place on Friday and Saturday. Wildlife managers from the local units will aid in giving information as to the best locations to find and hear turkeys.

Veteran hunters will actually be conducting turkey calling seminars with the best and newest calls on the market. The National Wildlife Turkey Federation state chairman, Steve Sams, will be teaching the classes starting at 1 p.m. both days. These midday seminars will allow these young hunters to be in the field for the late afternoon hunt before the turkeys go to roost.

There will be skilled hunters in camp willing to actually go into the field and call, which would be a real benefit to a father and son or daughter team that has never been on a spring turkey hunt. A free lunch, snacks and drinks, as well as numerous giveaways will be provided for the junior hunters who participate in the afternoon seminars.

On Saturday evening, a campfire will be conducted where live entertainment consisting of banjo music and some great hunting stories will be told. 

Numerous clubs and agencies from throughout the state have made this first-ever junior turkey camp a reality. A big “thank you” goes out to the Chandler Rod and Gun Club, National Wildlife Turkey Federation, Arizona Deer Association, Arizona Elk Society, and the Arizona Game and Fish Department for providing this top-notch opportunity for the youngsters of our state to be introduced to a spring gobbler hunt. If you would like further information, contact Craig McMullen at cmcmullen@azgfd.gov.

 Hearing “old longbeard” sound off in the early morning light of the Rim Country woods can be a special time for everyone in the family. Dads, this is a chance to spend some quality time with your children by taking them to the junior Spring Turkey Camp at the Colcord Ridge Campground. This weekend, enjoy the Rim Country, God’s creation.

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