Youth spring turkey season is April 7-8
Missouri’s young turkey hunters will be taking to the woods this weekend for the annual Missouri youth weekend spring turkey hunt. The youth-only weekend runs from a half-hour before sunrise Saturday, April 7, through sunset Sunday, April 8. Hunters ages 6 to 15 are eligible to purchase a hunting permit and participate during the hunt. Hunters are allowed to harvest one male turkey or a turkey with a visible beard.
The Missouri Department of Conservation regulations specify allowed weaponry as shotguns with shot not larger than No. 4, longbows, recurve bows, compound bows, hand-held string-releasing devices, illuminated sights, scopes and quick-point sights, crossbows and atlatls.
Prohibited weaponry includes shotguns capable of holding more than three shells in a magazine or chamber combined, shot larger than No. 4 (these are prohibited in use or in possession during the hunt), any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game, thermal imagery equipment or night-vision equipment, recorded calls, use of dogs or live decoys, use of bait including grain or feed scattered on the ground to attract birds. MDC considers an area baited for 10 days after complete removal of the bait. A hunter can be in violation even if he or she did not know an area was or is baited. It is also illegal to place bait in a way that causes others to be in violation of the baiting rule.
Youth are also eligible to participate in the regular spring turkey season, which runs from April 16 through May 6; however, youth who harvest a bird during this weekend’s hunt are prohibited from killing another turkey until April 23. According to the MDC website, this rule is in place “because the bird taken during the youth season counts as the first bird for the first week of the regular season.”
Youth spring turkey season permits are $8.50. For more information or to purchase a permit online through the MO Hunting app, visit https://huntfish.mdc.mo.gov/. Permits can also be purchased by calling the Missouri Department of Conservation permit line at 800-392-4115, or at permit vendor locations throughout the state.
Submit your youth turkey hunt photos to the Ozark County Times by emailing them to firstname.lastname@example.org or by bringing a photo to the Times office during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. Include the child’s name and age, the parents’ or guardians’ names, where in the county the child was hunting, with whom he or she was hunting and information about the turkey including the bird’s weight and beard length. Be sure to include a phone number so we can contact you if more information is needed.