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Family Tradition (copy)

In this file photo, Wil Claywell, of Bonne Terre, the great nephew of hunting and calling expert Brad Harris, showed he had some of that hunter blood flowing through his veins as well when he harvested this fine 23.5 pound tom which was sporting four beards ranging from three to 10 inches. Not everyone has a hunting parent, grandparent or other family member to mentor them. So the MDC is offering mentored spring turkey hunts to help teach future generations.

Adults new to the sport of turkey hunting will have a chance to see what all the excitement is about this spring when the Missouri Department of Conservation offers a mentored turkey hunt for those age 18 and over. The hunt takes place at Forest 44 Conservation Area in High Ridge. The only requirement for participants is that they are new to turkey hunting and have not yet bagged a bird.

Five hunters will be chosen for the hunt by random drawing. Those wishing a chance to participate should go online at https://goo.gl/nU3Je8 and apply for hunt #9. The application deadline is Feb. 28. Participating in the hunt is free of charge.

Winning hunters will each be partnered with an experienced MDC volunteer or staff mentor who will guide them during the hunt. Hunters must attend a pre-hunt orientation Friday, March 29, from 5:30-8 p.m. at the Jay Henges Shooting Range and Outdoor Education Center, 1100 Antire Road off I-44 exit 269.

There participants will have the chance to get acquainted with their mentors, as well as learn basics of turkey hunting, including safety, techniques, turkey biology, hunting regulations and firearm handling. Hunters will also have time to utilize the range’s facilities for patterning their shotguns to ensure accurate and effective shots.

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The hunts will take place Monday and Tuesday, April 29-30. MDC will provide pre-set blinds, chairs, firearms, and other equipment. Hunters must be hunter-education certified or exempt and must obtain a valid spring turkey hunting permit.

For those adults who have been curious to try turkey hunting, but have had no one to help them get started, this will be an ideal opportunity. To learn more, call 314-301-1506, ext. 4227.

For more about the 2019 Spring Firearms Turkey Season, which runs April 15-May 5, go to https://goo.gl/BCyqU6.

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