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Last chance course before youth turkey season

Anyone under 16 years of age, with at least one parent or guardian who is a resident of Vermont, may take one bearded turkey during the youth turkey hunting weekend. It's a great way to introduce a youngster to hunting, but there's a catch. They must successfully complete a hunter education course first. "Because of the reduced pressure, a positive experience is assured, regardless of whether or not a bird is bagged," said Chris Saunders, hunter education coordinator. "However, would-be hunters still need to complete a hunter education course. That way, there will always be safe, skilled and ethical hunters in Vermont's woods." There are plenty of basic firearm hunter education courses scheduled in March and April throughout the state, though this is no excuse to procrastinate. They fill up fast. The department is also offering a special, last-chance home-study course in Waterbury on April 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pre-registration is required since the students are responsible for reading the manual and completing the workbook prior to the course. For more information, contact Ann Shangraw at (802) 241-3720. In addition to the course, the young hunter must have a Vermont hunting license and a turkey hunting license, and be accompanied by an unarmed adult, over 18 years of age, who holds a Vermont hunting license.The adult may guide two youths at one time.Like the regular season, hunting hours are one half hour before sunrise to noon. Landowner permission is required to hunt on all private land during youth turkey hunting weekend even if the land is not posted.So after you've signed up for a class, start knocking on doors. Anyone who needs to take a hunter education course can check the list of upcoming courses by going to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website www.vtfishandwildlife.com or contact Ann Shangraw at (802) 241-3720.

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