MEEKER I Colorado Parks and Wildlife is offering three young novices an opportunity to learn how to hunt responsibly with the help of experienced mentors during a high-quality spring turkey hunt on private land near Meeker, April 22-24.
The guided hunt is part of the agency’s multi-faceted Hunter Outreach Program, a continuing effort by CPW to instill respect for wildlife, encourage enjoyment of the outdoors and educate novices about Colorado’s hunting traditions.
Several landowners from the Meeker area, in partnership with CPW wildlife managers, have continued to support the annual hunt by offering access to prime turkey hunting areas on their private properties.
“Most kids that have never hunted just need a good mentor to show them how, and that is where we come in,” said Bailey Franklin, hunt organizer and District Wildlife Manager in Meeker. “We offer this hunt each year to teach ethical hunting, wildlife management and the safe way to handle a firearm, among the many other important things these young hunters will learn over this weekend.”
All novice youth hunters are encouraged to apply. Those who have no prior hunting experience, special family circumstances or health conditions that limit their ability to hunt have priority over experienced youth that come from hunting families.
“We are focusing on true beginners,” he said. “This is about education, not just a chance for a private land hunt. We ask folks to respect that.”
The opportunity is open to youths under the age of 18 who possess a Hunter Education card.
Applicants must mail their entry by April 4 to: DWM Bailey Franklin, PO Box 1181, Meeker, Colo., 81641.
The application packet should include: The youth’s name, address and Hunter Education card number; a parent or guardian’s contact information, including an email address and phone number; an essay of 500 words or less, handwritten by the youth and in their own words, about why he or she should be selected; the applicant’s lack of experience, reasons that have kept them from participating in a hunt and the desire to learn are suggested topics for the required essay.
The three hunters will be selected based upon the contents of the essay and will be notified by April 15.
All participants selected for this hunt will be required to attend a pre-hunt orientation at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Meeker office on Friday, April 22 from 3-5 p.m., accompanied by a parent, guardian or mentor.
Colorado Parks and Wildlife will provide shotguns, ammunition, blinds and calls. Successful applicants must provide their own camouflage clothing, lodging and food.
Please call the CPW office in Meeker at 970-878-6090.