Talkin' Outdoors

Sometimes, urgency is the order of the day. If you’re a youngster who wants a shot at a special lottery turkey hunt this spring on the sprawling 600,000 acre Kisatchie National Forest, now is the time to act because the deadline for applying is February 1.
To validate the urgency of letting youngsters know about this first-time event, I received calls from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in Baton Rouge, the Kisatchie National Forest headquarters in Pineville as well as from my friend, Luke Lewis, Regional Biologist with the National Wild Turkey Federation asking me to get the word out to my readers/listeners.
Therefore, today’s column will be devoted to telling youngsters about the hunt and urging their parents to get the ball rolling, and pronto, so as not to miss out on this fantastic opportunity.
Here’s the press release I received relating to this special hunt…    
“Hunting is the top recreational activity on the Kisatchie National Forest (KNF) and turkey hunting is one of the most popular of all the hunts. This year the KNF will open all five districts for a youth turkey hunt on Saturday, March 16, 2013. This is a one-day only event for youth 8 – 17 years of age.
“In coordination with the NWTF and the LDWF, Kisatchie National Forest is proud to offer to the youth of our great state this new youth turkey hunting opportunity,” said Jonny Fryar, Wildlife Biologist on the Calcasieu Ranger District of the KNF. Opening the 600,000 acres of forest land that make up the KNF will almost double the amount of land available, and more importantly double the opportunity, for youth turkey hunting in Louisiana.”
“There are 20 hunting spots available on each district of the KNF, except for the Caney District that has 15 spots. Participants will be chosen in a lottery-style method by the LDWF at their office in Baton Rouge. To apply for the KNF youth turkey hunt, download the application at from the LDWF website. Applications must be completed and returned to the LDWF office no later than 4:30 pm on February 1, 2013. A $5 non-refundable administrative fee is required with each application.
“Jimmy Stafford, Wildlife Biologist with the LDWF, explains, “Besides the tremendous educational experience for the young people who will be involved in this hunt, it will be a time when parents and their children can get out in the woods and enjoy the national forest. We expect a lot of memories to be made.”
“The lottery drawing will take place in early March and those selected will be notified by mail. Luke Lewis, NWTF Regional Biologist for Louisiana said, “We have been a partner with KNF and the LDWF since the early 1970s and this designated spring youth hunt helps our organization close the circle for conservation, hunter safety, and getting our youth involved in hunting in our state and experiencing the beauty of our National Forest.
“For more information about the KNF or the turkey youth hunt, call the Forest Supervisor’s office in Pineville at (318)473-7160.”
I’ve done my part by getting the word out. You do yours by making sure your youngster has his name in the pot for one of these great hunts and remember — February 1 is the deadline to apply. Git ‘er done now.