Ten young guns will get a good shot at bagging a tom turkey this spring as part of an agreement with a local ranch that helps create hunting access and wildlife forage habitat.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold a drawing for youth hunters to win one of 10 hunts during the spring turkey season on the C2 Ranch near Lake Creek.
Winners will get one day of guided turkey hunting on the ranch during either the youth turkey season that runs April 7-8 or any time during the general spring season, which runs April 15 to May 31.
The C2 Ranch's oak savanna and brushy areas provide very good turkey habitat not accessible to the general public.
A mild winter means that wild turkeys likely had good nesting and survival rates, so the spring hunt should be successful, says Jade Keehn, an ODFW wildlife habitat biologist who oversees the C2 Ranch agreement.
The drawing is free and open to kids 17 and younger, and applications will be taken through March 30. Successful applicants will be notified April 2.
Last year's hunt drew 95 applicants, Keehn says.
To enter, fill out a brief application online at http://bit.ly/2FjMy7z. Applications can also be faxed to 541-826-8776, emailed to email@example.com, or picked up and dropped off at ODFW's Central Point office, 1495 E. Gregory Road. Applicants must provide their name, Hunter/Angler ID or date of birth, full address and phone number.
Winners will be given a phone number to call C2 Ranch managers to set up their hunt. Winners can be accompanied by a parent or other family member.
Winners must supply their own $10 juvenile hunting license, a $10.50 juvenile turkey tag and a hunter-education certificate. However, kids ages 9 to 13 who don't have the hunter-education certificate may apply and hunt under the Mentored Youth Hunter Program by using an adult's tag during the general spring season.
The hunt is under an agreement between ODFW and C2 Ranch that goes back well over a decade. The ranch offers six unguided, three-day adult deer hunts annually, 16 guided youth deer hunts during the Christmas break, and the 10 youth turkey hunts.
In exchange for access, the Access and Habitat Program provided $18,000 over two years for herbicide applications, buck-brush planting for big-game habitat and annual cutting of Himalayan blackberries. The current agreement expires at the end of 2018, Keehn says.
— Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MTwriterFreeman.