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Mentored Turkey Hunt

South Dakota residents have the opportunity to pass the wonderful tradition of turkey hunting on to a new generation through the Mentored Hunt program.

A mentored hunting license is available for youth age 10 through 15. This is a separate application process from the normal turkey application. This is a one-to-one mentorship between an adult and the youth. The youth is not required to have hunter safety certification for this hunt, but certification is required of the mentor. Other requirements are listed in the application form.

We invite and encourage you to introduce a young person to hunting and all the joys and health benefits that go with being outdoors.

  • Season Dates:
    Mentored Spring Turkey - April 1 - May 21 Archery | April 8 - May 21 Firearm
    Mentored Fall Turkey - Nov. 1, 2017 - Jan. 31, 2018

NOTE: The purchase of a mentored hunt license does not affect eligibility of the parent/guardian for other deer, antelope and turkey seasons.

application Information

Additional Information

Things to Remember for Mentored Hunts

  1. Safety First: Treat every firearm as if it is loaded, practice muzzle control, and be absolutely sure of the target. Safety is the primary concern when youth are involved in hunting.
  2. Practice: Practicing shooting skills before the hunt eases fears , reduces wounding loss, and builds confidence.
  3. Have Fun & Be Positive: Success is the hunt, not the kill.
  4. Get Involved: Participate in nature-oriented activities and study wildlife behavior within their habitat.
  5. Give All Your Attention to the Youth: Mentoring is about the youth, not about the adult.
  6. Be aware of their age: Physical stamina and mental maturity is different for youth. Consider short hunts and talk beforehand about field dressing animals.
  7. Patience: Youth don't always get it right the first time. Practice CPR: Compliment, Positive correction, Review.
  8. Listen and Talk: Listen and address any concerns the youth may have before the hunt. Talk to the youth about their connection to nature and respect for habitat and wildlife.
  9. Use Appropriate Equipment: Hunting gear is not one size fits all. Be sure to get the correct sizes.
  10. No Pressure: Sometimes the best shot is no shot. The only good shot is one the youth is comfortable with.
  11. Use Good Judgment: If the youth is not ready for hunting, having the youth observe a hunt is a great option.