Department of Environmental Conservation

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For Release: Monday, May 2, 2022

Yates County Youth Harvest More Than A Dozen Turkeys Over Two Days

Free Program for Youth Ages 12 - 15

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation today announced a partnership between DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers (ECOs), community partners, and volunteers completed a successful turkey hunt for youth in Yates County. The turkey hunt is free for youth ages 12 to 15 who have never harvested a turkey in New York State. This year, 29 children participated and harvested 15 turkeys.

The biggest first-time turkey award went to 12-year old Kalliope Fingar of Penn Yan who harvested a 21.3-pound triple-bearded tom with 10.4-, 8.3-, and 8.2-inch beards, and 1-inch spurs. Her impressive turkey will be mounted as a full body turkey mount generously provided by Deer Run Outfitters.

This year's youth turkey hunt began with a dinner presentation at the Seneca Lake Duck Hunter's Club, where ECOs discussed hunting ethics and the four primary rules of firearm safety. Champion competitive turkey caller Jason Pollack put on a turkey calling seminar to teach the kids how to use mouth calls he custom made for each participating youth hunter.

Due to the generosity of the Penn Yan Moose Lodge, the New York State Conservation Officers Association, Schuyler County Sheriffs Association, O.F. Mossberg and Sons, Rock Ridge Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Velocity Outdoors, Eagle Eye Outfitters, and other sponsors, each youth hunter received a turkey vest, hat, gloves, facemask, calls, gun case, and Dead Ringer peep sights. In addition, four youth hunters were randomly drawn to win high powered air rifles and five lucky hunters took home new shotguns fully equipped for turkey hunting.

After the hunt, lunch was provided by the Seneca Lake Duck Hunters Club. All the participants received prize packages ranging from hunting gear to blinds and decoys and even included a lifetime Sportsman license donated by the Penn Yan Moose Lodge.

The Yates County Youth Turkey Hunt began in 2010 as a collaborative effort to increase and promote youth hunting opportunities in and around the Finger Lakes Region. Over the past several years, this event has provided a very positive youth hunting experience to more than 350 first time turkey hunters.

For more information about this great event, go to the Yates County Youth Turkey Hunt Facebook page. (Leaves DEC's website)

Kalliope Fingar with her big turkey.Group picture of youth hunters with their turkeys, and adult instructors and guardians

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