ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – New York State offers many youth hunting opportunities to allow young hunters time afield with experienced adults outside of the regular hunting seasons. This allows young hunters to become safe and responsible members of the hunting community. This spring, the youth turkey hunt is scheduled for April 23 and 24.

The youth season is open throughout upstate New York and in Suffolk County. Several non-profit groups sponsor specific events, and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) encourages experienced hunters to reach out and take a kid hunting.

Eligible hunters for the youth turkey hunt are youth 12, 13, 14, or 15 years of age, holding a hunting license and a turkey permit. All youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult, as required by law for a junior hunter. Kids 12 or 13 years of age must be brought hunting by a person over 21 years of age, while youth 14 or 15 years of age must be accompanied by a person over 18 years of age.

Accompanying adults must have a current hunting license and turkey permit. They may assist the youth hunter, including calling, but may not carry a firearm, bow, or crossbow, or attempt to kill a wild turkey during the youth hunt. Crossbows may not be used by anyone under the age of 14.

The youth turkey hunt is open in all of upstate New York, north of the Bronx-Westchester County boundary, and Suffolk County. Shooting hours are from half an hour before sunrise to noon.

The bag limit for the youth hunt is one bearded bird. This bird becomes part of the youth’s regular season bag limit of two bearded birds. A second bird may be taken in upstate New York beginning May 1. All other wild turkey hunting regulations remain in effect.