The 2021 Young Sportsman Turkey Hunt kicks off this weekend in the Upper Cumberland.
Saturday and Sunday are for youth ages 6 through 16. TWRA Regional Big Game Biologist Ben Layton said one bearded turkey is allowed per day, making the max harvest two.
“Each year, we give our young sportsmen the opportunity to go out and hunt turkeys before everybody has a chance to,” Layton said. “Typically, that’s around the last weekend in March. Basically, the way we set our turkey season is the adult season is the Saturday closest to April 1st and juvenile hunting the weekend before it.”
Layton said young sportsman most have an adult present while hunting. The spring turkey season for all ages begins April 3rd.
“Those turkeys do count toward their statewide bag limit of three turkeys for the entire season,” Layton said. “If a young sportsman is lucky enough to kill a bird on Saturday and Sunday this upcoming weekend, then he can only kill one more bird for the remaining of the Tennessee season.”
Layton said if a hunter kills a bird with a band around its gobbler, that is a part of a TWRA population study. Layton said a phone number will be on the band to report that the bird is dead. Layton said the goal is to create new regulations for declining turkey numbers in the state.
About 300 birds in the state have been banded by TWRA.