SCIF, in partnership with Modern Carnivore and supporting sponsors, the Hunter Legacy 100 Fund and Federal Ammunition, held a Hunt Live Turkey Camp mentored turkey hunt May 7th and 8th, 2021 near the city of Brainerd in North Central MN.
Hunt Live Turkey Camp is a program developed by Modern Carnivore as part of a larger hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation (termed “R3”) initiative, to help introduce and teach adult-onset hunters about hunting and how to hunt turkeys. The program consists of three virtual interactive courses or modules that teach the participants about conservation, turkeys and how to successfully hunt them. The curriculum is all-encompassing, covering everything from firearm safety in the field to how to properly care for and process a turkey once one is harvested. The course culminated with a mentored hunt in cooperation with SCIF. Mentors were recruited to take the newly educated first-time turkey hunters out for a turkey hunt. In addition to the hunt all participants were shown how to process a turkey and several dishes were prepared for them to sample a harvested wild turkey.
This year’s program had 24 men and women sign up to take the Hunt Live Turkey Camp program through Modern Carnivore. These participants were sponsored in part by a grant given from the Hunter Legacy 100 Fund Endowment. The grant sponsored the cost for all participants in the program. These participants were from Minnesota, Texas, and New York. In addition, 10 mentors were recruited and volunteered to take these new hunters on their first turkey hunt. Once the virtual portion of the program was completed, 20 of the 24 hunters were able to participate in the mentored hunt.
All participants arrived Friday afternoon and spent time at a gun range patterning their firearms for the next morning’s hunt with Federal Ammunition. Friday evening, mentors and new hunters met and planned for the following morning hunt. Saturday all hunters and mentors were in the woods in pursuit of a turkey. Each mentor had two hunters and all 10 groups either heard gobbling or had birds sighted. Of the hunters participating, three were successful in harvesting their first ever turkey. One of the successful hunters, Dawn McShinsky, came all the way from Texas to participate. The event was capped off that afternoon with everyone learning how to process a turkey and sampling some great turkey tacos and a great breaded turkey breast sandwich. All the participants will have opportunities for continued learning and support through Modern Carnivore and its virtual platform.
The SCIF- Modern Carnivore Hunt Live Turkey Camp program and mentored hunt was a huge success. All the first-time hunters who participated in the program went away with new knowledge and added confidence to continue to move into the phase of being an active hunter and conservationist. SCIF looks forward to working with Modern Carnivore and other interested sponsors to continue providing this program in the future. SCIF would like to encourage SCI chapters to get involved by helping to sponsor one of these events in their own state. If you or your chapter would be interested in sponsoring and helping put on an event like this next year and would like more information about the program, please contact Assistant Director of Education, Todd Roggenkamp at email@example.com or 520-954-0664