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N.B. government makes changes to wild turkey season

By Regis Phillips Feb 6, 2024 | 7:05 AM

The provincial government is adding wild turkeys to the list of game that youth are allowed to hunt.

This change to the Wild Turkey Hunting Regulation follows changes made last fall to the Hunting Regulation under the Fish and Wildlife Act that allowed youth 12-16 to purchase deer or bear hunting licenses.

Before this, people in that age group were permitted to hunt small game only.

Hunters aged 12-15 must be accompanied by an adult and meet all licensing requirements.

“As an avid outdoorsman, I am pleased to see new hunting mentorship opportunities created for young people,” said Natural Resources and Energy Development Minister Mike Holland. “This change will encourage a new generation to take part in outdoor activities, such as hunting.”

Additional changes to the regulations will allow a limited number of non-resident licenses. Holland said the non-resident wild turkey licenses will create new economic opportunities for guides and outfitters in the province, as well as spinoff opportunities for those in the service and tourism industry.

“This is great news for the outdoor industry here in New Brunswick,” said Terry Smith, president of the Canadian Wild Turkey Federation.

“Getting youth to hunt wild turkeys at an earlier age is just what we need. Youth being accompanied by an adult or mentor will increase outdoor recreational time for the entire family, ” Smith added. 

“The addition of non-resident wild turkey licences to outfitters will be a benefit to all sectors of the outdoor industry. This will provide a new means of income for spring hunting opportunities in our growing outdoor market.”

The government also made changes to the applications for the wild turkey hunt to the last Friday in February from the first Friday in April. The change will allow those granted a licence more time to prepare for the hunt, which takes place in May.

A conservation fee of $10 on the non-resident wild turkey licence will go to the Wildlife Trust Fund.

The application for wild turkey can be found by clicking here.