Gobble, Gobble it's Turkey Time

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turkeyWATERBURY- Vermot's Governor Peter Shumlin, and National Wild Turkey Federation Chapter Vice President Don Isabelle, are trying to keep the hunting tradition alive in Vermont. 

 Don Isabelle has a passion for turkey hunting. He wants to help others understand his passion and get them to like it just as much. "Go out and have fun. It's not all about harvesting the bird. It's about being out there when the world wakes up and the song birds start singing and the birds start gobbling. Enjoy yourself and have that intereaction with mother nature and calling to a bird and having him respond."

Three years ago Isabelle initiated the Governor's Youth Hunt to get more hunters involved and he's doing just that. Over the weekend many attended a Jake's Day event learning about turkey hunting.

One young hunter even told his own story that included his hunting mentor, his dad. "I looked on the side bank and here comes a tom with a hen and he was strutting," Matthew Wixson remembered, "Dad said, 'When he turns around and his fan is facing you pull up and get ready.' So he turned, I pulled and dad clucked. He stopped. I shot, and he dropped." 

Governor Peter Shumlin was also a part of the event. Talking about his hunting mentor as a kid, "Like a lot of Vermont kids I just remeber from a young age I'd hear my dad and his buddies wake up and get ready to go out and I always wanted to go."

Hunting isn't just a tradition, it's a obession and Governor Shumlin has the itch. "I've been addicted ever since. There is nothing like being out in the woods."

Adults are trying to get more kids invovled because after the older generation is gone there will be no one keeping the hunting tradition alive if their numbers keep dropping.

The Commissioner of Vermont Fish and Wildlife, Loius Porter, also believes the tradtion is important. He said," It's one of the things that sets Vermont apart and one of the things that makes Vermont so distinct is our tradition of hunting, fishing, and trapping."

Vermont has three weekends that only youth can hunt. This upcoming weekend will be the first one of the year. Youth who are under the age of 15 and have passed their hunting test can shoot one bearded turkey. This turkey will not count towards the two you can shoot in regular season.

The state wants to do as much as they can to get kids into hunting.

"As we have an aging population," Governor Shumlin said, "we need to make sure we are replacing those old folks that are in the woods with young folks in the woods."