The state’s turkey season cranks up later this month, and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is encouraging hunters to validate their tags within seven days after harvest by holding an end-of-season drawing for prizes, including a Mossberg Model 535 Triple Play 12-gauge shotgun.

According to a news release, the Validate to Gobble Up Prizes contest is easy to enter: there are no entry forms or entry fees. Hunters only have to validate each tag for each turkey harvested during the 2016 season, as required by Louisiana hunting regulations. Each validated tag equates to an entry in the prize drawing.

In addition to the shotgun from Bowie Outfitters, two other winners will be selected to receive lifetime hunting licenses provided by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation. The lifetime license recipients will have the option of gifting their prize to a relative or friend if they already possess a lifetime license.

Turkey harvest reporting provides parish-level data on the season harvest numbers, sex ratios and calendar information that illustrate trends in the state’s turkey harvest. That information plays a critical role in setting season lengths and bag limits. If harvest data is under-reported, LDWF biologists and managers cannot make accurate determinations on hunting success and turkey population parameters, the release states.

Prior to hunting wild turkeys, all turkey hunters — regardless of age or license status — must obtain turkey tags and have tags in possession when hunting turkey. Immediately upon harvesting a wild turkey, the hunter must tag the turkey with the appropriate license tag before it is moved from the site, and the hunter must document the harvest on the attached report card portion of the turkey tag license.

The hunter must record the date of harvest and the parish on the carcass tag. The tag must remain attached to the turkey while kept at a camp, or while it is transported to the domicile of the hunter, or to a cold storage facility. Hunters who keep the carcass or meat at camp must also comply with game possession tag regulations.

For more information on the Validate to Gobble Up Prizes contest, click here