LDWF hosts successful guided youth turkey lottery hunt at Peason Ridge WMA

Hunters who harvested turkey during LDWF's guided turkey lottery hunt at Peason Ridge WMA included (left to right) Lillian Church, Kaylyn Thornton, Avery Bealer and Hadley Guillot. (Photo courtesy LDWF)

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) hosted its guided youth turkey lottery hunt at Peason Ridge Wildlife Management Area in Vernon Parish on Saturday, March 25, and four hunters harvested birds during the event.

Kaylyn Thornton, Hadley Guillot, Lillian Church and Avery Bealer were successful in taking birds during the hunt. Twelve youth hunters took part in the event with 13 volunteer guides assisting them. Several volunteer guides have been participating for 20 or more years.

LDWF thanks Harold Yarborough and the Lake Charles chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation for providing meals for the hunters and others participating. Hunters also received gift bags donated by local businesses and individuals.

Participants and guides in LDWF’s guided turkey lottery hunt at Peason Ridge WMA. (Photo courtesy LDWF)

This was the first year since the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in the spring of 2020, that the hunt was back to a full schedule. It was unable to be held in 2020 and ’21 and was modified in 2022.

Although not all hunters harvested a bird, the experience allowed them to learn the nuances of turkey hunting, woodsmanship and hunting sportsmanship. LDWF staff enlist the help of experienced volunteers to serve as guides. A few weeks before the hunt, they scout and locate gobblers for the youth hunters in order to place them in areas where they have the best chance for success.

“Thankfully, we were able to stage this event where we did before the pandemic,’’ LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said. “We appreciate the work of everyone who made it such a successful experience. This couldn’t have been done without the businesses and volunteers who so freely gave of their time, resources and talents. Bringing along the next generation of hunters is of paramount importance to LDWF.’’

Peason Ridge WMA is one of the state’s top public hunting turkey areas. It is located 14 miles north of Leesville. For more information, go to https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/peason-ridge.

Turkey season opened Saturday, April 1, in Louisiana. For more information on turkey season, go to http://www.eregulations.com/louisiana/hunting/