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Kids get another chance to bag wild turkey on guided hunt

State wildlife biologists and an Eagle Point ranching family are teaming up again to offer private, guided turkey-hunting trips next month for two lucky local kids who win free drawings, including a drawing tonight in Medford.

The Kuyper family is offering two local kids ages 17 and younger a chance to hunt toms on their Eagle Point-area ranch this spring, beginning with the annual Spring Youth Turkey Hunt, which runs April 9-10.

The hunts will continue through the start of the general season, which begins April 15 and runs through May.

Winners will be guided by Rusty Kuyper, the landowner whose donation of similar hunts in recent years has been a staple of youth game-bird hunting opportunities in the Rogue Valley.

To enter the drawing, call ODFW's Denman Wildlife Area office at 541-826-8774 before the end of the business day Thursday.

Vince Oredson, a wildlife biologist for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, will draw the winning names March 25. Winners do not have to be present and will be contacted by telephone with information to set up their hunts.

A third donated hunt will be given away during the local chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation banquet set for April 9 in Medford, Oredson says.

That winner likely will not have enough time to set up a hunt during the youth weekend, Oredson says.

"That's OK," Oredson says. "They'll have plenty of time, and there's plenty of birds up there."

This is the fifth consecutive year the Kuypers have donated youth turkey hunts during the spring, Oredson says.

Local lakes and reservoirs will be brimming with rainbow trout in preparation for spring break so kids will have a chance to immerse themselves into fishing next week.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife has stepped up its spring stocking again this year specifically for spring break, which runs all of next week.

Expo Pond, Lost Creek Lake, Willow Lake, Agate Lake, Lake Selmac and Reinhart Pond all have received complements of legal-sized and, in some cases, trophy-sized rainbow trout in recent weeks.

Applegate Lake was stocked recently with 600 rainbows weighing 2 to 3 pounds apiece.

In Curry County, Floras and Garrison lakes will each get 500 trout weighing about 2 pounds apiece stocked in them this week, as well, according to the ODFW.

For a complete stocking schedule, visit the ODFW's website at www.dfw.state.or.us.

Reach reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470, or e-mail mfreeman@mailtribune.com.