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Youth turkey hunt gearing up

A dozen young guns will get a good shot at bagging a tom turkey this spring as part of an agreement with a local ranch that helps create hunting access and wildlife forage habitat.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will hold a drawing for youth hunters to win one of 12 hunts — up from 10 last year — during the spring turkey season on the 9,500-acre C2 Ranch near Lake Creek.

Winners will get one day of guided turkey hunting on the ranch during either the youth turkey season that runs April 13-14 or any time during the general spring season, which runs April 15 to May 31.

The C2 Ranch’s oak savanna and brushy areas provide very good turkey habitat not accessible to the general public.

After a great acorn crop in the Cascades this fall, turkeys boasted solid herd sizes that held throughout early winter, says Jade Keehn, an ODFW wildlife habitat biologist who oversees the C2 Ranch agreement. Although late snows have trimmed some high-elevation populations, Keehn says the odds are good of tracking down a turkey in the ranch’s vast oak woodlands.

The drawing for a chance to join the hunt is free and open to kids 17 and younger. Applications will be taken through the end of business April 1. Winners will be drawn April 2.

To enter, fill out a brief application online at https://myodfw.com/sites/default/files/2019-03/C2%20turkey%20app%202019.pdf. Applications can also be faxed to 541-826-8776, emailed to jade.e.keehn@state.or.us, or picked up and dropped off at ODFW’s Central Point office, 1495 E. Gregory Road. Applicants must provide their name, Hunter/Angler ID or date of birth, full address and phone number.

Winners will be given a phone number to call C2 Ranch managers to set up their hunt. Winners can be accompanied by a parent or other family member.

Winners must supply their own $10 juvenile hunting license, a $10.50 juvenile turkey tag and a hunter-education certificate. However, kids ages 9 to 13 who don’t have the hunter-education certificate may apply and hunt under the Mentored Youth Hunter Program by using an adult’s tag during the general spring season.

The hunt is under an agreement between ODFW and C2 Ranch that goes back well over a decade. The ranch offers six unguided, three-day adult deer hunts annually, 16 guided youth deer hunts during the Christmas break, and the 10 youth turkey hunts.

In exchange for access, the Access and Habitat Program provides money for herbicide applications, buck-brush planting for big-game habitat and annual cutting of Himalayan blackberries.

Mt. Shasta Nordic races

The Mount Shasta Nordic Friends and Family Relay Race is slated for Saturday at the mountain’s Nordic Center.

Each of a team’s four members will ski a single 1.1-kilometer circuit around the Sugar Pine loop, and the racers’ times will be combined to generate the team time. A single skier can do multiple loops if fewer than four members are on the team.

Competitors can show up with their own team or come join an impromptu team.

Registration runs from 9 to 10:45 a.m., with races beginning at 11 a.m.

For more information, call the Mount Shasta Nordic Center at 530-925-3495.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or mfreeman@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @MTwriterFreeman.

Youth hunters could be hunting in the snow at C2 Ranch outside of Lake Creek next month.