Posted at: 04/02/2013 7:50 PM
Updated at: 04/10/2013 10:00 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
The spring turkey season hasn't quite started in Wisconsin, but this group got special permission to head out into the woods early.
It's a "learn to hunt" program through the National Wild Turkey Federation. Mentors like Dale Nummi spend time with beginners, showing them the ropes.
"I think we're giving them the chance to see another facet of life instead of just the four walls of a school or their home or the library," Nummi said. "They're not looking at a computer monitor."
13-year-old Aaron Hanson was excited to go on his very first hunting trip. The four a.m. wake up call didn't deter him one bit.
"We were trying to get some turkeys to come in. We were trying to call them in," Hanson said. "It was really fun because I got to meet new people and got new friends."
12-year-old Keegan Plasch teamed up with Wisconsin conservation warden Lance Burns, hoping to hear that classic turkey sound.
"It was fun. When I heard the turkey gobble it got my blood pumping," Plasch said. "We flushed a couple of birds and then we set up. We heard them for a little bit and they took off so we followed them."
"They're learning something new and something different," Burns said. "And I think they really enjoy the active part of the whole deal."
No turkeys for either pair, but Nummi says that's not what this program is really about.
"Trying to teach kids how beautiful the wilderness is, whether they're hunting or trapping or just going for a hike," Nummi said.
"You get to see all the nature," Hanson said. "Some of the trees, a lot of trees and birds."
Burns couldn't agree more.
"It's learn to hunt, not learn to kill," Burns said. "So we're out there to show them what it's all about, do some calling, hopefully hear some birds. That's the main goal."