The Light Foundation and DEM are Accepting Applications for Fourth Annual Youth Wild Turkey Hunt

The Light Foundation, established in 2001 by three-time Super Bowl Champion Matt Light and his wife Susie Light, is once again partnering with the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) for their much-anticipated fourth annual mentored Youth Wild Turkey Hunt this spring.

Scheduled for April 19-20, the two-day event is open and free to youths aged 12 to 15, whether they are novice or experienced hunters. This initiative, in collaboration with DEM, aims to not only provide a memorable wild turkey hunting experience but also instill values of responsibility, stewardship, and conservation in the young participants.

The event kicks off with a welcome dinner on Friday, April 19, at Addieville East Farm in Mapleville, Rhode Island. During the dinner, youth hunters will meet their mentors, undergo an orientation covering firearm safety, hunting rules, and regulations, and engage in discussions on leadership. The following day, on April 20, the youth hunters, paired with experienced mentors, will embark on a mentored wild turkey hunt, incorporating a leadership curriculum.

Director Terry Gray of DEM expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, stating, “Teaming up with three-time Super Bowl Champion Matt Light, Susie Light, and The Light Foundation is a terrific opportunity for DEM and youth hunters in Rhode Island. Mentored hunts teach responsibility and stewardship for natural resources.”

Matt Light, who will personally be involved in the event, shared, “Our dedication lies in empowering youth to engage with and appreciate the outdoors, fostering a generation of conscientious hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and leaders.”

Applicants aged 12 to 15 interested in participating in the 2024 Youth Mentored Turkey Hunt must apply at The Light Foundation’s website by March 10, 2024. A 500-word essay on the theme “What Matters to You?” is a prerequisite for consideration. An impartial committee will evaluate submissions, with successful candidates earning the opportunity for an overnight stay at Pheasant Ridge Lodge to partake in the youth hunt.

Successful applicants must secure a Rhode Island hunting license and turkey permit before the scheduled hunt. DEM encourages prospective participants to apply before the March 10 deadline. Statewide, Rhode Island’s youth turkey hunting season is April 18-24, providing a unique chance for 12 to 15-year-olds to engage in wild turkey hunting.

The Light Foundation, along with DEM and program sponsors The Thompson Center, Addieville East Farm, and Pheasant Ridge Lodge, is dedicated to building opportunities for young people to experience and enjoy the outdoors, inspiring the next generation of responsible hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and leaders.

Rhode Island’s Hunter Education Program, part of DFW, offers safety training required by law for beginning hunters. More than 40,000 individuals have completed a hunter safety course in Rhode Island, contributing to reduced accidents. DEM emphasizes the critical role hunters play in wildlife conservation, contributing over $235 million to Rhode Island’s economy annually.

The turkey restoration program, a DEM initiative from 1980 to 1996, funded by state hunting license fees and the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration program, resulted in the flourishing population of wild turkeys across the state. These turkeys now provide recreational and wildlife viewing opportunities, showcasing the success of collaborative conservation efforts.




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