Ohio Youth Wild Turkey Hunt

Ohio Youth Wild Turkey Hunt

The football field hasn’t always been the only type of field you can find Matt Light on, depending on the season he could be in a corn field that contains a tree stand or a blind.  While growing up in Darke County, he found a love for the outdoors and hunting. Sometimes his hobby would get put on hold during his football career of being an offensive lineman for the New England Patriots. Since retirement he has not only spent countless hours hunting deer and calling in turkeys but also teaching the youth how to do so as well through his non-profit organization, The Light Foundation.

Part of The Light Foundation’s mission is to provide the youth with unique outdoor learning experiences that assist them in reaching their highest potential. In 2008, Light decided to add a program that would do just that and more… The Youth Wild Turkey Hunt!

This one of a kind experience takes place in Darke County, which not only encompasses Matt Light’s hometown of Greenville, but is also home of the foundation’s 500+ acre facility named Chenoweth Trails. The hunt takes place the weekend of Ohio’s youth-only turkey season, which is a weekend in April that is determined by ODNR. The applicants that are selected will be paired up with guides. They will stay in the yurts at Chenoweth Trails from Friday night until midday Sunday. The application process is open to any student from Darke County that will be between the ages of 12-17 on the day of the hunt. In addition to filling out an application, the youth that are interested will write a 500-600-word essay on a topic that is chosen by the board. The time to apply is between December and February.

The 18 students that will be selected will need to possess a valid youth hunting license and a turkey permit. They will also complete a training course provided the night before the hunt. We have so many great volunteers that donate their time and show their love for this sport that each youth hunter attending will be accompanied by a non-hunting adult. The guide will make sure they are following safety guidelines, learning about the habitat, and of course making sure the youth are enjoying the thrill of the hunt!

The students will have a chance to bag a bird, but there is no guarantee. The only guarantee is they will learn a lot, meet new friends, and enjoy a weekend in the outdoors.

This event would not be possible without the help of many people in so many categories including private landowners, youth guides, spotters, committee members, taxidermists, gun and blind donors, cooks, and so much more.

Many area businesses have stepped up to support the event. Quaker Boy has been the title sponsor year after year. The other 2019 sponsors were: American Legion Post No. 140, BASF, ALPS Outdoors, Bettker Taxidermy, Bob Evans, Channel Seed (Son Light), Eco-Vehicle Systems, LLC, Eikenberry’s IGA, Federal Premium, Francis Furniture, Frank Miller Lumber, Friends of the NRA, The NRA Foundation, Friends of the NRA, Greenville Moose, GSM Outdoors/Walker’s, Hersh’s Custom Calls, Higdon Outdoors, Hunter Specialty, Innerloc’s Out-There, Jason Fleming Family, Jerry’s Laundry, Koenig Equipment, Maid Rite, Mossy Oak, Mote Farm Service, Inc., ODNR Division of Wildlife, Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, Pheasants Forever, Plano Synergy – Zink/Flexstone/Avian X, Primos, Quaker Boy, Shade Tree Calls, Sharp’s Tavern, Specialty Hybrid, Studio ‘93 Films, The Woody Wood Shop, Thompson Center, Vandalia Range & Armory, Whistle Stop, and Winners Meats. and Jason Fleming Family.

With everyone’s help this truly becomes a one of a kind opportunity that brings in a record number of applications each year.

Important Info

  • To obtain an OHIO Hunting License a first-time hunter must attend and pass a Hunter Safety Course or comply with the apprentice hunter registrations.
  • To find times and locations of Hunter Safety Courses visit their website at: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/ or call 1-800-WILDLIFE.
  • Youth are REQUIRED to attend our Gun Sighting and Volunteer Workday on Saturday, April 4, 2020 from 9:00 am to noon.
  • Hunting License and tags – Make sure to purchase tags in advance and have with you at the April 4th Gun Sighting. Proof of your tags must be verified by April Brubaker at the Gun Sighting.
  • The weekend hunt will kick off with dinner and a meeting on April 17, 2020 at 5:00 pm at Chenoweth Trails.  All hunting details will be discussed at this meeting and it is mandatory for youth hunters.  Family members of the youth hunter are welcome to attend the dinner. 
  • Top winning applicants will be notified by Friday, March 27, 2020. We will also post the winners names on our Facebook Page.
  • We will only be notifying the winners and not every applicant.
  • Pack based on weather conditions and bring CAMOUFLAGED clothing if you own it. 
  • More details for the Gun Sighting and Kickoff dinner will be shared with those hunters selected for the hunt.

Hunt will be held April 17-19, 2020

Application and Info Below

Application Requirements

  1. Must be age 12 through 17 on day of the hunt
  2. Must be a Darke County Resident or attend one of the Darke County Schools
  3. Able to present a valid 2020 OHIO Hunting License & Turkey Tag
  4. Complete the Youth Wild Turkey Hunt application in its entirety. All essays will need to be submitted by Friday, March 6, 2020.

Topic

Matt has been hearing a lot and thinking a lot about the number of kids who battle depression, isolation, and not really connecting. He feels it’s good to get kids to understand that they aren’t alone and that sports like hunting can really bring the best of themselves out while also being a fun time! This years topic give kids a way to open up about how they view themselves.

People say that believing in yourself is important and that having positive self-esteem is healthy. If that’s true, why? How does self-esteem play a role in your life? Do you ever feel like it’s difficult to view yourself in a positive way?

These questions are designed to get you thinking about how you view yourself and to understand that we all struggle from time to time, but keeping a healthy, positive self-image is something that helps us balance our lives. Are there people in your life that positively influence your self-esteem? Are there people who model great belief in themselves? How does that help them work through things in life? 

  • Page 1 – We would like for you to write a letter to yourself about how you see yourself.
  • Page 2 – We would like for you to write a letter to the Light Foundation about how you believe others see you.
  • Page 3 – Describe how these two things relate to each other and what does it say about a healthy-self-image.

Questions

  • If you have any questions, please contact: Program Director/ April Brubaker / 937-316-6352 /april@mattlight72.com

Application

7 + 15 =

THANK YOU TO OUR 2019 SPONSORS!