Recap: RI DEM F&W/Light Foundation Youth Turkey Hunt '24

Earlier this year New England BHA’s Rhode Island Team announced that we would be sponsoring the 2024 RI Youth Mentored Wild Turkey Hunt coordinated by The Light Foundation and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management’s Fish & Wildlife Division. The hunt occurred in late April, during RI’s special youth wild turkey season, and by all accounts 2024 was another successful season for the program, which has been supported by RI BHA volunteers for the last several years.  

Prior to the hunt, youth participants, guides, family members, landowners, and supporters gathered on Friday afternoon at Addieville East Farm to kick the weekend off. After participants sighted in their guns with the guides, the group was welcomed by 3X Super Bowl Champion with the New England Patriots Matt Light and went through a safety training led by RI DEM’s Division of Law Enforcement and informational presentation from F&W biologists about wild turkeys, followed by dinner under Addieville’s outdoor pavilion. Before heading to the lodge for the night, guides and youth participants headed out to roost turkeys for the following morning.  


Saturday morning came quickly, and guides and youth participants spread out across Rhode Island for their hunts. While some groups filled their tags on cooperative birds straight off the roost, many of the participants had to stick it out and work to find turkeys that were willing to play. In addition to having some of the best mentors Rhode Island has to offer guiding the youth, the hunt was also supported by volunteers who were scouting, listening, and locating birds to make sure all participants had an opportunity to harvest a bird. By the time that shooting hours closed at 1PM every youth participant had heard some gobbles, seen turkeys, and most had wrapped their tag around a bird’s ankle to bring back to the lodge with them.


Once everyone returned to the lodge the guides held demonstrations on turkey processing and hunting skills. One of the highlights of this program each year is post-hunt storytelling, where the youth sit around the lodge’s dining table and share their version of the day’s events with each other, and with all the guides. Inevitably, their stories include many highs, a couple lows, plenty of laughs, and a bit of exaggeration.

New England BHA has been a constant supporter of RI’s youth hunting programs, which also includes a youth mentored waterfowl hunt each fall.  

RIGerber.jpgNew England BHA thanks BHA Platinum Corporate Partner Gerber Gear for their generous donation to Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, which made our support for the 2024 RI DEM F&W/Light Foundation youth turkey hunt possible 

All imagery was generously shared by Desmos Photos













About New England BHA Chapter

New England BHA is a voice for the sporting community in New England that values solitude, silence, clean and free flowing rivers, and habitat for large, wide-ranging wildlife.