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San Diego County officials approve turkey shoot

December 8, 2011 |  8:16 am

Young hunters will be allowed to stalk wild turkeys in an open space preserve in rural San Diego County, after a 3-2 vote by the county Board of Supervisors.

The supervisors Wednesday authorized a hunt at the 3,800-acre Santa Ysabel East Open Space Preserve near Julian. The hunt will be for licensed hunters under age 18, who must be accompanied by a qualified adult.

A similar hunt in March at William Heise Regional Park drew six hunters, who bagged four birds. Next March's hunt will be limited to two days, with no more than 10 hunters per day.

Animal rights advocates opposed the hunt. One supervisor expressed concern that the hunt would encourage illegal hunting in county parks.

But backers of the hunt said the turkey population in the county, at more than 20,000, is flourishing and that the hunt would be strictly supervised and provide an opportunity to teach safe hunting to the young.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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