After an exceptionally cool and wet fall, winter began in Area J just before Christmas, and with the exception of a brief thaw in January, hasn’t let up since, with more than 136 inches of snow so far. But even worse than the deep snow has been the extreme cold, the coldest any of us have seen in many, many years.
If you were out there this spring and bagged a fat wild turkey anywhere in northern Michigan, I hope you took a few moments to locate and thank the people who made sure that bird made it through the winter.
In many areas of northern Michigan, that was the hard working members of the several chapters of MWTHA, but in other areas, it was private property owners, many of whom probably had to pass on a lot of other things to pay up to $8.75 a 50 pound bag of shelled corn—the highest price in history.
After a very long, cold, and snowy winter, with much of the snow not melting until mid-April, we had a surprisingly good spring turkey hunting season here in Area J, despite the fact that turkeys in many areas apparently didn’t survive the winter. That was no surprise to many of us-without winter feeding, those birds didn’t have good odds, particularly; if they weren’t located in agricultural areas, which we don’t have a lot of any way, or on someone’s bird feeder, or were one of the approximately 3000 birds I did try to reach with a very limited winter turkey feeding program that was operated a bit differently than usual, but was very successful and agreeable to all involved.
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On June 21 of this year, the DNR released a rather interesting press release-at least, it caught my eye. Many of you may not have seen it because it received little, if any,
attention from what few outdoor publications we have left in Michigan, and none at all by the mainstream media of this fine state. No surprise, either.
But after reading it, I was actually relieved to know it wouldn’t receive any press – if you read it, you may have been, too. Here’s a link to the Press Release.
Traverse Bay Chapter of MWTHA began very limited winter feed distribution in Gaylord, Ellsworth and Charlevoix in early February when snow levels averaged a foot or more in Michigan’s north country.
Unlike previous years, with very little fund raising in the last two years, funds are very limited, so strict restrictions limiting the program to those attempting to feed 30 or more birds on limited or low incomes were set.