Here’s hoping that you barbecued up a spring gobbler for your 4th of July celebration-some of us enjoyed success this spring, and some of us found far less gobbling, far fewer birds, and much tougher hunting. If you found fewer birds this spring, then you know how important it is to get what birds we have in our areas through the winter to come.
Once again, with deep snows since the middle of November in many areas of northern Michigan, and bitter cold (down to -25 one memorable night) in January, with the continued ban on feeding deer which still has many people afraid to even fill their bird feeders, we are once again up against the wall when it comes to trying to get our wild turkeys through the winter. And once again, many of the chapters are once again conducting feeding programs, with the birds either being hand-fed or the feeders up on platforms, inside trailers, or whatever necessary to keep the deer away.
As we head into another fall and winter season, the impact of the DNRE’s ban on feeding of white tailed deer anywhere in Michigan’s lower peninsula is now becoming apparent.
For the first time in many, many, years, there will now be no fall turkey hunting season anywhere at all in the northern lower peninsula-all due to a decline in wild turkey populations, proof that although it is NOT illegal to feed wild turkeys to get them through the tough winter months, people were, and still are, afraid of being ticketed for accidentally leaving a kernel of corn on the ground that the neighborhood deer ate.
The Traverse Bay Chapter of MWTHA opened their feed distribution sites in Gaylord and Charlevoix on December 19 when snow levels averaged a foot or more in Michigan’s North Country.
After advice from the DNR’s Doug Reeves, it was decided to distribute full rations of shelled corn at the beginning of the winter, to ensure any late
It’s been a pretty easy winter so far in Michigan, much better than the horrors of last winter, so, as this is written, we’re all hoping for a good spring turkey season with a high winter carry over.
With many parts of Michigan low to non-existent on turkeys, thanks to last winter and a fear of feeding thanks to the ban on deer feeding, hunters in many parts of northern Michigan will be hard pressed to even hear a gobble again this spring, and those of us who do will feel very blessed.