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 didn’t.
All the odds were against us last winter-a long, snowy, cold winter that started early, and a ban on deer feeding, which subsequently had many people in the north country afraid to even put out a birdfeeder for fear of being ticketed or even arrested for feeding deer.
Our spring workshop held at the Northland Sportsmans Club in early April was not as successful as it has been in past years, undoubtedly due to a very poor economy with many people out of work in this area, but the Traverse Bay Chapter did raise enough money, primarily through our annual raffle, to put us in good shape for this winter with the current amount of wild turkeys in Area J much lower than in previous years. Our first chapter meeting to plan next year’s feeding program will probably be held in October
This past March a press release was issued by the DNR regarding one of their biologists who had received a prestigious award from the National Wild Turkey Federation.
It read “Including enhancing Michigan’s popular wild turkey cooperator patch program. The wild turkey cooperator patch program was started in 1988 as a voluntary incentive for turkey hunters to mail turkey feathers to biologists in exchange for a patch.”
This last statement may sound good but it is NOT TRUE.
(NOTE: The status of the MUCC memberships have changed. Please see this update.)
MWTHA is no longer offering our members membership in Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC). This past winter MUCC hatched a new plan that dictated that any affiliated club must have 100 percent membership in MUCC. The club would pay $5.00 for each member. Members would no longer receive the magazine but could receive it through the internet. If a member received their membership in MUCC through another organization it would have to be documented to MUCC.
A common mistake that new turkey hunters make is calling too much and too loud. A loud yelp call is great for getting a bird to gobble, but it is not all that common in the woods, and more often than not will make a bird hang up. Real hens usually call softly, with clucks and purrs, and yelp most often when they fly down. You should think of a yelp as an assembly call that the boss hen uses when she flies down, to get the other birds, including the toms, to fly down and gather around.
This past winter an outdoors writer called and inquired that in light of the feeding ban on deer, what were we doing to insure Wild Turkey survival. During the course of our conversation he mentioned that there are DNR biologists that think that Wild Turkeys do not belong in northern Michigan. Occasionally the same issue appears in some of the sportsmen’s web sites. When he asked what our thoughts were on it, did I give that writer an earful!