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.
Last year, before my hunt started, I hadn’t heard a peep out of anything; then, on opening morning, gobblers were sounding off from all points of the compass and I collected one in just about one hour.
Now this year, on the afternoon before my season, at least three toms were gobbling, and this is a bit unusual for late in the day. These guys were lonesome and a lonesome tom is a vulnerable tom.
The next morning I was in the same tent blind as the previous year. There was some gobbling off the roost, but not a lot.
The following is intertwined between the PM Chapter and state chapter activities since the March issue of Michigan Turkey Tracks.
On 1/16/10 attended the National Wild Turkey Federation annual meeting/board of directors meeting at Big Rapids. It was hoped that common ground could be found on turkey management and hunting regulations between our two organizations. It appears that we are still on different paths.
We attended a meeting of MUCC’s conservation coalition on 2/3/10 in Lansing. A number of conservation issues were discussed. At these meetings we find what the issues and thoughts are of other organizations and perhaps find common ground.
The Wild Turkey Fund was established in 1977 from revenue derived from the sale of a special turkey hunting license. It is restricted to be used for scientific research, biological survey work on Wild Turkeys and turkey management.
Three years ago the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNRE) deemed that henceforth Wild Turkey hunting regulations would be set for a three year period. This year DNR staff contributed to a list of proposed changes for both the pending fall and spring turkey hunting seasons. We were provided with the lists and invited to make comment. The lists were distributed to several chapters without any comment and asked for their input.
Thirteen proposals were listed with all but one would liberalize the season or the kill. On March 1 MWTHA met with DNR upland bird specialist, Al Stewart and several wildlife biologists at Clare. For a number of years turkey numbers throughout the northern lower peninsula have fallen and continue to do so. Even though this fall season will be held in southern Michigan if there is a fall season anywhere in the northern lower the regulations will be the same.
The following article was written by Rod Little. Rod is the many times state champion turkey caller. He has been our guest speaker several times at the Rendezvous. Rod has always volunteered to help us in any way that he can. When Rod related to me his involvement in making dreams come true for severely handicapped turkey hunters, I asked him to tell us of his experiences.
Despite having a full time job and many family obligations he has given freely of his time. Besides, he is just one nice guy.
As an avid turkey hunter for 34 years, I have had my share of highs and lows, like many that have turkey hunted this long. The highs have been winning numerous calling titles, being a part of the Quaker Boy pro staff and meeting and having awesome experiences with so many great people. The lows were not making the cut at The Grand Nationals seven or eight times while representing Michigan. All of us turkey hunters have had days where we couldn’t do anything right and days where we couldn’t do anything wrong. The 2009 spring turkey season was the season where everything went right.