How do you measure success in the turkey woods of Michigan? For some; it’s the view down the top of the 12 gauge locked on to the brilliant red head of a Boss Gobbler at 25 yards. Others, just as happy to put a tender young Tom on the table.
This past winter (2013-2014) was one of the most severe in many years. Temperatures remained below freezing for several months, with deep snow depth and high winds. It was truly a very brutal winter especially on those species of wildlife that did not migrate or hibernate.
Several MWTHA chapters were purchasing and distributing shelled corn to thousands of Wild Turkeys. We did our best to get the word out that there was support available for turkey flocks, realizing at the same time that any turkeys that could not find a food source would not survive.
EDITORS NOTE: The following article was written by John Gunnell of Rockford and has been recently published in The North Woods Call. The letter was sent to those people listed in the article. It is appearing in Michigan Turkey Tracks with his permission.
Reading about the observing the results of ethical work being done by thousands of Michigan outdoor users outside the DNR is heartening. Unfortunately well intentioned efforts from within today’s department are compromised before the fact due to its tainted reputation of condoning laws and practices that cast suspicion on even rudimentary matters.
To all MWTHA members and interested friends:
It’s been a very long winter. Especially for our wild turkeys, which have had to withstand the coldest temperatures the state of Michigan has seen in many, many years. If you are helping our wild turkeys survive by feeding them, our hat is off to you and you have our deepest appreciation. Without our help, the wild turkey cannot survive the winters of northern Michigan.
To help the winter pass, once again plans are in the works for a variety of MWTHA banquets and spring hunting workshops – our primary fundraisers for our feeding programs, as well as another visit to a variety of outdoor shows. Be sure to attend these functions, details of which you’ll find on our site, and support your local chapter of MWTHA!
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.
This past December our organization was represented at the state forest compartment reviews within four counties in the DNR Cadillac district. Once again, we were the only ones other than DNR personnel present. Where were the “save the habitat – save the hunt people?”