The Wild Turkey hunting license was established in 1977, restricted to be used for Scientific Research, Biological Work On Wild Turkeys and other Wild Turkey Management in this state. There was a promise made to those willing to purchase a license to hunt turkeys that the money raised would be used to manage Wild Turkeys over their entire range. The first requirement to manage any wildlife species is to provide their necessary living requirements (habitat).
Over the past 17 years we have a series of articles in this publication detailing the shortcomings of habitat requirements of most wildlife species on our public forests. Unfortunately the many forest management meetings we have held with both the DNR and current U.S. Forest Service has seen few positive results.
Did you ever wonder what turkey hunting is about? There are four main parts to turkey hunting, Scouting, Decoying, Calling and Shooting.
Scouting: Before your season you need to get out in the woods to look and listen for birds, where they roost and come from, where they are going to feed. While this sounds easy, you need to do this for a couple of weeks to get their pattern, also d on’t use turkey calls as this may make them call shy.
In 1983 Gary Truxton, Jay Driling and Tom Sexton from Baldwin and I met at Baldwin and formed the first local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation in Michigan, The Pere Marquette Chapter. Within a year or two we were joined by the Ausable River Valley Chapter and the Traverse Bay (Little Traverse Bay) Chapter. Collectively we were determined that the experiment of restoring Wild Turkeys to Michigan would succeed after being absent since the 1890’s.
At the time Wild Turkeys had been released in the Alegan State Forest and had been released in the Baldwin area. A few turkeys had been trapped and transferred to several counties in the northern lower peninsula.
The following contains activity by both the Pere Marquette Chapter and the state chapter. Reported by Jim Maturen, Pere Marquette Chapter President.
On 8/13/12 Traverse Bay Chapter president Rick Riley and I met with DNR Wildlife Division chief Russ Ma- son, assistant chief Doug Reves and DNR Upland Bird Specialist Al Stewart at the DNR RAM Center at Higgins Lake. Items that we brought for discussion follows.
Rick A. Lucas, guest author to MWTHA Michigan Turkey Tracks, is a Conservation District Forester.
Are you a private landowner looking for: Forestry assistance; Wildlife habitat enhancement recommendations; Tree and/or wildlife shrub planting recommendations; a free site assessment to evaluate the needs of your property?
Q.T.M. – Quality Turkey Management. There aren’t enough Gobblers left large enough to shoot, as too many folks are shooting most of the Jakes. The logical explanation of the DNR, should be Gobblers only, with a 7 inch beard and 3/4 inch Spurs to be legal. This way we will all shoot Gobblers and increase License Sales. Now we know its real easy to measure a turkey beard and spurs wile it is going thru the grass and brush, “right”?