The Michigan DNR has decreed that turkey hunting rules and seasons will be for a three-year period. The next cycle for the fall begins in 2016.
Our request to the DNR was simple. No fall season throughout the northern lower peninsula, including Areas J and HA which have been open for a fall turkey hunting season. Twice we told the DNR and the Natural Resources Commission that where a fall season is to be held that the opening day is moved from September 15 to October 15 and specific reasons for it.
In the first notification to the Natural Resources Commission (NRC), it stated that “some individuals have expressed concerns regarding the fall turkey season opening dates”. There was no mention that our organization had twice requested the opening date be changed.
On April 6 a letter with our specific recommendations was sent to each NRC commissioner, DNR Director Bill Moritz, Wildlife chief Russ Mason and Upland Bird Specialist Al Stewart. The letter is included with this article. A letter was received dated April 11 from Chief Mason. In the letter, he acknowledged our recommendations for Areas J and HA but there was no mention of our request to change the opening date, nor did it answer any of the questions that we had presented.
In the final write up that went to the NRC did acknowledge that “MWTHA does not support the proposed recommendations for Turkey Management Units J and HA”. There was no mention of our request to change the opening date statewide.
At the NRC meeting on May 12, the fall turkey regulations came before them for action. Commissioner Schlaybaugh moved that they should be adopted. Commissioner Crumbaugh supported the motion. Commissioner Matonich called for discussion, there being none, a vote was taken and the motion carried unanimously. NO DISCUSSION? They had before them a two-page letter addressing our concerns, questions and recommendations and no discussion? We had just gotten blown off once again.