2/87. Our winter has been one of the mildest on record so we have been discouraging people from feeding wild turkeys. It appears that we have an increase in population in most areas. The area southwest of Cadillac appears to have decreased but because the birds are so widely scattered no one can be sure. It did appear that more birds came through the fall hunting seasons so our poaching bills seem to be working. Discussed the population count with the DNR and they are having a hard time counting also. We can at least say that our flocks have remained fairly stable.
3/21/87. Attended the state chapter workshop at East Lansing. Met for a long discussion with the new Wildlife Division chief, Karl Hosford. Among the many items discussed were; use of the $3.00 application fee, initiating a Successful Turkey Hunters Patch, check stations, game breeders, disease studies, applicant cheating and poaching. Discussed the past history of our involvement in the turkey program. He asked for several months to enable him to get his feet on the ground.
3/23/87. Letter sent to the five senators on the Conservation Committee and Senator Engler, supporting H.B. 4047 (1987), which passed the house and is before the Senate. It would increase the poaching fine for a wild turkey to $500 minimum, $1,500 maximum and 15 days in the county jail. Will stay on top of it.
3-4/87. Letters sent to the U.S. Forest Service at White Cloud and Cadillac at their request regarding management of the Hungerford, Kellog and Ward Hills tracts for a total of 39,650 acres. Offered our chapter’s assistance in implementing any project.
6/1/87. Jay Drilling and I met with DNR biologist Fred Ignatoski at Baldwin. Fred is on a committee with U.S. Forest Service people and has been actively involved in assisting them to plan wildlife habitat within the Huron-Manistee National Forest. It appears that the Forest Service is seriously considering wildlife management in their forest planning. (Editors note: How times have changed!)
6/4/87. Jay Drilling, Gary Truxton, Tom Tighe and I met with DNR Director Gordon Guyer, Natural Resources Commissioner Stew Meyers, and DNR deputy director John Robertson at the VFW in Baldwin. Among numerous issues discussed were: loss of birds and other wildlife on orchards and Christmas tree farms due to poisoning, the need for a Successful Turkey Hunter Patch (for voluntary check in and testing of turkeys), control game breeders and game farm turkeys, applicant cheating, a written plan for the management of the wild turkey, habitat management on state forests and DNR Region III biologist, Ed Tucker’s remarks to the news media of our northern birds being inferior. Follow-up will continue.
6/6/87. Attended the Michigan Conservation Foundation banquet. Met briefly after the program with wildlife division chief, Karl Hosford. He indicated that some of our suggestions for better turkey management will be implemented, such as the patch program and checking in harvested turkeys.
6/9/87. Met with Tom Prawdzik, DNR district biologist from Clare. Discussed the turkey program in Area W. Future plans are for three ten-day hunts with 1000 permits per hunt. We discussed the quality of the northern Wild Turkeys, the necessity for winter feeding, etc. No disagreements here. He estimated that 500 more Wild Turkeys are needed to completely stock his area.
6/8/87. Sent a letter to Dr. Kennamer of the NWTF with a copy of my article in the North Woods Call. Advised him that we have our belly full of his opinion of our Michigan turkeys and his unrealistic stand on winter feeding.