The following includes action taken by both the PM Chapter and MWTHA.
This past winter the Pere Marquette Chapter began our winter survival program on January 12. During the winter we purchased and distributed 15,000 pounds of shelled corn to 2,866 Wild Turkeys distributed over our 13 county area of northern Michigan. The program was concluded on March 21,2015.
On 2/22/15 the State Chapter meeting was held at Jay’s Sporting Goods at Clare. Discussed the need for changes in the fall and spring regulations for 2016. Informed those attending on action taken thus far regarding the issue of the too early fall season where it is held. Habitat issues. The future of MWTHA. The polluting industries that are sponsors of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. A critique of our attendance at the Ruffed Grouse Society meeting on 1/31/15.
On 2/14/15 contacted Dan Eichenger, Executive Director of the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. We protested the fact that those corporations that destroy wildlife habitat and poison our fish and wildlife are sponsors of MUCC.
On 3/2/15 attended a presentation on the impacts on wildlife and their habitats due to climate change at the DNR Carl T. Johnson Center at Cadillac. On 3/3/15 attended the Michigan Resource Stewards meeting at Jay’s in Clare.
On 3/11/15 held the Pere Marquette Chapter meeting at Baldwin. Concluded planning for the Rendezvous to be held on March 28. Completed our needs while attending the pending Traverse City Hunting Expo. Discussed any issues there may be with Michigan Turkey Tracks. Voted to contribute $250 to the MUCC Youth Camp to help cover their needs.
On 3/28/15 we held another successful Wild Turkey Hunters Rendezvous. Once again a VERY SINCERE THANK YOU goes out to those members and vendors who spent the day making the event run so smoothly. Without you there would be no Rendezvous. Mark your calendars for March 26, 2016.
For the past 34 years of the Rendezvous our local DNR wildlife biologist has volunteered a portion of his/her Saturday to attend, give a presentation and answer numerous questions. This year DNR Wildlife Technician Mark Knee attended. He gave a great presentation and answered a number of difficult questions. For the next several hours he was seen in the school hallway talking to attendees. I had an opportunity to talk to Mark. I found him to be a knowledgeable, enthusiastic young man. For several years he worked for the DNR on a part time basis.
This past December he was hired as a full time employee, working out of the Baldwin Field Office. He lived in the Ludington area. The next day Mark was killed in a skiing accident. He leaves behind his wife and two sons. How Tragic. What a shame. His father called several days later asking if there was any recording of Mark’s presentation. There was none.
On 4/14/15 conducted a turkey hunting seminar at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at Cadillac as part of the Fins and Feathers Festival.
On 4/11/15 attended the all day DNR Deer Management Forum at the RAM Center at Higgins Lake. The forum was to critique the Deer Management Plan. We had input, especially regarding public land hunting.
On 5/20 &21/15 gave 18 presentations of our Wild Turkey program to 333 4th grade students from four Osceola County school districts at Rural Education Days.
On 6/2/15 attended the Michigan Resource Stewards meeting at Clare.
On 6/18/15 Rick Riley from the Traverse Bay Chapter and I met with DNR Upland Bird Specialist Al Stewart and Bryan Stevens from Michigan State University at the DNR RAM Center at Higgins Lake. Among the issues discussed were the need for no fall turkey hunting seasons in both the northern lower peninsula or the upper peninsula. In those areas where fall season occur the starting date should be October 15 instead of the current September opener. Asked about any proposed changes for the spring season (no answer). Turkey numbers are declining statewide with many areas no longer have Wild Turkeys present. What has the DNR done to create or improve turkey habitat on the state forests? (apparently little or nothing). The fallacy of Save The Habitat Save The Hunt.
On 6/20/15 attended the MUCC convention at Gaylord. There were no resolutions concerning Wild Turkeys. We did have input on the various resolutions presented. There are major changes to occur in management of the organization.
On 7/18/15 attended a Northern Lower peninsula Deer Advisory Team meeting at the DNR Gaylord office to discus updating the 2010 Deer Management Plan. The meeting concluded without the entire plan reviewed.