We began our survival program on December 26. So far we have purchased 22,000 pounds of shelled corn and have distributed it to 3,134 Wild Turkeys. We have not received as many calls as in past years, probably due to the ban on having food available to the deer. It is possible to furnish corn to turkeys and not to deer through the use of feeder (not he best choice) or by scattering corn out at first light so that each turkey gets a share and none is left on the ground. Any Wild Turkey that does not have a food source will undoubtedly die during this winter.
On 9/17/08 we presented six 25 Minute presentations of our turkey program to about 90 students at the Pine River High School Outdoors Day. On 9/24/08 Bob Jacobson. president of the Michigan Conservation Foundation, and I were able to have a two hour meeting with the new DNR Wildlife Division chief, Russ Mason at the Rose Lake Wildlife Station. Among the items discussed was management of our wildlife and management of wildlife habitat. Dr. Mason is down to earth and it was a pleasure talking to him.
On 9/27/08 we attempted to have our annual fall turkey hunting seminar at Jay’s Sporting Goods at Clare. Despite the advertising that was done three people showed up. This may be our last event. On 10/10/08 we attended Camo Shirt Night at the McBain High School and represented MWTHA at our booth.
On 10/24/08 we attended a meeting of the Friends of the Huron-Manistee National Forest at Houghton Lake. When it was formed by the U.S. Forest Service many years ago we were the first conservation organization to join. It has been in limbo for a few years. At one time the people in attendance would fill a large room. Two people attended this meeting. We were able to address the new forest plan and the detrimental effect it has on many species of wildlife.
On 11/2/08 we attended the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC) meeting at the Harrison Sportsman Club. On 12/3/08 we attended the Michigan Resource Stewards meeting at Clare. We maintain a thread to various conservation organizations with similar interests.
We had the first of our winter chapter meetings on 12/16/08. Twelve items of interest were on the agenda, including planning for the March 28 Rendezvous. On 1/16/09 Bob Jacobson and I met with Scott Whitcomb, the new Pigeon River Country State Forest manager, at Gaylord. Scott is a wildlife biologist. The meeting focused on what is needed now that there is a updated Concept of Management.
This January 23-25 we represented MWTHA at our booth at the Hunting Time Expo in Grand Rapids with the assistance of the Kenowa Beards and Spurs chapter. During all of those years that we have attended this was the most successful both in terms of fund raising and the interest shown of our organization.