Each winter Merlin would call to assure that our Wild Turkeys were receiving assistance to insure their survival. As ill as he was Maerlin insisted on going deer hunting. Both he and Carol killed a deer and they processed them themselves. Both Lou and Merlin will be truly missed.

This is being written on January 22. Our winter survival program began on January 4 by making our first purchase of 20,000 pounds of shelled corn. As of January 21 we have distributed it to 3,208 Wild Turkeys scattered throughout our 13 county area, with many more to go. Our turkey numbers continue to be down considerably, as it appears to be throughout the northern lower peninsula.

On July 9 attended a seminar at the RAM Center on the Future of Hunting in America-The Recruitment and Retention by Mark Duda. We had better wake up!

We did not attend the September Sportsmans Day at the state capitol as we had done in the past. This time we were required to pay $90. If memory serves us-we own the capitol building. We are an all volunteer organization who had dedicated 26 years to the wildlife of our state. $90 to set at a table in a hallway? No way!

We attended the MWTHA state chapter meeting on 8/23/09. Among the issues discussed was turkey hunting regulations for 2010, the meeting with Russ Mason, the DNR Wildlife chief, re-affiliation with MUCC among other issues and items.

We were a presenter at the Pine River High School Outdoor Day on September 24. We presented our Wild Turkey program in six 25 minutes sessions. As always, we hope the kids have an understanding and appreciation for those big black birds.

On 11/5/09 we attended the Cadillac area state forest compartment reviews, which included Lake, Osceola, Wexford and Missuakee counties. More of this is found in an article in this issue.

On November 8 we attended a MUCC District 13 meeting at the Lake City Sportsman Club.

On 12/2/09 we attended the board of directors and then the membership meeting of the Michigan Resource Stewards. The Stewards consist of retired natural resources professionals who care for our natural resources. They have the education and background to deal with critical issues.

We attended the Kalkaska state forest compartment reviews on December 3. More on this later.

This past December our chapter retained the affiliation with the Michigan Land Use Institute.

We attended a meeting of the Natural Resources Conservation Service at Big Rapids on December 11. Discussion during the well attended meeting was the Environmental Quality Incentive Program, the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program and the Farm Bill Program.

Our chapter meeting was held on 12/16/09 at Baldwin. Discussion on coming events was held, our winter survival program and reaching a consensus on pending issues, among others.

We attended the MUCC District 13 meeting at the Cadillac Sportsmans Club on 1/10/10. A number of issues were discussed.

Clarification: There have been several calls from MWTHA members concerning the listing in the spring turkey application guide of the Rendezvous and the Traverse Bay workshop. We are listed as chapters of the NWTF. Someone at DNR headquarters did not proof read the guide. We are still with MWTHA. Several years ago the wrong date was listed for the Rendezvous, now that created some problems.

Because of the economy, raffle tickets were not sent to our chapter members. We have no way of knowing who may have lost their job, etc., and did not want anyone to feel an obligation to buy or sell them. if anyone would like raffle tickets for themselves to sell please call Jim Maturen at (231) 832-2575.

It was never our intention to become a large organization but an all volunteer hard core, grass roots conservation organization that has a voice in the management of our state’s natural resources. Each and every member is truly appreciated.

Turkey talk and other stuff