As we get through yet another northern Michigan winter, those of us still concerned about the welfare of the Eastern Wild Turkey in the cold and snowy north continue to do what we can to keep the birds going, most of that through our own pocketbooks, but also with the help of the MWTHA.
Although December and most of January was brutal, with extremely deep snow and bitter cold, our birds have continued to show what appears to be a growing ability to withstand long periods of time without adequate nutrition, as many of the birds we have recently located have proven. Ever seen a wild turkey wade an ice cold creek in the dead of winter to forage on winter cress?
Numbers, overall, continue to suffer from the incredible numbers of avian and mammalian predators, the detrimental effects of a growing human population in the north, and perhaps, in areas with fall hunting seasons, too much hunting, not to mention the negative effects a lack of adequate winter nutrition has on a hen’s ability to successfully nest and raise chicks in the spring.
Sadly, as it has been for the last decade, very few seem to recognize the looming threat of the wild turkey’s extirpation in northern Michigan, or to care – their phones and video games are more important, as reflected in our overall declining number of hunters.
Volunteers continue to be few and far between, donations have continued to decline, and interest, overall, in joining together for the benefit of our wild turkey continues to fail.
But some of us continue to try to do what we can for the wild turkey and will continue to do so as long as there is breath in our bodies and birds in the woods. None of us wants the wild turkey to become a thing of the past in northern Michigan. So look at your calendar, find some time to get involved, and do what you can financially to prevent that from happening by renewing your membership in MWTHA and your interest in the future of our hunting sports.
Have a great spring and summer!