AUTHOR: Tereasa Nims for the Daily News

Guns, food, camaraderie and sharing stories of turkey hunting drew about 200 people to the 23rd annual Wild Turkey Banquet at the Clare Church of Nazarene on March 2.

Mike King, of Coleman, enjoyed entering to win one of the many guns available for raffle, which included rifles, pistols, a crossbow and a muzzleloader.

King and his wife, Cynthia, enjoy attending the event. Cynthia said she isn’t a hunter like her husband, but she enjoys coming out with him.

Brad Davis, president of the North-Central Michigan Chapter of the Michigan Wild Turkey Hunters Association (MWTHA), which sponsors the banquet, said that the annual family event draws members and visitors from Midland, Clare, Gladwin and Isabella counties.

“Our goal is to ensure survival of Michigan’s wild turkey through the severe winters,” Davis said.

The North-Central chapter strategically places feeders and helps provide food for the turkeys. In 2018, the chapter distributed 12 tons of corn for the feeders.

“Without the food, they die off rapidly,” Davis said.

Davis said that the MWTHA’s mission is promoting conservation and future success of the wild turkey of Michigan, ensuring survival of the animal through winter, and funding habitat projects in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

MWTHA also promotes law enforcement efforts to reduce wild turkey poaching and more.

Read the rest of the story and see more photos at the Midland Daily News. Photo by Tereasa Nims/for the Daily News

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