Message From Our President
Hello NWTF Michigan-
Thank you volunteers, your hard work and efforts are paying off. I hope everyone is doing great and getting through the winter in good shape. Spring is coming soon, it is already February. Time sure does fly. In January we had a great State Convention with lots of fun handing out awards to chapters and individuals. We also completed “SAVE THE HABITAT- SAVE THE HUNT” SWOT Strategic Plan the first weekend of the year....Read More
Find out more information about NWTF's "Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt." initiative by clicking above.
Brief overview video (4:52)
Imagine a World (2:40)
Click on the image below for Michigan's Turkey Harvest Record
Michigan Quick Links
2013 Michigan NWTF Fort Custer Youth Hunt
Watch a video of last year's youth turkey hunt at Fort Custer. Click here for video.
Wild turkeys carve out place in Michigan
Rives Township, Mich. — The wild turkey’s comeback in Michigan has some crowing, but it’s also ruffling a few feathers.
The sometimes noisy birds are plentiful throughout the state and hunters bag about 40,000 a year. That’s quite the turnaround for the state. By the early 1900s, gobblers and hens had been wiped out by habitat loss and unregulated hunting.
“We went from having lots of wild turkeys to zero turkeys by the turn of the century,” said Al Stewart, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources upland game bird specialist. “Michigan wasn’t alone in this decline of wild turkeys. It was one of the later states to lose their birds.”
Efforts to restore Michigan’s wild turkey population have been so successful, the bird’s numbers have reached an estimated 200,000. To control the number of birds, the state has two hunting seasons annually. The fall season ended Nov. 14.
The return of the birds, which average 20 pounds and can grow up to 4 feet long, has not been welcome by everyone. ...Read more.
Trap-and-transfer effort boosts northern Michigan turkey population
When Michigan began rebuilding its wild turkey population in the 1950s, Allegan County was the center of the effort. Birds were brought in from Pennsylvania and were released there. But as the population grew and expansion became a possibility, Michigan wildlife managers began looking north. ...Read More.
Wild turkeys make history in Michigan!
Spring is just around the corner, and folks are thinking about the coming turkey season, but did you know how far Michigan has really come in the turkey world?
For the first time in history, wild turkeys can be found in every county of the Lower Peninsula plus several areas of the Upper Peninsula. In 1977, only 400 birds were harvested during the season, and today harvest numbers are over 30,000 birds! This success didn't just happen overnight, but over the last half-century. ...Read More.
Stocking allows Michigan to once again talk turkey
When the first European settlers reached what is now Michigan’s Lower Peninsula, wild turkeys were fairly common. These large birds, native to North America, thrived in the mix of hardwood and conifer forests, open meadows, and marshes.
But with the new residents living off the land and turkeys providing a good source of food, and with no management and no conservation measures in place as land was cleared for farming, the long-term outlook for the species was not good....Read More.
DIY turkey fan display: A cheap and easy option for hunters
So you’ve just dropped the hammer on a big ol’ boss tom. If you already have one or more turkeys mounted, adding to that ever-present stack of taxidermy bills for another splurge mount may not be the top priority on your budget list.
Yet you’d still like to honor the memory and striking beauty of the bird you just placed your tag on by displaying his elegant tail feathers on the wall of your den, garage, or workshop. I don’t blame you- a fan display can be an excellent alternative to getting a full mount at only a fraction of the cost....Read more.
Conservation Seed Pickup April 11
The date to pick up Conservation Seed that has been pre-ordered is Saturday, April 11 from 8-5. Seed will be available at Wildlife Seed Supply, 371 S. Osborn Rd., Sumner, 48889. Click here for directions. If seed cannot be picked up during these times on April 11, please contact Ryan Loganbach at (989) 763-1051 to make arrangements.
New this year are recommendations for planting food plots and planting dates from NWTF Biologist Ryan Boyer. These recommendations will increase your success in planting conservation seed this year.
Planting Dates Map
Food Plot Planting Recommendations
Michigan NWTF Announces "Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt." Strategic Plan
Michigan NWTF leaders have released the strategic plan for the "Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt." initiative in Michigan. District workshops will be announced soon to discuss details of the plan and get local chapters involved in implementing it. Click here to see an outline of the strategic plan.
The Michigan NWTF State Sanctioned Turkey Calling Contest, sponsored by the Grand Valley Chapter was held March 21 at the Grand Rapids Ultimate Sport & RV. Check back soon for the winners.
Purchase Your Spring Turkey License Now!
The spring turkey season is just around the corner. Drawing results for the limited-quota hunts were posted March 2. Unsuccessful applicants may purchase one leftover license online or from any license agent. Any limited-quota licenses that remain may be purchased by any hunter, including those who did not apply for a spring turkey license. These licenses will be sold until quotas are met. Hunt 0234 licenses may be purchased any time between now and the end of the season. It is unlawful to obtain or purchase more than one spring turkey hunting license. Click here for the DNR Turkey Hunting Digest. Click here to check drawing results.
Bays de Noc Gobblers, Leaders in Conservation
Each year the NWTF, working cooperatively with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR), contributes more than $300,000 to wild turkey and hunting heritage programs in our State. Even with some diminished numbers nationally, Michigan still ranks 7th overall in hunter success across the nation.
At a more local level, there are several chapters of the NWTF here in the Upper Peninsula including the south-central area, the Bays deNoc Gobblers. With an annual membership hovering between 275 and 300, the “Gobblers” have been an integral part of the statewide success. Read More...
Michigan NWTF Chapter leaders, click here to access forms that might benefit your chapter, including the State Chapter Award Nomination form.
Winter survival of wild turkeys in northern climates and tips on how you can help!
The last two Michigan winters have seen record snowfalls and colder temperatures than we had seen for some time. The Farmer’s Almanac is predicting that the 2015 winter is lining up to be another long and cold winter throughout the northern Midwest. ...Read More
Conservation Groups Improve Habitat
On August 13, 25 crabapple trees originally potted by NWTF members at Rose Lake made their way to the Upper Penninsula courtesy of Pete Demos of the Black Mountain Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Volunteers came from all over Michigan and from different conservation user groups such as the U.P. Whitetails, Ducks Unlimited, Ken Buchholtz representing the Bays de Noc Chapter of the NWTF, AmeriCorps, the Upper Peninsula Sportsmen’s Alliance, the Marquette County Conservation District, and MUCC board members.
They were soon joined by Governor Rick Snyder, Representative John Kivela, DNR Director Keith Creagh, NRC Commissioner J.R. Richardson, DNR Forestry Chief Bill O’Neil, the Governor’s U.P. liason Dave Nyberg and more dignitaries who quickly grabbed shovels and got to work planting the trees to improve habitat in the Grouse Enhanced Management System trail south of Gwinn.
Celebrate your turkey hunting experience with a cooperator patch
The 2015 Wild Turkey Management Cooperator patch is now available for purchase. The patch, designed by Phoebe Talaga from Lake Orion, was unveiled at the 2015 State Convention. The Michigan chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), in partnership with the DNR, coordinates the wild turkey patch program. Proceeds from patch sales are used to fund wild turkey-related projects and management in Michigan.
Young hunters, 17 years old and younger, who have a valid wild turkey hunting license may receive a free patch. To receive a patch, please send name and complete address, along with a legible copy of the youth’s valid wild turkey hunting license, to National Wild Turkey Federation, Wild Turkey Patch Program, P.O. Box 8, Orleans, MI, 48865. Please allow four to six weeks for delivery. If you have questions, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Adult hunters, collectors and other interested individuals may purchase the patch for $5, including postage and handling. Only the current-year patch is available for purchase. You do not have to harvest a turkey to purchase a patch. Send orders to the address above and please make check or money order payable to the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The NWTF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the American wild turkey and the preservation of the hunting tradition. Each year the NWTF, working cooperatively with the DNR, contributes more than $300,000 to wild turkey and hunter heritage programs in Michigan.
For more information about turkey hunting in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/turkey.