Message From Our President
Hello NWTF Team-
Well, time is flying. I hope everyone had a great spring turkey season and you were successful. I hope your success included taking someone new to turkey hunting, and yes, that’s why we call it hunting, because we come home sometimes without food for the table. As you know, all of us outdoor people sometimes get criticism from people that don’t understand the great heritage/tradition that has been passed along to us. Right now as we speak, anti groups are trying to take our outdoor activities away, whether it be fishing, hunting, trapping or shooting sports. Yes, we do have a battle right now. The Humane Society of United States (HSUS) has opposed us from doing all of the above activities mentioned and we must stand up and take an effort to fight against them. One by one we stand together and fight the fight...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)
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.
Michigan NWTF Chapter leaders, click here to access forms that might benefit your chapter, including the State Chapter Award Nomination form.
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.
2015 Conservation Seed Order Form
New Seed Mixes Now Available!!
New seed mixes have been added to order for a spring delivery. The chapter order form for conservation seed is available in the "Chapter Forms" link in the "Michigan Quick Links" section of this site. The deadline for chapters to order seed is December 1, 2014. The form can also be accessed directly by clicking here. Below is proof that the conservation seed program does work!
I would like to thank you and the NWTF for assistance in producing a great field of sunflowers. We have noticed a growth in the population of bees and of birds in the east field. I am looking forward to what the seeds will bring in.
Dave, thank you for not only the advice about how to sow the sunflowers but also the other crops I have planted. This field was not used for many years and now is producing abundantly corn, pumpkins and of course those lovely sunflowers.
Karsten back with NWTF
The NWTF is pleased to welcome Tom Karsten back to the organization as a regional director in Michigan. Karsten boasts nearly 15 years of prior regional director experience and is excited about resuming this role with the organization.
“Michigan is poised to do great things for the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative with its great NWTF committees, volunteers, partners and staff already in place.”
Karsten has long been dedicated to the mission of the NWTF. He was recognized by the NWTF Michigan State Chapter as the winner of the 1999 Wild Turkey Preservationist Award. In 2005, Karsten was an individual sponsor for the Ninth National Wild Turkey Symposium in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
During his time as a regional director, he created 19 new chapters and worked on many projects such as the Wheelin’ Sportsmen: Let’s ALL Fish Lake Michigan Disability Fishing Recruitment Project.
Karsten's contact information can be found at http://www.nwtf.org/michigan/field_staff.html
Celebrate your turkey hunting experience with a cooperator patch
The Department of Natural Resources encourages hunters to celebrate their 2014 turkey hunting experience by purchasing a wild turkey cooperator patch. 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 email@example.com.
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.