Wild Turkey Cooperator Patch Program



The Wild Turkey Cooperator patch program was initiated in 1988 as an incentive for hunters to voluntarily check their wild turkeys at one of the field office check stations. Starting in 1992, rather than checking birds in the field, hunters were offered the opportunity to receive a patch by mailing the wing-tip feathers and breast feathers from their harvested bird to the Rose Lake Wildlife Laboratory. Wildlife biologists examined the feathers to determine sex and age.

Unfortunately, as turkey patches became collectable items, some people falsely submitted feathers solely to receive a patch. This practice jeopardized the credibility of the data, making it necessary to end the cooperator patch program. Our researchers believe that our mail survey process will continue to provide us with accurate biological information.

Fortunately, beginning in 2002, the Michigan chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), in partnership with the DNR, initiated a new Michigan wild turkey patch program. This program allows you to help design the turkey patch!

Michigan's wild turkey patch program is coordinated by the Michigan Chapter of NWTF and turkey patches are obtained through this organization. Young hunters, ages 10-17, who have a valid wild turkey hunting license may receive a free patch. Adult hunters, collectors and other interested individuals may purchase the patch for $5, which includes postage and handling. 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, Michigan 48865

Individuals who are purchasing the patch should make their check or money order payable to the National Wild Turkey Federation. You do not have to harvest a turkey to purchase a patch.

The NWTF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the American wild turkey and the preservation of the hunting tradition. Proceeds from patch sales will be used to fund wild turkey-related projects in Michigan. 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 on patches, e-mail michiganwildturkeypatch@yahoo.com.

2014 Winner

The Michigan state chapter would like to congratulate our 2014 winner, Phoebe Talaga.  Phoebe's design is the basis for the 2015 patch.  She was recognized and presented with a prototype of the patch at the November 2014 NRC meeting in Lansing, and was formally recognized with the award at the Michigan state convention on January 17, 2015.