Booher's wild turkey management reform signed into law

LANSING — Legislation sponsored by Sen. Darwin Booher to ensure turkey hunting license fees will be used by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for turkey population management has been signed by the governor.

“This new law is about better distributing our limited amount of funds statewide in order to help provide quality habitats for wild turkey and maintain healthy populations,” said Booher, R-Evart. “The reform does not increase turkey hunting license fees in any way. It simply expands the uses for these fees to ensure that wild turkey populations are equally protected and preserved throughout Michigan.”

Public Act 81 expands the use of wild turkey hunting license fees to include creation and management of habitat on state and private land and national forestland. It also includes additional purposes, such as hunter surveys to track populations and disease testing.

The DNR will be required to test a turkey that is suspected by a hunter of having a disease and voluntarily submitted to the department in order to determine what may be affecting the bird.

The legislation was supported by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs and Michigan Wild Turkey Hunters Association.