LEROY — Ivan Giese was a familiar face in Baldwin recently for the 32nd annual Turkey Hunters Rendezvous and State Calling Championships.

The LeRoy resident has been involved with the promotion of turkey hunting in the area for a long time.

In fact, Giese, a member of the Pere Marquette Chapter of the Michigan Wild Turkeys Hunters Association, was a former state turkey association treasurer for 12 years.

He was with the national turkey federation before the local chapter joined the MWTHA.

”We used the money we make to feed the turkeys,” Giese said.

Turkey hunting begins in late April and Giese has a permit for the second season, April 29 to May 5 in this area.

“It’s looking pretty good if I can find the right place. I haven’t been out scouting yet but I’ll start the first of April,” Giese said. “I’ll see where the turkeys are running and get going there.”

Giese started hunting in 1975. He was born and raised in Reed City.

“They’re down in areas,” Giese said. “We don’t have as many as we’ve had. We were feeding corn to 3,000 this past winter. In the hey-day in the late 1990s, we fed about 15,000.”

Last year he bagged a turkey with 1 3/8-inch spurs and a 9 1/2 inch beard, weighing 24 1/2 pounds.

“It’s the joy of being out there and you can call and hear them gobbling,” he said. “Your adrenaline gets up, you can’t wait to see them. The best thing about turkey hunting is being out in the woods and enjoying the wildlife.”

Giese has shot deer during his hunting career but has had other hunts taking him to Copemish where he shot a wild boar.

The biggest buck he’s ever bagged was a 9-pointer. He’s hunted during bow, rifle and muzzleload seasons.

“The deer is way down,” he said. “I didn’t see a buck all gun season last year. I shot a doe during bow season.”

He likes small game hunting also.

“I don’t shoot anything that’s not edible,” Giese smiled.

He’s shot bear and elk before. He’s hoping to go to Minnesota for deer hunting later this year.