Long-time Reed City turkey hunter stays active
REED CITY -- No one adores turkey hunting more than Reed City's Jim Maturen.
The Reed City resident has been hunting since the 1960s and was the former president of the Pere Marquette Chapter of the Michigan Wild Turkey Hunters Association.
Maturen enjoys getting up before daybreak, sitting in the woods and listening to the sounds of wildlife and other turkeys.
"I've been out every morning chasing turkeys," he said. "But with the virus, the wife and I are sitting close to home. They allow you to go out early in the morning and sit against a tree prior to daylight. That's where I've been."
The rest of this month serves as the final of three turkey hunting seasons.
"I've been confined pretty much to four different counties," he said. "I'm hitting Lake, Mecosta, Osceola and Newaygo. I'll tell you what, our turkey population is just a fraction of what it used to be. Our turkey numbers are really down. I've got permission to hunt quite a few farm fields and things. You just don't see the turkeys anymore, not like you used to. So far it's been pretty tough."
Maturen has been hunting the current third season.
"It's been cold," he said. "I think you get a morning where it's in the 40s or 50s where it's cool and calm and the turkeys are going to gobble. That's what you want. You don't want much wind. I've been getting up 4:30 every morning and am out there by daylight. (Thursday) morning I had fun. If I heard a turkey gobble, he flies down and shuts up the rest of the day. You'll never hear them.
"I had two gobblers and maybe a jake in the roost. It was the first time the gobbler kept gobbling. The gobbler was just over the hill from me. It was a standoff He won. He wasn't going to budge. But it was fun."
Maturen hunted some of the first seasons in the fall of the 1960s before there was a spring season.
"I hunted that fall season," he said. "I've killed an awful low of gobblers. I've gotten to the point now I just really don't dare if I get one or not. I just enjoy getting there and doing it."