NWTF Crossroads chapter draws more than 100 to hunting heritage banquet

HERSEY — The turkey season ended on May 31

But recently, at the Crossroads Hunting Heritage banquet in Hersey, the focus was on habitat improvement

Tom Karsten, regional director for the National Wild Turkey Federation, said this was the fourth annual banquet for the Reed City area chapter.

“We usually get around 80 to 100,” Karsten said. “(This year) we’re at 115 or 120, so we’re up this year.”

The focus of chapters like Crossroads’ “is to save the habitat, save the hunt,” Karsten said. “We raise money for habitat and our hunting tradition.”

That’s includes a jakes event the chapter has set for the Reed City Sportsman’s Club on June 11 with registration 9-9:30 am. Activities include rifle, shotgun and archery events. The event is free to youngsters, ages 8 to 17. More information is available by calling Marshall Wickens at (231) 829-4017.

“It will be a free shooting day for kids,” Karsten said.

Evan Traynor, of the Crossroads chapter, said the event has proven to be popular with the displays, raffles, silent actions, dinner and other activities.

“I think people like the fact that the (money) goes back to the habitat,” Traynor said. “Our chapter caters a lot to the kids, too. There’s some specific kids’ games. I think it’s the quality of the dinner, the event itself.”

Traynor attended the NWTF state convention in January in Big Rapids. Saturday’s event marked the fourth chapter-related dinner he’s attended.

“There are a lot of turkey hunters here, but it overlaps,” he said. “A lot of them are hunters in general. It’s that type of event they like coming to. It’s also currently turkey season.”

Traynor hunted in April.