NWTF chapter prepares for local event

REED CITY  — The Reed City Crossroads Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation is preparing for its fundraising banquet on April 29 at Eagle Boys Village.

More information is available by contacting regional director Tom Karsten (616) 260-5028 or chapter president Evan Traynor (231) 250-5377.

Both were at the recent National Wild Turkey Federation state convention in Big Rapids.

Karsten had an upbeat report for turkey hunters.

“We’ve been really fortunate to secure a lot of grants this year,” he said. “Our fulltime biologist has secured for us almost $257,000 in habitat grants. We have an assigned biologist in Western Michigan doing a wonderful job.”

The NWTF conducted its annual meeting during the convention. Becky Humphries, a NWTF biologist from South Carolina, and others met the group to help make decisions on how to allocate money to chapters around the state. Projects also were discussed, including mentoring new hunters.

Chapters vary across the state in how much they raise for habitat improvement, a NWTF official, said. From now through the spring will be a big time for chapter fund-raisers, he pointed out.

The NWTF state official said they’ve partnered into various entities with the DNR being the No. 1 partner. The state NWTF contributes funds, which are then matched by the Michigan DNR 10-1. The state NWTF also partners with other organizations including Pheasants Forever, the U.S. Forest Service and Ruffed Grouse Society.

One grant nearing $250,000 was a 17-1 investment by the turkey federation.

It was the eighth year for the convention at Holiday Inn. One major emphasis was trying to get more people involved in hunting.

Turkey hunting season starts next month.

Ryan Boyer is a state NWTF biologist who has been writing the grant applications.