NWTF events on hold because of COVID

NWTF turkey dinners such as this one in 2019 in Bitely are still on hold in 2021 because of COVID-related issues. (Herald Review file photo)

NWTF turkey dinners such as this one in 2019 in Bitely are still on hold in 2021 because of COVID-related issues. (Herald Review file photo)

BIG RAPIDS -- A well attended event the past several years in January at the Holiday Inn had been the state National Wild Turkey Federation state convention.

But like other events, it’s become a casualty of COVID 19.

Tom Karsten, the NWTF regional director in Michigan, said on Wednesday the convention in person will not take place.

“We’re going to do some virtual online kind of things,” Karsten said. “Right now, we’re just kind of filling in with that and if we can go in person with it, we are going to. We have all those things in place. It’s been a struggle.”

This will mark the first time the NWTF has not had a state convention in about 35 to 40 years, Karsten noted.

“We just couldn’t do it with the restrictions,” he said. “We’re still up in the air.”

The NWTF usually has spring banquets at various places across the state including locations such as Bitely and Hersey.

“Those are on hold until we can do something,” Karsten said. “We have to see about the restrictions. We can comply with social distancing and all that. We have to see how many people we can have and those type of things before we pull the trigger.

“We had a few last summer under tents outdoors and were limited to 100 people. We had a few of those and they were very successful. It was a tremendous amount of work. It’s been a hardship on all the conservation organizations right now.”