Sportsmen battling cold, rainy weather

DNR wildlife biologist Pete Kailing expects a strong turkey hunting season in May. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)

DNR wildlife biologist Pete Kailing expects a strong turkey hunting season in May. (Herald Review photo/John Raffel)

BIG RAPIDS – DNR biologist Pete Kailing has a few words to describe turkey hunting season so far:

“Cold and rainy,” is how he described it. “It’s been an odd spring. Turkey season is in the final month. Hopefully the weather will stabilize. It seems like things are behind a little bit. Morels have been kind of a bust so far, from what I’ve been hearing.

“Turkey hunting has been iffy with the (occasional) rain and cold and wind. With some nice warm days, there’s plenty of turkeys on the landscape for people with the (May) hunt.”

Kailing indicated winter survival for wildlife should be good. There was a period when a foot of freezing snow settled and thickened and stayed for the rest of winter and early spring, making it hard to wildlife to get to food underneath it.

“I did hear reports of some starved deer in the northern part of our area, but generally wildlife came through pretty good,” Kailing said. “Deer will browse more and if there’s some agriculture crops open they may pick through a leftover corn or bean field if it wasn’t plowed under, maple buds or cedar buds if they can find them. If here are any acorns left, they’ll find them and paw through to see if they can find them.”

The DNR is celebrating its 100th anniversary, Kailing said. More details are available on the DNR’s website.