Spring turkey hunt around the corner

By Ed Gilbert • Last Updated 10:51 pm on Friday, March 08, 2013

I turned to a person near me and remarked, “You know, I’ve been coming to these events for more than 20 years, and I’ve yet to win one of those guns!”

The guy gave me a rather uninterested glance and remarked, “Well, you’ve got to buy some tickets in order to win.”

Now ain’t it the truth? However, this time I had bought some tickets, but with the same, usual result.

I and a friend were attending the National Wild Turkey Federation Hunting Heritage Banquet on Saturday, March 2, staged by our own Flat River Chapter, and having a very enjoyable time. This year it took place at the St. Joseph’s Parish gym in Belding, and was very well attended.

As usual, our Flat River Chapter pulled the evening off with much success, adding funds to the local and national effort for wildlife habitat.

Fact is, since 1973 the NWTF and its partners across America have raised and invested more than $421 million to conserve 17.3 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife. They have also expended time and money to introduce thousands of people to the outdoors and to improve access to public places.

Last Saturday’s effort by the Flat River Chapter is commendable, and they need to be congratulated for it.

Hey, I may even go to their banquet next year, whether I win one of those guns, or other prizes, or not!

Now, I’ve mentioned all of the above to actually get into what nearly everyone in attendance at the event is really looking forward to. Ah, that is the upcoming spring wild turkey hunt itself.

This year’s hunt runs from April 22 through May 31, with hunts lasting from seven to 39 days, depending on the hunt unit. A total of 114,290 licenses will be available for the spring hunt.

Well, of course I’m looking forward to being out there with many other hunters. However, my luck at turkey hunting is about the same as it has been toward winning a gun in a raffle!

Yes, I’ve had some success at those gobblers, but I must admit that the largest one I ever shot was somewhat of a fluke. I’d had one circle around me for over an hour and couldn’t call it in, so decided to give it up and return to my truck. Guess what? There was that big bird, dusting itself in the two-track beside my truck!

Well, I did let it run a ways before shooting it. Now, you don’t think I’d actually shoot one as it was dusting itself, do you? Anyway, the old boy weighed almost 21 pounds and had 1-inch spurs.

I don’t expect a situation like that to ever occur again, right? Yeah, about as much chance as me wining a gun at one of those outdoor banquets!

But hey, it isn’t really about winning guns or other prizes. Nope, it’s doing our best to help organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation. They deserve our respect and support. Let’s help ’em all we can.

See you in the turkey woods.

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