NWTF convention set for Jan. 21 in Big Rapids

BIG RAPIDS — The National Wild Turkey Federation will be having its annual convention in Big Rapids again this year at the Holiday Inn on Saturday, Jan. 21.

It’s been in Big Rapids eight years, said NWFT regional director Tom Karsten, of Caledonia.

NWFT officers from the national office in South Carolina will be at the event.

“We’ll have some seminars,” Karsten said. “Ryan Boyer, our NWTF Michigan biologist, will be there. Our (archery) coordinator will be there and also Al Stewart (upland game specialist) from the DNR.”

The event opens Friday with the 6-11 p.m. hospitality session.

On Saturday, the Michigan State chapter board meeting is set for 9 a.m. The sessions, featuring Boyd, Stewart and NWTF Regional 3 coordinator Steve Sharp will be 2 to 3:30 p.m. The doors open at 4 p.m. for the banquet and awards dinner, silent and live auctions, raffles and games.

More information is available by calling (269) 792-9587 or by going to the state chapter’s NWTF Facebook page.

Karsten cited NWTF literature that notes the organization has had a nationwide 10-year Save The Habitat, Save Hunt initiative that covers an effort to conserve for million acres of upland habitant and also provide access to 500,000 acres and recruits up to 1.5 million hunters.

The literature notes the Michigan State plan highlights conserving 52,360 acres, creating 10,000 acres of access and bringing in 200,000 hunters which is intended to help reach the national goal.

Michigan NWTF officials notes that in 2016, the state chapter averaged a 17-1 match in all local landscape habitat projects. Officials added that in 2016, the NWTF completed over $250,000 of habitat work partnering with various organizations to conserve 7,882 acres.