Turkey Hunters Rendezvous set for Saturday

BALDWIN — The Pere Marquette Chapter of the Michigan Turkey Hunters Association will have the 34th annual Turkey Hunter Rendezvous on Saturday at Baldwin High School.

Doors open at 8 a.m. and the event begins at 9 a.m. There will be vendors, exhibits, door prizes, calling and hunting clinics, gun and silent raffles.

Pere Marquette chapter member Jim Maturen indicated the format of the event will be similar to those of the past.

“We’ll have a representative from the DNR speak and let us know of any projects that are going on,” Maturen said. “We keep real busy there.

“We hold the event so we can make money and the following year we support turkeys through the wintertime. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have any.”

The Michigan State Turkey Calling Championships are set for early afternoon. Later in the day, the eventing goes north to the Baldwin VFW grounds for a turkey shooting with shotguns. That will be followed by a turkey supper and evening program.

“From the rendezvous last year,” Maturen said, “we bought 15,000 pounds of corn and supported 2,866 turkeys that we distributed corn to. That’s in partner with our local residents. That would include Mecosta, Osceola and Lake counties and the counties surrounding it.”

The entire event usually attracts more than 200 individuals.

“A lot of these guys and even some of the gals have been coming for 20 years and they look forward to the camaraderie and the fun we have,” Maturen said. “I’ve tried to keep our events (financially) within reason.”

Turkey season starts next month.

“Our turkey population has been going down, down, down,” Maturen said. “We had this terrible winter last winter and lost a lot of turkeys. But it seems like for the first time in a long time, we had a pretty good hatch of birds. Maybe hunters will find more birds out there than they have the past two years.”

For more information on the Baldwin event, contact Maturen at (231) 832-2575.