Turkey Hunting Season in Michigan – An Experience You Can’t Miss

Today, guest blogger Katie Keen, the wildlife outreach technician from the DNR in Cadillac tells us what you should expect hunting for turkey in Michigan this spring.

SPRING TURKEY SEASON!

kalkaska county opening

Turkeys enjoying a managed wildlife opening on public land in Kalkaska County.

Those three words make me smile ear to ear!  Everything looks so different in the early spring.  With the snow finally gone revealing the earth below, you can really see every contour of the ground. Without the raspberries, nettle and other thick vegetation hiding the forest floor, it’s like a whole new playground to explore.

Turkey season is on my mind.  We had turkeys moving through our property all winter.  We’d see the highway of turkey tracks, the scratching in the beech and maple leaves, and a group of turkeys in our neighbor’s corn field looking for any kernels left from the fall harvest.  So now I’m wondering; where are they?  With the snow gone and the thick layer of leaves everywhere I’m having a harder time finding the turkey evidence.

I’m ready, though!  In exchange for some honey I harvested last fall from my bees, I’ve asked the neighbors if I can chase turkeys on their property if those toms decide to try lose me at my property line.  I’ve also gotten my turkey license, which is another topic that gets me excited.

Did you know that anyone who wants to hunt a turkey in Michigan can?

 Turkeys can now be found in every county in Michigan, and everyone has the opportunity to turkey hunt.  Michigan has several turkey seasons for you to choose from.  Some you do have to apply for in advance because there are more hunters then turkey licenses available.  Anyone can hunt turkeys from May 4 – 31, in what’s called Hunt 234.   Hunt 234 is a great, flexible option for hunters who may want to hunt in many different places and who want more than 7 days to find those turkeys.  Mi-Hunt is a great mapping program that you can use to look for public land in Michigan that is open to hunting.  With over 4 million acres of public land available, Mi-Hunt allows you to build your adventure at home from your computer!

mi-hunt_orangelogo_graytarget_nobkrd

patjoshturkey_01

Father (Pat McKenna) and son (Josh McKenna) turkey hunting together in Gladwin County.

 The turkey story in Michigan is truly amazing – our state has made huge strides in wildlife management.  Like most states across the nation, there was a time when today’s common animals were either gone completely, or very hard to find.  Wild turkeys were once a rarity in Michigan.  As you can imagine, the late 1800’s were a different time than the time we live in now.  Grocery stores weren’t on the corner, families were clearing land for settlements and hunting regulations were unheard of.  Now, everything has changed.  Most importantly in the arena of regulations and funding.  The Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (aka the Pittman-Roberson Act of 1937) was enacted. A national coalition of conservationists, backed by the sporting arms and ammunition industry, persuaded Congress to direct an excise tax on those items to a special fund for wildlife restoration.  With a lot of hard work and dedication in the 1950s, the turkey population was reestablished.  

 If you’ve ever thought about giving turkey hunting a try, this is your year!  Turkey hunting provides good healthy local protein that you can harvest yourself in a very interactive hunt.  You can use a call to sound like a turkey and get one to answer you back!  How fun is that?

So when you are crawling on your belly, trying to sneak up on some gobbling toms remember:  Only a few decades ago, turkeys were hard to find and only a few people got to hunt them!  Today, everyone has a chance!

thumbnailGovDKatie Keen is a wildlife outreach technician for the DNR in Cadillac, who spends her working hours with hunters, landowners, educators and media representatives to help with their DNR-related needs. In her, spare time she is a wife and mother who loves to be outdoors and educate folks about the DNR.

Eight Answers to Your Michigan Wine FAQs

Cheers! April has been named Michigan Wine Month, and we’re ready to raise our glass. Michael Schafer Esq., The Wine Counselor, answers some of the most frequently asked questions about Michigan wineries

Photo courtesy of The Wine Counselor

Photo courtesy of The Wine Counselor

What are some of your favorite wine trails throughout Michigan?
There are so many great options to choose from. Each of the trails offer unique opportunities to enjoy Michigan’s world-class wines. While the most famous are the Leelanau Peninsula Wine Trail and the Old Mission Peninsula Trail, the Southeast Michigan Pioneer Trail, the Lake Michigan Shore area and the Bay View Trail are fascinating and fun as well.

Photo courtesy of The Wine Counselor

Photo courtesy of The Wine Counselor

When do think the best time of year for wine tasting in Michigan is?
The best time of year for tasting Michigan wines is all year round! Our wines are so varied and different, they’re delectable all the time. The prettiest time of year for visiting wineries is in the fall, but April is Michigan Wine Month and the Michigan Wine Showcase April 20, 2015 is a fantastic opportunity to sample wines from all over the state.

If someone had never been wine tasting in Michigan before, where would you recommend they go first?
I suggest they enjoy the area closest to them and then explore from there. If they’re on a quest to taste our wines and distance isn’t a factor, the Leelanau Peninsula would be my first choice.

What makes Michigan wines unique?
Three factors make Michigan wines unique. 1. Our locations, or terroir (a French word used to describe the grapes’ neighborhood) close to many lakes and rivers in addition to our proximity to the Great Lakes. 2. We’re between the 41st and 47th parallels of the earth. This is the same latitude as Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley and the Piedmont region. All of these areas are world-famous for producing great wines.3. The hardworking  Michiganders who grow the grapes for our creative Michigan winemakers to make the wine.

Photo courtesy of The Wine Counselor

Photo courtesy of The Wine Counselor

What would people be surprised to learn about Michigan wine or wineries?
The Michigan wine business originally started in the Monroe area, close to the Ohio border. It moved to the “fruit belt” of Western Michigan, now known as the lake Michigan Shore area.

What’s your favorite Michigan wine?
The one that’s currently in my glass!

Where can people go to taste & learn about Michigan wines?
The Michigan Wine Showcase on April 20 at the Rattlesnake Club in Detroit is a fantastic opportunity to learn about Michigan wines. More information can be found at www.michiganwines.com/showcase.

Where can people go to learn more?
A  wonderful resources are Michiganwines.com.  There is a plethora of information on this easy to use website.

Watch Michael tell us more about how Michigan wines are made below. 

Michael SchaferMichael Schafer Esq., The Wine Counselor®, is the charismatic speaker, educator, Sommelier, CSW, CCTP, writer and consultant who entertains while educating. His humorous and fun approach is reflected in his trademark phrase “I taste bad wine so you don’t have to”®. Whether training restaurant teams, conducting private tastings, or customizing a wine event, Michael demystifies wine and leaves his clients laughing and learning! WineCounselor.net

 

Five Reasons to Make South Haven Your Next Summertime Getaway

Home to some of Michigan’s oldest resorts and bed and breakfasts, South Haven is where summer fun begins. Experience its beachtown history, maritime heritage, wineries and numerous art galleries. South Haven Visitors Bureau explains why it’s easy to make this West Michigan gem your new summer tradition.

Photo by Keshia Lynn Stone

Photo by Keshia Lynn Stone

Imagine a place where you can embrace the small town charm with more than 70 upscale shops, cafes, restaurants and boutiques. Enjoy the warm summer sun on one of seven beaches. Feel the gentle breezes as you leisurely walk the pier of the often-photographed historic lighthouse. Experience the Great Lakes’ rich heritage in the Maritime District. Sail Lake Michigan on a tall ship or cruise the harbor on an old-fashioned water taxi. Travel Blue Star Highway where artisans, galleries and antiques converge on a 16-mile stretch of scenic roadway, and celebrate the bountiful harvest at plentiful year-round farmers markets and wineries.

Though we don’t think it will take much convincing, here are five reasons to make South Haven your next summertime getaway.

Seven Public Beaches – One for each day of the week

Photo by Jamie Garvison

Photo by Jamie Garvison

South Haven is known for beautiful, sandy beaches that stretch for miles. Our visitors love to experience a different beach each day of week. Choose from family-friendly beaches with playground equipment or secluded beaches perfect for that perfect romantic sunset, or if you’re up for some water play you’ll love that you can rental paddleboards, kayaks, jet skis, sailboats, and fishing boats.

Beautiful Scenery – Wooded bike trails, dunes for hiking, scenic drives, and a Covered Bridge

No matter where you go, whether it’s a stroll downtown eating an ice cream cone or biking the 34 mile Kal-Haven Bike Trail or a leisurely paddle down the Black River; the natural scenic beauty will take your breath away.

Shopping in Downtown South Haven – The river runs through it

The greatest part about shopping in South Haven is the family-owned, one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques you’ll discover. From resort wear to cottage decor stores to fudge, ice cream and everything in between; South Haven’s downtown is alive with activity – year ‘round! The best part is that it is only a stone’s throw from Lake Michigan beaches,  and several stores are located in Old Harbor Village, right on the river.

Photo by Jamie Garvison

Photo by Jamie Garvison

Wine Lovers and Foodies love Van Buren County

If you love dining, wine tasting and tours, there are fabulous restaurants and a dozen wineries in the area. Sample at St. Julian Winery in Paw Paw, a scenic 35 minute drive from South Haven, and you’ll experience the history and flavor of Michigan as an emerging wine capital! St. Julian Winery is Michigan’s Oldest, Largest and Most Awarded Winery.

South Haven is walkable and convenient

Enjoy a mile walk on South Haven’s exclusive HarborWalk which extends from the Lighthouse on the South Pier around the harbor to the North Pier. Along the way, take in South Haven’s Historic Markers to see the many ways maritime history is woven into the story of South Haven.

Whether you’re coming to visit for a day or a week; you’ll go home with treasured memories from South Haven and Van Buren County that will last a lifetime!