Talkin' Turkey - SB 412 clears House committee

This past week, the House Natural Resources Committee, chaired by Representative Frank Foster (R – Petoskey), passed Senate Bill 412, a bill dealing with the expenditure of turkey license fees.
SB 412, sponsored by Senator Darwin Booher (R – Evart), would do the following:
  • Clarify that the expenditure of turkey license fees by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources shall be used for:
    • The creation and management of wild turkey habitat on state, national, and private forestland;
    • Annual wild turkey hunter surveys; and
    • Disease testing for wild turkeys suspected of having a disease and voluntarily submitted to the DNR.
  • Require the DNR, before January 1st of each year, to provide the House and Senate natural resources committees a report detailing the expenditures for the prior year.
The bill language in its original form was supported by the Michigan Wild Turkey Hunters Association (MWTHA), but it was opposed in some places by the Michigan Chapter of the Nation Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), mainly on the need for population surveys and random disease testing.
The compromise agreed to will have the DNR include questions about number of turkey viewed by hunters in the department’s annual turkey hunter survey to help give them a better idea of population trends.
The department will also include more information on the DNR’s website for the current voluntary disease testing program, and will include information on the disease testing program in the Wild Turkey Hunting Digest. The bill also puts into statute the current DNR practice of disease testing wild turkeys suspected of having a disease.
For more on wild turkey hunting in Michigan, visit the DNR webpage.
Click here to see turkey season video from Michigan

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