Young Turkey Hunters Eligible For Free Patch

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Michigan Department of Natural Resources officials today reminded young turkey hunters to get their 2002 wild turkey management cooperator patch. It's free to all youth, ages 12-17, who have a valid wild turkey hunting license.

The colorful patch is available to young hunters, even if they're unsuccessful in bagging one of the big birds, thanks to a new partnership between the DNR and the Michigan Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. The NWTF also hopes to sell the patch for $5 to adult hunters, collectors and other interested individuals, with proceeds used to fund wild turkey-related projects in Michigan.

The DNR initiated the wild turkey management cooperator patch in 1988, but ended the program in 2001 because the research information could be collected from mail surveys at a much lower cost.

"Partnering with the NWTF to continue the turkey patch program will encourage youngsters to carry on Michigan's hunting traditions," said Al Stewart, DNR upland game bird specialist.

To receive a patch, please send name and complete address, along with a legible copy of the youth's valid wild turkey hunting license, to National Wild Turkey Federation, Wild Turkey Patch Program, P.O. Box 8, Orleans, MI 48865. Adult hunters must make their check or money order payable to the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Founded in 1973, the NWTF has become a 390,000-member organization dedicated to the conservation of the American wild turkey and the preservation of the hunting tradition. The NWTF has worked cooperatively with the DNR since the early 1980s and now contributes more than $300,000 each year to wild turkey management and hunter-heritage programs in Michigan.