One month before the start of the spring turkey hunting season, members of the Black Mountain Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) met for their annual banquet at the Posen Community Center on March 15.
It was an opportunity for members to get together before the season opener, but most importantly, the event raises money for scholarships, local habitat improvements for wildlife and the ongoing winter feeding food plot programs.
Funds are also used to obtain 3 to 4-foot red splendor crab apple trees and 2 to 3-foot bush cranberry bushes with excellent root growth at very low cost. These trees provide a long-term winter food source for turkeys and other wildlife.
This year’s recipients of scholarships from the Black Mountain Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation are seniors Hannah Materna of Onaway High School and Korynn Hincka of Posen High School.
Members were encouraged to use 6-24-24 fertilizer for enhanced fruit growth and to shelter the trees and bushes from rodents and deer. The chapter also provides domestic turkeys to needy families in this area at Thanksgiving time, provides funds for archery in the schools programs locally and assists in hunter safety classes.
State Rep. Peter Pettalia and DNR wildlife biologist Jennifer Kleitch were guest speakers. Conservation officer Richard Stowe was there with his family, along with a large number of Lafarge officials and their families.
Guests of honor were the two scholarship recipients, senior Hannah Materna of Onaway High School and senior Korynn Hincka of Posen High School.
More than 130 people were in attendance, including many local people as well as others from cities around the state such as Traverse City, Brighton, Rose City, Roscommon and Lapeer. Also there for the evening festivities were some guests from Cedar Falls, Iowa.
All attending veterans were honored and special awards were presented to the youngest veteran present.