Learn About Wild Turkeys at the Highlands Bird & Nature Club Meeting September 12


The Highlands Bird and Nature Club’s monthly meeting is Monday, September 12.   The presentation at this meeting will be on the status of wild turkeys in this area and the efforts to increase the population.

Mike Puffenbarger will speak.  He is a turkey hunter, a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation and a member of the Federation’s Hall of Fame.

“We’re going to talk a little bit about habitat, about turkey numbers and what the National Wild Turkey Federation has done to improve habitat and turkey populations throughout the country,” says Puffenbarger.  “We will have Cully McCurdy with us.  We are privileged to have him.   He is the Biologist for Virginia, West Virginia and also North Carolina now for the National Wild Turkey Federation.  He is the expert on facts and figures.”

“We have about ten or eleven life size turkeys mounted that we’ll show,” says Puffenbarger.  “We have all the species of the United States there, called a Grand Slam, that we can show the differences of what they look like.  The four species of turkeys that are in the United States, when you harvest them, it’s called a Grand Slam.  There’s the Merriam from Northwest Nebraska, Rio from Central Kansas, Osceola from Florida and the Eastern Turkey, which is what we have here in Virginia, West Virginia, Carolinas and Ohio.”

A number of things can contribute to decline in turkey populations.

“Overhunting, predators, just not a good hatch, food sources,” says Puffenbarger.  “We are seeing in certain areas increase and in other areas, decrease.  Being from the hunting end of it, and tied to management too, and of course calling Cully in to give us a hand, I think we’ll get to see both sides of it and give a presentation of how we manage wild turkey and how we try to further the growth in places where they are declining.”

The Highlands Bird & Nature Club Meeting is Monday, September 12, at Southernmost Maple Products in Bolar.  It is open to the public.  Dinner is available for $12 per person and it begins at 6:30pm.  To make a reservation for the meal, call Patti at 540-474-3245.  The presentation begins at 7pm.

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Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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