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Categorized | Outdoors

Attention Michigan Hunters: Have a Heart?

DETROIT, Mich. — The National Wild Turkey Federation and medical researchers at Wayne State University (WSU) are asking Michigan’s hunters to donate the hearts of harvested wild turkeys for research to study heart disease and congestive heart failure.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the U.S., according to WebMD.com. Researchers are hopeful that tests using wild turkey hearts could lead to medical breakthroughs for combating heart problems in humans.

“A certain mutation in the heart of a wild turkey lowers the incidence of heart disease and congestive heart failure,” said Tim Kwiecien, a WSU pre-medical student researching with Dr. J-P Jin, professor and chairman of Physiology at the WSU School of Medicine. “By taking a few extra minutes to donate the hearts of harvested wild turkeys for our research, turkey hunters can help us understand more about heart disease among humans.”

To see a wild turkey anatomy diagram, step-by-step instructions for removing the heart from a harvested wild turkey and storage and shipping instructions, visit http://www.nwtf.org/images/2010_turkey_hearts.pdf.

“When hunters and outdoor enthusiasts see an opportunity to improve the lives of others, we try to be first in line to help,” said Steve Sharp NWTF regional field supervisor in Michigan. “The NWTF’s outreach programs including Turkey Hunters Care, JAKES, Women in the Outdoors and Wheelin’ Sportsmen NWTF put smiles on thousands of faces in Michigan and nationwide. Helping with heart research at Wayne State University is just another opportunity for us to lend a hand.”

Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $306 million to conserve 14 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

For more information about using wild turkey hearts for educational research, contact Tim Kwiecien at ci9143@wayne.edu.

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