Last week, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the National Wild Turkey Federation gathered with other partners, volunteers and individuals to celebrate the opening of the first Turkey Tracts hunting area, located at Allegan State Game Area in Allegan County.
Sadly, the new Turkey Tracts kiosk, which is a large information station built by volunteers, thoughtlessly was vandalized and destroyed Friday night. It stood for only a few days.
“Vandalism on state game areas not only destroys the hard work of volunteers and partner organizations, but can hinder the ability to make improvements on the game area,” said Maria Albright, DNR wildlife technician. “Hunter license dollars may end up being spent making repairs from the destruction of public property instead of making improvements for all users to enjoy.”
The kiosk included helpful information for hunters visiting the Turkey Tract, such as maps of the area, project sponsors and information on turkey habitat management.
The destruction of the Turkey Tract kiosk is not the first case of vandalism to the Allegan State Game Area. Gates, protecting important wildlife habitat improvements from being damaged, have been torn out of the ground and sometimes even stolen completely.
“These gates are very costly to repair and replace,” added Albright. “Not to mention the cost of damage to wildlife habitat.”
Anyone with information regarding these incidents is asked to call the 24-hour DNR Report All Poaching (RAP) line at 800-292-7800. Information may be left anonymously.
Turkey Tracts are unique turkey hunting areas across the Lower Peninsula that provide great hunting opportunities for a variety of hunters, including youth, adults new to the sport, and seniors. Learn more about hunting turkey in Michigan at mi.gov/turkey.