Area NWTF banquet draws capacity crowd

The Bitely-Baldwin chapter of the NWTF had 110 individuals at its recent banquet. (Pioneer photo/John Raffel)

BITELY — Tom Karsten has been a busy National Wild Turkey Federation regional director this spring.

Earlier this month, Karsten was at Merrill Township Hall for the annual banquet of the Bitely-Baldwin chapter of NWTF.

Karsten said the hall had a capacity crowd of about 110.

The evening features dinner, raffles and drawings.

“One of our habitat guys was here about our seed program for landowners,” Karsten said.

He said the Bitely-Baldwin chapter was his last event for the spring.

“I’ve done 29 banquets since Jan. 15,” Karsten said. “I have all of western Michigan, from the Bridge to the Indiana border. That’s about par for the course. I have one more in August I do. Traditionally our banquets are in the spring.”

It’s been an interesting hunting season, which ends on May 31.

“I’m thinking the last season will be good,” Karsten said. “When the hens are finally nesting, the gobblers will come in. The weather hasn’t been very good. You need cool mornings and 60 to 70 degrees in the afternoon, and dry with a high pressure. They gobble better on high pressure days.”


Posted by John Raffel

John is a sports reporter with the Pioneer as well as the Herald Review and The Lake County Star. He also coordinates the weekly Pioneer sports outdoors page. He can be reached at (231) 592-8356 or by email at

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