Lakecaster Online

Turkey hunting in Polk County
Provided by Texas Parks and Wildlife Dept.

 

The springtime gobble of the Eastern wild turkey has returned to Polk County. The wild turkey abundant in Polk County in the 1800's was reduced to low numbers by the 1920's. Unregulated hunting and the need for wood products to fuel this countries growth, had a devastating impact on this majestic bird.

Attempts by Texas Parks and Wildlife to bring the wild turkey back to Polk County failed in the 1940's and 1950's. Professional land managers from across the nation put their minds together and developed a plan to bring this beautiful bird back to Polk County and other states across the south.

The plan proposed by the national Wild Turkey Federation would later be called Target 200. Texas Parks and Wildlife began moving the wild turkeys to East Texas in 1989 from donor states such as Missouri, Georgia, Iowa, Wisconsin and Alabama. By 1998, 8,000 wild turkeys were released in 57 East Texas counties at a cost of $4 million.

Pok County received over 280 wild turkeys at a cost of $150,000. This money was principally funded with the Texas Parks and Wildlife's wild turkey stamp program.

The Texas Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation funded releases and transportation cost for many of the birds.

To celebrate this landmark conservation achievement, a group of Polk County conservationists headed by Buck McClain have organized and formed the Polk County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. This group of businessmen realizes what a tremendous opportunity the people of their county have with the return of the wild turkey, and have vowed to be players not spectators.

According to chapter President Buck McClain, "So much has been contributed from many Texans and folks from other states to make this restoration effort a reality. We are determined to do our part to insure that wild turkeys are successful in Polk County. This chapter will help bring together the people who love wildlife and hunting into a solid conservation group to benefit all wildlife and help protect our hunting heritage." Other committee members include Kristy McClain, Tracey Kincade, Gary Davis, Jason Pedigo, Jim Miller, Clark Ogletree, and Gary Don Murphy.

The committee is planning a great dinner cooked by committee members Bobby Smith and Todd Gardner. There will be many auction items and chances to win an NWTF shotgun. The banquet date is set for April 6 at the VFW on US Hwy. 59 North. Call chapter President Buck McClain at (409) 327-7762 for tickets and information.

To help raise money and conserve and manage the wild turkey population in Polk County, join the National Wild Turkey Federation team.

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