Anyone who has been around the Mio/Fairview area over the last several decades knows that Fairview claims to be the ” Wild Turkey Capitol of Michigan. In fact there is a roadside sign, as you enter Fairview, that makes just that claim.
I shot my first turkey in Fairview and followed that with five more birds over the next 10 years or so. My brother Darryl and his son Derek had also done quite well hunting this turkey mecca of the north. Then about 20 years ago the birds started disappearing. We knew the DNR was live trapping birds and sending them downstate, but we never dreamed it would turn Fairview into a “no turkey” zone. There had to be other factors causing such a major decline in the “Turkey Capitols” lack of turkeys!
We used to drive through downtown Fairview and see turkeys in people’s yards, the high school front lawn, and in the church parking lot. Very rare to see a bird in the area anymore.
I just came back from around that area and asked a guy (Tim) who owns 78 acres, if he turkey hunted. He said he used to, but there aren’t any birds anymore. He and his wife said they had not seen a bird on their property for over 4 years. Others have the same story! What the heck happened? I know one thing; I think it’s time the highway sign came down and was replanted somewhere in the southern corn belt counties.
I have a place 15 miles south of Fairview and see birds on a pretty regular basis, but not like it used to be. I do hear a lot of “Yotes” hollering at night as I set around our campfire. I’m sure they take out quite a few birds and their numbers seem to be on the rise. All I know for sure is the old “Turkey Capitol” days are gone, and I don’t think there coming back!