CORRECTION: DNR News: Turkey trouble tips, forest foraging, America's first mosque

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News Digest - Week of April 26, 2021


Check out the new foraging webpages for tips on finding wild, edible treats like morel mushrooms.

An earlier version of today's news digest misidentified the state park featured in the photo ambassador snapshot. The full, corrected release follows.

Some of this week's stories may reflect the impact of COVID-19 and how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has adapted to meet customers' needs and protect public health and safety. We will continue to share news and information about the best ways to enjoy our state's natural and cultural resources.

Follow our COVID-19 response page for FAQs and updates on access to facilities and programs. For public health guidelines and news, visit and

Here's a look at this week's stories:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at

Larger, higher-res versions of the images used in this news digest are available at the end of this email.

Photo ambassador snapshot: Room with a view

photo ambassador pic

Want to see more stunning pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Kevin Roberts at Straits State Park in Mackinac County? Visit to explore photos and learn more about the photo ambassadors! For more on the program, call Stephanie Yancer at 989-274-6182.

Troubles with turkeys? Try these tips


Turkeys live in Michigan year-round, and while wild turkeys hang around through the winter, you might see more activity this spring as they enter breeding season.

If turkeys in your neighborhood are becoming bothersome, try hazing – or scaring – them as well as removing any wildlife feeders that may be out.  

"While many people might feed turkeys because they enjoy seeing them, especially in the winter months, fed turkeys can become comfortable around people and may start to be unwelcome," said Hannah Schauer, DNR wildlife communications coordinator. "If you do have feeders out, make sure they are inaccessible to the turkeys or you may need to remove them altogether."  

You also want to establish your dominance by using some hazing techniques to scare them when they come around, like making loud noises and waving your arms. Don’t be shy – you want to maintain turkeys' natural fear of humans. It’s important for the animals’ safety and helps keep them from becoming a nuisance to people.

Male turkeys, especially during breeding season, become territorial toward other male turkeys – including their own reflection. Songbirds such as robins or cardinals also peck at their own reflection in a window. Cover or disguise your windows to help keep the birds from seeing their reflection. You may also want to park vehicles inside or cover them to prevent damage if a turkey finds its reflection in the paint or shiny hubcaps. 

"If you are in an area where hunting is allowed, you can take advantage of turkey hunting opportunities," said Schauer. "Hunting plays an important role in managing turkeys by regulating their numbers." 

Spring turkey season is open through June 7. Learn about turkey hunting opportunities at

More turkey tips and information on how to handle conflicts with wildlife can be found at

Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.

Bring forest flavors to your plate with new foraging webpages

closeup view of light and dark purple blackberries and leaves

What does summer in Michigan taste like? Pop a fresh, juicy blackberry warmed by the sun into your mouth and find out. Rich morel mushrooms, sweet and smoky maple syrup and intense sumac and juniper are among the flavors you can find when you step into Michigan’s outdoors.

Get in touch with the seasons and bring the flavors of the wild home with the help of a new foraging section on the DNR’s website. These webpages share information about different varieties of wild berries, the basics of maple sap collection for syrup and tips for morel mushroom hunting. 

“Every spring, we get tons of calls and emails asking what you can pick on state lands,” said DNR Land Use Program Lead Matt Fry. “This information will help people forage safely and responsibly.” 

On state-managed lands, the “fruits” of plants may be harvested, including berries, nuts, tree fruits and mushrooms. However, to protect plant species that often take years to grow and reproduce, you may not harvest whole plants. Foods gathered on state lands are for personal use only. Properly identify anything you take from the wild and eat at your own risk. Over time, more information on foraging will be added to the webpages. Soon, you’ll have the tools to turn a tangle of young dandelion greens into an herby quiche, brew a fragrant cup of pine needle tea or grill a swoon-worthy morel mushroom flatbread over hot coals. 

Want to get started? Check out the foraging page for more information and resources.

Have foraging topics you’d like to hear about? Share suggestions with Rachel Coale via email at

ICYMI: Highland Park Mosque history with #ArabAmericanHeritageMonth

highland park mosque

Did you know the first mosque in the United States was founded in Highland Park in 1921? In case you missed it, the Michigan History Center (an agency within the DNR) recently shared a Facebook post on the mosque’s journey from idea to reality. Syrian immigrants (from modern Syria and Lebanon) launched a fundraising campaign in Michigan and across the U.S. to establish the nation’s first mosque in Detroit.

Like many of the city’s newcomers, Syrians had moved to Detroit to work at Ford Motor Company’s Highland Park Assembly Plant. Members of Michigan’s Muslim community contributed to the costs of building the mosque because they wanted Detroit to be a focal point for Islam in America. The Highland Park Mosque opened June 8, 1921, on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the end of Ramadan.

Though the Highland Park Mosque was open only a year, one of its main goals was achieved. Today, southeast Michigan is home to the largest and most diverse population of Arab Americans in the U.S. Want to learn more about Arab American Heritage Month in Michigan? Follow the Michigan History Center on Facebook.


Fishing seasons are open for many species, so grab your rod and 2021 license and get casting! Not sure where to go? Check out our where to fish resources to get started.


Are you new to outdoor recreation? The DNR offers many safety certification opportunities and classes for hunters, boaters, snowmobilers and ORV riders.


We'd like your input on plans for activities like planting, cutting and prescribed burns in Michigan's state forests in 2023. See the comment schedule and forest map

PHOTOS: Larger, high-resolution versions of some of the images used in this newsletter are available below; credit Michigan Department of Natural Resources unless otherwise noted.

Highland Park Mosque: The first mosque in the U.S. was established in Detroit in 1921. Though open just a year, it's a testament to Detroit-area history. Southeast Michigan is home to the largest, most diverse population of Arab Americans in the U.S. 

Blackberries: Spring is a great season for foraging. Whether you're a novice or an expert, check out the new DNR foraging page for information and resources about finding favorites like blackberries.

Morel: Spring is a great season for foraging. Whether you're a novice or an expert forager, check out the new DNR foraging page for more information and resources.

Turkeys: Having turkey trouble? While many people enjoy feeding this species, they can quickly become a nuisance. More turkey tips and information on how to handle conflicts with wildlife can be found at

Stay informed, stay safe: Mask up MichiganDNR COVID-19 response