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Reader recalls first turkey hunt in Sanders County

| May 5, 2021 12:00 AM

Editor:

I enjoyed your article about the history of turkeys in Sanders County. I was also surprised about some of the information included.

In 1970 I was assigned to be the Sanders County rep for the Montana State Forester's Office. Among other things, my job was advising private landowners about how best to manage their forest lands for multiple uses.

During my assignment, my youngest son was born in the old hospital at Hot Springs.

I spent a significant amount of time working on the Pilgeram Ranch on Lynch Creek. At that time it included several hundred acres located between there and the current golf course and dump.

Several of the stands that were thinned can still be seen.

One day, walking through the woods, we came across a flock of wild turkey. Mr. Pilgeram told me they had been introduced several years before by the State of

Montana. The flock had grown to perhaps 30-40 birds.

He told me a limited hunting season was finally authorized to thin the flock. Lots of locals knew where the birds roosted.

About dawn, on opening morning, every last bird was shot out of their roost tree in that frenzy surrounding the first legal turkey hunt in Sanders County.

That point was in a timbered area just north the connecting road, about midway between the ranch on Lower Lynch Creek and Highway 200.

Carl W. Haywood, Thompson Falls