The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is one of the leading conservation organizations in the nation.
Each year local NWTF chapters donate tens of thousands of dollars and countless hours for the betterment of habitat, hunting heritage and traditions.
You don’t have to look far and wide to see the NWTF at work.
In West Virginia alone the NWTF has spent over 9 million dollars for land acquisition and habitat improvement. In just the last couple of months the state chapter of the NWTF has pledged $50,000 toward the purchase of public land in Logan and Mingo Counties.
This new land purchase wasn’t even billed as property dedicated for turkey hunting. It is to be part of the 32,000 acres that is being purchased in conjunction with the new Elk Restoration Program and may well be the center piece of the program. Coincidentally, the property just happens to be prime turkey hunting area and will become public hunting with or without the elk.
While the Federation’s main focus is always on turkeys and turkey hunting, they are far from being narrow minded in their approach and focusing only on the fabled thunder chicken. The NWTF is always willing to support projects that enhance, improve, and promote hunting in general and opportunities associated with it.
Just a few of the programs supported by NWTF contributions and efforts include protection of the golden-winged and cerulean warbler, ruffed grouse, hunter education training and The
National Archery in the Schools Program, just to name a few. All of these programs in some way will benefit the wild turkey, whether it is through enhancing habitat that benefits multiple species or creating hunters who will ultimately help watchdog the future of big birds.
Just in our own community the NWTF has several chapters that stay hard at work supporting the mission of the national chapter and helping their very own communities. The Logan Area Chapter keeps busy year round hosting events ranging from their annual fishing day, guided hunts for kids, women in the outdoors workshops, and even hosting an annual Wheeling Sportsman’s hunt.
They also help their community by donating hams and turkeys to various food pantries and churches during the holidays.
Neighboring Chapters like the Jack Martin Chapter in Pineville and the Mingo Beards and Spurs in Williamson are serving their communities as well with many outreach programs of their own including scholarships, and habitat programs.
The NWTF couldn’t do any of it without the support of its nearly 500,000 members nationwide. Each local chapter hosts a hunting heritage banquet to raise money to support the goals of the NWTF. It is through these banquets that they generate most of the resources used to support all of the endeavors undertaken by the local, state and National chapters.
If you have not been to one of these events you should make it a point to go. The price of the ticket includes a one year membership, a great meal, admission to their various games, and a live and silent auctions held at the event.
You definitely don’t have to be a turkey hunter to enjoy the family friendly atmosphere and the auctions always contain a variety of items that appeal to every taste. Just this year the event features everything from fine art prints, to housewares, outdoor and indoor furnishings, and even jewelry!
What makes it even better is that all of the proceeds go to a great cause and are used to support a variety of programs that help not only the wild turkey but many other species as well.
If you have been thinking about attending a NWTF event, the Logan Area Chapter will be holding their annual banquet on March 5th at Special Occasions event center in Logan. For more information feel free to contact Doyle or Linda Gore at 304-239-2025.
If you are closer to Williamson, the Mingo Beards and Spurs will be holding their event on June 6th, 2016 contact Harold Davis (304-475-4641) for more information. If you are going to be near Pineville on April 9th, 2016 plan on attending the Jack Martin Chapter event. Give Kenny Stiltner a call to get signed up at 304-732-6585.
If you don’t get what you want at your local event, you can always visit any of the chapters banquet for another shot. Each banquet is a little different, but they are definitely a good time.
You never know, after attending an event or two maybe you will get the bug and want to become a volunteer yourself.
— Roger Wolfe is an Outdoor Columnist for Civitas Media. He can be reached at [email protected]