Here are the details about the National Wild Turkey Federation, one of the most successful game species-specific organizations in the country.
Wildlife conservation is essential to our nation's natural resources, and there are organizations that are created to specifically ensure the longevity of certain species.
The National Wild Turkey Federation, or NWTF, is one of those organizations that has gone above and beyond to see after the turkey population in the United States.
If you are a turkey hunter, you've surely heard the acronym. If you aren't, or if you're just starting out on your gobbler hunting experience, these are details that have helped the NWTF reach such great heights, and earn the respect of turkey hunters everywhere.
The NWTF's Beginning
The NWTF was founded in 1973 during a time when just over a million wild turkeys were present in the states. They have since helped grow that number to over seven million since the inception of the organization. Through volunteers, due-paying members, professional staff, and committed partners, they're standing behind "science-based conservation and hunters' rights."
In fact, the NWTF has the same mission today they did in 1973:
The NWTF is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.
Now headquartered in Edgefield, South Carolina, the organization stays busy throughout the year doing just that. In fact, their motto is, "Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt."
There are local chapters across the country that hold banquets and fundraising events, which is then put to good use on the conservation side of things.
As the NWTF website says, "Together, we have facilitated the investment of $488 million in wildlife conservation and the preservation of North America's hunting heritage. Our returns have included improving more than 17 million acres of wildlife habitat and introducing 100,000 people to the outdoors each year."
There is also a wealth of knowledge the NWTF provides for new hunters, seasoned hunters, private land owners, and land stewards that goes a long way towards spreading the word, educating the community, and getting people on the organization's side. Tons of articles and videos that explain how to properly manage your property to ensure the growth of the turkey population provide an excellent resource for novice to experienced hunters.
If there is one thing I've learned, it's that utilizing this information will broaden your understanding of these birds and make you a better hunter. There is always something new that can be learned, and the NWTF is there to teach it to you.
What Else Does the NWTF Do?
The NWTF also makes a point to educate the next generation of hunters and land managers through their Jakes Program. This program is a fun interactive way to get youth hunters involved, while also teaching those who aren't hunters the values of conservation.
Let's face it, if we're not making sure the next generation is having an impact on the hunting community, we are diminishing the work that so many have done for decades and the efforts they have given will become obsolete. Thankfully, NWTF members and leadership are working to prevent that.
Another interesting thing they do is host a large annual trade show and convention, typically held in Nashville, Tennessee, where vendors and consumers can interact on a personal level. The convention is huge, and there is nothing more satisfying than knowing there are so many likeminded turkey hunters across this great nation of ours.
Why Turkey Hunting Needed a Federation
Turkey hunting is by far one of the best times spent afield, and these birds make for excellent table fare, too. There is nothing quite like watching the sun creep over the trees, listening to gobbles all around the area, and trying to figure out which bird to set up on. Watching a tom strut into your decoys drumming, spitting, and gobbling is almost more exciting than the harvest itself.
At the end of the day, an organization like the NWTF is on a mission to preserve those moments, and pass the hunting tradition on to our kids and grandkids.
Truthfully, the NWTF has done an excellent job helping wild turkey populations, and is continuing to strive for more work, more accomplishments, and more successful endeavors.
To learn more and find out how you can get involved, check out www.NWTF.org.