The wild turkey was on the verge of becoming an endangered species in late 1960s and early 1970s. Things started to change when an avid turkey hunter who was having trouble pursuing his favorite sport decided to do something about the problem. Thus began what many federal and state government agencies believe is the most successful wildlife conservation story in North America's history. Take this quiz on the NWTF to learn more about this organization.
According to nwtf.org, the National Wild Turkey Federation is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. The NWTF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the wild turkey and preserving the American hunting heritage.
The Bass Anglers Sportsmen Society (BASS), headquartered in Montgomery, Alabama, was started in 1968 when its founder decided he wanted to restore the bass population to sustainable levels, improve the environment and leave a heritage of bass fishing for future generations.
The Bass Anglers Sportsman Society was started by Ray Scott. Scott worked with local officials, volunteers and other anglers interested in the same ideals and developed a one-of-a-kind national organization.
Tom Rodgers established the National Wild Turkey Foundation in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Rogers was an avid turkey hunter who was concerned about the dwindling numbers of wild turkeys. He worked as an insurance salesperson and journalist when he established the NWTF.
The headquarters of the NWTF, called the Wild Turkey Center, is located in Edgefield, South Carolina. The national headquarters is where you'll find the Winchester Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the restoration, conservation and history of the wild turkey.
The NWTF has about 500,000 members, with local chapters in every state and in Canada.
There are some seven million wild turkeys in North America. When the NWTF started, there were only about 1.3 million turkeys left.
As part of its multifaceted approach to turkey conservation, the NWTF provides land management expertise and products such as native seed grass to landowners and other organizations concerned with environmental preservation.
Turkeys can move about two miles (3.26 kilometers) an hour while feeding. Feeding areas need to have plenty of cover and feed for the large birds to survive.
The club raises money through membership dues, sponsor fees and donations in order to forward its goals. The NWTF now also receives funds from corporate partners.
The monies raised by the NWTF go to transfer and reestablish wild turkey populations and to educate people about hunting and conservation. They also provide land management assistance and wildlife tips to landowners or anyone who enjoys the outdoors.
If you are 13 years old or younger and you like hunting, fishing, hiking, camping or just being outside with your family, JAKES is the program for you. JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship.
Since 2001, the Turkey Hunters Care program has distributed frozen turkeys to needy families during the holidays. NWTF chapters across the country provide frozen, domestic turkeys to less fortunate families in their communities.
Wheelin' Sportsmen is a NWTF program designed for disabled sportsmen and sportswomen to help them enjoy outdoor hunting experiences and events.
According to outdoorlife.com, Native Americans and settlers used turkey bones as birdcalls. Some say this kind of call sounds more like the real thing than any other turkey call device on the market.
The NWTF claims to have been able to save nearly 14 million acres (5.67 hectares) of native habitat since its inception.
NWTF members collect wing and tail feathers in good condition, clean them and send them for distribution to Native American tribes, for use in their ceremonies.
The NWTF partners, members and other donors have accounted for more than $279 million in donations and funds from memberships. Today the wild turkey is nearly restored in North America, and leaders and members of the group are looking to the future to see what conservation will look like in the next 35 years.
According to wingsmart.com, the NWTF has contributed more than seven million feathers to Native American ceremonies since 1982. Members participating in the feather program are eligible to win a gun during the director's meeting each August, and everyone receives a Feather Distribution Project pin for their first donation.
An annual membership costs $30 and members will receive one year of Turkey Call magazine, an issue of the Caller newsletter, a decal, and a member card. If you're a student, an officer in the military, disabled, or a woman there are special NWTF memberships ranging from $10 to $30.