NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Cristina McGannon Jones, of Oxford, New Jersey, has helped countless women get their start in the outdoors through the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Women in the Outdoors outreach program. For her efforts, the NWTF honored Jones with the Annie Oakley Award.
“There are no words strong enough to adequately express how much this award means to me,” Jones said. “I am humbled that my fellow New Jersey State Board members and NWTF peers here in New Jersey chose to nominate me … It is a gift that I am able to put my time and energy into my life’s passion. I had a dream and an idea, but the National Wild Turkey Federation, my fellow volunteers, committee members, community partners and the folks who attend our hunting heritage banquets and events are the reason it is all possible.”
Jones received the Annie Oakley Award, the highest honor given to a WITO volunteer, during the 43rd annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show. Mossy Oak is the official convention sponsor.
Annie Oakley, known best for her shooting skills, also influenced generations of women to try something new. The same is true for Jones.
From the beginning of her work as the WITO coordinator for New Jersey, Jones has worked diligently to build relationships for the betterment of NWTF programming. Through working with staff of Wallkill National Wildlife Refuge and New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, she has increased mentored hunt opportunities for women. The NWTF JAKES and Wheelin’ Sportsmen programs also have benefitted from the partnerships she has initiated.
In addition to her role as WITO coordinator, Jones currently serves on the board of directors for the New Jersey State Chapter, and she is the banquet chair for the Spruce Run NWTF chapter.
“Thanks to individuals like Cristina, women are one of the fastest growing segments of the outdoor and hunting community,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “The NWTF and all the women she has welcomed in to hunting are proud of her efforts to Save the Habitat and Save the Hunt.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to raise $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org