NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Two National Wild Turkey Federation chapters received national awards for outstanding achievements in the recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters. The R3 Award is given to chapters that facilitate hunting heritage events, including JAKES, Wheelin’ Sportsmen and Women in the Outdoors focused on the recruitment, retention and reactivation of hunters.
Representatives from the chapters accepted the R3 awards during the 44th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show.
These chapters’ events are vital because hunter numbers across the U.S. have decreased at an alarming rate for the past 30 years, a trend that could jeopardize the conservation of our natural resources since hunters fund the bill for the majority of conservation efforts in North America.
The chapters received recognition for the following events:
NWTF Maumee Valley Chapter’s “Hunt for Food” mentored hunt – Ohio’s Maumee Valley Chapter’s “Hunt for Food” was an inaugural event for the local chapter. Geared toward recruiting new adult hunters, the event was a large success, recruiting dozens of hunters from 25 to 40 years of age. The multi-session program featured, over the course of a month, an introduction to hunting class, a day at the range, hunting ethics, law and enforcement class, a day in the woods and two days of hunting.
NWTF Monocacy Valley Annual JAKES Day – This event was the Maryland-based Monocacy Valley Chapter’s 18th annual JAKES Day, which had 78 youth in attendance. The JAKES got into groups and rotated between archery, retriever training, shotgun pattering and a woods walk, where JAKES learn to look for animal tracks, calling techniques and hunting strategies. After lunch, the JAKES also caught fish in a local pond.
“Our chapters are dedicated to recruiting, retaining and reactivating hunters using creativity and innovation to keep programming fresh,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “These programs are part of our success story, and we are proud to honor their work.”
About the National Wild Turkey FederationWhen 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 conserve 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.