Lakecaster Online

What is the NWTF?
By Patty Schaefer

Are you ready to discover new ways to enjoy the great outdoors? Here's one way to start: The National Wild Turkey Federation. The organization held a banquet and auction in Jasper, TX this past month with a terrific Texas style BBQ dinner catered by The Stump Restaurant of Sam Rayburn, TX. They auctioned art, guns, diving gear, hunting accessories, hunting trips, camping gear and much more. This organization has branch subsidiaries which includes Women in the Outdoors, which has an event coming up in Jasper, TX September 14th and invites anyone interested in learning more about the how-to's of outdoor activities to call and make your reservation then prepare to have fun.

The NWTF is a 450,000-member grassroots, nonprofit organization with members in 50 states, Canada and 11 other foreign countries. It supports scientific wildlife management on public, private and corporate lands as well as wild turkey hunting as a traditional North American sport In 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in Fredericksburg, Va., At that time, there were an estimated 1.3 million wild turkeys and 1.5 million turkey hunters. Shortly after its founding, the NWTF moved to Edgefield, S.C., where it is headquartered today. Thanks to the work of federal, state and provincial wildlife agencies and the NWTF's many volunteers and partners, there are now an estimated 5.6 million wild turkeys and approximately 2.6 million turkey hunters. Turkey hunting has become the second highest participated type of hunting and is the fastest growing form of hunting. Since 1985, more than $150 million NWTF and cooperator dollars have been spent on over 20,000 projects benefiting wild turkeys and other game and nongame species throughout North America. Hunters have also benefited as the NWTF has worked tirelessly to support our hunting heritage and protect and promote laws that increase hunting opportunity and safety.

Women in the Outdoors (WITO) is a subsidiary of NWTF and is dedicated to a variety of outdoor activities. Make new friends or have a great time with old ones as you learn to fish, hunt, camp, hike, mountain bike, shoot and take part in many other exciting activities. Learning new skills, meeting people with similar interests and kicking back in the great outdoors is what the NWTF's Women in the Outdoors program is all about. Today millions of women across the country are discovering that camping, hiking, fishing, hunting, shooting, canoeing, boating and bird watching are fun and relaxing. The number of women involved in these outdoor activities is growing. You can learn these skills at one of the events offered by the Women in the Outdoors program, which are being held throughout the United States. The NWTF's state and local chapters offer on-day events that are low cost, will fit into your busy schedule and are hosted at some of the most beautiful outdoor education sites in the country. The next WITO event will be at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park in Jasper, TX September 14th 2002. Women in the Outdoors Sponsors Bass Pro Shops- Bombardier Bottom Line- Cabela's - Federal Cartridge Company- Hunter's Specialties International- Leupold & Stevens, Inc.- Mathews, Inc.- Mead/Westvaco- Mossy Oak Apparel- Patton Pictures -Realtree Outdoor Products, Inc. State Agency Partnerships Arkansas Game and Fish Commission- California Department of Fish and Game- Georgia Wildlife Resources Division -Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks- Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources- Louisiana Department of Natural Resources -Minnesota Department of Natural Resources -Ohio Division of Natural Resources- Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation -Nebraska Game and Parks Division -Pennsylvania Game Commission -South Carolina Department of Natural Resources -Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency- Texas Parks and Wildlife Department -Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife- Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries -West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

Keeping the North American hunting tradition alive, the National Wild Turkey Federation has a fun way to get our youth excited about the outdoor sports and conservation with the JAKES program. JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship, not to mention a lot of fun. In JAKES, children ages 17 and younger learn the basic outdoor skills necessary to become successful stewards of our natural resources. They also learn to be responsible outdoorsmen and women through fishing, camping and hunting seminars taught by legends in the field. They learn to identify plants and animals, as well as how to effectively call in those elusive toms. With more than 175,000 JAKES members across the country, the NWTF has a great opportunity to teach children the value of our natural resources and the importance of conservation. These children will grow up knowing hunting plays a key role in wildlife management, and the dollars they spend to hunt go right back into state and federal conservation efforts. Hundreds of JAKES events are held across the nation each year and reach thousands of kids. The national event is held annually at the Wild Turkey Center, home to the NWTF. Children from most states, plus several essay contest winners, earn the trip to South Carolina to meet some of the biggest names in the turkey hunting industry, who share their experience and wisdom with the children. These events are an important aspect of the NWTF's outreach programs. But, most importantly, they provide an opportunity to help build tight family bonds and memories that will last a lifetime. JAKES Major Sponsors: Bass Pro Shops- Bombardier- Cabela's- Georgia-Pacific International Paper- Leupold & Stevens, Inc.- Mathews, Inc. -Mead- Mossy Oak Apparel -The Outdoor Connection, Inc.- Primos Inc.- Realtree Outdoors Products -Westvaco Winchester Division / Olin Corporation.

With the same dedication it has brought to restoring wild turkey populations across North America, the NWTF is delivering, and in some cases re-introducing, the beauty and excitement of the outdoors to thousands of disabled people through its outreach program, Wheelin' Sportsmen. The program was created by a merger between the Alabama-based Wheelin' Sportsmen of America and the NWTF. Wheelin' Sportsmen is the realization of both organizations' commitment to creating a national effort to provide the disabled with opportunities to get out and enjoy outdoor activities, such as hunting, fishing, bird watching and much more. Today, disabled women, kids and men of all ages are once again enjoying the outdoors. Wheelin' Sportsmen NWTF Events and Camp Team-Up Does For Does These hunts are for disabled females only. Disabled hunters are paired with able-bodied women hunters. These events allow disabled women to participate in a non-competitive environment. Ultimate Team-Up: These are hunts designed for all individuals with disabilities. These hunts pair an able-bodied person with a disabled hunter for any type of hunt. Ultimate Duos - These are hunts that pair disabled children with able-bodied hunters to give children an experience they will always remember. Fishing Round-Ups Wheelin' Sportsmen Fishing Round-Ups are designed to provide disabled individuals the opportunity to fish with the help of able-bodied volunteers in a safe environment. These events are open to all disabled people regardless of their disability or age. The emphasis is placed on the opportunity to participate so the event is non-competitive. Camp Team-Up - Camp Team-Up is a one-of-a-kind outdoor recreation facility that promises hours of enjoyment for everyone who visits. This unique facility is being built especially to offer disabled individuals the opportunity to enjoy outdoor activities including shooting, hunting, fishing, archery, photography and much more. Located near Union Springs, Ala., the 3,000 -acre tract of land is loaded with wildlife and fishing opportunities. Camp Team-Up also hosts Wheelin' Sportsmen NWTF national events such as Does for Does and Ultimate Team-Up. Upon completion, Camp Team-Up will feature a lodge that will seat up to 150 people and include overnight accommodations and faculties for disabled guests. For more information on contributing to Wheelin' Sportsmen or for information on Wheelin' Sportsmen programs, call Wheelin' Sportsmen National Coordinator/Founder Kirk Thomas at (803) 637-3106 or e-mail him at Wheelin' Sportsmen Partners: Alabama Department of Tourism -Alabama Power Company- Alabama Power Foundation- Bass Pro Shops- Blackwater Creek- Treestands- Cabela's, Inc.- Choice Dek- Great Southern Outdoors- International Paper- Leupold & Stevens, Inc.- Mathews Archery- Mississippi Power- National Shooting Sports Foundation -Realtree Outdoor Products, Inc. -Winchester/Olin

For more information on the National Wild Turkey Federation call 1-800-THE-NWTF or visit them on the web at

Tom Turkey Fanning To Show Off Superior Feathering for Jennys

A rare sunrise Turkey Roost with Jennys in tree and Toms on ground fanning
< photos by >

Toms herding Jakes out of the flock to protect their Jenny harem

Back to Lakecaster Online contents