NWTF NEWS

1st Annual Squirrel Fest Mentored Hunt is in the books.

The Oklahoma NWTF hosted their first mentored squirrel hunt in January 2021. New hunters were paired with a mentor who guided them along a hunt. The Oklahoma NWTF would like to thank all of our hunters and volunteers who came from all over the state to join us!

A special thanks to:
The Native Women Fly Fishers for the wonderful meals they prepared and served.
Backcountry Hunters and Anglers
The beautiful Sequoyah State Park
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife
Yeti Coolers
Nolan Outdoors
The many local NWTF chapters

If you would like to get involved with the future NWTF mentor hunts contact one of the State Board Members or your local Chapter!

NWTF announces it achieved and surpassed its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative goals two years ahead of schedule.

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation announces the organization has achieved and surpassed its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative goals two years ahead of schedule.

“This is a celebratory moment for all of our chapters, members, partners volunteers, and staff whose hard work and dedication made such a momentous accomplishment possible,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “This is a huge win for hunters and conservationists from every sector of the industry, and it is especially a win for the wild turkey.”

The NWTF launched its 10-year Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative in 2012 to help turn the tide of declines in wild turkey populations and hunter participation and improve access for public hunting across the country. The initiative outlined three lofty goals, including conserving or enhancing 4 million acres of wildlife habitat, recruiting 1.5 million hunters and opening access to 500,000 acres to public hunting.

In just eight years, the organization has achieved and exceeded all of these goals. From August 2012 to August 2020, the NWTF conserved or enhanced 4,007,920 acres of wildlife habitat, recruited 1,530,162 new or lapsed hunters and opened 667,772 acres to hunting.

Despite the effects of COVID-19 in 2020, which hindered the organization financially and drastically reduced the scope of Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. implementation, the NWTF was still able to conserve or enhance more than 400,000 acres of wildlife habitat to complete the final goal of the initiative.
“The fact that we completed our Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative during a global pandemic while resources were abnormally limited, exceeding these goals truly exemplifies how resilient the NWTF is and how determined our supporters are,” Humphries said.

At the outset of the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, the NWTF identified dozens of areas that required immediate conservation needs. These areas of conservation focus were grouped into six distinct regions, known as America’s Big Six of Wildlife Conservation. These regions across the U.S. are predominately where the NWTF has used its resources in conserving and enhancing wildlife habitat for the wild turkey and an array of other species.

“Our mission delivery has been laser focused on achieving these goals,” said Mark Hatfield, NWTF national director of conservation services. “Without vital partnerships forged with our members, government agencies, industry and other like-minded nonprofit organizations, it wouldn’t have been possible to accomplish so much so quickly.”

Recruiting, retaining and reactivating 1.5 million hunters was integral to the NWTF’s Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, not only for preserving America’s hunting heritage but also as hunting license sales contribute substantially to funding conservation efforts. Over the last eight years, the NWTF has continued to strengthened its R3 (recruit, retain, reactivate) efforts nationally and eclipsed the 10-year goal in 2019.

Working with numerous partners, private landowners and contributing to many land acquisitions, the NWTF was also able to exceed its public land access goal in 2018.

“More access to public lands and quality hunting grounds is so important for the hunting and outdoor community as a whole,” said Humphries. “Providing access for those who are just starting their hunting journey or those who may have lapsed because they didn’t have nearby access is especially important.”
Even though the NWTF has achieved and exceeded the set goals of Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt., it will not stop there.

“Our chapters, volunteers and partners will build upon the tremendous momentum that has accumulated since 2012 and continue to expand this great work into the years ahead,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “The NWTF remains a leader in the R3 effort and our on-the-ground conservation efforts are benefitting wild turkeys and other wildlife, forest health and resilience, communities and watersheds across the nation. Even when Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. is no longer an active initiative, these principles will always be a focus of the NWTF.”

For more information on the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative, visit www.nwtf.org/about/save-the-habitat-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. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative – a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve or 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.

 

Honest Outdoor Oklahoma and Oklahoma NWTF’s 2020 Youth Hunt

It was a great pleasure for the Oklahoma NWTF to partner with Honest Outdoor Oklahoma on what turned out to be an awesome first time first time for these young hunters. Six hunters took to the field and harvested 6 deer. These new hunters first attended a Hunter Education Class, taught by NWTF volunteers, the weekend before their hunt. A big thank you to all the volunteers, sponsors and Honest Outdoors Oklahoma for helping the NWTF Save the Habitat, Save the HUNT! For more pictures be sure and check out Honest Outdoors Oklahoma FaceBook page. For more information on how to get involved with the NWTF and help the non-profit Save the Hunt contact Rick Nolan at rick@nolanoutdoors.com.

Oklahoma NWTF Wheelin Sportsman Deer Hunt – 2020

Another great NWTF Wheelin Sportsman deer hunt is in the books. Thanks to the Mayes County Longbeards chapter, the Green Country Stutters Chapter and the City of Claremore teamed up for a great two day Hunt. Heston Williams was able to harvest his first whitetail deer with a crossbow. Good Job Heston. We would also like to thanks Bill’s Sporting Goods, Chik-Fil-A, Walke Meat Co,, Double D Hunting and Fishing, and WOHALI for being sponsors and helping with this event. GOOD JOB ALL!!!

The NWTF and Partners work to restore streamside areas.

The NWTF and partners collaborated throughout Oklahoma to restore streamside areas and use prescribed fire to improve roosting and loafing habitat on public and private lands over a multi-year period in a variety of sites, encompassing the NWTF’s Canadian River, Cross Timbers and Central Red River Focal landscapes. Click the Picture to read the whole story.

The 2021 NWTF Raffle Calendars are in stock and ready for and sale.

Oklahoma NWTF calendars are an opportunity to not only support habitat conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage in Oklahoma but an excellent opportunity to win a different firearm each week, 52 weeks – 52 Guns. Calendars make great Christmas gifts for the guy or gal that has everything. For information and availability contact your local NWTF Chapter or a State Board member. If you want a calendar we will find a way to get it to you. Calendars sell out fast so don’t drag your feet, only 1,000 are sold and they go fast.

Good luck and thanks for supporting habitat conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage in Oklahoma.

  • Calendars are $50 each and include a chance to win all 52 guns.
  • Only 1,000 Calendars will be sold.
  • Each calendar purchase will include an annual membership to the NWTF.
  • Cash or checks will be accepted as payment for a raffle calendar*.
  • All unsold calendars become the property of the Oklahoma NWTF.
  • Winning numbers will be determined by the Oklahoma Wednesday Pick 3 lottery.
  • All buyers must be in compliance with local, county, state, and federal guidelines.
  • Tickets are non-transferable.
  • Winners will be notified within one week of successful matching numbers. After this, the winner has 30 days to claim his/her prize.
  • Delivery of firearms is subject to availability. The NWTF reserves the right to modify the raffle based on gun availability.
  • Pictured firearms may to be exact representations of firearm or features pertaining to the firearm.
  • All unclaimed prized become property of the NWTF.
  • Winners are responsible for all necessary firearm transfer fees.

*Checks must be cashed and cleared before the winner can claim prize. All returned checks are subject to an additional fee and forfeiture of calendar raffle.

September 2020 Government Affairs Newsletter (1)

 

The National Wild Turkey Federation and its supporters celebrated a momentous accomplishment. Thanks to its dedicated volunteers, members, staff and the outdoor and conservation communities, the NWTF surpassed its Call for All campaign goal to raise $5 million by Aug. 31, by raising $7,322,800. 280 local and state NWTF chapters from across the country donated funds towards the $5 million goal, totaling $1,024,100.

“The support we received from our local and state chapters is a powerful reminder that the NWTF truly operates as a federation,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Without our state and local chapters working for our mission, the NWTF would not exist.”
In addition to the support from NWTF state and local chapters, outdoor brands such as Federal Premium Ammunition, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, Woodhaven Custom Calls, Nomad and many more supporters of the NWTF’s Call for All offered donation incentives or provided their own gift to the campaign.

“We have the greatest partners in the outdoor industry,” Humphries said. “Everyone has been affected by COVID-19, and the fact that they still stepped up means a lot; they are equally as dedicated to our mission as we are.”

However, the long-term financial future of the NWTF lies in the ability of the organization to continue its fundraising success as COVID-19’s impact in 2021 is still uncertain.

A major factor allowing the NWTF to attain its ambitious Call for All goal was the way the organization adapted and improvised as COVID-19 hindered traditional fundraising banquets. The NWTF hosted an array of online experiences and engaged its membership and online audience like never before through virtual auctions, banquets, raffles, musical performances, educational seminars and even a 12-hour telethon. These types of events are expected to continue into the fall despite banquets resuming in some regions of the country.

“We accomplished an ambitious and extraordinary goal with our Call for All campaign,” Humphries said. “However, we must continue the momentum and energy. Share online events with friends and family, participate in them, attend a fall banquet where you can, get involved with your local chapter and get outdoors to introduce someone to hunting. We still have a lot of work to do.”

To find more information about live and virtual events in your area, visit NWTF.org/events or follow the NWTF on its social media platforms.

The Oklahoma State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation selected Hunting Heritage Super Fund proposals for 2020 totaling $172,749.

The Oklahoma board of directors for the state chapter approved funding for numerous projects that will control invasive plant species, maintain productive wildlife openings, create healthier forests and waterways and help to preserve our hunting heritage. The board also secured matching funds that will result in more than $1 million for approved projects this year.

“The Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is supported by our state boards and chapter members,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Hunting Heritage Super Fund money is critical to implementing the initiative, and investing in focal landscapes and hunter recruitment.”

The board of directors dedicated $77,119 for habitat and equipment proposals across Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Black Kettle, Cross Timbers, Ellis County, Homer Johnston, Okmulgee, Ouachita, Packsaddle, Pushmataha, and Spavinaw Hills wildlife management areas, as well as the Blue Mountain Walk-in Turkey Hunting Area. Funding also will support the Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association’s efforts to facilitate the use of prescribed fire on private lands in multiple NWTF focal landscapes.

In support of projects and programs to preserve our hunting heritage, the board dedicated $49,499 to scholarships, JAKES, Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin’ Sportsmen, Oklahoma Forestry Services’ Youth Forestry and Wildlife Camp, Oklahoma FFA Sporting Clays event, National Archery in the Schools Program, Scholastic Shooting Sports Program and much more.

The state board also dedicated $40,000 to help ODWC acquire new public hunting lands.

OKLAHOMA STATE NWTF SUPER FUND DEDICATES $112,183 FOR 2019

We are pleased to announce that in September 2018, Oklahoma State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation Board of Directors selected Hunting Heritage Super Fund proposals for FY 2018 totaling $112,183. Approved proposals included $36,381 put towards habitat/equipment listed below, plus an extension of a $4,000 project from the previous year (ODWC Beaver River WMA). Funds totaling $56,500 were also dedicated to scholarships; to JAKES programs, Women in the Outdoors events, and Wheelin’ Sportsmen events; to a OFS Youth Forestry & Wildlife Camp ($1,000), an Oklahoma FFA Sporting Clays event ($200), National Archery in the Schools Program (ODWC at $10,000), the Scholastic Shooting Sports Program (ODWC at $10,000), support for the NWTF District Biologist position, and other Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiatives in the state. $15,302 was earmarked to help Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation acquire new public hunting lands.

Total Oklahoma FY19 Super Fund allocation including matching dollars is over $1M to support our Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative in Oklahoma. Approved habitat and equipment proposals are:

1) ODWC Pushmataha WMA – Purchase aerial ignition spheres for Rx burning on 8,225 acres. Submitted by Biologist Jack Waymire, ODWC (now retired). ($5,000 of $33,300 total project cost)

2) ODWC Black Kettle NG WMA – Mastication project on this cooperative WMA to compliment work done by USDA Forest Service, ODWC, and NWTF to remove invasive woody plants around prime wild turkey roosting areas on up to ~50 acres. Submitted by Biologist Marcus Thibodeau, ODWC. ($5,000 of $20,000 total project cost)

3) Oklahoma Prescribed Burn Association – Support for statewide mobile Rx burn trailer and equipment program. Submitted by John Weir, Research Associate, OSU. ($7,000 of $33,000 total project cost)

4) ODWC Cherokee WMA – Oak savannah renovation work on 40 acres. Submitted by Biologist Brent
Morgan, ODWC. ($7,000 of $28,000 total project cost)

5) ODWC Spavinaw Hills WMA – Widening 9.4 miles of fireguards and creation of 137 acres of wildlife openings. Submitted by Wildlife Technician Tony Crawford, ODWC. ($6,131 of $24,525 total project cost)

6) ODWC Stringtown WMA – Reclamation of wildlife openings for turkey brood range on 15 acres. Submitted by Biologist Eric Suttles, ODWC. ($2,500 of $10,000 total project cost)

7) ODWC Packsaddle WMA – Mastication project to remove invasive woody plants around prime wild turkey roosting areas on up to ~25 acres. Submitted by Biologist Marcus Thibodeau, ODWC. ($3,750 of $15,000 total project cost)

  All projects are expected to allow reasonable signage or recognition of NWTF. Sincere thanks goes to all the hard-working members and volunteers who made this possible. Without you, there is no National Wild Turkey Federation! The Board of Directors, Oklahoma State NWTF Chapter, was very pleased with the quality of proposals received. Deadline for FY20 Super Fund project proposals is July 15th, 2019.

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