Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
We are at a critical juncture in the future of wildlife habitat conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage.
Wild turkey numbers are diminishing in many areas, mostly because of a loss of essential habitat. This can only be reversed through proper management of our fields and forests.
We're losing 6,000 acres of critical wildlife habitat every single day to development. That's 2.2 million acres a year, an area the size of Yellowstone National Park. We must make every remaining acre count. And finally, hunters and our hunting rights are under attack. Hunters pay for wildlife and habitat conservation. If we don't stand our ground today, there is no hope for the future of conservation and hunting.
Our mission is no less urgent today than when we started in 1973. What we do in the next 10 years will be instrumental in not only enhancing wild turkey populations, but in the continuation of hunting and quality wildlife habitat for countless species.
The NWTF's ready for the challenge and will be a leader for the next 40 years, standing as one team with one mission. Your continued support is essential.
The Coming Challenges
When the NWTF was founded, there were approximately 1.5 million wild turkeys in North America. After 40 years of dedicated work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys.
However, in recent years national turkey populations have been declining and the hunting community is facing other critical challenges:
- Turkey populations are declining, having decreased 15 percent from a historic high.
- For example, New York is facing a 20-year low and Mississippi’s turkey populations declined by more than 40 percent from 2004 to 2009.
- This is the same situation Bobwhite quail were in 50 years ago.
- 6,000 acres of wildlife habitat disappear every day - area the size of Yellowstone each year.
- A long-term slide in hunter numbers has finally stopped, but it is still not keeping pace with population growth, which limits sportsmen’s ability to stand up for their rights.
- Many hunters struggle to find a place to hunt - a top reason why people quit hunting.
40 Years of Conservation and Hunting Heritage
Since its foundation in 1973, the NWTF has achieved some amazing accomplishments. With the help of its dedicated volunteers and partners, the NWTF has been able to facilitate the investment of $412 million dollars in conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage. These investments have helped improve more than 17 million acres of wildlife habitat and expose 100,000 people to the outdoor each year.
The NWTF is dedicated to having the same significant impact over the next 40 years as it did over its first 40. That is why the NWTF has created the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
The NWTF and its committed volunteers believe in doing what’s necessary to create more wild turkeys. We believe it is our duty to create vibrant and healthy upland habitat. We believe our hunting heritage is worth fighting for.
The Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative will help tackle these difficult challenges the sporting community is facing.
Save the Habitat.
We will increase wild turkey populations by conserving and enhancing 4 million acres of critical upland wildlife habitat. These habitat improvements will not only help support wild turkey populations but they will also benefit quail, deer and many other wildlife species that share the habitat.
The NWTF will:
- Focus our efforts based on the priorities established by science
- Work in areas where it is possible to have a meaningful impact on habitat and wildlife populations
- Begin the process at the local level, which will then build to support the regional and national goals
- Focus on four key habitat types
- Streamside corridors
- Fields and meadows
- Scrubland and grasslands
Save the Hunt.
We will save the hunt by creating 1.5 million new hunters who will embrace the outdoors and protect our conservation legacy. It will include focused outreach opportunities for people of all ages, and increased hunter access. This includes creating half a million additional acres of hunting access across the nation.
The NWTF will:
- Evolve its outreach efforts from introduction to include hands-on hunting experiences and mentoring to create long-term hunting license holders
- There is no one-size-fits-all solution and each state will drive its approach
- Develop partnerships with a wide range of organizations, like state wildlife management agencies, hunters education instructors, mentored hunting and other organizations, that share the common interest of promoting our hunting heritage
- Make it easier for people to hunt by lowering barriers to introducing new hunters to the sport and increasing the number of publicly available acres
Share the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. Initiative
This initiative will only succeed with the dedicated support of hunters, sportsmen, and NWTF members and volunteers. The NWTF has created various educational materials to arm our supporters with the tools they need to spread the word. Please feel free to use the information below to educate your family, friends, fellow hunters and conservationists.