NASHVILLE, Tenn. – In recognition of his contributions to wildlife conservation, Steve Denney received a national award from the National Wild Turkey Federation.
Denney accepted the Wayne Bailey Lifetime Achievement award during the 41st annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show in Nashville.
“I am truly humbled to be selected for the NWTF’s Wayne Bailey Lifetime Achievement award. It was a complete surprise and unexpected,” said Denney. “I have really appreciated the NWTF’s support of Oregon’s wild turkey program, supporting it with research dollars and capture equipment even before we had our first chapter or first banquet in the 1980’s. With NWTF support, we had one of the most aggressive trap and transplant programs in the nation, and it has been gratifying to see Oregon’s turkey seasons grow from a 50-tag application hunt to a statewide, six-week general spring season with a three-bird bag limit, as well as fall seasons. The NWTF provided much needed help in passing Oregon’s first Wild Turkey Management Plan. I have always enjoyed working with NWTF staff and volunteers. This is an award I will not forget.”
The Wayne Bailey Lifetime Achievement award recognizes a wildlife biologist, trapper or wildlife manager who has devoted his or her career to the wild turkey and played a major role in the turkey’s restoration and management.
The NWTF determined this year’s award winners based on how their work strengthens the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Denney began with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife while finishing his degree at Oregon State University in 1978. He became involved in Oregon’s early efforts to expand wild turkey populations across the state. He also helped orchestrate wildlife swaps with other states to bring wild turkeys to the state. He was involved in the acquisition and transportation of an estimated 876 Rio Grande wild turkeys from Texas between 1982-1989. His strength in working with everyone – locals, environmentalists and other agencies – was instrumental in bringing wild turkey numbers up to huntable levels across the state.
“Wayne Bailey is known as the godfather of modern wild turkey management and played a key role in developing the NWTF’s science-based practices,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “Steve’s career upheld those same characteristics and his work embodies the principles Wayne Bailey championed.”
About Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, recruit or reactivate at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.