NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Philip Mailhiot is a dedicated outdoorsman and an avid hunter who has never turned away anyone looking to try hunting for the first time. His dedication to mentoring new hunters has earned him an award from the National Wild Turkey Federation.
In recognition of his dedication to preserving our hunting heritage, Mailhiot received the inaugural Mentor of the Year Award. He accepted the award during the 40th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show. RAM is the official convention sponsor.
“It is still not real to me,” Mailhiot said about winning the award. “The most rewarding thing about mentoring new hunters is getting that phone call, email or text from a former student that says ‘I did it.’ They will then pass along the hunting skill they have learned to future hunters. That is the reason I do what I do.”
The NWTF determined this year’s award winners based on how their work strengthens the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Mailhiot’s leadership and volunteer efforts directly support the goal of recruiting hunters. He is the education director of his local chapter with his primary role being lead instructor for turkey hunting programs within the NWTF and partnering organizations, like the Massachusetts Department of Fisheries and Wildlife.
Mailhiot also spends much of his turkey season taking new individuals into the woods for their first hunts. In 2015, he mentored a young hunter for youth day, two women during the MassWildlife women’s turkey hunt and two additional hunters during an inaugural mentored turkey hunt for adults. Even long after the hunt, Mailhiot keeps in contact with the new hunters, so he can monitor their progress and provide additional instruction.
“The mark of a true outdoorsman is the willingness to give up one’s own time in the field to spend time with and teach new individuals about our hunting heritage,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “The NWTF and all those introduced to the outdoors by Philip are thankful for and proud of his accomplishments.”
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, create 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.
For more information, contact Peter Muller at (803) 637-7698.