NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For outstanding achievement in coordinating and hosting outreach events for women, six National Wild Turkey Federation chapters received national awards.
Representatives from the state chapters from Wisconsin and Ohio, as well as Franklin County Longbeards, Quail Creek, Three Rivers and Central Massachusetts chapters, accepted Women in the Outdoors awards during the 40th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show. RAM is the official convention sponsor.
The NWTF determined this year’s award winners based on how their work strengthens the organization’s Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
Franklin County Longbeards, North Carolina – Best WITO Event (1-75 Participants)
The fifth annual women-only deer hunt attracted 25 first-time hunters. Attendees were guided through educational seminars on hunting safety and deer hunting basics. In addition to deer hunting for the first time, several women walked away with prizes of firearms and turkey- and duck-hunting packages.
Ohio State Chapter – Best WITO Event (76-150 Participants)
The three-day WITO event drew its largest crowd ever with more than 125 participants. Women experienced a variety of classes covering archery, firearm basics, fishing, painting and much more. For the first time, the women also had the opportunity to complete their concealed carry license class.
Quail Creek Women in the Outdoors Chapter, Florida – Best WITO Event (150+ Participants)
With over 300 participants and 75 committed volunteers, Quail Creek hosted a two-day event beginning with “Osceolas Under the Oaks” a Friday evening dinner and fundraiser. On Saturday morning, women experienced classes about turkey, alligator and rifle hunting, as well as a host of other classes for both hunters and non hunters alike. This event raised $22,500 for conservation and our hunting heritage.
Wisconsin State Chapter – Best Cooperator Event
More than 40 partners and sponsors, including the Green Bay Packers, came together to host 150 women for a three-day event. Classes included camp cooking, archery, firearm cleaning, knife sharpening, numerous crafting classes and much more. Attendees also learned how to field dress game animals thanks to the numerous squirrels, rabbits and turkeys that were donated to the event.
Central Massachusetts Chapter, Massachusetts – Best Special Event
The event is just four years old, but it has received the Best Special Event in each year of its existence. The event offered a variety of classes including archery, kayaking, fly-fishing, outdoor photography, recreational shooting, hunting and much more. More than 100 women, nearly 75 percent of them first-timers, attended the annual event.
Three Rivers Chapter, Indiana – Women in the Outdoors Hunting Heritage Award
Now in its 10th year, the Three Rivers WITO event was attended by 74 women, some from as far away as Arizona. The following fall, the chapter also partnered with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to host two pheasant hunts. These hunts were for new women hunters and included educational classes for upland hunter safety, how to clean the birds and how to prepare them in the kitchen.
“Our members and volunteers are truly making a difference in the lives of women across the country by offering these events,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “Their work ensures that countless women get to experience new outdoor skills, the thrill of hunting and how it contributes to conservation and our hunting heritage.”
Even prior to creating the WITO program in 1998, the NWTF supported female-focused outdoor skills training programs through various organizations. The number of women owning firearms and participating in target shooting and hunting is now the fastest growing segment within the industry, further cementing WITO programming within the NWTF’s Hunting Heritage Programs.
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.