NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In recognition of Jack Waymire’s dedication to wild turkey research and management, he received the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Joe Kurz Wildlife Manager of the Year award at the 42nd annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show.
“It has been my passion and privilege during my career with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation to apply the long term research (entering its 36th year) from the Pushmataha Forest Habitat Research and Demonstration Area to the landscape level by increasing solar radiation to the forest floor and using the proper prescribed burning regime to reclaim and maintain pre-settlement ecosystems,” said Waymire.
The Joe Kurz Wildlife Manager of the Year award is named in honor of a former Georgia Department of Natural Resources wildlife chief for his leadership and the vital role he played in improving wildlife management. Kurz also was a principal figure in wild turkey trap-and-transfer programs across North America.
Waymire, a Southeast region senior wildlife biologist for the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation, has worked for the department for 25 years. He manages one of their most popular turkey hunting destinations, the 19,247-acre Pushmataha Wildlife Management Area. Because of his vision and implementation of habitat management practices, the area serves as a demonstration area for thousands of hunters, landowners and biologists. He hosts field days to show the effects of different timber practices and fire rotations and the results that can be achieved. Because of his dedication, this WMA is the premier hunting destination for turkey and deer. It also is home to the only population of elk in southeast Oklahoma.
The NWTF determined this year’s award winners based on how their work strengthens the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
“Jack’s career has embodied the practice of habitat management and research working in tandem,” said Becky Humphries, NWTF CEO. “The result of Jack’s vision and dedication in providing that management can be seen through the flourishing populations of wild turkeys, deer and other wildlife in his WMA.”
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 an historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to raise $1.2 billion to conserve and 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.
For more information, contact Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698