Upcoming banquets in SOUTH CAROLINA:

Dutch Fork, SC - 10/02/2014
Columbia, SC 29212

NWTF Gun Rack Scot Marcin - 10/03/2014
Edgefield, SC 29824

Little River, SC - 11/06/2014
Abbeville, SC 29620

Edgefield Local Chapter, SC - 11/20/2014
Edgefield, SC 29824

Piedmont, SC - 11/30/2014
Union, SC 29379

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A Dedication to Conservation

Meet Our Leaders

James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D.
Chief Conservation Officer

Becky Humphries
Executive Vice President of Conservation

Scott Vance
Assistant Vice President of Conservation Programs

Tom Hughes
Assistant Vice President of Conservation Programs

Coming soon!
Read more about our conservation team.

Wild turkeys were on the brink of extinction in the early 1900s. Most wild turkey populations had been wiped out in North America, victims of centuries of habitat destruction and commercial harvest. As late as the Great Depression, fewer than 30,000 wild turkeys remained in the entire United States.

Today that number stands at more than 7 million birds throughout North America, thanks to the efforts of state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members and partners.

The comeback of wild turkeys in North America is arguably the greatest conservation success story in history. Two critical factors were responsible for much of this success:

  1. the creation of propelled nets in the 1950s, which allowed wildlife managers to safely trap wild turkeys and move them to an area with suitable habitat but no wild turkeys
  2. the NWTF's founding in 1973

Prior to our founding, wild turkeys were recovering slowly because wildlife managers could not secure enough resources for wide ranging restoration efforts. The NWTF offered wildlife managers a partner to raise the funds needed to greatly expand trap and transfer efforts and provide volunteers to help conduct trap and transfers projects.

Now, thanks to the our combined efforts, wild turkeys currently occupy 99 percent of suitable habitat in North America. And because of the success of trap and transfer, the interest in turkey hunting is also increasing.

In 1973, there were turkey hunting seasons in only 22 states. Today, there are hunting seasons in 49 states, Canada and Mexico. The majestic birds now provide hunting opportunities to more than 3 million people throughout North America.

Our Conservation Team

For more than 30 years, James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., has headed the NWTF's conservation department and played a key role in forging the partnerships between hunters and wildlife agencies, corporations and conservation groups that have helped restore turkey populations across North America.

Kennamer — a conservation icon — continues to guide the NWTF's conservation efforts today as the chief conservation officer. Under his expert leadership, we continue to focus on improving and conserving upland habitat — critical to sustaining healthy populations of wild turkey and many other species that share its habitat — while providing hunters with more opportunities to hunt and increased access to public and private land across North America.

Kennamer's leadership in wild turkey research and management has garnered respect throughout the conservation community and helped the NWTF become the driving force in conservation it is today. He and his accomplished team of certified wildlife biologists identify and implement on-the-ground conservation work throughout the year to help save many struggling species of wildlife.

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