NWTF’s State Chapters Busy Making More Places to Hunt
Courtesy of National Wild Turkey Federation
TENNESSEE | ALABAMA | KANSAS | WEST VIRGINIA | IOWA | WYOMING | OHIO | NORTH CAROLINA
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Since 1985, the NWTF Ohio chapters have spent almost $2 million to help purchase land in Ohio for public hunting. Through their efforts, more than 75,000 acres of land have been purchased for recreation and wildlife conservation.
In February of 2007, Buckeye State hunters received almost 5,000 acres of new hunting land through contributions from the NWTF’s Ohio State Chapter for a land purchase by the Ohio Division of Wildlife.
The purchase represents an almost five percent increase in public hunting land in a state with limited access to good, public hunting areas. The property, once owned by MeadWestvaco, was sold to the ODOW for $5.6 million. The NWTF Ohio State Chapter donated $500,000 to the purchase through their fundraising banquet system.
"The NWTF is very supportive of land acquisition in Ohio," said Dave Swanson, former ODOW forest wildlife research biologist. "The NWTF was the only national conservation organization to contribute to the purchase. We asked, and they gave."
The majority of the property is located in Jackson County, but 143 acres in Ross County provide fishing access to the Scioto River. The area is being marked as ODOW property and is currently open for late season hunting. It will also be available for spring gobbler turkey hunting.
"The future of conservation is linked to the future of hunting," said Randy Showalter, NWTF regional biologist for Ohio. "Hunters care about the outdoors. There has to be good, public hunting areas to ensure the future of hunting and conservation."
In 2004, NWTF volunteers in the Buckeye State contributed $250,000 toward an ODOW purchase of more than 800 acres of wildlife habitat. The newly purchased lands, which the state was designated as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), are under the supervision of the ODOW and are accessible to the public.