Thanksgiving release celebrated 30 years of wild turkey restoration
Bursting from specially-designed cardboard transport boxes, four wild turkeys flew into the nearby woods in front of captivated onlookers during a symbolic and educational Thanksgiving wild turkey release near Boston at Wompatuck State Park in Hingham, Mass.
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the National Wild Turkey Federation and its volunteers hosted a special release Tuesday, November 18, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of wild turkey restoration in Massachusetts.
Elementary students from South Shore Charter School, in Hull, attended the wild turkey release where the birds, all from Massachusetts, were released. The ceremonial event was an opportunity for students to see a demonstration of wild turkey biology first hand, to learn about the history of the wild turkey and the vital role hunters play in wildlife management efforts.
"The partnership and support of the National Wild Turkey Federation has been an integral part of our successful restoration of the wild turkey in Massachusetts," said Wayne MacCallum, MDFW Director.
"Massachusetts has been a leader in the comeback of the wild turkey in New England," said Dr. James Earl Kennamer, NWTF Senior Vice President of Conservation Programs. "We commend the MDFW for their efforts to restore wild turkey populations and our hunting heritage, especially during the 30th anniversary of Massachusetts' successful restoration program."
The release was also a rare opportunity for everyone to learn more about wild turkey restoration and the importance of conservation and our hunting heritage during a time when many people are thinking turkey.
"Our national Thanksgiving tradition is based on the pilgrims' now famous meal," said Rob Keck, NWTF CEO. "It is very fitting that we honor this great holiday by releasing wild turkeys along the same stretch of coast as their landing site."
According to Keck, many people do not realize how much influence the wild turkey has had in America. It fed the pioneers during our quest to become a nation, and continues to feed many today through the millions of dollars spent by turkey hunters each spring and fall on everything from food, firearms, guides, trucks, gasoline, lodging and more.
"We at the NWTF thank everyone who attended and took advantage of the opportunity to learn more about this grand symbol of Thanksgiving," Keck said.