NWTF Names Wildlife Manager of Year
The first wildlife manager in West Virginia to trap and relocate wild turkeys, James Craft has also trapped a much-deserved 2004 Joe Kurz Wildlife Manager of the Year award from the National Wild Turkey Federation.
The award was presented to Craft and co-winner C. Victor French of North Carolina at the NWTF's 28th annual Convention and Sport Show in Columbus, Ohio, held Feb. 20-22, 2004.
The Joe Kurz award is given each year to a wildlife manager, or managers, who has worked relentlessly for the wild turkey and its habitat. Managers, such as Craft, are unsung heroes who do the on-the-ground work for wild turkeys and other wildlife.
"James Craft has been a monumental force in assisting the trap and transfer efforts in West Virginia," said Dr. James Earl Kennamer, NWTF senior vice president for conservation programs. "Because of James' hard work and leadership, turkey populations have been restored that then bring economic dollars to the state, which allows us and future generations to enjoy the gobble of the wild turkey."
Craft has gone beyond the call of duty by being a major participant in the planning process of the Monongahela National Forest and taking college courses to improve his abilities on his own time.
"Throughout his career he has been a staunch supporter of the NWTF and has presented programs and trapping demonstrations for JAKES events and local chapter meetings," said Curtis Taylor, Chief, Wildlife Resources Section West Virginia Department of Natural Resources. "West Virginia and our rich hunting tradition have derived enormous benefits from the efforts of this fine man."
For more information about the Wildlife Manager of the Year Award or for highlights on the NWTF national convention call 1-800-THE-NWTF or go online at www.nwtf.org.