Mike Brown, Albany, Ga.
Hometown: Albany, Ga.
Guardian Life Sponsor
Notable fact: Mike and his wife sponsored and attended 60 NWTF banquets during the last year.
Home chapter: "I don't claim a particular chapter as my home because I sponsor so many. If I had to narrow it down to one, it would be the Worth County Longbeards Chapter of Sylvester, Ga."
Family: Married to his wife Sabrina, who is a fellow turkey hunter and Women in the Outdoors member.
Favorite NWTF story or memory?
It all came together for me on Feb. 11, 2001. On that day in 2001, I met and made a great friend in Bob Fountain (now the NWTF's vice president of operational support), met my wife, and won an NWTF shotgun at the Georgia "Turkeyrama" event, all in that order! It started a whole new life for me. I can't beat that one; my whole life changed that day and I couldn't be happier!
Why did you get started with the NWTF?
I love turkey hunting, and I grew up around it because my dad was a turkey hunter. I had recently retired from the Marine Corps and was ready to start turkey hunting when I found the NWTF.
Why do you sponsor so many banquets?
Because it's a great cause. My wife and I believe in the NWTF and what it stands for. We like to get together with members, talk turkey and have a good time. We also attend the national convention every year and have a great time!
What are your three favorite NWTF events?
The Sylvester, Ga., banquet. That's a great group of folks and it has a real family feeling. A lot of good friends show up there and it's very enjoyable overall. It is also one of the largest with over 200 people present.
I really like the Perry, Ga., banquet, too. It's a smaller one and not overly crowded; we really enjoy the friends, auction and raffles. And, of course, there's the national convention. It ranks right up at the top. There's a lot of excitement and fun with meeting folks, networking, the entertainment, and seeing the exhibitors. It's a turkey hunter's Mecca.
What are the trends you're seeing in banquets?
I'm seeing more and more families, which is a great thing. We're getting more wives and children involved. Promoting family, education, conservation and hunting is a great thing for the NWTF.
What do you do when you're not attending banquets or working?
This might sound different, but I'm a treasure diver and treasure hunter. I've been working with some of the folks on the 1715 Treasure Fleet off the Florida coast. I've brought up interesting artifacts that can end up in the state and local museums or with collectors. Unfortunately, the best diving season coincides with turkey season so I have balance them the best I can.
I'm also a photographer, history buff, gun collector, and competitive shooter; we enjoy camping, hiking, and world travel, too.
Why should somebody join the NWTF?
This is simple, because with the NWTF you get the most bang for your buck when it comes to education, conservation, and promoting the wild turkey. Not to mention friendships and more that will last a lifetime!