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Al Hatman

Al Hatman at the NWTF's 33rd Annual Convention and Sport Show in Nashville.

Home Chapter: Long Hollow Longbeards, Goodlettsville, Tenn.

Title: Chapter Secretary

Notable Fact: Al's chapter partners with other chapters to put on bigger and better outreach events.

NWTF: Tell us a little bit about your involvement with the NWTF.

Al Hatman: I'm currently the Long Hollow Longbeards Chapter Secretary and I've been an NWTF member for 12 years.

NWTF: What's your favorite part about turkey hunting?

AH: I have a stressful job as an air traffic controller, so being outside in God's creation just recharges me. It helps me relax. Being outdoors is a wonder for me and helps me face the rest of life's challenges.

NWTF: How did you get started turkey hunting?

AH: I used to be a big deer hunter a while back, but my friend invited me to go turkey hunting with him. I called in a nice gobbler, and at about 50 yards away I had him hang up on me and ever since then, I've been hooked!

NWTF: How did your season go last year?

AH: I had a pretty good season. I got one gobbler last year, but more importantly, I spent a lot of time taking new hunters out last year. I have as much fun taking someone hunting and helping them get a gobbler as I do getting a bird for myself.

NWTF: Experienced hunters tell us that all the time. Why do you think that's so?

AH: Because when you see the look in someone's eyes the first time they get a bird, that's worth it right there. They're more excited than anything you can think of.

NWTF: So sharing the passion and helping new hunters discover the rush is a thrill in itself?

AH: You got it.

NWTF: So what's in store for your 2009 turkey season? Do you have any travel plans, or are you staying in Tennessee?

AH: I've got three out of four birds for my Grand Slam, and it would be nice to go to Florida and get an Osceola, but I'll probably hunt closer to home this year. Maybe next year I'll get my Slam.

NWTF: Let's talk about your chapter for a minute. What kind of outreach events are the Long Hollow Longbeards involved in?

AH: We helped distribute JAKES Education Boxes to five different 3rd grade classes at a local elementary school and showed them a JAKES movie in their auditorium. We got an outstanding response from the kids, and it was GREAT to see so many boy and girls raise their hands when I asked the audience, "How many of you have been turkey hunting before?"

We're a major sponsor of the Archery In The Schools Program for two schools in the area, and we're working hard to get more conservation education in the schools because it's such a big part of the future of hunting.

NWTF: Sounds great, Al. Any other outreach events that you're involved in?

A big portion of our banquet proceeds go to Wheelin' Sportsmen NWTF, and we work with other chapters to put on Women in the Outdoors events. We feel that sometimes it's better to co-sponsor a big event with other chapters rather than to have many separate events.

NWTF: Al, what would you say to the hunters out there who haven't yet joined the NWTF?

AH: Personally, I think it's like going to the woods without taking any ammunition! The camaraderie you have with other people and the tips you learn from them through the NWTF are fantastic. I have never, EVER met a long-time turkey hunter who was not willing to take a new hunter out and show them the ropes. The members are incredible.

NWTF: Anything else you want to tell people?

AH: Yes: spread the word to our kids about the outdoors. Children represent the future of conservation and the future of hunting!



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