Butch Knapp, Wyoming
Hometown: Cody, Wyo.
Home Chapter: North West Wyoming Local Chapter, Cody, Wyo.
NWTF member since: 1992
Wyoming's Butch Knapp with a fine Merriam's gobbler.
Butch has helped form six NWTF chapters in Wyoming. He was Wyoming state chapter president for 14 years. He is a founding member of the Northwest Wyoming Local Chapter and was its chapter president for five years.
Butch, his wife of 45 years, Rhonda, plus their two children and their families, are all involved with the NWTF in some capacity. Rhonda is Wyoming's Women in the Outdoors coordinator.
NWTF: Butch, what do you like most about turkey hunting?
Butch Knapp: I like spring and being outdoors during the rebirth of the year when our surroundings are starting to green up - it's pretty. After a tough year up here in the north, it's nice to get outside and start enjoying the outdoors again when everything is starting to come back to life.
NWTF: Would you say you're addicted to turkey hunting?
BK: Yeah, you could say that. I have a world slam, which took me four years to accomplish.
If people say they have never been turkey hunting before, I say, "Either don't go, be single or have a real understanding spouse because turkey hunting gets to you after a while."
NWTF: How did you get interested in the outdoors?
BK: I've enjoyed the outdoors since I was a pup. When I was growing up in Wyoming, being outside was just a way of life.
NWTF: Who introduced you to the outdoors?
BK: My dad, who hunted and fished, but was more of a fisherman than anything else.
NWTF: Do you think spending time outside helps families grow closer?
BK: Oh yes, being exposed to the outdoors at an early age has a bigger influence on your lifestyle than you may realize. It helps families spend quality time together and helps children get acquainted with the outdoors and everything it has to offer. When I was growing up, we were always camping in Yellowstone National Park when the elk were bugling or were camping and fishing somewhere.
NWTF: What makes you continue to support the NWTF year after year?
BK: I have enjoyed watching the NWTF grow in our state and getting to know the people who are involved with the NWTF. It is important for us to pass on our hunting heritage and help conserve our wildlife so it will not eventually disappear.
NWTF: Which NWTF outreach program is your favorite?
BK: Probably the JAKES and the Women in the Outdoors outreach programs. Every year we have more single mothers bringing their children to our chapter's JAKES and Women in the Outdoors events, because their children are looking for something to do.
I also think the NWTF scholarship program is a good thing. We have a volunteer who is a school counselor. Because he knew how to get our chapter's scholarship information into the local schools, the scholarship program is working quite well for us. We have now awarded more than $8,500 in scholarships. The secret is getting the right people in the right spot and going from there.
NWTF: Do you have any more secrets to finding good volunteers?
BK: I wish I did. (laughs) You just have to talk to people and not be afraid to ask them to volunteer. We have a good core group of volunteers who are still involved from when we first formed our chapter. We try to get together and have a barbecue or something once in a while so we stay connected year round, which helps our chapter. But we have gotten more volunteers from our JAKES events than anywhere else.
NWTF: What are some things your chapter is doing for wildlife conservation?
BK: We plant food plots and do riparian work along rivers and streams throughout northern Wyoming. We have also taken part in a winter oatbale project to help birds in eastern Wyoming get through the tough winters there.
NWTF: Why do you think people should be a part of the NWTF?
BK: I believe it is important for people to belong to something they believe in. I encourage people to join the NWTF, get involved and give it everything they've got. Everyone who buys an NWTF membership helps by giving the NWTF a bigger influence when our legislators make decisions.