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02/09/2012

Texas Wildlife Manager Wins National NWTF Award

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Photos and interviews for media available upon request through Josh Fleming.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. —For his dedication to helping wildlife and the valuable expertise he brings to the staff of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Division, Randy Fugate of Falfurrias, Texas, was honored with a prestigious national award.

Fugate received the NWTF’s Joe Kurz Excellence in Wildlife Management Award at the 36th annual NWTF National Convention and Sport Show held Feb. 9-12 in Nashville, Tenn. The award recognizes wildlife managers who have proven themselves as exceptional stewards of wild turkey populations and habitat.

“I am awestruck to win such a prestigious award from the NWTF,” said Fugate. “I have many people to thank for this honor, as this has been a team effort from the start. South Texas landowners, cooperators, researchers, fellow TPWD employees, biologists and volunteers have all been supportive of my efforts and are reason for the success of the Rio Grande wild turkey.”

Fugate began his involvement with TPWD more than 38 years ago and has spent his entire career working for Texas wildlife. He works closely with private landowners to ensure the success of many programs for the wild turkey and other wildlife. His work with the trap and transfer of the Rio Grande wild turkey and research projects has helped them flourish and made south Texas a popular destination for many out-of-state hunters. His easy-going manner, wonderful sense of humor and ability to work with everyone has earned him the nickname, “Ambassador of South Texas.”

“Randy’s nearly 40-year dedication to conservation and his love for wildlife sets an incredible example for Texans,” said James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., NWTF’s chief conservation officer. “Randy was instrumental in the first Eastern wild turkey transfers in Texas from other states during the mid-1980s, which not only helped restore turkeys in east Texas, but in many other states using similar interstate turkey transfer programs.”

The Joe Kurz Excellence in Wildlife Management Award is named in honor of a former Georgia Department of Natural Resources wildlife chief for his leadership and the vital role he played in improving wildlife management. Kurz also was a principal figure in the wild turkey trap and transfer program across North America.

The NWTF, a national nonprofit organization, is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, investing more than $372 million to conserve 17 million acres of essential habitat for all types of wildlife.

Each year at the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show, the NWTF presents awards to dedicated conservationists from across North America. MidwayUSA was this year’s official convention sponsor.

For more information about the Joe Kurz Excellence in Wildlife Management Award or other convention highlights, visit www.nwtf.org or call (800) THE-NWTF.

2012 Convention Sponsors

MidwayUSA — Official Sponsor
Academy Sports + Outdoors, Barronett Blinds, Bass Pro Shops, Benelli, Big Tex Trailers, Bird Dog and Whitetail Whiskey, Browning, Cabela’s, Chevrolet, Federal Premium Ammunition, Marlin Firearms, Mossy Oak, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nationwide, O.F. Mossberg, Remington Arms Company, Inc., Titan UTV, Winchester/Olin Corporation, U.S. Sportsman’s Alliance, Weatherby, Wild Turkey Bourbon

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