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02/15/2014

Robert Spencer Earns National Conservation Award



Robert Spencer
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NASHVILLE, Tenn.— Robert Spencer's passion for conserving wild turkeys and wildlife habitat has earned him a Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Award.

Spencer, of Lawrenceburg, Ky., accepted his award during the 38th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show in Nashville, Tenn. MidwayUSA was the official show sponsor.

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) determined this year's award winners based on how their work strengthens the organization's new Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Spencer, a 2011 inductee in Kentucky's Turkey Hunter's Hall of Fame, demonstrates a life-long devotion to promoting ethical hunting and conservation.

"The NWTF's mission statement made me want to get involved because it was more conservation-oriented than any other hunting organization," Spencer said. "The focus has never wavered. I've seen what a difference conservation makes, and am proud to play a part in helping wildlife and hunting thrive. Winning this award is one of the greatest awards I've ever received."

The Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Awards are given to NWTF members who are not employed as professional wildlife managers, but have made significant contributions to wild turkey conservation.

Spencer manages his 500-acre family farm for wildlife. In the 80s he played an instrumental role in trapping and transferring wild turkeys to Kentucky, which helped reestablish the bird's population and created hunting opportunities. He also has led his local Anderson County Sportsman's Club for 40 years.

Spencer has served as a member of the NWTF Kentucky State Chapter board of directors for 27 years, and completed four-year terms as the state chapter board's president and vice president. He helped form several NWTF chapters within the state and regularly hosts events to introduce youth, women and people with disabilities to the outdoors. His children and grandchildren enjoy the outdoors, making Spencer's love of conservation and hunting a family pursuit. "Robert has been instrumental in introducing and educating new hunters in Kentucky," said Dave Mahlke, NWTF senior vice president of volunteer relations, field operations and training. "His service to the sportsman of his home state and to the NWTF consists of tremendous conservation work including reestablishing wild turkeys. I'm proud to call Robert a fellow NWTF member."

The NWTF's Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to give the NWTF more energy and purpose than ever. Through this national initiative, NWTF has committed to raising $1.2 billion to conserve and enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million new hunters and open access to 500,000 new acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.

Rob Stover of Missouri and William "Lee" Johnson of California also received Latham awards at this year's convention.

For more information about the Roger M. Latham Sportsman Wild Turkey Service Awards or other convention highlights, contact Melanie Swearingen at mswearingen@nwtf.net or (803) 637-7634.

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