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Virginia Wildlife Manager Wins National Award for Efforts

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — For his dedication to helping wildlife and the valuable expertise he brings to the staff of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), Marvin Gautier was honored with a prestigious national award.

Gautier received the National Wild Turkey Federation's Joe Kurz Excellence in Wildlife Management Award Feb. 17 at the NWTF's 35th annual National Convention and Sport Show in Nashville. The award recognizes wildlife managers who have proven themselves as exceptional stewards of wild turkey populations and habitat.

"A friend got me involved with wildlife management a long time ago. This award is for him and the people I work with," said Gautier. "I enjoy the outdoors and the VDGIF has given me a lot of opportunities. It's been great to work here."

Gautier began his involvement with VDGIF as a volunteer and part-time worker before accepting a full-time position as a wildlife manager in 1995. He has developed a reputation as the department's "go-to" expert for turkey information because of his experience trapping and transferring wild turkeys, attaching transmitters to the birds, tracking them for research and more. His work also includes taking wild turkey brood, gobbling and mast crop surveys.

Gautier's experiences also include trapping and tracking bears using radio telemetry, and locating bear dens.

"Marvin's dedication to conservation and his love for wildlife sets an incredible example for Virginia's citizens," said James Earl Kennamer, Ph.D., NWTF's chief conservation officer. "Wild turkeys, bear and other wildlife have benefitted directly because of Marvin's efforts, and Virginia's hunters and other wildlife enthusiasts are lucky to have him in their state."

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.

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

Founded in 1973, the NWTF 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, spending more than $331 million to conserve 15.9 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

The NWTF works to increase interest in the outdoors by bringing new hunters and conservationists into the fold through outdoor education events and its outreach programs - Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen, JAKES and Xtreme JAKES.

2011 Convention Sponsors

MidwayUSA – Official Sponsor

Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Bank of America, Benelli USA, Browning-USRAC, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, Chevrolet, Federal Premium Ammunition, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, HuntVe, Marlin Firearms Company, Mossberg & Sons Inc., Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nationwide, The Outdoor Connection Inc., Remington Arms Company Inc., Rivers Edge Treestands, SHE Outdoor Apparel, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, Weatherby Inc., Wild Turkey Bourbon, Winchester/Olin Corporation




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