Brown Receives National Award from NWTF


NASHVILLE, TENN. – Ray Brown’s devotion to providing outdoor opportunities to individuals with mobility impairments and special needs has earned him the Wheelin’ Sportsmen Volunteer of the Year Award from the National Wild Turkey Federation.

“As a Wheelin’ Sportsmen member, the NWTF helps me to ‘unlock the brakes and do what it takes,’” Brown said.  

Brown, of North Branch, Michigan, accepted the Wheelin’ Sportsmen Volunteer of the Year Award during the 46th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.

Brown has been involved with the NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen Program since 2003. He is also the founder of the Wheelin’ Team 457, which not only organizes mentored hunts for people with disabilities, but also puts together fishing tournaments, air rifle shooting events and more.

Each year the NWTF and Brown’s Wheelin’ Team 457 partner to host a turkey hunt in the spring and a deer hunt in the fall that have as many as 40 disabled hunters participate at each.

Brown also was co-chairman of several Wheelin' Sportsmen benefits and has a longtime commitment to the disabled community. Brown’s passion for helping others and being an advocate of the R3 (recruitment, retention and reactivation) movement are just a few reasons he has earned the NWTF’s Wheelin’ Sportsmen Volunteer of the Year Award. 

“The outdoors is for everybody,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “Our dedicated volunteers never cease to amaze me in their efforts to make the outdoors available for those with limitations. Ray has overcome his own limitations and taken it a step farther by helping others defeat similar barriers. We are proud to recognize Ray’s passion and dedication to preserving our hunting heritage.” 

The NWTF Wheelin’ Sportsmen Program provides all people with disabilities opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. NWTF chapters host Wheelin’ Sportsmen events across North America to help participants gain a sense of independence by learning to stay active in the outdoors on their own.

About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters' rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final year of the initiative.

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