NASHVILLE, Tenn. – For outstanding achievement in coordinating and hosting events for individuals with mobility impairments or special needs, four National Wild Turkey Federation chapters received national recognition.
Representatives from the Turkeyville Toms, Pine Mountain Longbeards, Surry Longspurs and Botetourt Longbeards chapters accepted Wheelin’ Sportsmen awards during the 40th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show. RAM is the official convention sponsor.
The NWTF determined this year’s award winners based on how their work strengthens the organization’s Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.
Turkeyville Toms, Michigan – Best Special Event
More than 120 volunteers came together to host the Freedom Hunt, an event providing deer hunting opportunities to individuals with mobility impairments, especially wounded veterans who have fought for the freedoms we all enjoy in this country. Forty wounded vets and two civilians attended the three-day event that included deer hunting, multiple evening banquets, entertainment and time spent with fellow outdoorsmen and women.
Pine Mountain Longbeards, Tennessee – Best Partner Event
A team of nearly 100 volunteers from the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, local and national businesses and nonprofit groups, hosted the 11th annual ultimate turkey hunt. For many of the 26 wounded veterans from Fort Campbell, this was their first time hunting. Participants enjoyed banquets, fellowship and, of course, turkey hunting.
Surry Longspurs Chapter, North Carolina – Top Contributing Event
Surry Longspurs held the Yadkin Valley Wheelin’ Sportsmen Benefit and raised more than $21,000 to aid in the reactivation of hunters through future Wheelin’ Sportsmen events.
Botetourt Longbeards, Virginia – Wheelin’ Sportsmen Hunting Heritage Award
The 12th annual two-day mentored deer hunt for individuals with mobility impairments or special needs has a positive impact on the event participants, the numerous volunteers and all the sponsors that make it happen. The event consists of morning and evening hunts, meals provided by a local church, as well as education programs, guest speakers and chances to win door prizes. For many of the hunters, this is a chance to fill their freezer with wild game each year.
“Our volunteers hosting Wheelin’ Sportsmen events are providing wounded veterans and individuals with mobility impairments or special needs the opportunity to experience things they otherwise may never get to do,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “The lasting memories created from these events are truly priceless.”
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 Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
The NWTF 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 or enhance more than 4 million acres of essential upland wildlife habitat, create at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting, shooting and outdoor enjoyment. Without hunters, there will be no wildlife or habitat. The NWTF is determined to Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.
For more information, contact Peter Muller at (803) 637-7698.