New York — NWTF-supported “Wild Turkeys in Wisconsin” TV special, produced by life member Mark LaBarbera of Hazel Green, Wisconsin, and member Dan Small of Westby, Wisconsin, won two first place awards at the prestigious Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers conference. AGLOW is a dynamic organization of the nation’s top writers, editors, publishers and other media professionals who educate and inform audiences throughout North America and the world.
Outdoor Heritage Education Center in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the National Wild Turkey Federation and Hunting Works for Wisconsin successfully developed, edited, produced and aired this 1-hour TV special that showcases Wisconsin’s successful restoration and management of wild turkey populations. The award-winning production communicates effectively with hunters, landowners and the public about turkey population ecology and management issues. It also showcases great NWTF partners, like the forest industry.
“Rarely does a show win top honors in both the Hunting and the Open categories,” said Dan Small, host and co-producer. “But, the judges apparently recognized that this was a conservation success story with broad public appeal, and not just for viewers in Wisconsin.”
The show includes more than 17 video segments that are being used independently and together in various combinations as outreach tools for social media, workshops, educators, partners, constituents or other year-round uses.
“Members like Mark and Dan already understand our mission, which makes it easier for us to work together to fulfill that mission,” said Wisconsin NWTF State President David Burke.
NWTF members are familiar with OHEC from teaming up on projects like Loaner Guns, Midwest Outdoor Heritage Education Expo, National Archery in the Schools and other projects. OHEC’s mission is “To increase the public’s understanding, appreciation and sense of stewardship for natural resources and professional resource management, as well as related activities like hunting and fishing.”
The favorable comments about the program received from stakeholders, as well as media and natural resource professionals, is especially gratifying because the time available to produce this one-hour program was dramatically reduced due to personnel changes and transitions at WDNR. OHEC received the signed agreement to proceed during late fall 2016 instead of June 1, and worked around the lack of spring backdrops for filming. DNR’s Krista Pham and Mark Witecha were key cooperators. Former DNR upland bird program leader, Scott Walter, helped initiate the project before accepting a new position with the Ruffed Grouse Society.
Dan Small hosts the show. It includes national leaders from the National Wild Turkey Federation, Sustainable Forestry Initiative and Vista Outdoors, parent of Federal Premium Ammunition, Savage Arms and Bushnell, plus representatives from Wisconsin retailer and tourism industries, who help lead the Hunting Works for Wisconsin initiative. They talk about the success and value of Wisconsin’s natural resources and the management of those resources.
“Wild Turkeys in Wisconsin” was publicized on social media, print and TV. Various members of the Wisconsin Outdoor Communicators Association ran press releases promoting the show and its airtimes. Dan Small Outdoors Radio promoted the show. Outdoor News publicized the turkey special. DNR’s Witecha appeared with Dan Small for 90 minutes on Wisconsin Public Radio’s “The Larry Meiller Show.”
The show aired on Fox Sports North in five states, Fox Sports Wisconsin and FOX 47 in Madison and counties surrounding the State Capital, as well as public access television stations throughout America’s Dairyland, including WDSE TV in northern Wisconsin and northeastern Minnesota.
For more information, contact Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NWTF-Wisconsin improves wildlife habitat by expanding its conservation-based seed program for private landowners. It also works with state and federal wildlife agency partners on critical habitat projects. The state puts a focus on oak management, forest openings, private lands and winter food.
NWTF-Wisconsin and its partners create hunters and conservationists through hunter education, Learn to Hunt programs and mentored hunts.
NWTF-Wisconsin works with partners to increase hunting access to public and private lands. To learn more, visit NWTF.org.