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Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports Earns National NWTF Hunting Heritage Award

NASHVILLE, Tenn. ― The National Wild Turkey Federation recognized the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports with the Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award for its contributions to conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

February 17, 20243 min read

“I am deeply honored to receive the 2024 Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award on behalf of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports,” said Dr. Steven Leath, CAHSS executive director. “The Council is dedicated to enhancing participation in hunting and the shooting sports, fostering national R3 (recruitment, retention, reactivation) initiatives, and educating the public about hunters' significant contributions to wildlife conservation. This mission is a common thread that binds us to Lynn Boykin and to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s efforts to celebrate and preserve America’s hunting heritage. I am also aware of the exceptional class of recipients in the past and accept this award with genuine appreciation and humility on behalf of the Council's Board of Directors and our devoted team. This recognition is a moment we will cherish, filled with pride and a sense of accomplishment.”

Leath accepted the award during the NWTF’s 48th annual Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.

The Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award’s namesake was a former president and chairperson of the NWTF’s National Board of Directors. During her tenure, she emphasized the importance of hunting heritage and helped create a new outlook for the organization.

As Boykin did, the CAHSS works to advance our nation’s outdoor traditions.

The organization is a nonprofit formed 14 years ago as a coalition of state fish and wildlife agencies, conservation organizations and the shooting sports industry. The Council has become the nationally recognized expert in coordinating and advancing recruitment, retention and reactivation (R3) of hunters and shooters with the mission to grow and promote the hunting and shooting sports.

Early on, the Council led a team of experts in drafting an action plan outlining strategies to create more hunters and shooting sports participants. The Council’s innovative approach served as a catalyzing agent for conservation partners to develop strategic approaches addressing localized challenges. The Council is currently leading a team to update the national plan.

The CAHSS tracks hunting and shooting sports participation and license purchasing trends to help state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and industries engaged in R3. It also works to provide R3 partners with countless services and resources. CAHSS works to partner and aid on multi-state conservation grant projects, provide technical assistance in developing state or regional strategic plans and host and facilitate webinars, workshops and trainings. The Council developed the National R3 Community and the National R3 Clearinghouse, a digital repository for hunting, recreational target shooting, angling, boating and other outdoor-recreation resources.

The Council has played an integral role in bringing together agency, nongovernmental organizations and industry. In May 2018 the Council hosted the first National R3 Symposium which brought together several hundred representatives across the country ranging from practitioners to agency directors and CEOs, resulting in a groundswell of partnership and national R3 focus and efforts.

In 2014 NWTF officially aligned and partnered with the Council and has held a strong partnership since. CAHSS’s leadership has helped build the framework for NWTF’s R3 and outreach efforts.

“The Council, under the leadership of Dr. Steven Leath and his incredible staff, is deserving of the Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award for its strategic guidance and tireless efforts to bring the national R3 community together,” NWTF co-CEO Kurt Dyroff said. “CAHSS understands the incredible importance hunting plays in the North American Model of Conservation, and we are proud to distinguish them with this award.”

About the National Wild Turkey Federation  

Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has positively impacted over 23 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The NWTF has also invested over $9 million into wild turkey research to guide the management of the wild turkey population and to ensure sustainable populations into perpetuity. The organization continues to deliver its mission by working across boundaries on a landscape scale through its Four Shared Values: clean and abundant water, healthy forests and wildlife habitat, resilient communities, and robust recreational opportunities. With the help of its dedicated members, partners and staff, the NWTF continues its work to provide Healthy Habitats. and Healthy Harvests. for future generations. 

Filed Under:
  • Convention and Sport Show
  • Healthy Harvests
  • Hunting Heritage
  • Learn to Hunt