“As the Texas WITO coordinator, my passion lies in introducing women to the sport of hunting, conservation and everything outdoors,” said Jessica Fitch, Houston Chapter volunteer. “It has been a joy to watch women with little knowledge or interest grow to love hunting, fishing, shooting, eating game, etc. We have now expanded our outreach efforts to youth. Our first year doing so has been a complete success! We have hosted over 100 kids in getting hunter education, introduced 12 kids to duck hunting, as well as put on a successful disabled youth hunt. As always, these events could not be successful without our dedicated volunteers and partnerships.”
The Best Inaugural Event Award is presented to chapters that have hosted an exceptional first-time hunting heritage event, including JAKES, Wheelin’ Sportsmen and Women in the Outdoors.
The Houston Chapter received the award for their inaugural JAKES Day, which saw over 150 attendees. Like all NWTF JAKES events, the day of fun was designed to get youth excited and interested in the outdoors by offering educational classes, range time, reptile handling and the proper way to field dress a deer, among other engaging activities.
A variety of partners collaborated with the chapter to make the event a success. The Texas Wildlife and Parks Department provided hunter, angler and archery educational classes. The Texas Youth Hunting Program provided a deer field dressing demonstration, and Texas Snakes and More provided a reptile education seminar.
The event offered the tools to teach youth and their parents the importance and knowledge of being an outdoorsman and outdoorswomen. Youth who participated in the event are now eligible be selected for TWPD and TYHP draw hunts.
“Keeping our events fun and engaging is vital to creating the next generation of hunters,” NWTF co-CEO Kurt Dyroff said. “We are proud to recognize the Houston Chapter for putting on an enriching new event that provided youth hands-on opportunities to get involved with the outdoors.”
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 conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale. 2023 is the NWTF's 50th anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization's mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50th anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and NWTF's people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.