Skip to content
NWTF Success Stories

Sykes Receives National Recognition from the NWTF

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The National Wild Turkey Federation honored Chuck Sykes, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources director of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, with the C.B. McLeod Award for his productive and enduring career as a wildlife manager and his dedication to conservation.

February 17, 20242 min read

“It is an honor to receive the C.B. McLeod Award from my colleagues at the National Wild Turkey Federation,” Sykes said. “During my time as division director, NWTF and the Alabama Chapter have been unwavering supporters of turkey conservation, turkey hunting and our department. Throughout my career, I have worked to share my passion for wildlife conservation and hunting with anyone who has an interest. It is particularly meaningful to be recognized by an organization that shares the same passion. I thank NWTF for their continued commitment to preserving America’s hunting traditions.”

Sykes received the C.B. McLeod Award during the NWTF’s 48th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.

C.B McLeod, a former NWTF National Board of Directors member, was a pillar in establishing the foundation of the NWTF. Favorable lending practices along with his diligent efforts to keep the NWTF financially solvent during the early years was invaluable. McLeod had a heart for conservation and believed in the mission to restore the wild turkey. This award honoring him recognizes individuals who dedicate their lives to wildlife conservation.

Sykes has been the director of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources since December 2012. Additionally, the membership of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies recently elected Sykes as its new president during its 113th annual meeting in Calgary, Canada.

Sykes’ life has always been about conservation. From hunting and fishing in Choctaw County, Alabama, to his hands-on experience in the field and education, Sykes has developed a unique set of skills. He supports his interests and often serves as a calling contest judge for the Grand National Calling Championships and works closely with the Alabama State Chapter of the NWTF to further its mission.

Sykes is a passionate professional, committed to conservation, Alabama’s hunting heritage, and conserving wildlife and related natural resources. He has brought new participants to hunting and fishing through the creation of Special Opportunity Areas and the Alabama Adult Mentored Hunting Program. He involves young people, nonhunters and more by sharing and promoting conservation efforts.

Sykes has lived in the Montgomery area for more than 20 years, is happily married to his wife, Gigi, and is the proud “parent” of Syd, a 12-year-old miniature Australian Shepard. He also assists his father, Willie Sykes, with their family cattle farm.

“Chuck is a leader among leaders in the conservation arena,” NWTF co-CEO Kurt Dyroff said. “He has been a great friend of the NWTF, and as a steward of the resource, he understands the importance of his role in the future of the NWTF mission and the guidance needed at the local, state and national level. It is our honor to present him with the prestigious C.B. McLeod Award in recognition of his commitment to the wild turkey and much more.”

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 Habitats
  • Healthy Harvests
  • Land Management
  • Wildlife Management