The Johnsons are NWTF major donors with the Rappahannock Spurs Chapter in Fredericksburg, Virginia, the birthplace of the NWTF in 1973.
Corey and Carrie Johnson have four kids: Christina (23), Dalton (22), Coby (19) and Lincoln (9). They wanted each of their children to have a lifetime membership to the NWTF so they could be connected with our organization and our mission forever.
“That says a lot about the commitment the Johnsons have for the wild turkeys and conservation,” said Zac Morton, NWTF director of development in Virginia. “We certainly are fortunate to have them all in our NWTF Family!”
How did you become involved with the NWTF?
Corey is a self-taught, passionate turkey hunter who started turkey hunting in the early 1990s in his 20s. Corey took Carrie to her first NWTF Banquet in 2016 where they both volunteered to help set up the event and later became committee members. The next spring, Corey accepted a challenge from their local chapter to introduce a female to turkey hunting. Corey talked Carrie into going on her first spring turkey hunt. She remembers walking what felt like ‘10 miles’ before daylight to get set up for their morning hunt.
Although they didn’t harvest a bird that morning, the flame was lit for Carrie. She also remembers taking their youngest son, Lincoln, who at the time was 4, to an NWTF JAKES event in northern Virginia. It was a field day filled with outdoor- and hunting-related activities for kids.
“This is when we really made the connection personally with the hunting heritage side of the NWTF mission,” Carrie said.
What drives you to contribute your time, energy and funds to the NWTF?
After being heavily involved for more than five years, the Johnsons see how their resources make an impact for the NWTF.
“We feel strongly about the NWTF’s mission and believe its success is critical for the future of hunting and conservation,” Carrie said.
Carrie also credits her relationship with Julie Abel, chapter president for their local chapter, as an important piece in their journey with the NWTF. Julie and others with the chapter welcomed the Johnsons in from the beginning.
“It made us want to jump in and get involved simply because they were such good people and it was obvious of their passion for the organization,” Carrie said of the chapter.
What is your favorite memory or accomplishment as an NWTF donor and member?
“We certainly remember our first NWTF National Convention in Nashville,” Carrie said. “What an incredible experience. We were blown away and kind of star struck multiple times. We had an opportunity to meet and visit with CEO Becky Humphries. She made a point to visit and talk with the NWTF sponsors at the particular social we attended. We also got to visit with Cuz Strickland on the show floor. We’ve been fans of his forever!”
"What an incredible experience. We were blown away and kind of starstruck multiple times.”
Corey also had an unexpected meeting with Col. Tom Kelly, turkey hunting’s poet laureate.
“I was waiting in line to jump on the elevator and noticed a couple folks in front of me that needed a little help with some luggage,” Corey said. “Unbeknownst to me, it was Col. Tom Kelly! Tom invited me to his booth the next day where we visited and he signed a couple pieces for my collection.”
The Johnsons best memory, though, was orchestrating the Rappahannock Chapter Sponsor banquet in August 2020.
“Because of all the restrictions locally we decided to rent a tent and have it at our house,” Carrie said. “It was certainly a lot of work on everyone, but we pulled it off. Not to mention we had to move the event up a day at the last minute because of a hurricane coming up the East coast. It was important for us and our chapter to get that event in for the NWTF’s Call for All Campaign, and it was a great success.”