Hunters and conservationists work as one to achieve deep-rooted, long-lasting goals.
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of dedicated work, that number hit an historic high of almost 7 million turkeys—an accomplishment considered by many to be of the greatest success stories in wildlife conservation. The foundation of our success? Standing behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights.
Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our dedicated volunteers, professional staff and committed partners, we have had many successes that advanced our mission. Together, we have facilitated the investment of more than half a billion dollars in wildlife conservation and the preservation of North America’s hunting heritage. Our returns have included improving more than 22 million acres of wildlife habitat since the founding of the NWTF and introducing 100,000 people to the outdoors each year.
Since the organization’s inception, the NWTF has contributed over $9 million to crucial wild turkey research projects — with more than $1.2 million in funding allocated between 2022 and 2023 alone — which is then leveraged further through partnership-matched funding.
The NWTF supports and helps coordinate the Wild Turkey Symposium, bringing together the greatest minds in wild turkey research to gather and share their findings. The research that has resulted from this consortium of agency and academic scientists and NWTF biologists has driven wild turkey management across the country and is the core science responsible for the comeback of the wild turkey and addressing the declines we are experiencing in some areas.
To balance the future needs of wild turkey research, the NWTF is working through NWTF Technical Committee members (state agency representatives to the NWTF) and with the Western, Mid-Western, Northeastern and Southeastern Associations of Wildlife Agencies to outline future research needs that will help guide priorities and identify the best places for the NWTF to invest in research.
Creating wild turkey habitat is where the NWTF pours the majority of its resources because we know that this is the most effective way to benefit wild turkeys on a scale that makes a difference. Since the NWTF was founded, it has conserved or enhanced more than 22 million acres of wildlife habitat to benefit wild turkeys.
The NWTF conservatively leverages funding 4-to-1, meaning for every dollar raised by our dedicated volunteers, members and staff, we turn it into four dollars at an absolute minimum. It’s not uncommon to see our dollars being leveraged at an even higher rate. That’s why our 30-plus-year partnership with the USDA Forest Service is so strong; it’s why our partnership with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service is rapidly growing; and it’s why we are often engaged to improve habitat by an array of other partners, ranging from state wildlife agencies, state forestry agencies, non-governmental organizations, private organizations and private donors.
On Capitol Hill and at capital buildings across the nation, we advocate on behalf of our federal land management partners, such as the Forest Service and NRCS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Land Management, to better fund forest and grassland restoration and reforestation efforts. Those efforts have a direct impact on wild turkey habitat while also reducing risks of wildfire, improving water for millions of people and increasing hunting opportunities on federal lands.
NWTF staff has been at the table to help craft the language of the Farm Bill’s conservation title, the Great American Outdoors Act, the Pittman-Robertson Modernization Act, the Trillion Trees Act and the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act to name just a few.
At the state level, our staff works closely with state chapters and partners to identify and engage in policy and regulations that affect conservation, hunters, outdoors enthusiasts and our ability to fundraise.
Through action alerts, letter-writing campaigns, legislative testimony and other forums, the NWTF is proactively protecting our lifestyle and working with state wildlife agencies to reduce barriers to conservation delivery.
The NWTF continues to invest heavily in wild turkey research to tackle the greatest issues facing wild turkeys.
Hunters and recreational shooters fund wildlife and natural resource conservation.
Get an in-depth look at our conservation successes to date with updated stats, reports and more.
Conservation experts identified regions across the country with similar conservation needs.
The NWTF is working on landscape level across the country to ensure the future of wildlife and wild places.
The NWTF advocates for conservation and hunting heritage from the local to the federal levels.
A wide-angle view of the profound impact our conservation efforts have across the landscape.
Conserved or Enhanced (Since 1973)
Invested in the Mission (Since 1973)
Conserved of Enhanced (Since 2012)
Recruited or Retained (Since 2012)
Opened for Hunting (Since 2012)
Influenced Annually (State and Federal)