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JAKES Program

Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship.

youth pulling arrows from a bag archery target

Educating Tomorrow’s Conservationists Today

JAKES events help pass on the traditions of responsible, safe and ethical hunting, and teach the principles of habitat management.

Established in 1981, the JAKES program is dedicated to informing, educating and involving youth 17 and younger in wildlife conservation and the wise stewardship of our natural resources.

For $10 a year, JAKES receive a year subscription to JAKES Country magazine (4 issues), a chance to win a hunt of a lifetime and a membership card.

female shooting instructor helping a youth shoot a shotgun
The Brandon Boss Gobbler Chapter of the SD NWTF conducted their Jakes Event near Garretson, SD on July 15, 2019. A young participant reacts to his try at shooting clay targets with the help of a chapter volunteer.

Educational Programs

Dr. James Earl Kennamer Scholarship Program

The purpose of the academic scholarship program is to recognize and reward an NWTF member, who is currently a senior in high school, for their outstanding academic achievement, community involvement and leadership roles.

The national scholarship winner will receive a $10,000 scholarship, sponsored by Mossy Oak.


  • Students should be graduating seniors with a minimum of a 3.0 on 4.0 scale or equivalent grade point average. (If transcript indicates a scale other than 4.0, student should have a minimum of 3.75 on a 5.0 scale, 4.5/6.0 scale, 5.25/7.0 scale, 6.0/8.0 scale, 6.75/9.0 scale or a 7.5/10.0 scale). Students must upload copies of transcripts for review. Finalist GPA and transcripts will be verified.
  • Students must be pursuing a degree at an accredited institution of higher education (i.e. Junior College, Community College, Technical College, College or University).
  • Students must actively participate in hunting, support the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage. A copy of current hunting license is required.
  • Students must be a current NWTF member. If they are not a current member of NWTF, they can visit or call (800) THE-NWTF to join. Students can request an ID number from our membership department to include with the application for membership verification purposes.
  • Students must be involved in school extra-curricular activities (i.e. FFA, Ecology Club, Science Club, Beta Club, Student Council, etc.).
  • Students must demonstrate leadership among his or her peers.
  • Students must demonstrate community leadership and/or involvement (i.e. 4-H, civic group or club, scouting, volunteer work).
  • Students must upload an essay (400-600 words) exhibiting dedication to conservation and preserving our hunting heritage. Essay must include:
    • Why the applicant will be a good investment if awarded this conservation scholarship
    • Any experiences and background that demonstrate their dedication to conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage
    • Why hunting is important to him/her and/or their family
  • Students must upload two letters of recommendation (i.e. from teachers, counselors, community or clergy (do not include relatives)

For questions regarding the scholarship or issues submitting applications please email Teresa Carroll at

About Dr. James Earl Kennamer

For more than three decades, Dr. James Earl Kennamer served as the NWTF’s chief conservation officer, guiding the conservation efforts of the organization in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Early on, he brought credibility to the NWTF’s cause, because of his established leadership in the field of wild turkey research and management. His dedication to America’s greatest game bird is immeasurable and his legacy within the NWTF will last for ages.

In 2016, the NWTF National Scholarship Program, which has awarded more than $5.5 million to students pursuing conservation-related careers, was renamed the Dr. James Earl Kennamer Scholarship Program.

Kennamer retired on August 31, 2017 after 37 years with the NWTF.

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