Mission of the National Wild Turkey Foundation
For Tom Rodgers and other sportsmen who began the mission of stabilizing bird populations and habitat as a way to preserve hunting traditions, partnerships with individuals and organizations became the crucial aspects of the outreach process. With flocks almost completely eradicated through overhunting in several states such as Arkansas and Nebraska, it was just as important to educate the public as it was to save the birds [source: Arkansas game and Fish Commission].
Through education and outreach, the NWTF has established many programs for others to learn about its mission:
- JAKES: a program for kids up to age 12 that delivers a fun-filled educational experience
- Xtreme JAKES: a program for youth ages 13 through 17 that offers scholarships, contests and games
- Turkey Hunters Care: a program that distributes frozen turkeys to families in need during the holidays
- Wheelin' Sportsmen: a program designed for disabled sportsmen and sportswomen to help them enjoy outdoor hunting experiences and events
The NWTF hosts and sponsors a number of events for members who embody the mission -- one is the highly anticipated national annual convention. Local chapters sponsor their own events, like turkey shoots.
With more than $279 million raised by partners, members and other donors, the NWTF has been able to provide these and other outdoor programs while saving nearly 14 million acres (5.67 hectares) of native habitat since its inception [source: NWTF]. Today the wild turkey is nearly restored in North America, and leaders and members of the group are looking to the future to see what conservation will look like in the next 35 years. If you want to be part of that future, look ahead to the next section to learn about joining the NWTF.