In 2012 when the National Wild Turkey Federation first entered into the Save that Habitat. Save the Hunt. Initiative, the NWTF had set a goal of creating 1.5 million hunters before 2022. Well in October 2019, 3 years before the target date, the NWTF officially reached that goal. An incredible and prideful feat! Many of the recorded “hunters created” were through the Families Afield Program, as well as the use of Mentor Licenses that many states participate in. These programs are fantastic ways to get people out into the field and get them hooked on the hunting lifestyle. Another way to make that impact, is to create more opportunities for newer hunters. Not just youth hunters, but adults that are just starting out on their personal hunting journey.
In 2019, the California State Chapter of the NWTF teamed up with CDFW Environmental Scientist’s Helayna Pera and Josh Bush to partner in on a mentored hunt for planted pheasants at the Sacramento Bypass Wildlife Area. CDFW coordinated the field prep, conducted the hunt drawing, and supplied two pheasants per hunter. The NWTF coordinated the volunteer dog handlers, hunting mentors, 2 extra pheasants per person, blaze orange safety vests/hats, and the food/drinks for a post hunt lunch.
A good mixture of adult and youth hunters were drawn, and fun was had by all! The dog handlers worked the fields while the hunt mentors were able to keep an eye out for safety and provide helpful instruction. All participants had a shot opportunity at a bird, while a few hunters even bagged their first ever pheasants! A great event that could not have happened without the support of our incredible volunteers, and funding support from funds raised at local NWTF banquets. Contact us to see how you can help out at future events!