EDGEFIELD, SC — The NWTF has awarded Steve Adams, a wildlife biologist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, the Joe Kurz Wildlife Manager of the Year Award for decades of excellent management of wildlife and wild turkey habitat. .
“Over the past 28 years with KDWP, I have been fortunate to be able to work on turkey habitat development, research projects and youth hunts to pass down the hunting legacy to the next generation,” Adams said. “To be recognized by NWTF with the Joe Kurz Wildlife Manager of the Year award is the honor of my career as a biologist. All of my work with wild turkey has been a collaboration with many co-workers and the partnership we have with the National Wild Turkey Federation. When I started working with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, I was fortunate to be in an area with a large turkey population. Through our trap and transfer program, we were able to move birds to western Kansas, Texas, and Utah. It was very rewarding to see how these birds flourished in their new habitats.”
Adams received the Joe Kurz Wildlife Manager of the Year Award at the NWTF’s 50he anniversary celebration during its 47he NWTF annual convention and sports extravaganza, sponsored by Mossy Oak.
The NWTF named Joe Kurz Wildlife Manager of the Year in honor of the former chief of wildlife for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for his leadership and vital role he played in improving wildlife management efforts. Kurz was also a leading figure in the wild turkey trap and transfer programs in North America.
Adams began his career with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks in 1995 as a Biological Technician in the Wilson Wildlife Area through the Wildlife Management Institute. He is now a wildlife biologist for the area north of Wichita, a cooperative position between KDWP and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. In this capacity, Adams works with landowners to provide habitat management programs in south central Kansas. He actively participates in all KDWP population monitoring surveys, including the prairie chicken, pheasant, quail, and deer surveys. However, it is in his work with wild turkeys where Adams’ experience and passion shines.
Adams has spent many a cold morning in a blind overlooking a field, waiting for turkeys to enter a drop zone to capture them. She was an integral part of the turkey restoration process in Kansas, identifying wintering flocks to use as population sources for restoration efforts in other parts of the state. She led the effort to trap wild turkey flocks from 1998 to 2004 for restoration efforts in Utah and provided turkeys to Texas in 2013.
Adams has served on the KDWP Turkey Committee since 2007, providing vital perspective and important leadership. He has been a consistent leader on the committee, continually advocating for hunting opportunities while balancing the population status of the species.
Additionally, he has mentored many younger committee members and has provided an important and impactful perspective to several state biologists and KDWP leadership.
Adams has led a sustained effort to develop, coordinate and direct youth-led turkey hunts in central Kansas for nearly 20 years.
“Throughout his incredible career, Steve has been a champion for wild turkey and our hunting heritage in Kansas,” said NWTF Co-Executive Director Kurt Dyroff. “His 28 years of dedicated service speak for themselves. We are proud to honor his work with the NWTF Wildlife Manager of the Year Award.”
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested more than half a billion dollars in wildlife conservation and has conserved or improved more than 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to advance wildlife conservation, forest resiliency, and robust recreational opportunities across the US by working beyond borders at the landscape scale.
2023 is the 50th of the NWTFhe anniversary and an opportunity to push the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. for his 50he anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and the people of NWTF; and raise $5 million to build a $50 million endowment for the future. Find out how you can help us achieve these lofty goals.