The next event celebrates 50 years of turkey conservation!

EDGEFIELD, SC — Join the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NWTF and wild turkey restoration in the Land of 10,000 Lakes on July 22 in Caledonia (where the Wild turkeys were first reintroduced to Minnesota in the 1970s).

“We are beyond excited to bring together all of our partners, volunteers and major donors from across the state to celebrate one of America’s greatest wildlife conservation success stories, both across the country and here in Minnesota.” said Tom Glines, NWTF director of development. “We are going to pack 50 years of excitement and fun into one action-packed day in Caledonia. We hope you can join us!”

Outdoor industry brands, MNDNR, Minnesota Hunter-Conservationists and NWTF chapters from across the state will gather in Caledonia’s North Park at 2 pm to dedicate three bronze burial mounds commemorating the incredible restoration of the turkey wild in Minnesota and everyone who made it. possible.

The event will kick off with a welcome address from Caledonia Mayor Dwayne “Tank” Schroeder, a member of the NWTF’s Houston County chapter since the chapter’s inception in 1984.

NWTF Minnesota State Chapter President Linden Anderson will also address the crowd, speaking about the restoration efforts he was directly involved with during the 1980s and 1990s.

At around 3:00 pm, attendees will walk to the nearby Four Seasons Community Center for a welcome reception. Cakes and light refreshments will be provided during this social event as attendees discuss turkey and swap stories about the past 50 years of wild turkey conservation.

Following the reception, former wild turkey hunters directly involved in Minnesota’s restoration efforts will recreate how the wild turkeys were trapped and moved. They will also provide a discussion on the nuances of trapping and relocating wild turkeys.

At night, a 50he An Anniversary Blowout Gun Blast fundraising event will be held.

For more information on this celebratory event, contact Glines at [email protected] or (612) 810-7704.

Historically, Minnesota was the northern end of the Wild Turkey Range. The birds occurred in limited numbers in the southern part of the state. In the early 20th century, unregulated hunting, urban development, and many other factors completely extirpated the state’s birds.

The first attempts to re-establish wild turkey populations began in 1926 using farmed birds. These releases failed, as did subsequent attempts with pen-raised birds; half-domesticated, half-wild turkeys were not as robust as their purely wild counterparts.

However, around the start of the NWTF in the early 1970s, state wildlife agencies across the country began trapping wild turkeys in areas with strong populations and moving them to areas devoid of wild turkeys. MNDNR used this innovative approach and released 29 Missouri wild turkeys in the winter of 1972-73. Those launches took place in Houston County, where the anniversary celebration will take place this summer.

Over the next 50 years, the MNDNR, the NWTF, and NWTF Minnesota chapters collaborated on the relocation of wild turkeys, as well as the creation of wild turkey habitat throughout the state. The result is more than 70,000 turkeys throughout Minnesota and the opportunity to hunt wild turkeys during permitted seasons.

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 NWTF he anniversary and an opportunity to push the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. for his 50 he 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.