The Coming Challenges

When the NWTF was founded, there were approximately 1.5 million wild turkeys in North America. After 40 years of dedicated work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys.

However, in recent years national turkey populations have been declining and the hunting community is facing other critical challenges:

  • Turkey populations are declining, having decreased 15 percent from a historic high.

  • For example, New York is facing a 20-year low and Mississippi’s turkey populations declined by more than 40 percent from 2004 to 2009.

  • This is the same situation Bobwhite quail were in 50 years ago.

  • 6,000 acres of wildlife habitat disappear every day - area the size of Yellowstone each year.

  • A long-term slide in hunter numbers has finally stopped, but it is still not keeping pace with population growth, which limits sportsmen’s ability to stand up for their rights.

  • Many hunters struggle to find a place to hunt - a top reason why people quit hunting.

40 Years of Conservation and Hunting Heritage

Since its foundation in 1973, the NWTF has achieved some amazing accomplishments. With the help of its dedicated volunteers and partners, the NWTF has been able to facilitate the investment of $412 million dollars in conservation and the preservation of our hunting heritage. These investments have helped improve more than 17 million acres of wildlife habitat and expose 100,000 people to the outdoor each year.

The NWTF is dedicated to having the same significant impact over the next 40 years as it did over its first 40. That is why the NWTF has created the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative.

Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.

The NWTF and its committed volunteers believe in doing what’s necessary to create more wild turkeys. We believe it is our duty to create vibrant and healthy upland habitat. We believe our hunting heritage is worth fighting for.

The Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative will help tackle these difficult challenges the sporting community is facing.

Save the Habitat.

We will increase wild turkey populations by conserving and enhancing 4 million acres of critical upland wildlife habitat. These habitat improvements will not only help support wild turkey populations but they will also benefit quail, deer and many other wildlife species that share the habitat.

The NWTF will:

  • Focus our efforts based on the priorities established by science

  • Work in areas where it is possible to have a meaningful impact on habitat and wildlife populations

  • Begin the process at the local level, which will then build to support the regional and national goals

  • Focus on four key habitat types

    • Forests

    • Streamside corridors

    • Fields and meadows

    • Scrubland and grasslands

Save the Hunt.

We will save the hunt by creating 1.5 million new hunters who will embrace the outdoors and protect our conservation legacy. It will include focused outreach opportunities for people of all ages, and increased hunter access. This includes creating half a million additional acres of hunting access across the nation.

The NWTF will:

  • Evolve its outreach efforts from introduction to include hands-on hunting experiences and mentoring to create long-term hunting license holders

  • There is no one-size-fits-all solution and each state will drive its approach

  • Develop partnerships with a wide range of organizations, like state wildlife management agencies, hunters education instructors, mentored hunting and other organizations, that share the common interest of promoting our hunting heritage

  • Make it easier for people to hunt by lowering barriers to introducing new hunters to the sport and increasing the number of publicly available acres

Get Involved

Your support is critical to making these lofty goals a reality. Join the NWTF today and contact your local regional staff to see how you can get involved and help make a real difference.

Share the Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. Initiative

This initiative will only succeed with the dedicated support of hunters, sportsmen, and NWTF members and volunteers. The NWTF has created various educational materials to arm our supporters with the tools they need to spread the word. Please feel free to use the information below to educate your family, friends, fellow hunters and conservationists.

Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. National Brochure: Low res for email | High res for printing

Brief Overview Video (4:52)

Extended Overview video (20:40)