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NWTF banquet to be held Friday

The Pike County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will host its annual membership banquet Friday, April 2, at Cattleman Park.

All members and prospective members are invited to attend.

The doors will open at 6 p.m. and the dinner will begin at 7 p.m.

Elmer Fleming, chapter president, said more than 150 turkey conservationists are expected for this fundraising event.

Many wildlife items will be up for bid at both a live auction and a silent auction.

“Everything will be auditioned off, raffled or given away,” Fleming said. “Many of the items can only be purchased through NWTF events such as our banquet. There is a lot of interest in the auction items and bidding can be fast and furious.”

Fleming said the NWTF banquet always has a great turnout because many people in the Pike County area are dedicated to the conservation of the turkey and to the preservation of the turkey hunting tradition.

“When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were only 1.3 million turkeys throughout North America,” he said. “Since then, the number of wild turkeys has increased to more than 7 million thanks to the NWTF, its members, partners and state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies.”

The NWTF’s conservation partners and grassroots members have raised $279 million on projects benefiting wild turkey throughout North America.

“The work is paying off in that more and more people are being introduced to the wild turkey,” Fleming said. “The federation sponsors conservation programs, education and outreach programs and academic scholarship programs. Those are just a few of the reasons to become a member of the Pike County Chapter of the NWTF.

“But a big reason is to put turkeys back into their natural environment so the turkey population will continue to grow and hunters will have birds to hunt.”

Being a member of the NWTF has many advantages from discounts on seeds to plant feeding grounds to opportunities for fellowship.

Admission to the wild turkey banquet Friday night, April 2 is $55 for individuals and $75 for couples. Admission includes dinner and a year’s membership in the Pike County Chapter of the NWTF.

Tickets will be available at the door.

To purchase tickets in advance or for information about sponsor tickets, call Elmer Fleming at 268-1484.