Wild Turkey Federation to host banquet

Published 3:00 am Saturday, March 7, 2015

The National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its annual banquet Thursday, March 12.

Darren Jordan, the Pike County NWTF contact, said doors open at 5 p.m. Thursday and the banquet begins at 6 p.m. Jordan said there would be several different raffles and auctions throughout the night to entertain attendees.

“It isn’t about just turkey hunting. If you are an avid gun owner that supports our Second Amendment, then we will have numerous firearms to be raffled that night,” Jordan said. “We will have a hand-carved and painted duck decoy from nationally renowned master carver Mali Vujanic of Mill Creek Studios of Maryland. This will be a decoy he custom carved and painted for our banquet, a one-of-one series.”

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Jordan said Vujanic’s carving skills have one several blue ribbons and his works are considered highly collectible.

“He has two decoys that are in President Bush’s Crawford, Texas, ranch,” Jordan said. “He has won several first place ribbons for his carving and expertise painting of decoys. Vujanic has been gracious enough to donate this to us as a friend and fellow conservation partner to the Pike NWTF.”

Jordan said tickets would be available when doors open on a first come first serve basis, but je highly encouraged those wanting to attend to purchase their tickets in advance. Purchasing the ticket in advance automatically enters the ticket-holder into a gun giveaway.

“There will be a limited amount of tickets at the door; however people are highly encouraged to buy tickets in advance of that night to help with preparing for food the night of the banquet as it is being catered from Birmingham,” Jordan said. “By buying tickets in advance of that night, the individual will be placed in a drawing for a gun just because they bought a ticket prior to the day of the banquet.”

Tickets are available for a range of prices, Jordan said.

“Individuals can purchase for $55, but couples wanting to purchase tickets can get two for $75,” Jordan said. “For children under the age of 18, tickets will be available for $20. Each person attending that fills out there membership information will receive issues of the NWTF magazine, a supper, eligibility into the seed program when it is available.”

Jordan said there were also a range of sponsorships available form $270 all the way to $1,000.

“A bare minimum sponsorship is available for $270,” Jordan said. A sponsor table is available for $500, and that comes with six tickets. Our largest sponsorship is a Sponsor Gun Table that is available for $1,000. People purchasing a Sponsor Gun Table will receive a gun, which will be placed on the table the night of the event, and 10 tickets.”

Anyone needing tickets is asked to contact Pike NWTF through Facebook on its page “Pike NWTF,” or they can call Jordan at 268-0974 who will be able to put them in touch with committee members who have tickets readily available.

The NWTF is a wildlife conservation group dedicated to preserving wild turkey and its habitat while promoting hunting and the outdoors to individuals and families. “Nationally our organization sets aside public land for hunting as well as reintroducing the wild turkey into areas where numbers are depleted or the turkey has a sparse population,” Jordan said. “We also are trying to introduce children and women into the outdoors and continue the legacy of turkey hunting. On a local level, we are fathers, farmers, bankers, sportsman and conservationist that believe in promoting the sport of hunting and the outdoors while instilling values into the new generation while educating others in the preservation of our hunting habitat.”