Turkey Release

Money raised by NWTF banquets has helped fund several habitat and wild turkey restoration projects across eastern Texas.

The 32th Annual Pineywoods Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation banquet and fundraiser is set for Aug. 7 at the Pitser Garrison Convention Center in Lufkin. Doors will open at 6 p.m.

The event will feature live and silent auctions for several hunting/fishing trips, gun and bucket raffles and a great meal.

Recognized as one of the top NWTF chapters in the country, the Pineywoods Chapter of NWTF over the last 32 years has generated more than $2 million for use in various NWTF conservation projects, including several that have been carried out or are currently underway on public hunting in eastern Texas, according to Annie Farrell, NWTF district biologist for the region.

Farrell said habitat/restoration work is taking place on five national forests and several wildlife management areas overseen by the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

The WMA projects include the Caddo WMA, Gus Eagling WMA, Old Sabine WMA, Angelina-Neches WMA, Moore Plantation WMA, Bannister WMA, Caddo National Grasslands WMA and the Sam Houston National Forest WMA.

Additionally, there are conservation projects ongoing at the Lyndon B. Johnson and Caddo National Grasslands as well as stewardship projects on the Sabine, Angelina and Sam Houston national forests.

The Pineywoods Chapter of NWTF received three fundraising and outreach awards during the 2018 State Banquet held last January in Bryan/College Station, including a first place award shared with the April AWOL Chapter for putting together the 9th Annual Wheelin' Sportsman deer hunt for handicapped hunters.

“The Pineywoods Chapter is in elite company,” says Shawn Roberts, NWTF regional director and fundraising convention coordinator. “It is the only NWTF chapter in Texas that has grossed $2 million. Only five other chapters in the United States have achieved this plateau in NWTF history.”

Dale Bounds is a veteran NWTF volunteer and former Texas State Chapter president who helped build the Pineywoods Chapter into what it is today.

Bounds, of Lufkin, says many of the NWTF conservation projects that are underway in eastern Texas took a serious hit last year when COVID-19 forced fundraising gatherings to cease. He’s hoping for a big turnout at the upcoming Hunting Heritage banquet next month.

“We are working hard to get things back on track,” Bounds said.

Tickets are $50 for adults, $20 for Jakes and $325 for an NWTF sponsorship. Sponsor tables are available for $750 to $1,750, depending on level. For more information or purchase tickets, contact Manse Draper at 936-674-6209 or Bounds at 936-635-2116.

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