Chris Ellis: New Turkey Conservation Group Established | Outdoor activities


As turkey harvest numbers are published across the country, there are some interesting results and even some concerns from hunters watching the numbers.

As many of you know, there are concerns about the occurrence of declining wild turkey populations in the eastern United States, particularly in the southeast.

As previously written, I am not a wildlife biologist or a trained professional wildlife manager. I am simply someone who has hunted the wild turkey in many states of this country for over 30 years, and I have been watching the harvest numbers for many years.

We all know that there are many factors that affect wild populations and the hard fact is that they are always in a state of gaining or losing weight.

Many factors also play a role in harvest numbers, including hunter participation, weather, access, habitat, human interference, and more.

Many factors can affect turkey populations, particularly poultry production through weather, bearing capacity, predation, nesting and brooding habitat.

With constant thoughts of wild turkeys, I scour the news for information about them and what people are doing to increase awareness and education and ensure we all have a huntable population of wild turkeys for generations to come.

I read about a new group of hunters, most of whom I consider friends and industry colleagues who started a nonprofit to do just that – improve turkey populations.

There is a new conservation group dedicated to improving turkey populations for future generations.

Turkeys For Tomorrow (TFT) was born from a reunion of seasoned turkey hunters who met in central Alabama for a weekend of community and good food last June.

“At that first meeting, we agreed that something is hurting the turkey population in many areas, especially in the southeast,” said Ron Jolly, co-chairman of the TFT board.

Jim Ronquest, co-chair added, “Conservation organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation have worked for the wild turkey for decades, and we are not trying to replace any of these groups. But we believe that they can benefit from the involvement of a grassroots group who will work with them to identify and fund smaller, individualized projects to improve the environment. “

TFT is already on the radar of many potential sponsors and partners.

The group also actively seeks individual, tax-deductible contributions from individuals, outdoor businesses, and other conservation organizations.

Several donor levels have been set.

“For now, TFT will focus on the southeastern states where the problem seems more serious,” said Jolly. “When our support base grows enough that we can do this, we will look beyond this region for worthwhile projects that we can support.”

If wild turkeys are your passion, read turkeys for tomorrow or at least stop by the group occasionally to see what they do. As hunters and athletes, we should always look for ways to give something back to the sport and wildlife that we value so much and that we hold so valuable in our lives.

Chris Ellis is a veteran of the outdoor industry. His book “Hunting, Fishing and Family from The Hills of West Virginia” is available at Contact him at [email protected]


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