Mission Statement

"The NWTF is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and preservation of our hunting heritage."

About the NWTF

The NWTF — a national nonprofit organization — is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America.

 On March 28, 1973, the Commonwealth of Virginia issued incorporation papers to a fledgling organization in Fredericksburg called the National Wild Turkey Federation.

The NWTF has come a long way since its founding chief executive, Tom Rodgers, took $440 out of his own pocket to put this organization in motion.

And what it has turned into is nothing short of phenomenal. Currently, the NWTF is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C., and has local chapters in every state and Canada.

Who Are We?

  • We are sportsmen, women and children who care deeply about our natural resources and the wild places we love to hunt.

We cherish the memory of the ridge top gobbler we hunted last spring and fondly remember the cornfield where we saw that big buck at sunset two years ago.

Collectively, we come from all walks of life to engage in conservation and preserve the hunting heritage we all hold dear.

We're hunters...

Some of us follow bird dogs through waving stands of grass from south Georgia to Montana in pursuit of bobwhite quail and pheasant.

And most of us would rather spend a bitterly cold winter morning knee deep in a flooded oak flat or beaver pond than waste that morning in a warm bed.

... champions of conservation.

According to many state and federal agencies, the restoration of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America's wildlife history.

Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and our members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $412 million to conserve nearly 17.25 million acres of habitat.

That area is larger than the state of West Virginia.

Wild turkeys and hundreds of other species of upland wildlife, including quail, deer, grouse, pheasant and songbirds, have benefited from this improved habitat.

Our dedicated volunteers bring new hunters and conservationists into the fold — about 100,000 every year — through outdoor education events and our Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen and JAKES youth outreach programs.

If you are not already an NWTF member, I encourage you to join the NWTF now and help us continue our mission.


President's Message

Rick LayserThe VANWTF's members, volunteers, sponsors and partners have made the Virginia State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation the leader in upland conservation in Virginia. I'm proud to be part of this strong team, and proud of all we have achieved.

Together we remain dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

We have a new program, called Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt, that will focus our mission.

On the conservation front, we must find ways to maintain and improve wildlife habitat, retain and increase access for hunters and ensure the wild turkey continues to be the success story it has been.

Fulfilling the hunting heritage part of our mission, the JAKES, Women in the Outdoors and Wheelin' Sportsmen outreach programs bring the joy of the outdoors to those who otherwise may never have had the opportunity.  We are going to take the next step and encourage mentored hunts, including deer and squirrel hunts. 

We are pushing the JAKES Take Aim program.  Created through a generous donation from Larry and Brenda Potterfield, founders of MidwayUSA, JAKES Take Aim is introducing shooting to children who have never had the chance to shoot.

I'd like to personally challenge each of you to help fulfill the mission of the NWTF and pass on the legacy of the outdoors.  Children are depending on all of us. Together we can succeed.

Thank you for everything you're doing on behalf of the NWTF, the wild turkey and our hunting heritage. Let's keep up the good work!


Rick Layser 

President - Virginia State Chapter NWTF