Up Front with Sara Parker Pauley

By Sara Parker Pauley | April 1, 2023
From Missouri Conservationist: April 2023

What do you call 60,000 crazed turkey hunters coming together under one roof? Answer — the 50th anniversary of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), celebrated this February during their annual convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Attending the NWTF convention is like a huge homecoming, with relatives you never knew you had, most of whom you actually like. This convention is one of my favorite annual events, in part because I, too, am a crazed turkey hunter and love the camaraderie of like-minded folks. And, oh, the treasures you find there — the latest in turkey hunting gear, beautifully handcrafted turkey calls, and anything and everything for great outdoor adventures. And the sounds! Whether you’re listening in on the national turkey calling championships or walking the convention center floor full of folks trying out the latest in new turkey calls — ’tis sweet melodious music to passionate hunters of the Meleagris gallopavo, our beloved bird’s scientific name.

The convention was extra special this year as our Missouri state chapter took home the coveted L.A. Dixon Award, considered the top award given for local and state NWTF chapters for overall achievement. So, here’s a shout out to Missouri’s nearly 70 NWTF chapters and all the amazing volunteers that support our wild turkeys and our hunting traditions (see Tending for Turkeys on Page 10). 

Spring has finally arrived. Turkeys are gobbling, mushrooms are popping, wildflowers are blooming. My turkey vest is packed full, new calls and all. Get your outdoor bags packed and let the adventures begin!

Sara Parker Pauley, Director



This Issue's Staff

Magazine Manager - Stephanie Thurber
Editor - Angie Daly Morfeld
Associate Editor - Larry Archer
Photography Editor - Cliff White
Staff Writer - Kristie Hilgedick
Staff Writer - Joe Jerek
Staff Writer – Dianne Van Dien
Designer - Shawn Carey
Designer - Marci Porter
Photographer - Noppadol Paothong
Photographer - David Stonner
Circulation - Laura Scheuler