Gobble and strut: NWTF chapter aims high in its second year

By Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer

Good times, now and in the future, is the goal of one group of area hunters.
The Hill Country Strutters will hold their second annual banquet Thursday, March 28 at 6 p.m. in Building 5 of the Tupelo Furniture Market.
Tickets are $60 for singles, $80 for couples and $20 for youngsters 15 and under. The raffles and after-dinner auction will include 12 firearms, guided hunts, prints, sculptures, knives, furniture and more.
Shoot for score
The Daisy/NWTF BB shooting trailer as well as other attractions for young and old alike will be on hand for the event. As enjoyed last year, dinner will be catered by Rob Lesley of Romie’s Grocery and will follow a wild game theme, a feature of the first year’s event that proved quite a hit.
“The first year’s event was a tremendous success, which was what we expected here in the Tupelo region,” said Tim Weston, of Fulton, president of the local chapter and member of the NWTF’s state board. The chapter draws participation from much of the northeastern corner of the state. Last year’s event raised $36,000, and the group’s goal this year is $45,000.
a good time for all
“More importantly for me and the members of the committee who are putting this together is to have lots of folks come and have a great time,” Weston said. “The rest will take care of itself.”
Last year’s banquet attendance was 240, and this year’s goal is a crowd topping 300.
The NWTF is the nation’s largest hunting conservation group.
Programs galore
Its programs include efforts geared toward introducing youngsters to the outdoors, conservation plans that pair an NWTF biologist with a land-owner to improve habitat, a Women in the Out- doors effort that provides a forum for ladies who hunt, and the Wheelin’ Sportsman program that helps hunters with physical challenges better enjoy their time afield.
Weston said the group’s youth-oriented program in particular is of interest here. Geared toward hunters younger than 16, the JAKES program, Juniors Acquiring Knowledge Ethics and Sports- manship, would create opportunities for area youngsters to get outdoors, shoot BB guns, discover archery and learn about nature, opening key doors for tomorrow.
For more information about this event or the NWTFfield programs, call Weston at 662-891-0126.