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March 20, 2007

Who:Southwest Florida Water Management District staff, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)/Wheelin’ Sportsmen representatives, disabled hunters and volunteer guides

What:The District has partnered with the NWTF/Wheelin’ Sportsmen to organize this turkey hunt, which allows disabled men, women and young adults to experience the outdoors. Participants will only use shotguns during the hunt.

When:Saturday, March 24, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where:The hunt will be held on the District’s Hampton Tract, which is part of the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve in Polk County. The entrance is at the intersection of Rockridge Road and Deen Still Road.

District Contacts:Will Miller, 800-423-1476, ext. 4472 or cell (352) 279-1622

Margaret Blommel, 800-423-1476, ext. 4483 or cell (352) 279-3889

Wheelin’ Sportsmen Contact:Mike Blanton, (352) 212-9718 (cell) or email

Directions:From Lakeland take U.S. Hwy. 98 north to Rockridge Road and turn right. Follow Rockridge Road until it intersects with Deen Still Road. There will be a small island in the road at the curve. Turn left back onto Rockridge Road. The main entrance gate to the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve is at the turn. Look for the NWTF/Wheelin’ Sportsmen sign.

Wheelin’ Sportsmen Turkey Hunt

The District is partnering with the National Wild Turkey Federation/Wheelin’ Sportsmen, a group dedicated to providing all people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. The group organizes hunts, fishing events, recreational shooting and other outdoor activities.

The Wheelin’ Sportsmen hold more than 24 outdoor events in Florida each year.

As part of the partnership, the District has agreed to let the organization use the Hampton Tract, which is part of the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve, for a turkey hunt, March 2325. The Hampton Tract will be closed to the public. The entrance is located in Polk County at the intersection of Rockridge Road and Deen Still Road.

March 23 is a check-in day and mandatory meeting for participants. The hunt will take place March 2425.

Approximately 20 hunters will be taking part in the hunt. The hunters have already been selected. For more information about participating in future events, visit the National Wild Turkey Federation web site

Hunters will only use shotguns during the hunt.

Each person will have his/her own volunteer guide in the woods. Members of the state and local chapters of the NWTF will serve as guides for this hunt.

The Florida Sport Horse Club and Flatlanders, two area equestrian and volunteer groups, have each offered to provide a meal for this event.

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