The District and the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF)/Wheelin’ Sportsmen continued their successful partnership by holding a turkey hunt in March at the District’s Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve in Polk County.
The Wheelin’ Sportsmen is dedicated to providing all people with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. The group organizes hunting and fishing events, recreational shooting and other outdoor activities. More than 20 events are held throughout Florida each year.
“The NWTF organizers are an absolute pleasure to work with, and they really know their stuff. The participants and everyone involved get so much from these outings,” said Kevin Love, Land Resources Manager. “We are currently talking about adding events in the future.”
Local members of the NWTF volunteered their time as guides to help the hunters call in a gobbler.
Three area equestrian and volunteer groups — the WYME Trail Riders, the Hampton Riders and the South Creek Foxhounds — also participated in the event. Each day one of the groups provided a meal for the hunters. The WYME Trail Riders maintain the District’s Jefferson Equestrian Area in the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Park. The Hampton Riders maintain the Hampton Equestrian Area in the Green Swamp Wilderness Preserve. The South Creek Foxhounds maintain the District’s Oak Ridge, Washburn and Alston equestrian areas.
Hunters harvested one turkey during the two-day hunt.
This is the second event that has been jointly organized by the District and the Wheelin’ Sportsmen. The first event was a deer/hog hunt on the District’s Starkey Wilderness Park in Pasco County. A fishing derby is scheduled for May 14 at Edward Medard Park in Hillsborough County.
Hunters who participate in Wheelin’ Sportsmen events are pre-selected through an application process. A third of the hunters who took part in this event live in the District. The rest live throughout Florida and Georgia. For more information about participating in future events, visit the National Wild Turkey Federation web site at www.nwtf.org.