The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the National Wild Turkey Federation officially joined financial forces to secure hunting and fishing participation by funding a new position to introduce novices and reactivate inactive veteran hunters and anglers in Wisconsin.
A signing ceremony held at the DNR Central Office building in Madison on July 14 sealed the deal between the state agency and the private wildlife organization to co-fund and to co-manage the creation of a Recruitment, Reactivation and Retention Coordinator, also known as R3 Coordinator.
DNR Deputy Secretary Kurt Thiede and National Wild Turkey Federation staff and volunteers, including Senior President of Volunteer Relations and Fundraising Dave Mahlke and District Biologist Rick Horton, participated in the ceremony. Thiede called the partnership true joint leadership to support Wisconsin’s outdoor tradition and heritage.
“Together, the National Wild Turkey Federation and the DNR are taking this step to expand our capacity to serve existing and potential participants in hunting, angling, trapping, and the shooting sports,” Thiede said. “Wisconsin is home to veteran anglers and hunters, and a new generation who will learn how to harvest and to catch their own food. This new position will help bring this exciting world to new participants and remind our lapsed hunters and anglers what they are missing.”
Mahlke said increasing hunter population is important to the future of conservation.
“The NWTF and its 11,530 members and volunteers across the state are excited to partner with the Department of Natural Resources to increase the number of hunters in Wisconsin,” Mahlke said. “Our efforts are extremely important because more than 80 percent of conservation funding in this country comes from the purchase of licenses and excise taxes on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment. If hunting participation decreases, the funding for conservation will follow.”