Article Written by Mike Holland
Crossroads. That is the place where decisions are made that chart a course and a path to the future. Many times, that path leads us into the unknown and more often than not with a sense of adventure. That is where the CWTF story begins.
Focused on expanding opportunities to develop wild turkey hunting and preserving our outdoor lifestyle here at home, they launched what is now the CWTF.
When the National Wild Turkey Federation ceased to operate in Canada, a couple of guys felt like the work that was being done was too important, and it must continue. What started with a phone call, led to more conversations and a small group of like minded people who were passionate about the outdoors set out with a purpose. Focused on expanding opportunities to develop wild turkey hunting and preserving our outdoor lifestyle here at home, they launched what is now the CWTF.
Something amazing happened in those early days. The group that would eventually form the CWTF was made up of people with many different talents, but the one thing that they all shared was that they were very ordinary people, with a love of the outdoors and a passion for conservation. That shared set of values forged a commitment to being an organization that was focused on regular people and creating opportunities for them to enjoy all that the woods had to offer. Whether it is introducing youth, or non-hunters to our hunting heritage, or recognizing the fact that ladies are a fast-growing segment of the hunting population and celebrating their contribution to our sport, one thing has always been consistent; our membership is open to anyone, not just the experienced.
It’s exciting to think back to our very first event held in New Brunswick over three years ago. It was not a huge event, and it was all hands-on-deck to make it happen, but we recognized that we were part of something much bigger than a fundraising event. We were taking the first steps to becoming a household name in the Canadian outdoor community. Since then, we have sponsored and or participated in youth events, programs that introduce women to conservation, habitat development projects and wild turkey trap and transfer programs. From those humble beginnings, we have expanded our Hunting Heritage banquets to over 15 per year and are looking to double that in the not too distant future.
The organization has grown to include a very diverse membership from all over the country. Each bringing with them a unique skill set and a desire to become a participant in the good work of the CWTF. That spirit of teamwork has allowed the CWTF to create communication committees, a National Council and a strong Board of Directors all working in unison to achieve the aims and objectives of the organization. Yes, the wild turkey is our namesake, but the primary achievement we have accomplished is that regardless of a member’s place in the organization, they feel valued, informed and a part of the process every step of the way.
CWTF has worked hard to create an infrastructure where information is readily and rapidly shared to the members. More importantly, steps have been taken to ensure that the members, the average everyday person, has the means to have their voice heard as well. As stated earlier, ordinary people formed the CWTF and ordinary people will always have a voice in how it achieves its goals.
That’s why presenting this magazine is such a proud moment for the leadership of the CWTF. We are excited to share the news about what we are doing and how we are fast becoming “The New Face of Conservation in Canada”. One thing you will notice as you read the articles and look at the photos, they are all people like you. Some of whom have been with the CWTF from the beginning, others have joined the ranks along the way.
And now you are here with us as well. Join us as we chart the course of the future for the CWTF in the days and months to come. We are glad to have you at the crossroads as we prepare to have even more influence and impact on the outdoor industry. We are at the front of yet another bold and exciting adventure as we look forward to 2017 and it is our hope that we can look back with pride on this year at the difference we all made, as a team.