Camoflaged fellowship comes together to talk turkey


There are very few banquets where wearing camouflage attire would be considered acceptable. Nonetheless, for the Three Rivers National Wild Turkey Federation chapter, camouflage was the color pattern of choice. The Three Rivers chapter held its 21st annual Hunting Heritage Banquet at the Houston Street Ballroom Saturday.

At the banquet, hunters and conservationists from around the local area and state came to see old friends, bid at an auction, and have dinner.

Games were held throughout the evening that were designed to give attendees chances at winning firearms, turkey hunting gear and home décor. Additionally, there was a silent and live auction. Even the youth were encouraged to be a part of the activities. An under-17 years old raffle gave children an opportunity to bid on a BB gun during the live auction under parental supervision.

Fundraising events like this banquet allow the Three Rivers chapter to help conserve native wildlife and land in Kansas.

“There is a lot of good done with this money,” John Adams, president of the Three Rivers chapter, said.

The money will be used for conservation projects in the Manhattan area and throughout Kansas. According to a presentation at the event, $20,000 alone goes to outreach and scholarships in the state. The federation also has spent over $182,935 on conservation research in the state of Kansas alone.

Besides fundraising, the event allows for something that is extremely important to outdoorsmen and women: fellowship. At the banquet, old friends met to talk turkey, other types of hunting and what they have missed since they last saw each other. The banquet had a homely, welcoming atmosphere that showcased the fellowship the federation prides itself on.

Through the fundraising and fellowship, the National Wild Turkey Federation and its local Three Rivers chapter hope to push forward their “Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt” campaign. This campaign is aimed toward continuing the federation’s mission to conserve and grow the wild lands in the U.S., as well as getting more youth involved in hunting and conservation.

“We have new ways to track the number of hunters and wildlife populations now, and because of these technologies we are becoming more efficient and better at conserving our native lands,” Derek Payne, regional director of the Three Rivers chapter, said.

With spring turkey season fast approaching, the Three Rivers chapter and state chapter in Kansas are preparing for upcoming youth and educational events and hunts that the National Wild Turkey Federation sponsors for all varieties of people.