NWTF Pennsylvania Board Member Buys Inaugural Elk Tag


Mar 11, 2001
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NWTF Pennsylvania Board Member Buys Inaugural Elk Tag


NASHVILLE, Tennessee Sold! When the bidding frenzy finished, Pennsylvania National Wild Turkey Federation Board Member Jim Nyce, of Green Lane, Pennsylvnaia, had purchased the Pennsylvania Game Commission's inaugural conservation elk tag at the NWTF's National Convention in Nashville, Tennessee, for $28,000.

The NWTF's National Convention and Sport Show, Feb. 19 through Feb. 22, drew a record 43,000 sportsmen and women from throughout North America. As part of its Grand National Celebrity live auction, NWTF put up for bid the antlered elk license, which is valid for use in any management zone open for Pennsylvania's upcoming elk hunt, Nov. 2-7.

"My wife Janet and myself are long standing members of NWTF, and belong to several other conservation organizations," said Nyce. "I was very excited to hear the Pennsylvania Game Commission had offered the elk tag to NWTF in honor of their outstanding contributions, land acquisition, habitat renewal and educational outreach programs within the state."

Both Jim and Janet apply in Pennsylvania each year for an elk tag and now Jim has the opportunity to take that hunt this fall. The couple also works diligently year round to raise money to support wildlife conservation and preserve the state's rich hunting heritage.

"I've worked with a lot of great people over the years, all of us trying to raise money at fundraisers for these magnificent animals that live in our state," said Nyce. "The beauty of a conservation tag is that is usually raises a great deal of money and all of that money goes back into the resource, not overhead, and will help wildlife and hunters statewide."

In September, the agency will conduct its annual public drawing to award 59 elk licenses to those who submit an application, along with a $10 nonrefundable fee. The exact breakdown of antlered and antlerless elk licenses, as well as the elk management zones each license will be assigned to, will be announced later. The application period will open in May.

Under a new law, Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe announced that he had selected the NWTF to auction a single conservation elk tag to be sold during its national convention.

"Since its creation, the NWTF, as well as its Pennsylvania and local chapters, have been important wildlife conservation and management partners with the Game Commission," Roe said. "The members of this organization have invested millions of dollars in Pennsylvania for wildlife habitat improvements, acquisitions of State Game Lands and input into wild turkey management and research. Additionally, NWTF live auctions are proven money raisers when it comes to auctioning off such hunts."

Noting that Pennsylvania's modern-day elk hunt, which began in 2001, has produced several Boone & Crockett book entries, George Thornton, NWTF CEO, said this tag represents an incredible opportunity to harvest a trophy elk while doing great things for wildlife conservation.

"The NWTF has had a great relationship with Game Commission throughout the years," Thornton said. "We've worked together to help restore wild turkey populations, improve wildlife habitat and strengthen the state's hunting heritage. We're happy the tag sold so well, the funds raised benefit everyone in the state and many species of wildlife, including wild turkeys, elk, white-tailed deer and numerous upland bird species."

In 2001, a recommendation to provide one special elk license for wildlife conservation organizations to auction was originally included in the Game Commission Elk Hunt Advisory Committee Report as one of the concepts for promoting elk hunting. However, the recommendation was set aside at that time because it was determined that legislative authority was necessary to do so.

Rep. Marc J. Gergely (D-Allegheny) introduced House Bill 747 to grant the Game Commission authority to provide one antlered elk license to a wildlife conservation organization to auction. Of the auction proceeds, up to 20 percent may be retained by the wildlife conservation organization and the rest turned over to the Game Commission for elk management. Signed into law on Oct. 9, Act 101 of 2008 (previously House Bill 747) was unanimously approved by the House and Senate.

The new law sunsets on July 1, 2013, and would require the General Assembly to re-authorize the authority to allow for the auction of one antlered elk license per license year.

About the NWTF: In 1973, Tom Rodgers founded the National Wild Turkey Federation in Fredericksburg, Va., as a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit conservation and education organization with a mission dedicated to conserving wild turkeys and preserving hunting traditions. Shortly thereafter, Rodgers relocated the NWTF to Edgefield, S.C., where it's still headquartered today.

At the time NWTF was established, there were only 1.3 million wild turkeys. Today that number stands at more than seven million birds throughout North America, thanks to the efforts of state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members and partners.

Growth and progress define the NWTF as it has expanded from 1,300 members in 1973 to nearly a half million today. With that growth has come impressive strides in wildlife management as the NWTF has forged dynamic partnerships across the country to further its conservation mission. Together, the NWTF's partners, sponsors and grassroots members have raised and spent more than $286 million upholding hunting traditions and conserving nearly 14 million acres of wildlife habitat.

While wild turkey restoration is nearing completion, the NWTF still has much work to do. Across North America, supporters are working to enhance habitat for wild turkeys and other wildlife while providing hunters with more opportunities and access to public and private land. In addition, NWTF volunteers and partners are introducing youth, women and people with disabilities to the outdoors through special educational events.

If you would like to become a member of Team NWTF, join a committee or start a chapter, please visit our Web site at www.nwtf.org or call us at 800-THE-NWTF.

Media Contact:
Brent Lawrence at (803) 637-3106

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