Conservation News

New England Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame Honors Dedicated Conservationists

EDGEFIELD, S.C. — During the early 1900s, the wild turkey population in New England faced near extinction. Through the collaborative efforts of Fish and Game organizations and the National Wild Turkey Federation, many people came together to drive the reintroduction of the wild turkey, rekindling interest in the sport of turkey hunting. Each year through the New England Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame, we are reminded of great individuals in this region who dedicate their lives to conserving America’s revered game bird and preserving the cherished traditions of hunting.

The 2024 New England Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame inducted six new members who have dedicated their time, resources, and talents to support turkey hunting traditions and the conservation of the wild turkey. Held during the NWTF’s Annual Awards Dinner and Hall of Fame Banquet on January 27 in Concord, New Hampshire, this awards banquet also celebrates the accomplishments and milestones of the different local chapters in the New England region.

The six distinguished inductees of the 2024 ceremony included: Wayne MacCallum of Massachusetts, Mark Scott of Vermont, Robb Cotiaux of Maine, Mark Robitaille of Rhode Island, Gene “Mickey” Meier of New Hampshire and Matt Wettish of Connecticut.

During the event, Ted Walski, an inaugural inductee of the Hall of Fame, was honored after his recent passing. As a respected New Hampshire biologist instrumental in the reintroduction of the wild turkey and a prominent figure in the community, he leaves behind a significant legacy as a trailblazer of turkey conservation.

Ted Walski, New Hampshire Hall of Fame member.

“We are honoring giants of conservation for their life’s work for wild turkey, turkey hunters and turkey hunting in general,” said Keith Fritze, founder and president of the New England Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame. “It is important to tell these stories of people who built these programs from the ground up.”

Founded in 2016 by Keith Fritze and Kevin Antonovitch, the New England Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame, is dedicated to recognizing individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the wild turkey and turkey hunters. Those nominated for the Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame give their time, resources and talents to support the wild turkey, continuously promote turkey hunting traditions, share the enjoyment of turkey hunting with others and support efforts in the conservation of the wild turkey and hunting heritage. To date, the Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame boasts a membership of 41 individuals.

As efforts persist to conserve the wild turkey and uphold our hunting traditions in New England, the New England Chapters of The National Wild Turkey Federation eagerly anticipate the opportunity to honor other remarkable individuals and share their inspiring stories.

To nominate an individual for the Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame, submissions must be made to the Hall of Fame Selection Committee by November 15 of each calendar year. You can submit these nominations here or send to Keith Fritze at Nominees are evaluated by individual state selection committees, and the chosen individuals are inducted into the Hall of Fame during the subsequent New England Awards Banquet.

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