Conservation News

NWTF Honors Council with Prestigious National Hunting Heritage Award

Washington, D.C. – The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports (Council) has been honored by the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) with the prestigious Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award, recognizing its commendable contributions to conservation and the preservation of the hunting heritage in the United States.

Expressing gratitude, Dr. Steven Leath, the executive director of the Council, remarked, “I am deeply honored to accept the 2024 Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award on behalf of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports. Our commitment to enhancing participation in hunting and the shooting sports aligns with the mission of fostering national R3 initiatives and educating the public about the vital role hunters play in wildlife conservation. This recognition is particularly meaningful, considering the esteemed recipients who have come before us. Accepting this award is a moment of genuine appreciation and humility for the Council’s Board of Directors and our dedicated team, and we cherish this moment with pride and a sense of accomplishment.”

The award was presented to Dr. Leath during the NWTF’s 48th annual Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.

The Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award is named after a former president and chairperson of the NWTF’s National Board of Directors, Lynn Boykin, who emphasized the significance of hunting heritage during her tenure, shaping a new vision for the organization.

Following in Boykin’s footsteps, the Council, a nonprofit organization formed 14 years ago, functions as a coalition of state fish and wildlife agencies, conservation organizations, and the shooting sports industry. It has gained national recognition as an expert in coordinating and advancing recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and shooters, with the overarching mission to grow and promote the hunting and shooting sports.

The Council’s innovative approach, evident in its action plan developed early on, has served as a catalyst for conservation partners to address localized challenges strategically. Currently leading a team to update the national plan, the Council continually tracks hunting and shooting sports participation trends, providing valuable insights to state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, and industries engaged in R3.

Moreover, the organization offers a myriad of services and resources to R3 partners, including collaboration on multi-state conservation grant projects, technical assistance in developing state or regional strategic plans and hosting webinars, workshops, and training sessions. The Council’s initiatives extend to the digital realm with the National R3 Community and the National R3 Clearinghouse, a comprehensive digital repository for outdoor recreation resources.

The Council’s pivotal role in fostering collaboration among agencies, non-governmental organizations, and industry was exemplified in the 2018 National R3 Symposium, a groundbreaking event that brought together representatives from across the country, resulting in a surge of partnership and national R3 focus.

Since officially aligning with NWTF in 2014, the Council, under the leadership of Dr. Steven Leath, has played a crucial role in shaping the framework for NWTF’s R3 and outreach efforts.

The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports mission is to facilitate the promotion and growth of hunting and the shooting sports and the education of the public on the contributions that hunters and shooters make towards wildlife conservation. For more information visit us online at

The Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports is supported by the Multistate Conservation Grant Program as awarded by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (F22AP00350, F21AP00800, F20AP00182 and F20AP12194)

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Check Also
Back to top button