EDGEFIELD, S.C.—The Hunting Public received the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Tom Kelly Communicator of the Year Award for their dedication to sharing the story of conservation with audiences across the globe.
“We’ve looked up to Colonel Tom Kelly for many years and are humbled to receive this award,” said Aaron Warbritton, The Hunting Public co-owner, in a video address to those in attendance at the Awards Banquet. “Our goal is to show average folks the many positive experiences of turkey hunting and how they can make a difference in the future of wild turkeys. We’re currently working with NWTF on content showcasing wild turkey research in northern Missouri. We hope to help educate the hunting public on the importance of wild turkey research and how to get involved moving forward.”
The NWTF announced The Hunting Public as the winner at the 46th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show, sponsored by Mossy Oak.
The Hunting Public is a group of everyday, yet passionate, hunters who are concerned with public land access, conservation and sharing fellowship in the greater outdoors lifestyle. Their content covers everything from advanced whitetail tactics to unique hunting situations, hunting on public lands and small, privately owned properties that are relatable to new and novice hunters.
Through its large digital audience, The Hunting Public raised $39,000 in one day to co-fund the Alabama Wild Turkey Gobbling Study, a research project the NWTF is involved in, which is led by 2021 Tom Kelly Communicator of the Year recipient, Dr. Mike Chamberlain.
“Conservation delivery and outreach events are so important, but to amplify these efforts, we must communicate them effectively to new and wider audiences,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “We are proud to award The Hunting Public for communicating the importance of public land access and conservation, as well as the commitment to make hunting more accessible to new audiences.”
Formerly known as the Communicator of the Year, the NWTF renamed the award in 2018 to honor Col. Tom Kelly, the poet Laurette of turkey hunting.
Past award recipients include Chamberlain, Slate and Glass, Will Primos, Michael Waddell, Jana Waller, Brenda Valentine, Steve Rinella, Tom Fegely, Ron Schara, J. Wayne Fears, Grits Gresham, Jim Zumbo, Jim Casada, Glenn Sapir, Kelly, Ronnie ‘Cuz’ Strickland, Kevin Howard, Ray Eye and Steve Hickoff.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. Today, the NWTF is focused on the future of hunting and conservation through its Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative. Since 2012, this 10-year initiative has already eclipsed goals of conserving or enhancing more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruiting or retaining more than 1.5 million hunters and opening access to more than 500,000 acres for hunting and other recreation opportunities. This critical work will continue to impact wildlife habitat and our great outdoors in the final years of the initiative.