ATLANTA — Timothy Brooks, a private lands conservation biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), was honored with the prestigious Joe Kurz Award at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) annual Convention and Sport Show in Atlanta, Ga., held Feb. 21 to Feb. 24.
The Joe Kurz award recognizes wildlife managers who have worked untiringly for the wild turkey and its habitat. Wildlife managers, such as Brooks, are the unsung heroes who do the on-the-ground work for wild turkeys and other wildlife.
“Timothy Brooks is a prime example of going beyond the call of duty,” said Dr. James Earl Kennamer, NWTF senior vice president for conservation programs. “Brooks is not only a talented wildlife biologist, but also a stellar NWTF volunteer, a respected community leader and a dedicated family man. Missouri turkey hunters are lucky to have Brooks working on their behalf.”
Brooks has worked more than 23 years helping landowners manage and improve the habitat for the wild turkey and other wildlife. He has trapped and relocated more than 1,500 wild turkeys in his career and received numerous awards for his efforts. In his spare time, he volunteers with his local NWTF chapter serving as president of the Pike County Longbeards and also serves on the Missouri state chapter board of directors as vice president. During the fall hunting season, Brooks also operates Missouri’s largest countywide venison donation effort, which provides meat for food pantries and needy families across the state.
“A long time ago, when I first started working at the Mississippi Department of Conservation, my boss told me, `It’s not hard to do good things when you surround yourself with good people,” Brooks said after accepting the award. “I’m proud to work with the MDC and the NWTF – two agencies full of truly great people.”
The award is named after Joe Kurz, a former Georgia DNR wildlife chief, for his leadership and the vital role he played in improving wildlife management. Kurz was also a principal figure in the wild turkey trap and transfer program across North America.
Since 1985,the NWTF’s Missouri chapters have raise more than $2.7 million for in-state projects. This includes nearly $1 million on habitat projects and improving more than 23,735 acres.