ATLANTA — It was a Christmas present he’ll never forget. The gift Jacob Batteiger unwrapped first that morning informed him that he had won the National Wild Turkey Federation’s JAKES Hunt of a Lifetime.

“My Dad brought out a package, and it was the first present I opened,” said Jacob, 12, of Zanesville, Ohio. “At first, I didn’t really know what it was, until I read it a little more. And then I read that I had won out of all JAKES members to fly to Texas to hunt turkeys with my dad. I was excited.”

Jacob was recognized during the NWTF’s annual National Convention and Sport Show, in Atlanta, Ga., February 22 to February 24. The all-expense-paid April hunting trip to hunt Rio Grande turkeys on the legendary King Ranch in south Texas includes license fees, equipment and travel expenses.

Jacob, a 7th grader at East Muskingum Middle School has been a JAKES member for more than four years, and he and his family are members of the Wolf Creek chapter of the NWTF. Even though he has never hunted turkeys, Jacob is already a seasoned deer hunter. He and his father, Rick, will accompany Carl Brown, NWTF’s chief operating officer, and Dick Rosenlieb, the NWTF’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, on the 2008 JAKES Hunt of a Lifetime April 10 to April 12.

Jacob said he’s getting ready for the hunt by watching turkey hunting videos, hunting shows and reading JAKES Magazine, the NWTF’s publication for youths.

JAKES stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship and is the NWTF’s outreach program for youth 12 years old and younger. Xtreme JAKES is the NWTF’s newest program for teens ages 13 to 17. Through local JAKES/Xtreme JAKES events held across the country, the participants learn how their actions affect the balance of our natural resources and acquire skills needed to enjoy the outdoors.