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Turkey hunters gather for annual Hunting Heritage Banquet

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Connor Bachmann, regional director of the National Wild Turkey Federation, leads the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at the Hunting Heritage Banquet of the Colonial Callers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation at The Carolina Center in Elizabeth City, Saturday evening.

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By Chris Day
Multimedia Editor

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Young outdoors enthusiasts are the future of hunting and wildlife conservation, said Connor Bachmann.

Bachmann, regional director of the National Wild Turkey Federation, was speaking at the Hunting Heritage Banquet at The Carolina Center, Saturday evening. About 100 people attended the annual dinner, which raised funds for the local Colonial Callers Chapter of the NWTF.

The event began at 6 p.m. and in the hour or so before dinner was served several prizes were raffled off. Many of those prizes were new fishing rods and reels, which were awarded to several youngsters.

Callie Williams, 7, of South Mills, was among those lucky enough to win a new fishing rod.

“I fish and hunt,” said Callie, who was attending the banquet with her father, Heath Williams.

Callie said recent hunting seasons have been good to her.

“I shot a deer and I shot a turkey,” she said, with a big smile.

Her father said the turkey weighed 23 pounds.

After the prizes were awarded to the youngsters, Bachmann asked the audience for a round of applause to thank the children for their interests in hunting and wildlife conservation.

Other prizes that were won by adults included shotguns, at least one handgun, among other prizes.

Eddie Wynne, president of the Colonial Callers Chapter, said the local chapter serves northeastern North Carolina.

Also in attendance Saturday were several members of the NWTF who were attending from parts of Virginia and as far west as Ahoskie.

The Eastern wild turkey is the species most commonly spotted in fields and alongside roadways in North Carolina. Hunting season in North Carolina is from April to May.

Other species of wild turkeys found in the United States are the Osceola and Rio Grande turkeys, said Wynne. The Osceola species is found predominantly throughout Florida and “Rios” are more common in the mid-western states.

The National Wild Turkey Federation is based in Edgefield, South Carolina. For more information, visit the organization online at nwtf.org.