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Jeanette Rudy A Lifetime of Leadership In Memoriam, 1927-2011

The Volunteer of the Year Wildlife Outside Your Window TNSCTP Wins Big at Nationals




C ome on, girls! TNSCTP Carries on Jeanette Rudy’s Legacy

SPREADING THE WORD Dr. Jack Gayden Works to Recruit Girls to Shooting

Photo by Michael Sepsick

5FOOFTTFF8JMEMJGF'FEFSBUJPO 2010-2011 Board of Directors Dan Hammond Chairman

Loring Helfrich Secretary

L. Peter Schutt Region 1

Chris Nischan Region II

Mike Chase Region IV

John Jackson At-Large

Tom Rice Immediate Past Chairman

Dr. Jim Byford Region 1

Albert Buckley, Jr. Region II

Allen Corey Region III

Terry Lewis Region IV

Sam Mars, III At-Large

Bob Freeman Region II

Frank Duff Region III

Phillip Crowe At-Large

Tami Miller At-Large

Jean Maddox Region II

R.J. “Buddy� Baird, III Region IV

Monty Halcomb At-Large

Bill Cox Dr. John O. Gayden Region 1 Vice President Nick Crafton Region 1 Rob Lineburger Treasurer

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Cover Art by LeRoy Neiman

Lori Neely klstudios@comcast.net

Camouage Coalition Governmental Affairs Program Great Outdoors University

HatďŹ eld Knob Wildlife Viewing Area Hunters for the Hungry Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program


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Features

4 Tennessee’s Volunteer of the Year GOU Founder Wins National Award

6 Beyond the Pavement Connecting Kids with the Outdoors

9 Wildlife Outside Your Window Tips and Tricks for Attracting Backyard Birds

12 Jeanette Rudy In Memory of a Leader in Women’s Shooting and Wildlife Conservation

58'45B'' Michael Butler, Chief Executive OfďŹ cer Kendall McCarter, Chief Development OfďŹ cer Martha Lyle Ford, Director of Education Karen Vaughn, Director of Grants & Special Projects Chad Whittenburg, Director of Mitigation and Ecological Services Kate Friedman, GOU Coordinator Andrew Peercy, TNSCTP Manager

Matt Simcox, HFTH Coordinator Erin Tyrell, Membership and Gift Coordinator Lauren Bell, Executive Assistant Mac Jones, OfďŹ ce Assistant Jay Sheridan, Communications Sheridan Public Relations Greg Young, Legal Advisor Bass, Berry & Sims, PLC

The Tennessee Out-of Doors Magazine is the ofďŹ cial publication of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation. Printed materials include natural resource and conservation news, outdoor recreation news and articles on pertinent legislation. All submissions are subject to editing or rewriting. All editorial, advertising and subscription correspondence should be mailed to: Tennessee Out-Of-Doors 300 Orlando Avenue, Suite 200 Nashville, TN 37209

Programs & Events 14 TNSCTP Wins Big at National Championships Full Results Inside 18 Hunters for the Hungry Tennesseans Feeding Thousands Through TWF Program 20 Advocacy TWF Protecting Wildlife and Sportsmen’s Rights 23 Conservation Achievement Awards 46th Annual Event Celebrates the Protection of Wildlife and Habitat Departments 2 3 4 22

Chairman’s Corner From the Chief Executive OfďŹ cer Partners in Conservation Board Member Spotlight

Tennessee Out-Of-Doors | 1


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t’s an exciting time to be a part of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation. In this issue, you’ll read about several program milestones that have been celebrated nationally, and we couldn’t be more proud of our volunteers, our supporters, our staff and our board members – you are the ones who make great things happen for wildlife, their habitat and all of us who love them.

The Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program completed its season by bringing home seven national championships. It’s one of the few sports where males and females can compete head-tohead, and the girls can really shoot, as you’ll read in the profile on legendary trap shooter Jeanette Rudy, penned by a current TNSCTP female athlete. As we were completing production on this magazine, Mrs. Rudy passed away. She was 83. Her legacy will live on, and we are forever thankful for her efforts to make the world a better place. She was a great supporter of the Federation, and she will be greatly missed. Eight kids from the inner-city neighborhoods of Memphis and Nashville have just returned from the Cascade Mountains in Washington State on the trip of a lifetime through our Great Outdoors University program. TWF board member Peter Schutt founded the program and has provided the vision and the financial resources to help it grow. Earlier this year, Peter was named the Volunteer of the Year by the National Wildlife Federation for his efforts. Our Hunters for the Hungry program enjoyed national attention for a record-breaking season that provided about 445,000 meals to hungry Tennesseans. Hunters donated nearly 56 tons of venison over the course of the 2010-2011 deer season, and a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation will help build awareness and distribute freezers to facilitate continued expansion of this highly effective, locally focused program that addresses a critical social need with an abundant, healthy, renewable resource.

securing key parcels of land to cleaning up rivers, advancing best forest management practices, supporting the restoration of threatened species and educating our next generation. TWF Board member Terry Lewis and his wife, Jane, were honored with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation’s Chairman’s Award and as Field & Stream magazine’s Heroes of Conservation for landscape-scale habitat projects in the North Cumberlands in East Tennessee. The Lewises were instrumental in the native elk restoration project, and they have begun implementing an elk habitat plan that is converting 10,000 acres of clearcut to native grasses and oak savannahs around the viewing tower they designed and built. The Lewises have coordinated hundreds of volunteers in the effort over several years, and their work epitomizes the spirit of conservation that the Federation promotes. In the Legislature, TWF worked as the voice of reason to support the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency re-authorization, and we advocated alongside the Agency against an ill-conceived white-tailed deer farming bill that would have allowed for the importation, breeding and sale of a native species and potentially allowing penned hunting. Thousands of our supporters joined in the debate by contacting their legislators, writing letters to their local newspapers and spreading the word that this was a bad bill. In the end, the sponsor pulled the resolution before it made it to the floor of the General Assembly. All of this with the knowledge that the fundamental support for hunting, fishing and our outdoor heritage is strong, as evidenced by the historic passage of the personal right to hunt and fish constitutional amendment last fall. TWF led the six-year effort that saw 90 percent of Tennesseans voting yes to ensure a strong future for the next generation of wildlife and wildlife lovers. Of course, none of it would be possible without the financial contributions, the volunteer hours, the thoughtful leadership and the willingness to work toward a greater cause by those people receiving this magazine. These are your successes, and I hope you share my pride in what we’ve been able to accomplish together.

On the conservation front, TWF recognized leaders from across the state with our 46th Annual Conservation Achievement Awards. These are the folks who are making a difference – from

We are pleased to announce our new TWF Advisory Board Members Include Phillip Fulmer of Knoxville Mark Ingram of Maryville Paul Grider of Bolivar Alex Grisanti of Germantown 2 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

These members are leaders in their communities, and they will help advance the causes of the Federation across the state, advise the Board of Directors on critical issues, and assist with development initiatives. Ronnie Grisanti of Memphis has been named a TWF Ambassador.


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he past several months have been filled with an assault on some of our nation’s most basic wildlife conservation programs and infrastructure at both the federal and state levels. Congressional appropriators have taken the scissors to the budgets of proven conservation staples such as mitigation trout stocking for Tennessee rivers, the successful USDA Wetlands Reserve and Conservation Reserve programs, and the North American Wetland Conservation Act, just to name a few.

Additionally, here in Tennessee (and in some other states), legislators have taken aim at their state wildlife agencies, claiming they need reforming and that they are part of the “bad government” mantra. These attacks on wildlife and conservation are largely being made by long-standing elected officials, and many of the newly elected officials are unfamiliar with the history of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources, or the countless successes of the institutions and programs now under assault. This situation has led me to formulate three questions which I believe the Tennessee Wildlife Federation and its supporters can play a role in answering. 1. How did we arrive at this time and place in history with abundant wildlife, cleaner water, healthier and more plentiful forests, and great outdoor recreational opportunities in Tennessee? 2. Why are Tennessee’s land, water and wildlife important to Tennessee’s citizens, economy and quality of life? 3. How do we continue to ensure that Tennessee remains the beautiful and natural state we want it to be? Congressional appropriators are quick to point out that our economy is poor and that our national debt and deficits are out of control, and they are correct. At the same time, the U.S. House brags about cutting discretionary spending, which includes a disproportionally large cut to wildlife conservation programs but does nothing in real terms to stem the advance of the federal debt and deficit. All in all, it is the game playing we have all become so used to seeing in Washington. At the state level, a handful of legislators successfully placed the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency into what is called “winddown” before they adjourned for the year. Simply put, “winddown” means you have one year to prepare the Agency to be dismantled. These few legislators point out that they just want to “study the Agency and its Commission” and possibly offer some

“adjustments,” but regardless of their intent, their tactic will result in the dissolution of TWRA if nothing changes by June 30, 2012. Fortunately, Tennessee’s Speaker of the House, Beth Harwell, has stated publicly that TWRA and its Commission are going to be “extended” in life for the standard four-year term. But overall, these storm clouds forming right above our heads are not encouraging, and we must address them. We must speak with a unified voice and point out that in a $3.8 trillion federal budget, spending on fish and wildlife and associated programs represents significantly less than 1 percent of the expenditures, and it affects millions of hard working and hard playing Americans. Further, the results that these programs have delivered represent some of the best investments of public dollars ever made in our history. Addressing the debt and deficit challenges of the United States by offering cuts to proven successful programs that constitute fractions of one percent of the federal budget is not only ineffective, it is disingenuous, and it strikes at a thread of the American fabric that we all hold dear – our great outdoors. So look to TWF’s website at www.tnwf.org as we will be posting articles on these three questions that are vital to Tennessee’s conservation future. Please share this magazine and our free e-newsletter with your friends, and ask them to sign up for this service at our website. America has developed the most successful model for wildlife management ever devised by mankind. Let’s not let it be eroded into ineffectiveness.

What You Can Do To Help

Three Very Important Questions

TWF is constantly working to protect the interests of sportsmen and wildlife. Many times, critical issues are moving very quickly, and we need to mobilize our supporters to send a message. Here’s what you can do to help: If you haven’t done so, please go to our website at tnwf.org and sign up for our email newsletter list. Tell your friends and neighbors about the work we’re doing, and ask that they support TWF financially or through grassroots advocacy on important issues. Keep an eye on your email for Action Alerts from TWF, take action and ask your network to do the same. Tennessee Out-Of-Doors | 3


P a r t n e r s i n C o n s e r vat i o n

The National Wild Turkey Federation

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ith the eastern wild turkey facing extinction 30 years ago, the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) led what is considered to be the single-most successful restoration of a native species in the history of North America. And from a habitat standpoint, what’s been good for turkeys has been a boon for all upland wildlife. Today, the organization continues to make tremendous strides in introducing youth and women to the outdoors. That’s in addition to impressive habitat and biological research contributions, as well as grassroots advocacy on issues of importance to sportsmen and women. NWTF Chief Executive Officer George Thornton says state-level organizations like the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) are critical to their efforts, and that the relationship formed early on in the lives of both groups has been a fruitful one. One of the most successful partnerships in recent years was the campaign to pass a constitutional amendment guaranteeing the personal right to hunt and fish in Tennessee. The grassroots support that NWTF chapter members across the state provided was a critical element in the historic 90 percent passage of the amendment. From raising money to spreading the word and working the polls, NWTF members in Tennessee made significant contributions over the course of the several months leading up to the vote. “We believe, and TWF clearly shares in the mission, that we must ensure that our hunting and fishing heritage is carried on to the next generation,” Thornton says. “It is essential that they develop a respect and appreciation for the beauty of our natural resources, and for the responsible usage of them.” In the early days, Thornton says, the turkey restoration efforts quickly grew into a realization that it’s all about people, and offering access to the outdoors. “There’s a real understanding today that if you don’t get people outdoors and moving, the result is not only problems with health, but with environmental literacy and eventually economics.” NWTF’s JAKES (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) program has spawned all sorts of initiatives designed to foster a love for the environment, outdoor sports and wildlife – through 2,000 chapters nationwide, programs for youth focus on everything from fishing, sporting clays and woodsmanship to camping, cooking and orienteering. The Women in the Outdoors program has been extremely popular, as well, with the objective of providing outdoor opportunities to women that they otherwise might not have. “More than half the homes in America are single-parent homes,” Thornton says, “and our goal is to open doors for not only the moms, but for their children.” The NWTF fields a staff of about 70 graduate-level biologists around the country who work with landowners to develop plans for habitat 4 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

restoration, including food plots, tree planting and federal and state conservation program participation. The organization’s staff and members on the ground also work to restore areas affected by flood and fire and to purchase available land for public access. Thornton says like-minded organizations like the Tennessee Wildlife Federation provide collective resources that make the unimaginable possible, and the results are showing. “We are very appreciative of the spirit in which we’ve been able to work together, and we’re certainly committed to supporting TWF into the future,” he says. “Our missions are aligned, and it’s going to take all of us to get it done.” To learn more, visit www.nwtf.org.

Sam Mars III

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ongtime Tennessee Wildlife Federation supporter Sam Mars III has been involved with TWF for more than 25 years, including as a board member for the last decade. He’s also served on the board of the NWTF for 14 years, currently as vice president. “Both organizations have a common goal, and being on both boards, I see the interaction working so well for conservation,” he says. “It’s a unique relationship, but it’s been very effective.” In particular, he says TWF’s political arm is strong, and NWTF represents a considerable membership organization statewide. “It’s a natural marriage,” he says. “Both organizations have different venues and can come together as a team to make things happen for wildlife.” Facing the loss of as much as a county per year in Tennessee to asphalt and concrete, it’s critical that those with a common interest work together. And while the membership model is affected by recession and other factors, he says it’s less about what you “get” personally, but what impact the organization is having and what you’re doing collectively to leave the world a better place. “What will our footprint be?” Mars wonders. “What will we preserve and enhance? I want to leave it better than I found it, and these organizations facilitate that. Anybody who cares about wildlife should join the Tennessee Wildlife Federation – birdwatchers, hunters… we’re all in it together.”


Tennessee’s Volunteer of the Year Founder of Great Outdoors University First in State to Win National Award

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he National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has named the first Tennessean ever as its national Volunteer of the Year.

Peter Schutt of Memphis, Tennessee, a long-time Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) board member and the founder of TWF’s Great Outdoors University program, was selected for his spirit of volunteerism and his passion for connecting children with the outdoors. Schutt received the award at NWF’s annual meeting in Washington, D.C., as part of the organization’s 75th anniversary celebration. “It’s the dedication and commitment of people like Peter Schutt that helps ensure a wildlife heritage for our children,” said Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation. “Peter’s volunteer efforts have had a major impact on his community and his state, and the National Wildlife Federation is grateful for his continued support and determination to make our world a better place.” In 2006, Schutt had a vision for a program that would offer meaningful outdoor experiences to children who otherwise wouldn’t have the means to discover natural beauty and wild places. He wanted to share with youth in the inner city the joy that he felt growing up hiking, fishing and playing in the woods. Schutt provided the financial resources, and TWF’s Great Outdoors University (GOU) program was born. GOU currently operates in Memphis and Nashville, partnering with non-profit organizations that serve at-risk youth by providing day and weekend trips to natural places where the kids learn outdoor skills and develop relationships with peers, mentors and the great outdoors. In addition to unstructured time in the woods, GOU participants learn to fish, identify flora and fauna, hike and camp. And beyond the new skills attained are the life lessons learned. GOU has evolved into a nationally acclaimed program noted for its simplicity and effectiveness. When far too many children only know the outdoors through the screen of a video game or television, he has instilled in them a love and appreciation for the natural world that will carry them forward and be passed along to future generations.

“I can’t imagine anyone being more qualified for the Volunteer of the Year Award than Peter Schutt, and we are tremendously proud for him,” said Michael Butler, CEO of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, NWF’s state affiliate. “Peter understands the important connection between conservation and community, and he took an idea and contributed the time, talent and resources to make it happen. In six years, the Great Outdoors University program has provided more than 8,000 outdoor experiences to kids who wouldn’t have had the opportunity otherwise.” The National Wildlife Federation is America’s conservation organization protecting wildlife for our children’s future. Founded in 1946, The Tennessee Wildlife Federation is dedicated to the conservation, sound management and enjoyment of Tennessee’s wildlife and natural resources for current and future generations through stewardship, advocacy and education.

Tennessee Out-Of-Doors | 5


Beyond the Pavement: &RQQHFWLQJ.LGVZLWKWKH2XWGRRUV Great Outdoors University is a youth conservation education program that connects kids with the great outdoors in meaningful, life-changing and lasting ways. GOU participants are children and youth who would not likely have the opportunity to learn about and experience the great outdoors otherwise. Since 2006, the program has introduced thousands of kids to the wonders of nature on day trips that include hiking, fishing, birdwatching, tree planting, and the identification of flora and fauna. Last year, and again in July, a group of eight GOU participants were invited to travel to the Cascade Mountains in Washington State for a multi-day camping and hiking trip. It’s been a great year for Great Outdoors University, and we wanted to share some photos that celebrate the experiences that are changing young lives. Our goal is to continue expanding the program across the state, but we need your support to do it. If you’d like to help, we’d love to have you. Please contact TWF at (615) 353-1133.


The Wildlife Outside your

Window

Backyard Birding Brings Year-Round Enjoyment By Kendall McCarter, 7:)&KLHI'HYHORSPHQW2IĂ€FHU


Goldfinches love thistle, and squirrels don’t!

Suet cakes are a great way to attract woodpeckers.

ildlife abounds all around us, whether we are in the woods, at our favorite fishing spot or even in our own backyard. For many Tennesseans, the opportunity to be surrounded by wildlife – especially wild birds – is a real obsession, so when our staff approached me about writing a short feature on backyard birding, I jumped at the chance to share my passion with our Tennessee Out-of-Doors readers.

You might assume that I live in a rural area with large forested areas, but actually my home is in an established neighborhood well within the city limits. About 25 years ago, before being developed, it was typical West Tennessee farmland habitat with trees along the fence rows and open cropland. As the lots were built, people began planting trees and it now has a good variety, which is an important part of attracting birds. In my yard alone, we have river birch, maples, sweet bay magnolias, willow oak, and critical species for roosting such as holly and eastern red cedar. The evergreens give the birds a safe place to nest, and I’ve noticed that they really like to roost there at night, especially in the winter.

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As an avid hunter and fisherman all my life, I’ve always enjoyed observing nature. It was about 15 years ago that I really began to make my love for watching and attracting wildlife, especially birds, a serious hobby of mine. It started with putting up a purple martin house and a few bluebird boxes. With success in attracting these human-tolerant species (I average about three pair of martins and at least one pair of bluebird nests each year) that I began to enhance my yard for other species. Backyard birding is a real obsession for me now. Finding the right kinds of feeders, seed and habitat improvements to attract birds is something I really enjoy doing. It’s amazing how many different species of birds that will live and feed in your backyard if you provide the right mix of cover, food and water. In fact, with the help of my Kaufman’s Birds of North America book that I keep handy, I’ve been able to identify more than 30 species in my yard. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity in my position with the Tennessee Wildlife Federation to work from home. My desk is situated in my office, where I have a great view of my backyard garden through the office window. This gives me the chance to really observe the birds that live in and around my yard. I’ve learned a few tricks and tips that I’m happy to share with you in this article. Disclaimer: I’m not nor do I pretend to be an expert. I’m just someone who enjoys seeing birds use my yard for their home. I rely on websites like the TWRA’s Watchable Wildlife site, the Purple Martin Society and the National Wildlife Federation to learn more about birding. In fact, our family just had our yard approved as a certified backyard habitat through the NWF’s program.

Having plenty of cover is so important when attracting birds. In addition to the trees already mentioned, I have landscape plantings such as crape myrtle that allow the birds to come down to the ground to feed and then fly back into the cover. The doves, especially, prefer feeding from the ground, so always throw a little seed out for them. When it comes to feed and feeders, there are plenty of choices on the market. Bird feeding is now a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States, and enthusiasts can get seeds of all types. I choose to keep it simple and have found that black sunflower seeds are versatile and attract a great variety of birds. I use a feeder designed to be squirrel resistant to help prevent them being emptied in one day. Notice I use the words squirrel resistant and not squirrel proof, as I don’t think it’s possible to keep these little furry guys from getting to your seed. I have no problem attracting everything from finches and redbirds to migrants like rose-breasted grosbeaks and indigo buntings. I do have a couple of hummingbird feeders that get really active beginning in mid July, as well. Additionally, I like to add suet cakes to my feeding station. The woodpeckers really seem to enjoy the cakes and, despite their relative high cost ($5 for the big squares), the enjoyment of seeing a redbellied or downy woodpecker is worth it to me. The other critical component that has allowed me to enjoy more birds is the addition of fresh water. I placed a bird bath right outside my Tennessee Out-Of-Doors | 9


Water is a critical component for backyard birds

Cardinals are a welcome blast of color in the winter months

window and the birds love it. In fact, the robins, jays and ďŹ nches take a bath almost every day. During the past winter, there were several weeks of deep freezes and I noticed the birds didn’t have access to water nearby. They were using the feeders but had to y off for water. I broke down and bought a bird bath heater coil, ďŹ lled up my bath and it worked like a charm. With that addition, my house became one of the most popular bird hangouts in the neighborhood!

reminder for me of the relationship between man and nature. We are the stewards of our natural treasures, such as the birds, for future generations. As my daughter grows in her love of watching wildlife, the responsibility is passed on. I hope that you will consider transforming your backyard into a wildlife oasis that can bring the enjoyment of watching birds all season long.

The reward for this small amount of work is being able to sit in my home ofďŹ ce and watch the birds come and go all day long. It’s a

CVJMEJOH:PVS -FHBDZ8JUI58' Our Mission Statement: To champion the conservation, sound management and enjoyment of Tennessee’s wildlife and nautural resources for current and future generations through stewardship, advocacy and education. 10 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

For 65 years, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation has been leading the conservation movement in our state. Hunters, ÀVKHUPHQKLNHUVSDGGOHUVELUGZDWFKHUV²WKHVHDUHWKH SHRSOHZKRORYHZLOGOLIHDQGWKHVHDUHRXUVXSSRUWHUV:H FRXOGQ¡WKDYHDFFRPSOLVKHGVRPXFKZLWKRXW\Ru.

+DYH\RXFRQVLGHUHG7:)DQGRXUSURJUDPV LQ\RXUHVWDWHSODQQLQJ":HFDQKHOSVKDSH\RXU OLIH¡VZRUNLQWRDOHJDF\IRUJHQHUDWLRQVWRFRPH )RUPRUHLQIRUPDWLRQFDOO7:)&KLHI'HYHORSPHQW2IÀFHU Kendall McCarter at (731) 868-1346, or contact him via email at NPFFDUWHU#WQZIRUJ.


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Support Tennessee’s wildlife by purchasing one today, as a significant portion of the proceeds supports TWF.

Don’t see it displayed at your clerk’s office? Be sure to ask for it! For more information visit:

www.state.tn.us/revenue/vehicle/licenseplates/specialty.htm


Girls Can Shoot Too!

Meet the Woman Who Shattered the Glass Ceilin Ceiling By Mary Hannah Winstead

Photo by Michael Sepsick

s a member of the TNSCTP team at Battle Ground Academy, I practice regularly at the Tennessee Clay Target Complex in Nashville.

shooting her entire life. “I could beat him [Dan],” she says, “and I’d just act like it was nothing.”

Outside the club house, front and center, is the name “Jeanette C. Rudy.” Seeing her name on the club house and her picture inside inspired me as a female to find out more about her.

Mrs. Rudy got in to trap shooting because she was determined to be a better wing shot in the field, like her husband. Friends at the gun club taught her to shoot and swing from the waist by standing still and just moving her hips. She could not shoot with both eyes open, but instead closed the left eye and used her right eye to see the target. She recalls that she broke all the rules of shooting form and did very well that way, but it took a lot of practice to shoot correctly. Fortunately, practicing was easy for her at the gun club, where everyone was very nice and willing to help, and they were good shooters.

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Mrs. Rudy was one of five children. Her father got up every morning and went to work as an electrician for TVA. Her mother packed her husband’s lunch every day in the same brown sack, and then stayed at home to care and cook for the family. Mrs. Rudy explains that even though her brother was “mentally incapacitated with the modern world,” their Christian raising and belief in God gave her brother 77 good years of care and love. They believed in family, and they had dinner together each night. Mrs. Rudy has a twin, who is ten minutes younger, and two other sisters. When older, all four Rudy daughters went on to become nurses. She says that “nurses are educators… if they’re never anything else, they are teachers forever.” After graduating from nursing school in 1948, she married Dan Rudy in 1949. Before meeting him, she had never handled a gun before. One day, Dan asked her to go buy a duck stamp for him to go hunting, and Mrs. Rudy decided she would also buy one for herself so she could figure out what hunting and guns were all about. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, she learned to shoot and developed a love for the sport. When Dan and his friends went trap shooting, she didn’t miss an opportunity to be right there with them. She would step up to the line and break targets just like she had been 12 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

As one of the only women shooting trap at the gun club at the time, Mrs. Rudy held her own with the men and was “just one of the guys” when shooting. The men were not all that excited about a woman shooting, but she believes that “a woman is more determined in getting the target broke.” Because of her ability, the men not only wanted her on their trap team, but as ith the middle shooter. She shot with the men as much as she could, andd she learned a lot in the process. She very quickly learned in trap shooting not to stand around


and talk, but to “shut up and shoot.” This turned out to be good advice. Mrs. Rudy went on to earn a number of trap shooting titles, including the Tennessee State Ladies Champion (8 times), the Grand American Runnerup Ladies Trap Champion and 4-time Women’s Sports Afield All American Trap Team. She still remembers the first time she shot 25 straight – and then 100 straight – in trap. She is quick to note, however, that you will never be successful at shooting if you go out there “with an egotistical shoulder behind that gun.” She says the true trick to being a competitive shooter is “your trigger finger and eye must match, and always go to the bathroom before you shoot.”

Throughout her adult life, Mrs. Rudy has been known not only for her support of shooting sports and wildlife, but also in areas including American history and nursing education. She supports the Cumberland University School of Nursing and the Sylvan in Kansas, and she is a long-time member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Children of the American Revolution. She has also collected duck stamps since 1960, and her collections include all of the duck stamps ever made. These collections are extremely valuable, and Mrs. Rudy donated one complete set to the Smithsonian Institution. Supporting the outdoors and charitable organizations is what Mrs. Rudy calls her “church work.” She says, “Having the Lord in your life makes a difference, and there is always a light ahead.” Her advice to young women who want to get into shooting is simple: “You may get a hurt shoulder in the end, but it is a beautiful thing and it’s not that bad. You must put your shoulder into what you want and experience a little pain along the way. Women can do anything men can, in every aspect of life.”

Given her long and successful shooting career, it is not surprising that Governor Don Sundquist asked Mrs. Rudy to serve on the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission during his administration. She took her duties on the Commission very seriously by doing things right and keeping the shooters’ interests at heart. Her favorite shotgun is the 12-gauge Winchester, but she says that regardless of the gun, good technique will result in good trap shooting. She offers great advice for anyone who shoots competitively: “When you’re on the firing line, stand ready, do not dance around and only pull the bird when you are ready. No one can pull the bird for you, but you! Once you step in the square of the station, get your feet right and don’t move. Only turn with your hips, not your upper body…then always watch the trap house and the flight of every bird, because they are all different.” She says being ready means “when you get your face on your gun, your finger on the trigger and you’re ready to pull it and move forward, then just as you lean forward you call pull and that bird will land right there.”

About The Author Mary Hannah Winstead is a rising senior at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin. She maintains a 4.0 average, is president of the Honor Council and a member of the National Honor Society. She is also a five-sport athlete, including the TNSCTP program. Editor’s note: As this magazine was in production, Mrs. Jeanette Rudy left this earth to join her beloved husband Dan, her parents Felix and Edna Cantrell, and her brother Alton Cantrell. She was 83. We dedicate this issue to her memory.

SPREADING THE WORD

Dr. Jack Gayden Works to Recruit Girls to Shooting Dr. Jack Gayden has a special place in his heart for women – he’s one of the most highly regarded obstetricians in Memphis. He’s also a sportsman and a TWF board member, and it was a natural marriage for him to lead an effort to recruit females to participate in Tennessee’s Scholastic Clay Target Program. “Girls can compete on the same basis that boys can,” he says, “in a sport that used to be just for men.” He points to people like Jeanette Rudy, who shattered the glass ceiling in trap shooting by beating out men and winning national titles in the 1960s and ‘70s. Later, Nora Ross made her mark, a world champion shoote shooter who become the youngest person ever to be inducted into the Trap H Hall of Fame. “N “No “Nora was told by her husband that is was a man’s sport, just like M Mrs. Rudy,” Gayden says. “But women have been shown over the yye years to be just as good as men, and these ladies demonstrated it.”

It’s a great competitive sport that those who may not be inclined to field sports can play. It teaches teamwork and camaraderie, hand-eye coordination and self-confidence, and it’s a fun sport for families. Perhaps just as important, it often builds a tighter bond between fathers and daughters – dad loves to shoot, and it become something they can do together. Looking around the TNSCTP tournament and reviewing the final results, it’s clear that females are competing in the sport in Tennessee, alongside the boys. And they are winning. Gayden is working to build relationships in Memphis and beyond with administrators, coaches and parents at all-girl schools, and the reception has been very positive. “They may not have considered it as a sport before, but once they understand they get excited about it,” he says. If you’re interested in learning more about TNSCTP, visit tnsctp.org. New teams are being established across the state, and all levels are welcome. Tennessee Out-Of-Doors |13


TWF Programs

Nearly 1,500 Athletes Compete at 10th Anniversary TN Scholastic Clay Target Program Championships Skeet, Sporting Clays and Trap Shooting State Champions Named Ske

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he Tennessee Wildlife Federation held the 10th Annual Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program (TNSCTP) State Championships at the Tennessee Clay Target Complex in Nashville June 21-26, with state championships and other top honors awarded in skeet, sporting clays and trap shooting. “Everyone was looking forward to having the State Championships back in Nashville this year, and the event couldn’t have been more exciting,” said Andrew Peercy, who serves as TNSCTP’s manager through TWF. “The quality of the competition and the number of spectators continues to grow each year.” Teams won state championships based on cumulative scores of targets broken during several rounds of competition. In the Varsity Trap division, McKenzie Shooting Sports won the championship

Tw Spring Hill Scholastic Two Clay Target Shooters Finish Second In Nation In the end, just two targets separated rising sixth-grader Laura DeCuir from a national championship in competitive clay target shooting.

with a score of 967/1000. In Varsity Sporting Clays, the Clarksville High School Shooting Team was named State Champions with a 247/300, and in Varsity Skeet, the Haywood County Young Guns won top honors with a score of 290/300. High overall individual scores were recognized across all divisions and disciplines, but two shooters – one male and one female – were named Grand Champions for the entire tournament. Joseph Hickman of the Richland Trap Team from Giles County won the High Overall Grand Champion in the Junior Varsity/Varsity divisions with a perfect score of 200/200, and Chelsea Mathis of McKenzie Shooting Sports Trap Team from Carroll County was the High Overall Grand Champion in the Rookie/Intermediate divisions with a 193/200.

She and rising Spring Hill High School freshman Samantha Smith both came home with silver medals from the championship event, held July 12-16 in Sparta, Ill. The two young shooters are part of the Spring Hill Generals’ Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program (TNSCTP) team, a program of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation that includes nearly 2,000 student-athletes statewide who compete in skeet, trap and sporting clays events. The rookie trap team of Spencer Ussery, Cullen Huff, Ethan Porter, Nathan Fulcher, & Laura DeCuir, and the intermediate trap team of Grant Porter, Caleb Lindsey, Blake Keller, Samantha Smith, Alicia Smits, Josh Slayton, Justin Rouse & Brent Young, both finished fifth overall in their divisions in the tournament. In the sporting clays division, the rookies finished in sixth and the intermediates in seventh among as many as 40 teams, with Blake Keller (gold) and Caleb Lindsey (bronze) both winning individual podium medals in the “Single A” category.

Laura DeCuir and Samantha Smith

14 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

“I was taken aback by how well these athletes performed in their first-ever appearance on the national stage,” said head coach Chad Whittenburg, who also serves as the director of mitigation and ecological services for TWF. “To finish in the Top 5 in the nation is a grand achievement, and we only started four and a half months ago. People from all over the country were asking me where I found these kids! I couldn’t be more proud of them.”


TWF Programs

National Varsity Trap Division Champion Cody Hart of Houston High School (center) with silver medalist Matthew Rose of Arlington (Tenn.) High School (right) and bronze medalist Ethan Black of Warren County, Pa. Hart was the high overall shooter of the tournament.

Tennessee Brings Home Seven National Championships from Scholastic Shooting Event TN Scholastic Clay Target Program’s Teams Outshine 36 Other States with 23 Top Five Finishes

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wenty one teams from the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program competed in the sport’s national championship event, held July 12-16 in Sparta, Ill. The result was seven national championships, 23 top-five finishes across all divisions, and the high overall shooter of the tournament. Tennessee’s results far surpassed those of the 36 other ther states with teams in the event, which included thousands n nds of student-athletes from across the nation. “Tennessee has become a pre-eminent state in scholastic a astic shooting sports, and our teams did not disappointt at this year’s national championships,” said Andrew Peercy, who serves as TNSCTP’s manager through the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, which runs the program. “Side by side, the males and females that make up our state’s teams shot the lights out in Sparta.” a a.”

The seven national championships included: Arlington High i h School (Shelby County), varsity trap; Richland Trap Team (Giles County), junior varsity trap; Hoodlum Alley Claybusters (Bedford County), intermediate entry trap; and Bethel University, collegiate skeet. The Jefferson County Patriot Shooters won two national championships in the “Game & Fish” state divisions, both as the high all-around team and in the trap event, as well as a high all-around championship in the “4-H” division.

shooter of the tournament. It was the fourth year in a row that a Tennessee athlete has won the high overall award in trap, a division that included more than 1,200 shooters from across the nation at this year’s event. For his efforts, Hart was also named winner of the Jeanette C. Rudy Cup, for the best performance among Tennessee shooters at the national championships. For cco complete results from the national championships, visit www.shooterspost.com. w Four Fo colleges in Tennessee offer scholarships for F competitive shotgun sports, including skeet, sporting clays and trap. Student-athletes can earn scholarships and financial assistance at Bethel e University, Middle Tennessee State University, Tennessee Univeer Technological University, and the University of Tennessee Techn n at Martin. The TNSCTP Scholarship Fund will award Maar $15,000 in i scholarships to SCTP athletes this year. TNSCTP is a program of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, with approximately 2,000 student-athletes participating on an annual basis in competitions at the local, state and national levels. The program is made possible by support from key partners including the Tennessee Army National Guard, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and Rio Ammunition. To learn more, visit www.tnsctp.org.

Cody Hart from Houston High School in Shelby County was named the individual trap national champion and the high overall Tennessee Out-Of-Doors | 15


TWF Programs

Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program State Championship Results Sporting Clays Awards Varsity 1st Place .................................. CHS Shooting Team 2nd Place ..... Jefferson Co. 4-H Patriot Shooters Blues 3rd Place ........ Monroe Co. 4-H SCTP Shooters Blues Junior Varsity 1st Place ........... Jefferson Co. 4-H Patriot Shooters JV 2nd Place .................. Haywood Co. Young Guns JV 3rd Place ......................... Tri-County Claybusters #3 Intermediate Advanced 1st Place .......................................Cherokee Little Men 2nd Place ........................... Heritage Shooting Team 2 3rd Place ................. Jefferson Co. 4-H Patriot Shooters Intermediate Entry 1st Place .......... Montgomery Central Middle School MS1 ........................... & William Blount Shooting Team Alpha 2nd Place ........... Montgomery Central Middle School MS2 ............................................................... & Monroe County 3rd Place .....................................Spring Hill Generals Rookie 1st Place ..........Cumberland Heights Elementary School 2nd Place ........................... McKenzie Shooting Sports 3rd Place .....................................Spring Hill Generals

Trap Awards Varsity 1st Place ......................... McKenzie Shooting Sports 2nd Place ........................... Coffee Co. Claybusters 3rd Place .............. Jefferson Co. 4-H Patriot Shooters Junior Varsity 1st Place ............................ Coffee Co. Claybusters 2nd Place ............. Jefferson Co. 4-H Patriot Shooters 3rd Place ..................................Richland Trap Team Intermediate Advanced 1st Place ............................Middle Tennessee Christian 2nd Place .................................Hardin County Hitmen 3rd Place ....................................... Westwood Rockets Intermediate Entry 1st Place ........................... Hoodlum Alley Claybusters 2nd Place .................. Cumberland County Claybusters 3rd Place .......................................... Marshall County 16 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

Rookie 1st Place ............................ Hoodlum Alley Claybusters 2nd Place ........Cumberland Heights Elementary School 3rd Place ...........................Middle Tennessee Christian

Skeet Awards Varsity 1st Place ........................ Haywood Co. Young Guns 2nd Place ................................... Team Cherokee 1 3rd Place ...................CHS Shooting Team, Varsity 1 Junior Varsity 1st Place .................... Haywood Co. Young Guns JV 2nd Place ............. Jefferson Co. 4-H Patriot Shooters 3rd Place ................................................. VRPC JV Intermediate Advanced 1st Place .................................. Cherokee Little Men 2nd Place ............. Jefferson Co. 4-H Patriot Shooters 3rd Place ........................... Heritage Shooting Team Intermediate Entry 1st Place ..............Henry County No Fly Zone Musketeers & Montgomery Central Middle School MS1 2nd Place ........... Montgomery Central Middle School MS2 & William Blount Shooting Team Alpha 3rd Place ..................................... Sale Creek Panthers Rookie 1st Place ...... Cumberland Heights Elementary School 2nd Place .................. William Blount Shooting Team

All-State Winners Trap Senior Varsity Male Captain Adam Floied ...................Coffee Co. Claybusters Derek Anderson ..............Coffee Co. Claybusters Robert Fletcher ................Coffee Co. Claybusters Tyler Hickman .................. Tri-County Claybusters Davis Rader ............................. Jefferson County Senior Varsity Female Captain Megan Watters ...............Coffee Co. Claybusters Michaela Prater...............Coffee Co. Claybusters Mikayla Dickson..............Coffee Co. Claybusters Meghan Server ................... Cumberland County Paula Beets .................. West Green High School


TWF Programs Intermediate Captain Taylor Bolin................ Middle Tennessee Christian Brad Black ................. Middle Tennessee Christian Braxton Rider .............. McKenzie Shooting Sports Ryan Patterson .............................Hoodlum Alley Hayden Zeigler ........... Coffee Co. Middle School Rookie Captain Jackson Wilkerson ........................Hoodlum Alley Mason Landers.............................Hoodlum Alley Cam Price ...................................Hoodlum Alley Laura DeCuir .......................Spring Hill Generals Luke Davidson ..............................Hoodlum Alley

Skeet Senior Varsity Male Captain John Curry .................. McKenzie Shooting Sports Bennett Naron ............... Battle Ground Academy Hunter Smith .................. Battle Ground Academy Senior Varsity Female Captain Tianna Sellin .............................. Monroe County

Rookie Captain Trent Crockett ....Cumberland Heights Elementary School Hunter Roney ....Cumberland Heights Elementary School

Sporting Clays Senior Varsity Male Captain Patrick McGee .................. Tri-County Claybusters Bret Boatright .................... Tri-County Claybusters Coy Reed ......................................... Sale Creek Senior Varsity Female Captain Holly Hodge .................................Henry County Intermediate Captain Hunter Rowland .................................. Eagleville Grant Porter.........................Spring Hill Generals Jesse Mobley .................................... Sale Creek Rookie Captain Anders Rider ...................................... McKenzie Spencer Ussery ....................Spring Hill Generals

Intermediate Captain Robert Smith ......... Montgomery Central Middle School Michael Johnson ... Montgomery Central Middle School John Baggett ......... Montgomery Central Middle School

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TWF Programs

Tennesseans Feeding Thousands Through TWF Program Tennessee Hunters Donated About 56 Tons of Venison in 2010-11

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espite an essentially flat statewide deer harvest, venison donations to the Tennessee Wildlife Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) program were up 9 percent in 2010-11, over last season’s record of 101,000 pounds. Tennessee deer hunters donated 111,223 pounds of lean, high-protein venison that provided approximately 445,000 meals to their hungry neighbors through local food pantries. Growth of donated whole deer grew by 12.6% to a record high of 1,962. “This program continues to grow each year thanks to the compassion and the support of hunters, who go to considerable effort to donate deer and raise money to have them processed professionally,” says Matt Simcox, the Federation’s Hunters for the Hungry coordinator. “As folks renew their hunting and fishing licenses, we hope they’ll consider donating a dollar to the program – with the right funding, we could go a long way toward eliminating hunger in Tennessee.”

same discounted rate, typically $40. All processors are certified by the state department of agriculture. The other way to donate venison is through the “pound or pack” method, where a hunter donates a portion of his or her own prepared venison when picking it up from the processor. To encourage the success of this program, TWF has placed chest freezers at various collection and distribution points to aid in storage space. This method of donating has added strength to the program, providing 28.5% of the total donated meat in 2010-11. “The white-tailed deer is a tremendous success story in Tennessee, considering that a half-century ago they were virtually extinct here,” Simcox says. “The herd is around a million today, and they must be managed to prevent negative wildlife interactions, like deer-car collisions and destruction of property. This program represents a means by which to address a critical social need in a very effective manner. It just makes sense all the way around.”

The success is largely due to the current TWF chapters that sponsor HFTH through local fund-raising drives and events, such as clay target shoots and banquets. The Gibson and Madison county TWF chapters, for instance, secured a combined total of more than 18,000 pounds of venison donations by funding the discounted processing fees through participating butchers. Of the 55 counties involved in HFTH, 23 had secured funding for processing through local churches, businesses, and other organizations. Those 23 counties alone were responsible for 1,536 of the 1,962 whole deer donated to the program, or 78% of the total whole deer donations. Based upon available funding per county, processors are allotted a quota for the number of deer that HFTH will subsidize. Beyond these quotas, any whole deer processed is paid for by the hunter at the

Dollar Donation Option on Hunting License Purchases Adds Up

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hen Tennessee hunters purchase their annual licenses, the clerk is supposed to ask whether the hunter would like to donate a dollar to the Hunters for the Hungry (HFTH) program. “Unfortunately, for any number of reasons, the clerks are busy or unfamiliar with the system and simply skip the question,” says Matt Simcox, HFTH program coordinator. “What a lot of folks don’t realize is that those dollars could add up quickly, and they could make a significant impact on the program’s ability to feed hungry Tennesseans.” With approximately 750,000 hunters statewide, full participation could be a game-changer for the program. Participating processors are reimbursed by the number of donated deer, and based on available 18 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

funding. At the reimbursement rate of $40, that’s more than 18,000 deer that could be donated for free by hunters across the state. “Funding is the biggest challenge, and the dollar option should be the single-most effective tool for raising money to process donated deer,” Simcox says. “Today, less than one percent of hunters purchasing licenses gives a dollar to the program, so there’s nowhere to go but up.” As you purchase your license this year, remember to tell the clerk that you’d like to give a dollar (or more) to support Hunters for the Hungry. Together, we can make a big difference for hungry families in Tennessee.


This sample poster will be seen at participating processors across the state this fall. It is designed to raise awareness of the program and clearly indicate remaining funding for whole deer donations at that location. B&B was TWFâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Processor of the Year in 2010.


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TWF Working as Voice of Reason for Wildlife and Sportsmen’s Rights

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t was a busy session for wildlife and wildlife lovers at the Tennessee General Assembly, and TWF Chief Executive Officer Mike Butler organized supporters around two critical issues that gained significant media attention and generated outcry from across the state. Those impassioned pleas made the difference in what could have been two disastrous developments on the outdoors front. First was an ill-conceived measure that would have legalized the farming of white-tailed deer. TWF’s board of directors voted unanimously to oppose the “White-tailed Deer Breeding and Farming Act” that would have introduced an industry to our state focused on the breeding, sale and importation of a native species. Aside from the ethical concerns and public stigma surrounding captive animals raised for hunting purposes, the well-documented risk of disease associated with captive cervid populations represented a potentially devastating threat to our abundant natural herds of white-tailed deer, as well as to our state’s domestic livestock and, arguably, to humans. Federal and state agencies, universities and private organizations across the nation have spent hundreds of millions of dollars studying and fighting Chronic Wasting Disease, bovine tuberculosis, and other fatal diseases that have been discovered in captive cervids and in wild deer and elk populations near captive cervid facilities.

The measure is expected to be filed again in 2012. Near the end of the legislative session, the re-authorization of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency was held up by a small number of House members in the Tennessee General Assembly who apparently wished to place the TWRA in “wind-down” mode. The move would prepare TWRA and its critical wildlife and fisheries management work for elimination. This, despite the fact that the Senate had already passed a five-year extension for TWRA, a two-year Agency study committee had met and issued no findings, and the Agency’s audit and budget had both been reviewed and approved by the appropriate oversight committees. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation led the effort to establish the model game and fish legislation that resulted in the birth of the TWRA decades ago. Since then, the wildlife success stories attributable to this Agency are almost too many to list. TWF’s position was that we should not take lightly a threat to the highly effective management of our natural resources, and certainly not one apparently rooted in political motivations. The state constitution provides for checks and balances that help ensure state agencies are accountable, effective and efficient. This effort appeared to be a purely political move designed to harm the Agency.

Hunters and wildlife lovers across the state made it known that the breeding and sale of whitetailed deer as livestock was bad business.

And while the re-authorization did not take place before the end of the legislative session, House Speaker Beth Harwell issued a statement assuring sportsmen that the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission (and by extension, the TWRA) would be extended until 2016.

Our white-tailed deer herd – nearly extinct a half-century ago – is as healthy as it’s ever been in recorded history. The restoration of our native wild elk population has been a nationally celebrated success.

The statement explained that Tennessee’s “Sunset Law” requires that each agency, board and commission be reviewed at certain intervals by the legislative government operations committees. The reviews and subsequent approvals take the form of a bill, which then extends the entity. In 2012, the TWRC will be extended to 2016, Harwell said.

For those reasons, TWF was proud to join with numerous conservation organizations and countless veterinarians, wildlife biologists, communicable disease specialists, hunters, and wildlife lovers in voicing our opposition to the legislation that represented an unnecessary and potentially irresponsible risk to our state’s priceless natural resources. Thankfully, after several hearings, the measure was withdrawn from the House general conservation and environment sub-committee, which effectively killed the bill. The separate bill to which the deerfarming language had been attached as an amendment was also withdrawn from the agriculture committee. More than 1,500 emails and phone calls were directed to members of the legislature on the issue. Hunters and wildlife lovers across the state made it clearly known that, considering the scientific evidence, the concept of allowing the breeding and sale of white-tailed deer as livestock was bad business. 20 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

“I can confidently assure Tennesseans that the TWRC will continue to lead the way for outdoorsmen and conservationists in our state,” she said. “The legislature appreciates hearing from concerned sportsmen and constituents. I look forward to continuing this dialogue between the legislature, the TWRC, and citizens.” She continued by saying that “The Commission will not shut down, and will continue to serve Tennesseans. The State House will be acting in January to ensure the extension of the TWRC.” TWF wishes to thank the thousands of supporters who answered the call to contact their legislators on these important issues. Your voice made the difference.


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ove season is upon us, and the TWF Governors Dove Hunt is one of the Federation’s largest fundraisers of the year.

Held in the heart of Middle Tennessee, the professionally managed field rarely disappoints, and it has been described as second only to an Argentina hunt. This event is the perfect opportunity to socialize with good friends, make new ones and help support Tennessee’s oldest and largest conservation organization – the Tennessee Wildlife Federation. If you’re interested in participating in September of 2012, please contact Lauren Bell at lbell@tnwf.org.


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Terry and Jane Lewis

Terry Lewis of Campbell County is making things happen for wildlife in East Tennessee.

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or years, he’s worked through the Campbell Outdoor Recreation Association (CORA) – where he now serves as president – on land acquisition for public access, and he’s helped coordinate numerous events to introduce others to the outdoors. His farm has played host to women, children, handicapped hunters and wounded veterans, all designed to spread his love of wildlife and provide opportunities to those who might not have had a chance to experience it before. Earlier in the year, Lewis and his wife, Jane, welcomed several combat veterans and others whose hunting opportunities might be limited by injury or their use of a wheelchair for a turkey hunt. Many of the hunters found success afield, but the fellowship and new friends and sense of giving back where what really mattered. Tennessee’s native elk population had been extinct for more than a century prior to the restoration effort that was undertaken in 1999. The Lewises – life members of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) – played a major role in advocating for the restocking, and they’ve been actively involved in the tremendously successful project ever since. The Tennessee Wildlife Federation, where Terry serves on the board of directors, helped drive the project, and the elk have now been restored to a sustainable population. A limited hunting season has been established. In 2004, Terry began developing the Hatfield Knob Elk Viewing Area in upper East Tennessee, installing food plots that provide open area for the elk to graze and better viewing opportunities for the public. He designed and built a viewing platform, where today visitors have a near 100 percent chance of seeing wild elk in their native range. Thousands of acres of adjacent clear-cut land prompted an idea, and Lewis created a 10-year plan to restore those areas to native warm-

22 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

season grasses and oak savannahs that will benefit all wildlife - 10,000 acres in 10 years. Now in its third year, Lewis’s concept has been incorporated into the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s habitat management plan for the area. More than 1,600 acres have been converted through prescribed burning, with 2,200 additional acres scheduled for controlled burn in the coming months. Hundreds of volunteers have been trained for fire service, and Terry and Jane have led the coordination.

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“This is landscape-scale habitat improvement, and the partnerships and volunteer support are on a level never before seen in Tennessee,” he says. “I’m honored to be a part of it, and I’m gratified to see a plan come together that will benefit not only the elk, but all species of wildlife in the North Cumberlands.”

Earlier in the year, Terry and Jane were honored by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation with that organization’s Chairman’s Award, and they were recently featured as Field & Stream magazine’s Heroes of Conservation. The Lewises epitomize the spirit of those who care enough about our state’s natural resources to give back with their time, money, expertise and labor. They have brought untold resources to bear for TWF, CORA, RMEF and the National Wild Turkey Federation. We couldn’t be more proud of them, and we congratulate them on their well-deserved recognition.


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58')POPST4UBUFT$POTFSWBUJPO-FBEFST 46th Annual Conservation Achievement Awards Celebrate the Protection of Wildlife and Habitat

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ach year since 1965, the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF) has honored a select group of leaders in the conservation and stewardship of wildlife and their habitat in Tennessee. “These awards recognize those individuals and organizations that have made truly meaningful contributions to conservation in Tennessee and to TWF,” says Michael Butler, TWF’s chief executive officer. “The great work of our past winners lives on today, and the current generation is building upon those successes. Without their willingness to take action, we would have failed in our mission, and we are proud to honor their contributions.” The 46th Annual TWF Conservation Achievement Awards were held Tuesday, April 19, at the War Memorial Auditorium in downtown Nashville.

Kathleen Williams of the Tennessee Parks & Greenways Foundation was honored as the 2011 Conservationist of the Year for her tireless efforts to ensure that the real estate transfer funds earmarked for conservation remained in the state’s 2010 budget. Boyle Investment Company, Inc. of Memphis was recognized as the Land Conservationist of the Year for their recent donation of a critical 290-acre tract of land for public use that includes more than one mile of river frontage to the Wolf River Conservancy. TWRA Lands Management Biologist Marc Lipner was awarded the Wildlife Conservationist of the Year for his intensive habitat management strategy implemented on TWRA-owned pine plantations. Michael Cain of the Harpeth River Watershed Association was honored as Water Conservationist of the Year for the coordination of dozens of river clean-ups that removed more than 100 tons of debris from the Harpeth after last spring’s historic flood. Foothills Land Conservancy was recognized as Conservation Organization of the Year for the protection of 25,000 acres of rural landscapes around the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. TWRA Aquatic Education Coordinator Patricia Miller was celebrated as Conservation Educator of the Year for her implementation of the national Fishing in the Schools program, Tennessee’s free fishing days, the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation’s Take Me Fishing Events and other events and initiatives related to stream ecology and youth and women in the outdoors.

highly successful wildlife habitat and sustainable forestry initiatives. Jim Stroud was recognized as Hunter Education Instructor of the Year for his years of selfless volunteerism in the education of the next generation of hunters through the state’s Hunter Education Program. John Barron of B&B Processing in Marshall County was named the Hunters for the Hungry Processor of the Year for his coordination of more than 20,000 donated pounds of professionally processed venison that provided more than 82,000 meals to hungry Tennesseans. The Z. Cartter Patton Award was presented to East Tennessee State University ornithology professor Dr. Fred Alsop for his unprecedented research in avian taxonomy and natural history, including the publication of several highly regarded identification guides and books on the birds of North America. The Chairman’s Award went to TWF CEO Michael Butler for his leadership of the successful campaign to amend the state constitution to include a personal right to hunt and fish. Several volunteers from the Right to Hunt and Fish Campaign were recognized for their grassroots leadership that helped ensure the historic 90 percent margin of victory on the constitutional amendment referendum.

Senator Doug Jackson was named Conservation Legislator of the Year for his service to the state on conservation and wildlife-related legislation, his passion for youth shooting sports and his leadership on the constitutional amendment preserving the personal right to hunt and fish in Tennessee.

Nominations came from the Federation’s membership and the general public. In the past, TWF has presented the awards to tireless volunteers, wildlife educators, state employees, key legislators and others who have made a difference in our state.

Kevin Hoyt was honored as Forester of the Year for his efforts to conserve Tennessee’s forests through proper management, including

Presenting sponsors were Bridgestone Americas, the National Wildlife Federation and Packaging Corporation of America. Tennessee Out-Of-Doors | 23


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The TWF staff is growing, and others who have served the Federation for some time have taken on new and expanded roles. We are excited to announce the following updates: Chad Whittenburg, who joined the TWF staff in 2005, has taken on a new role as the Federation’s director of mitigation and ecological services. He is a certified wildlife biologist and professional wetlands scientist, and he earned dual bachelor’s degrees from Tennessee Technological University in wildlife and fisheries science and geology. Formerly, he was TWF’s director of outreach. Karen Vaughn is director of grants and special projects. She joined TWF in 2005, directing communications and membership until taking on the new role earlier this year. Just in the last few months, Karen has secured $45,000 in grant funding to expand the Hunters for the Hungry program. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Andrew Peercy was brought on as manager of the Tennessee Scholastic Clay Target Program in January of 2011, and has led the continued advancement of the nationally celebrated scholastic shooting program in Tennessee. Formerly, he was director of information technology services at Battle Ground Academy in Franklin. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University and a master’s from Texas A&M.

2011

Memorials and Honorariums Gifts in Memory of William Keith “Bill” Connors Mr. Richard Connors Mr. W.B. Connors Ms. Patricia Duncker and Family Mr. and Mrs. James Ramey Mr. Jack Rice

Gifts in Memory of Dan Thomas “Shotgun” Gentry Ms. Dorothy Morton Mr. Ed Whitley

Gifts in Memory of Joe Herring Mr. Lance Parker Mr. William H. Gates

Gifts in Memory of Clifford “Cliff” Rider Mr. and Mrs. Tom Wilson Mr. and Mrs. Victor Clark Ms. Louise Scates Ms. Rebecca Dillingham Mr. Dave Rizzuto Mr. and Mrs. Kenny McBride Mr. and Mrs. John Scoble Ms. Virginia Harris Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Boyd

24 | Fall 2011 | www.tnwf.org

Matt Simcox is now focusing full-time on the Hunters for the Hungry program as outreach coordinator. He joined TWF in April of 2008 and split time among HFTH and SCTP. He holds a bachelor’s degree in communications from Tennessee Technological University. Lauren Bell joined TWF in March as the executive assistant. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, she managed former Tennessee House Majority Leader Kim McMillan’s run for governor. Lauren manages the office and intern program, among other important functions at TWF headquarters. Erin Tyrell is a part-time employee in the development office, managing donor communications and membership. She joined TWF in March of this year, and formerly worked for Tennessee State Parks as a geospatial analyst. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tenn. Erin also volunteers as a trip leader with the Great Outdoors University program. Mac Jones has joined TWF as a part-time office assistant. He is a recent graduate of Tennessee Technological University, with a degree in wildlife and fisheries science.


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Tennessee Out of Doors, Fall 2011