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We Love Thunder Chickens, Good Food and Free Guns

April 27, 2011
By Travis Hunt OVO Pro Staff
On this late January evening it was another blustery Ohio Valley evening, however, the lodge at Sally Buffalo Park in Harrison County, OH was full of warmth. The warmth was courtesy of the fine people of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Harrison County Ghost Gobblers Chapter of the NWTF. The event was the annual fundraising banquet to support the Chapter and the NWTF. My wife and I were joined by well over 100 attendees. We were greeted by Clint Barr, Chapter President and Shawn Dickey, NWTF, Senior Regional Director. Barr is in his sixth year of leading the Ghost Gobblers and Dickey is an Ohio resident who works closely with Ohio-based NWTF Chapters.

Anytime a gathering of folks begins with the Pledge of Allegiance, an invocation and a public recognition of United States service veterans you are in the right place. As the “family style” chicken and fixings dinner was being prepared I meandered through the rows of silent and live auction items. I bought multiple auction tickets for the CVA Optima muzzleloader, .270 Savage Arms Axis, Henry Frontier .22 and the 20 gauge Jakes mini bantam shotgun. Another long gun was given away as a door prize later in the evening. My wife enjoyed browsing the framed art, furniture and specialty luggage that would soon be auctioned to the highest bidder. The auction was lively and many trucks were driven away full of new treasures.

I am a member of the NWTF, but I was unaware that the NWTF is the largest single species conservation group in the world. This is a daunting statistic considering the prevalence of other well-known endangered species conservation groups. Additionally, since 1985, the NWTF has spent 3.6 million dollars on turkey specific projects in Ohio. Barr stated that these projects include land acquisition, habitat enhancement and outreach programs. Dickey explained to me that the event will raise about $2000 of which 56% will go to the Chapter and stay in Ohio while the remainder will be directed to NWTF national projects.

If you are not a member of the NWTF and are a hunter or fan of the wild turkey, I urge you to consider joining. If you have any questions, comments or desire to join the NWTF you may contact the NWTF via Additionally, you may contact Dickey directly at 216-848-0245 or via E-mail at

Greetings from the woods of Ohio. Let me know what you think.


Travis Hunt is a commissioned officer in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS). He is a passionate hunter who loves to write about his outdoor adventures. Hunt and his family also own and have developed HuntHavens Ranch to hold and grow the deer, turkey and pheasant. 

Article Photos

Ohio Valley Outdoors– Photo courtesy of Travis Hunt
OVO Pro Staffer Travis R. Hunt (right)
with Shawn Dickey, National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), Senior Regional
Director during the Annual NWTF Harrison County Ohio Ghost Gobblers Heritage Banquet. 



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