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Turkey federation chapter stays active in Massena

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MASSENA - Some people think about turkeys only when Thanksgiving rolls around.

For others, it’s part of their thought process throughout the year.

The local chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation has about 50 members, according to Chapter President Jeff Root, who said the nearest chapters are in Plattsburgh and Watertown.

The local chapter, he said, includes individuals from around the area, such as Massena, Norwood, Norfolk and Ogdensburg.

“We’re big into the hunting heritage, keeping the hunting sport active,” he said. “We’re kind of like Ducks Unlimited and the NRA (National Rifle Association). We support firearms and the right to bear arms. The biggest part is the heritage to keep the sport going.”

They’re also involved in the community, though. Mr. Root presented Bridget Lavigne, exalted ruler of the Massena Elks, with a framed piece of nature artwork titled “Facing the Challenge,” as a thank you for the Elks allowing the club to hold its annual banquet at their Bowers Street facility.

“We have a fundraising banquet every year. We have the event here. This is the 12th one. We figure we’d donate (the painting) to the Elks,” Mr. Root said.

Their fundraising banquet allows them to provide other services in the community, including scholarships for students and seed programs for food plots.

The money they raise is sent to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s New York State Superfund and then doled out to the approximately 50 local chapters to assist with their programs, according to Mr. Root, who said more than $1 million has been spent in New York since 1973.

“We do applications and send them in,” he said.

The National Wildlife Turkey Federation also ensures adequate hunting opportunities for the local chapters.

“(The turkeys) all come to be around here through the National Wild Turkey Federation,” he said, noting they were baited and netted with the help of a biologist and the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation and boxed for transport to various parts of the state.

Anyone who is interested in becoming a member of the local chapter can contact Mr. Root at 769-8028 or email aroot@twcny.rr.com .

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