Wild turkeys were part of the American landscape long before European settlers arrived. This great game bird helped feed a growing nation as pioneers swept westward and settled the land. However, as the Nation grew, lack of conservation nearly wiped out the wild turkey forever.
Although state and federal agencies began wild turkey restoration 70 years ago, the Making Tracks partnership put the process on the fast track. Laws regarding the sale and transportation of wildlife made moving wild turkeys from state to state a challenge. Wild turkey biologists and researchers from each state joined together on the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Technical Committee, which coordinated interstate transport of the birds. The NWTF helped work out a process to reimburse donor states for trapping costs, and also has been coordinating agency efforts, providing funds for research, and trapping wild birds and releasing them on National Forests and elsewhere.