Wild Turkey RestorationMission:

The RI State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) was established in 1993. The chapter, in conjunction with the NWTF and the RI Division of Fish and Wildlife (RI DFW), is working to restore wild turkeys to all suitable unoccupied habitats in the state.




Please visit The National Wild Turkey Federation's home page.

For other Rhode Island hunting information visit RI Dept. Of Environmental Management on the web.

For discussions regarding turkey hunting in Rhode Island please visit the www.RIHunts.com web site.

Upcoming Chapter Events

The RI State Chapter of the NWTF meets on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 pm at Venus Pizza on Route Rt.3 in Coventry. Please check this site for the next meeting.
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NWTF’s Conservation Scholarship Program

The RI State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is pleased to once again participate in the NWTF’s conservation scholarship program. Since its inception in 1993, the RI State Chapter has worked to promote the wild turkey and wild turkey hunting in RI. Through superfund banquets, the RI State Chapter has raised funds and support for its conservation, habitat improvement, and turkey restoration projects. The RI State Chapter is expanding its efforts to assist the next generation of conservationists through the award of a $500 conservation scholarship to an eligible RI high school student for the 2005-2006 school year. February 1, 2006 is the deadline to apply for this scholarship.

The winner of our state chapter scholarship will compete for an additional $10,000 national NWTF scholarship.

This scholarship is set up to benefit youth with a commitment to conserving the wild turkey and preserving the hunting tradition. The scholarship program is part of the NWTF’s Five-Star program, making half a million dollars available to graduating seniors throughout the U.S. Applicants for the scholarship are judged on their scholastic achievements, leadership abilities and community involvement.

Applications have been mailed to all RI high school guidance departments. See your guidance councilor for more information or download them below.

Please submit completed applications to John DeMello, President, JohnnySavage@cox.net All completed applications may be mailed to:
John DeMello
735 Plainfield Pike
Greene, RI 02827

Additional information and requirements may be obtained my requesting them in an e-mail to myself (hunter121686@aol.com) with the subject titled "NWTF SCHOLARSHIP".

I am available to answer general questions on required information, but cannot view applications. I will be applying, and only the president (John) and other board members/officers responsible for overseeing the decision may view them.

Thanks again, and good luck,

Josh Beuth, RI State Chapter - NWTF RI State Secretary

05-06 RI Scholarship School Info - National Wild Turkey Federation Scholarship 05-06

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About the RI State Chapter Of The NWTF

The RI State Chapter of the NWTF was established in 1993. Since its inception, the chapter has worked to promote the wild turkey and wild turkey hunting in RI. Through superfund banquets the chapter has raised some funds and support for its conservation, habitat improvement, and turkey restoration projects.

The chapter has participated, with the RI DFW, in several releases of wild turkeys in RI. These release areas were protected from wild turkey hunting by the posting of Wild Turkey Restoration Signs provided by the chapter. The chapter has also worked annually to improve the wild turkey habitat in RI by planting chestnut, crabapple and hawthorne trees and barberry which will provide the wild turkeys with valuable food sources.  The chapter is currently teamed with the RI DFW and several other State wildlife departments to sponsor a four year Wild Turkey Modeling Project.  At the completion of this project our RI DFW all have a new harvest management tool to help manage RI's wild turkey population.

Apple Tree Planting                    Adopt A Highway Clean-up

The chapter is helping to clean up our environment by actively participating in the RI Adopt-A-Highway project. We have adopted Arnold Road in Coventry, RI and are responsible for clean-ups and road improvements.

As a strong advocate for education, the chapter, along with the RI DFW, co-sponsors an annual wild turkey hunting seminar that teaches turkey hunting technique and turkey hunting safety. The chapter sponsors an annual J.A.K.E.S (Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethics and Sportsmanship) Day Program to educate our youth about the wild turkey, conservation, shooting sports and firearm safety. The chapter also purchased several interactive educational CDROMs which were donated to the RI public school systems along with several Wild About Turkey Education Boxes to educate our children about North American wildlife and conservation.  Now, we are expanding our efforts to assist the next generation of conservationists through the NWTF’s conservation scholarship program.

For the women, the chapter annually sponsors a Woman In The Outdoors event providing women, 14 years old and up, the opportunity to learn new skills, meet other women with similar interests, and develop a greater understanding of managing wildlife.

2004 RI Wheelin' Sportsmen

The chapter was excited to introduce our first annual Wheelin' Sportsmen event in 2003 by providing a disabled hunter with the opportunity to experience the beauty and excitement of a RI wild turkey hunt.  This is now an annual event with two RI disabled hunters harvesting a bird in 2004 with the assistance of our Wheelin' Sportsmen volunteers.

RI Turkey Hunters Care

Helping the less fortunate in our community have a happy holiday season, the chapter donated fifty-two (52) 10-14lb turkeys to the RI Community Food Bank in 2003 as part of the NWTF's Turkey Hunters Care program. For 2004, the chapter donated $200 to the RI Community Food Bank, $200 to the Santa Fund and $200 the Good Neighbor Energy Fund. 

Although the chapter has been able to make significant contributions toward education, conservation, and the restoration of the wild turkey and its habitat we still have a long way to go. Please show your support for wild turkey and for the chapter by joining us.

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RI Turkey Restoration Project History

Wild Turkey ReleaseThe RI wild turkey restoration project began on 8 February 1980 in the town of Exeter with a single release of 29 wild turkeys trapped and transferred from Vermont. Population growth was assisted by the migration of birds released in 1983 and 1984 by Connecticut Dept. of Environmental Protection (DEP), near the state line. Population growth and expansion in these parts of RI was slow to respond in spite of the availability of suitable habitat.

Utilizing harvest data, brood reports, cooperator sightings, call count surveys, track and sign surveys it was apparent that certain areas of the state held few or any turkeys and that the release of new flocks was warranted. Three sights were chosen for releases, Black Hut Management Area in Burrillville and two large privately owned parcels; one in West Greenwich and the other in Little Compton.

Rhode Island DFW contacted the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (NYDEC) and requested their assistance in providing wild turkeys for the planned release. NYDEC agreed to assist and trapping operations were initiated during the winter of 1994. On two occasions, Rhode Island biologists were able to participate in the trapping providing an opportunity for training in capture techniques. The NWTF provided transport boxes for the captured birds.

During the winter of 1994, a total of 48 wild turkeys, 24 males and 24 females, were trapped and transferred from NY to RI. Collectively, 20 birds, 11 males and 9 females, were released at the Black Hut site on 7 January and 13 January 1994. The West Greenwich site collectively received 13 birds, 4 males and 9 females, released on 3 February and 16 March 1994. The final 15 birds, 9 male and 6 female, were released at the Little Compton site on 13 January 1994.

The birds released at the Black Hut and Little Compton sites were protected by regulation that closed these areas to turkey hunting. The West Greenwich site consisted of a block of several hundred acres on which the owners agreed to post their land with wild turkey restoration signs. The restoration signs, provided by the RI DFW and the RI State Chapter of the NWTF, allow no hunting for wild turkey for the next few years.

In 1995, the RI DFW began its first ever in-state trap and transfer program. The trap and transfer of wild turkeys resulted in the establishment of two new release sites in the towns of Foster and Scituate. With 32 birds donated from the Pennsylvania Game Commission and 13 trapped in Glocester, RI, 45 wild turkeys were released during the winter of 1995. The Foster site received 22 Pennsylvania birds, 4 males and 18 females, released between 12 February and 3 March 1995. The Scituate release site received 23 birds, 4 males and 19 females, released between 24 February and 3 March 1995.

During the winter of 1996, the Pennsylvania Game Commission again donated wild turkeys to assist RI in their wild turkey restoration efforts. These 15 birds, 7 males and 8 females, were released in the town of Tiverton on 3 February 1996. As with other release sites, the Tiverton area was closed to turkey hunting for the next few years to allow the turkey population to take hold and flourish.  This area has since been opened to turkey hunting.

The RI DFW and the RI State Chapter of the NWTF would like to thank the states of Vermont, New York, and Pennsylvania for their tremendous support for RI's wild turkey restoration project. Their generous donations of wild turkeys has put RI's wild turkey restoration project on the road to being a huge success. Thank you very much!

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Come Join Us

Please join the RI State Chapter of the NWTF and help us return the wild turkey to its native habitat and restore our turkey hunting heritage in the great State of Rhode Island.

Annual Membership:

Membership includes membership in the National Wild Turkey Federation, 6 issues of the award winning Turkey Call magazine, 4 issues of The Caller newspaper filled with state and local chapter news, and the RI State Chapter newsletter.

It is now even easier to become a Sponsor member through the United Way and your employers company supported community relations activities.  Direct your weekly or bi-weekly payroll deductions to the NWTF, agency code 0826.    

Please send your name, address, phone number, and check payable to RI NWTF or a copy of your United Way pledge form to:

Rhode Island State Chapter NWTF
c/o Josh Beuth, State Chapter Secretary
161 New London Turnpike
Wyoming, RI 02898

(Note: Annual membership in the NWTF is $30 of which $10 is for a subscription to Turkey Call. Single copy price is $3.50. Dues in excess of $5, and all contributions, are deemed to have been made to a qualifying 501 (c) (3) organization and may be deductible on your tax return.)

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The information in the RI Turkey Restoration Project History and the Hunting Seasons/ Regulations sections of this web page were taken from the Rhode Island Wildlife Investigations Wild Turkey Status Reports, the Rhode Island Hunting & Trapping Abstract, and the RI DEM's web site.

Last Update 09/28/2010

Copyright , 2005 - 2006, RI State Chapter of the NWTF. 

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