New York State Outdoor Writers Association to honor Fred Evans for his continuing involvement in promoting natural resources.
The NYSOWA M. Paul Keesler New York Outdoor Citizen Award is annually presented to an individual or organization that effectively has raised the public’s awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities and conservation issues in New York State. The award recipient is officially announced at the annual conference of the New York State Outdoor Writers Association (NYSOWA).
The award was created to honor worthy individuals and organizations, at the same time perpetuating the name of one of NYSOWA’s dearest members. The late M. Paul Keesler spent nearly five decades promoting and conserving the outdoor wonders and recreational opportunities within New York State. Paul Keesler founded the New York Sportsman magazine which enlightened and educated readers statewide and beyond to the wild treasures of the Empire State. Keesler also wrote books on canoe fishing New York waterways and on his beloved West Canada Creek and Mohawk Valley.
This year’s award winner is Fred Evans for his role in the spread of the wild turkey, teaching other states about this technique, and his role in educating people how to hunt wild turkey. Wild turkey were virtually eliminated from New York State due to habitat change and unregulated hunting. Thanks to Fred Evans we now enjoy this popular sport throughout New York State and the northeast .
After attempts to raise wild turkey were unsuccessful, the DEC attempted to live trap wild turkey without any success. Fred Evans was a technician with the DEC who modified and developed a successful method of capture that allowed the capture of small groups of birds from Allegany State Park. These birds were released elsewhere and the flocks successfully grew.
As flocks grew throughout southwestern New York the method was continued and soon breeding populations were established throughout the southern tier of New York State. Other neighboring states were interested and Fred helped them established flocks there as well.
Fred was also important in educating the population about wild turkey and the methods of hunting them. He was a popular speaker at countless seminars and taught a generation of eager hunters how to properly and successfully hunt these challenging birds. Fred Evans continues to speak and be involved in education about the wild turkey and hunting techniques.