EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Ken Perrotte of Virginia received the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Tom Kelly Communicator of the Year Award for his ability to share the story of the NWTF’s conservation and hunting heritage efforts nationwide.
“I am grateful and humbled to receive this recognition, particularly when there are so many deserving communicators,” Perrotte said. “It is especially meaningful for me since this is the 50th anniversary of NWTF, an organization founded in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where I've been writing outdoors columns for the local daily paper for the last 25 years. As a youngster, I had dreams of one day sharing stories about the people, places and passions of our outdoors lifestyle. I still marvel occasionally that I get to do this. It is one of my life’s biggest joys.
“Luckily, turkeys and turkey hunters offer outdoors writers abundant material. And the NWTF family is blessed with incredible, passionate members and supporters, communicating by words and action their dedication to the mission and their fellow members. Sharing stories about the lifestyle we love, that incredible bird we treasure, and the importance of the conservation ethic that underpins it all is so important. I accept this recognition on behalf of all of you.”
Throughout his decades-long career as an outdoor writer, Perrotte has distinguished himself as a stalwart conservationist, understanding that without conservation, opportunities afield would be unsubstantial — and he's well-versed at communicating that message all over the world.
Perrotte currently serves as the National Wild Turkey Federation's conservation field editor, the South Atlantic Flyway migration alert editor for Ducks Unlimited, contributing editor for Shooting Industry and routine contributor to Field & Stream, Outdoor Life and Salt Water Sportsman magazines, and The Hunting Wire. As a writer, editor and photographer, Perrotte has more than 2,200 published articles, and has won nearly 100 writing, photography, website design and management (outdoors-industry related) awards.
It is not uncommon to see his articles in national publications where he tells the NWTF story. Recently Perrotte was awarded by the Association of Great Lakes Outdoor Writers for his Turkey Call article “Outside the City Limits,” which won the Best of Show Award and highlighted the importance of mentorship, hunting access, inclusivity and diversity, all critical components of the NWTF's future.
Perrotte is proud of his involvement with the NWTF and is happy to showcase the organization and its success whenever there is an opportunity — on his award-winning Outdoors Rambler website, through his work with USA Today's Hunt and Fish publication or through multiple other media channels with which he is involved.
“Our mission delivery is critical, but to amplify these efforts, we need to communicate them effectively to new audiences,” NWTF co-CEO Jason Burckhalter said. “We are proud to honor Ken for his deep involvement with the NWTF and his commitment to communicating who we are and what we do to the masses.”
Formerly known as the Communicator of the Year, the NWTF renamed the award in 2018 to honor Tom Kelly, the poet laureate of turkey hunting and author of the iconic “Tenth Legion,” published in 1973.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale.
2023 is the NWTF's 50 th anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization's mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50th anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and NWTF's people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.