Montgomery to Host 2005 Governor’s Turkey Hunt

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Governor Bob Riley and Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley announce that the Fourth Annual Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt is moving to Montgomery on March 14-16, 2005. The Embassy Suites Hotel will serve as hunt headquarters, while the actual hunting activities will occur throughout central Alabama. The event gathers celebrities, national media, business leaders and new industry prospects from around the world for what has proven to be an ingenious blending of business and recreation.

The Governor’s Hunt, as it is fondly called, is sponsored by the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation in cooperation with the Alabama Development Office and host community leaders. The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce has already committed to serving a major role in the 2005 event. Activities surrounding the hunt include receptions, banquets and a fundraiser auction to benefit the foundation. Tuscaloosa has hosted the annual event since its beginning.

In announcing the move, Governor Riley praised the West Alabama supporters for building a model event that can now be rotated among other regions of the state. “We are successfully showcasing Alabama as the ultimate destination for business and industry, and for nature-based tourism. It is time to share its benefits with other parts of the state,” said Governor Riley. “I’m sure the event will be held again in Tuscaloosa at a future date.”

Tuscaloosa resident Joe May serves on the Governor’s Hunt Committee. “The Alabama Governor’s One-shot Turkey Hunt is recognized as the premier event of its kind,” he said. “The landowners, guides and community leaders of west Alabama have shown tremendous support for the event. It is a great tool for recruiting new industry and tourism to Alabama while promoting our hunting heritage.”

The Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt also invests in the future of wildlife conservation, Foundation Chairman Barnett Lawley notes. “Funds raised at the event benefit the Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources Foundation and its many worthwhile projects, such as: Hunters Helping the Hungry, Youth Dove Hunts, and the Lynn Boykin Youth Wildlife Scholarship at Auburn University. I am pleased that over $166,000 has now been contributed to the scholarship endowment, which is Auburn’s first and largest undergraduate wildlife scholarship,” he said.

According to Governor’s Hunt Coordinator Jerry deBin, many counties throughout central Alabama will be involved in the 2005 event. “Landowners are key to the event’s success because they effectively become an ambassador on behalf of the state. We are now recruiting about 85 landowners to host a Governor’s guest hunters. Our challenge is find supportive landowner hosts with quality turkey hunting properties within a 75 mile radius of Montgomery.” Invitees to the hunt will include corporate leaders, industry prospects, governors of other states, country music artists, NASCAR drivers, and national outdoors media celebrities.

Each guest hunter is paired with a landowner and turkey hunting guide. The guest hunter who bags the largest turkey is awarded a large crystal trophy from the governor. Turkeys are scored using a combination of weight, beard length and spur length. Bob Hart, Vice-President of Wal-Mart, won the 2004 event by a half-point over Wal-Mart President Tom Coughlin.

Contact Jerry deBin at 334-242-3151 for more information regarding the Alabama Governor’s One-Shot Turkey Hunt.