Federation preparing for feast

Kristie Bruce's house is filled with boxes of items and paintings for auction at next month's National Wild Turkey Federation banquet in Craig.

Auction items include sculptures, paintings, guns and hats. The items consume most of the space in Bruce's living room and kitchen.

But Bruce said she doesn't mind the clutter. Proceeds from next month's auction will benefit the federation's programs, including an effort to build a fishing dock for users with disabilities at the Moffat County Public Safety Center pond.

The federation works to preserve wild turkey habitat and to reintroduce the birds to the wild for hunting.

The eighth annual banquet is Feb. 11 at the Moffat County Fairgrounds Pavilion. Doors open at 5 p.m.

Five years ago, the federation released 100 wild turkeys near Brown's Park. The turkeys have thrived since, Bruce said.

"The habitat was perfect," she said.

The federation also has used the proceeds from banquets to rebuild wildlife habitat after wildfires.

Bruce doesn't hunt. But she said wants turkey hunters to have an opportunity to do so in Northwest Colorado.

Reintroducing the animals to the wild and maintaining their habitat was the reason Bruce got involved with the federation, she said.

The group will send the money from this year's banquet to the National Wild Turkey Federation in South Carolina. The national group will return the money to local chapters, Bruce said.

The local group will use some of the money for the fishing dock that local resident Pam Lathrop is raising money to build.

Lathrop, also a member of the federation, said she hopes to have the dock built by next summer.

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