BY BOB WAGNER
Board member, WMMC NWTF
The Wilson F. Moore Memorial (WFMM) chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) came home from the 2018 Pennsylvania NWTF Rendezvous with four awards.
Two members of the Board of Directors, Jack Sorber and David Spence, came home with individual state awards. The WFMM chapter was awarded with a PANWTF State Award and NWTF National Award.
Spence was one of the winners in the 2018 PANWTF Hall of Fame category.
The Pennsylvania State Chapter of NWTF Hall of Fame Award denotes an outstanding turkey hunter, conservationist and ethical sportsmen who throughout his life has worked for the betterment of the Wild Turkey in Pennsylvania and the betterment of turkey hunters.
He learned to hunt by hunting small game (rabbits) with his family – father, uncles and grandfather on the Grandfather’s farm on the eastern shores of Maryland starting in 1972.
Spence saw his first turkey in 1977 while hunting with his father in Susquehanna County after receiving a hunting tip from his high school teacher, Wilson F. Moore, that there might be some turkeys in a specific area.
He remembers that there was snow on the ground and they found the tracks before they ever spotted the turkeys (3 hens) He learned early on that Moore was a valuable source of information about the wild turkey and its habits.
After high school graduation, they hunted turkeys together. He harvested his first turkey in 1980 in Susquehanna County.
Spence has mentored over 60 youth hunters, teaching them about the pursuit of the wild turkey and whitetail deer. He has taken these young hunters out on youth spring gobbler hunts, youth fall turkey hunts and rifle deer season hunts since 1995.
He has been a member of the chapter since its founding in 1985. He has been a NWTF member for 33 years. Spence served as President of the Wilson F. Moore Memorial chapter for five years and both before and after that time worked closely with the officers of the chapter. For 25 years he has served on the banquet committees. He has been an active sponsor of many of the 30+ banquets. He has completed volunteer work with Pa. Game Commission working on wildlife habitat improvement with WFMM NWTF funded projects; and worked with the Susquehanna County Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs on their Youth Field Days and habitat work on State Game Land’s during the early 2000s. He has also worked with the Central Conservation Club (South Montrose) on tree planting, club improvements, establishment of improved trap shooting facility.
In his current position as a manager at Andre & Son, Inc., he has continued to be involved with land owners, wildlife food plot planters and the Pa. Game Commission daily.
Sorber was presented with the James E. Wilhelm Award. The award was named after the third president of the Pa. State chapter NWTF who was an outstanding turkey hunter who hunted and harvested turkey’s in every state that they existed in during his lifetime.
This award is presented to a person who contributes to the management and conservation of the wild turkey through habitat work, land acquisition, fund raising, legislation or public relations.
Sorber follows the elevated efforts of an outdoorsman and woodsman. He leads by example. Since 1973, he has been member of the Pa. Wild Turkey Federation and then when it became part of the NWTF. He has been a member of the NWTF for 45 years.
His lifetime as a wildlife conservationist started in his youth on the family farm on Sorber Mountain (Luzerne and Wyoming counties). He planted his first food plot in 1964 has been planting yearly since then. He has planted many trees and shrubs such as dogwood, sawtooth oaks, and Dunstan chestnuts on private land and PA State Game Land’s since 1966.
As a wildlife conservationist, Sorber also assisted in the establishment and growth of the Susquehanna branch of the Quality Deer Management Association and the North Mt. Branch of QDMA. His expertise in wildlife habitat management, big game hunting and his willingness to give of his time and knowledge has made these groups efforts on wildlife habitat projects very successful.
Sorber works on habitat improvement projects with Trout Unlimited, several branches of the Quality Deer Management Association, several chapters of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and with the Federation of Sportsmen’s clubs through delegates of the QDMA & NWTF.
He has served on the Pa. State Chapter of the NWTF Board member 2012 to present 2018 and as the Wilson F. Moore Memorial Chapter President 2010 – 2017.
For the second year in a row the WFMM Chapter received a PANWTF First place award “The Jerry Zimmerman Achievement Award” for those chapters who had the highest net to gross dollars and the highest amount of money brought in for a banquet with less than 100 attendees.
The WFMM Chapter received a NWTF National Award as it was noted as a chapter that has now raised $500,000 during its 33 years of existence.