Joshua Allison presented with “Making Tracks Award,” Natural Resources Police Officer Justin Stewart presented “Sharp Spur Award” by West Virginia Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (Photos courtesy of the West Virginia Department of Commerce)
Flatwoods, WV -(AmmoLand.com)- Joshua Allison, wildlife manager of the Hillcrest and Cross Creek Wildlife Management Areas in the northern panhandle, recently was selected by the West Virginia State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) as their 2015 Wildlife Manager of the Year.
He was presented the NWTF's “Making Tracks Award” at their annual awards banquet Jan. 16, 2016, by State Chapter Vice President Bob Garrison.
At the same event, Natural Resources Police Officer Justin Stewart of the Division of Natural Resources (DNR) Law Enforcement Section was presented the “Sharp Spur Award” in recognition of his dedication to protecting the wildlife resources of West Virginia. Stewart is stationed in Wood County in DNR District 6.
Joshua Allison is the Wildlife Manager on the Hillcrest and Cross Creek Wildlife Management Areas in Hancock and Brooke counties. He worked six years as a seasonal laborer on Hillcrest WMA and while working seasonally, he received his B.S. degree in Wildlife Management from West Virginia University. After graduating from WVU, he was selected as the Wildlife Manager for Hillcrest WMA in 2005. Allison’s hard work benefits many species of wildlife and especially farm game and grassland species. Hillcrest WMA also contains a breeding population of ring-necked pheasants. His tireless habitat management efforts on Hillcrest WMA provide hunters with some of the highest wild turkey harvest rates for public lands in West Virginia.
NRPO Justin Stewart
Natural Resources Police Officer Justin Stewart is based in DNR District 6 in Wood County, but works in any of the counties in West Virginia. Officer Stewart was recognized for his outstanding efforts in protecting the wild turkey population from illegal hunters.
In 2015, Officer Stewart worked with West Virginia Air National Guard Counter-Drug Unit’s aviation division to assist in flying over potential illegal turkey bait sites, locating approximately 20 sites. Stewart photographed and used the Global Positioning System (GPS) to pinpoint the locations for ground units at a later time. Stewart also investigated the bait sites on the ground by walking approximately a week and a half before season opening. Through his dedicated work ethic and continual drive to investigate, Stewart was able to ascertain an active feeder, and during youth season located two individuals hunting illegal over the bait site. The individuals were charged and convicted of hunting turkey over bait.
During the year, Officer Stewart also located several other illegal turkey bait sites in Wood and Wirt counties. He conducted investigations, including the use of social media, that resulted in multiple citations and successful prosecutions.
Related social media hashtag: #wvhunt
About West Virginia Division of Natural Resources:
Hunting and fishing in West Virginia is a time-honored tradition in which the majority of families have at least one member who participates on a regular basis. It is our goal to preserve this tradition and all wildlife resources for generations to come.
For more information, visit www.wvdnr.gov.