Mossy Oak, the renowned camouflage company based in West Point, Mississippi, has created a new fundraising revenue stream to help America’s wild turkeys. The company launched the Wild Turkey Conservation Stamp this spring, and although online sales began just last week, there have already been plenty of willing buyers.
“In the first 24 hours of stamp sales we collected $20,000, with stamp buyers from almost every state in the country,” says Daniel Haas, Director of Marketing for Mossy Oak, and the son of company founder Toxey Haas.
The stamp costs $15, and it will be sold through the spring turkey hunting season and into the summer, says Daniel. It’s partly modeled after the Federal Migratory Waterfowl Stamp, which has been tremendously successful in raising money for waterfowl conservation over its 90-year history. And much like the federal duck stamp, the artwork on the turkey stamp will be re-designed every spring, and each new stamp will be offered on an annual basis.
Most importantly, however, 100 percent of the money raised from the sales of Mossy Oak’s Wild Turkey Conservation Stamps will fund research projects and other conservation initiatives that will benefit the nation’s wild turkey populations.
“Every cent we raise from this stamp will go directly toward conservation research projects with nothing left over,” says Toxey Haas. “We look forward to helping fund some of the projects being pursued right now by some great gamekeepers around the country.”
As for what these projects might look like, Daniel explains that they don’t know where the dollars will be spent just yet, but “we have some outstanding turkey projects we’re considering,” he says. As examples, he mentions a turkey poult tagging operation that is currently underway in Missouri, as well as a research project that’s looking at decreasing bird numbers in northwest Georgia.
“But we are not just going to be working with turkey projects in the South,” Daniel says. “[These projects] will be all over the country, and for the benefit of all the sub-species of birds.”
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He explains that Mossy Oak’s advisory board will help choose which projects will receive funding with turkey stamp dollars. That board includes Dr. Mike Chamberlain, a professor at the University of Georgia known as the “wild turkey doc”, and the University of Florida’s Dr. Marcus Lashley, another leader in the turkey conservation arena. Toxey Haas, Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland, Bobby Cole, and several other dedicated, lifelong turkey hunters will help guide these decisions as well.
“We want all turkey stamp revenue to go directly to the people doing the work benefitting wild turkeys,” Daniel says.
The stamp that is currently for sale is titled “A Mossy Oak Moment.” It was created by artist Dan Moreton, who painted the original scene back in 1996.