- Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
Media Contact for Former MassWildlife Director receives top honors
Media Contact, MassWildlife
Retired MassWildlife Director Wayne MacCallum was inducted into the National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) New England Turkey Hunting Hall of Fame alongside five other inductees in late January. The Hall of Fame, established in 2017 by the New England NWTF state chapters, recognizes outstanding individuals for their contributions to wild turkey conservation and to the preservation of New England’s hunting heritage.
MacCallum served as MassWildilfe’s Director for nearly 30 years. During that time, regulated turkey hunting was relatively new and MassWildlife was actively working with partners to restore wild turkeys across the Commonwealth. Decades after wild turkeys disappeared from Massachusetts, MassWildlife reintroduced them in the early 1970s. During the 1980s and 1990s, turkeys were trapped and relocated to suitable habitat across Massachusetts to support and grow the population. The state’s turkey population is now estimated to be 30,00–35,000.
Joe Judd, NWTF State Chapter Board Member, presented the award and recalled the early days of turkey hunting in Massachusetts and the partnership between NWTF and MassWildlife. “Wayne was instrumental in supporting our progress with the trap and release program and he fought hard for the dollars needed for equipment and manpower to keep the project moving ahead. When the Massachusetts Chapter started to contribute more dollars, Wayne saw the commitment we were making and welcomed the partnership.” As turkey populations expanded, hunting opportunities also grew.
“Congratulations to Wayne for this well-deserved recognition,” said Mark S. Tisa, current MassWildlife Director. “This award offers a chance to reflect on how far we have come. The partnership between MassWildlife and NWTF is as strong as ever and we look forward to collaborating on our shared conservation goals for years to come.”
Mr. MacCallum expressed gratitude for the honor. He emphasized that the hardworking and passionate MassWildlife staff, NWTF members, and volunteers were major factors in the success of wild turkey restoration and in championing responsible, safe hunting in the state.
This is the second time MacCallum has been recognized by NWTF. In 2015, he was awarded the Wayne Bailey Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in conservation. Past Hall of Fame inductees from MassWildlife include retired Turkey Biologist Jim Cardoza, retired Information and Education Chief Ellie Horwitz, and the late Fisheries and Wildlife Board Chairman George Darey.