In the March 13 edition of the Greene County Messenger, an article was published stating that the Warrior Trail Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation would be holding its annual Hunting Heritage Banquet on March 21 at the Waynesburg Armory.
However, shortly before the edition hit the newsstands, Guy Hostutler, president of the Gobblers chapter, announced on social media that the event was being postponed due to the coronavirus.
In a brief video posted on the chapter’s Facebook page on March 11 – after the Messenger’s deadline – Hostutler said the chapter members decided to postpone the event after speaking with officials.
“After much deliberation, we believe that it would be the best decision,” he said. “We don’t feel it is worth one person’s safety to put anyone in jeopardy because of the virus. We just don’t feel we should take that chance.”
Hostutler said the chapter hopes to reschedule the banquet sometime in late summer or fall, but that would solely depend on what transpires with the virus.
In the March 13 GCM, Hostutler said the annual event is huge for the chapter. During last year’s banquet, 611 people attended and the event raised roughly $140,000. Proceeds raised from the banquets are utilized by the WTG chapter, with a portion of the funds going back into the chapter’s youth programs.
The chapter also holds the annual Don McCormick Memorial Warrior Trail Gobblers Jake Hunt, which has been scheduled to be held on April 25 at the Hunting Hills Shooting Preserve in Dilliner.
However, Hostutler stated in the Facebook video that the Jakes event’s status is currently uncertain.
“We will wait and see where the next few weeks take us in regards to the virus,” he said.
As of press time, no further updates were given. Hostutler encourages the public to continue to visit the WTG Facebook page for future updates.
Hostutler apologized on behalf of the chapter for the unexpected postponement, and promised that the events would return.
“Mark my words, there WILL be a banquet and Jakes event this year,” he firmly stated. “In the meantime, we ask that everyone please be patient with us as we try to finalize backup plans, and we continue to pray for everyone’s safety.”
For more information about the banquet, the Jake Hunt and/or anything else pertaining to the Warrior Trail Gobblers Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, contact Hostutler at 724-350-1062 or 724-447-2716.