MADISON -- Karl Malcolm led a group of 22 novice hunters ages 19 to 31 on a wild turkey hunt in southern Wisconsin. Then, they ate.
And they may never view wild game the same again.
That was the goal of University of Wisconsin-Madison wildlife ecology graduate student and now outgoing staffer of the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Enforcement.
"I wanted to show those who are interested in healthy, sustainable food sources, and haven't hunted, how hunting can be one of the most straightforward ways of eating well and appreciating nature," Malcolm said of the turkey hunt he organized with the Willy Street Food Cooperative in Middleton.
Malcolm, who also helped introduce the current and most previous DNR secretaries to baby bear cubs in the wild, is on his way to the nation's capital. He will be one of 10 graduate students in the biological sciences to serve in the Presidential Management Fellows Program.
Started in 1977 through an executive order, the fellows program provides two years of leadership training for those interested in public service careers. Malcolm and nine others were selected from a national application pool.
"The program is designed to encourage select graduate students from throughout the nation to pursue leadership-level careers with the federal government when degree work is completed," Malcolm said. "After some of the best years of my life in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at UW-Madison, I am excited to start the next phase of my career."
And, says DNR Chief Warden Randy Stark, Malcolm's intellect and energy will serve him well.
"Karl worked in our hunting and shooting sport recruitment and retention program, and was a critical piece in recruiting college students to hunting," Stark said. "His most recent and very successful event that highlighted the benefits of hunting as a high quality and organic food source shows how he uses his energy and creativity to introduce Wisconsin's traditions to those who have had very little exposure to it.
"Karl has performed valuable service to Wisconsin and we hope he comes back to Wisconsin," Stark said.
As part of his doctorate degree program, Malcolm worked on a six-year study of Wisconsin's black bears with the DNR's bear management program. Malcolm will spend the remainder of the calendar year in Madison, completing his doctoral thesis, hunting, fishing, and helping the DNR with outdoor recruitment programs before joining the fellows program full time.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Randy Stark, DNR Chief Conservation Warden, 608-266-1115; Karl Malcolm, DNR Bureau of Enforcement; or Joanne Haas, Public Affairs, Division of Enforcement and Science, 608-267-0798