CFM Mourns the Loss of Missouri Turkey Legend


John and his wife Nancy.

John and his wife Nancy.

Legendary Missouri turkey biologist, John B. Lewis 90, passed away Tuesday, October 31, 2017 in Columbia, Missouri surrounded by his beloved family.

John had a distinguished career spanning 37 years of work as a wildlife research biologist and supervisor for the Missouri Department of Conservation. John’s pioneering work helped restore the native wild turkey to huntable populations in the state. His contributions included creating habitats for the native wild turkey for all counties in Missouri. This resulted in the establishment of both fall and spring hunting seasons.

“John Lewis was key to restoring the wild turkey to all corners of Missouri, and even helped reestablish turkeys in many other states. Today in Missouri, you can hunt turkey in all 114 counties. More than 150,000 hunters harvest approximately 50,000 turkeys annually. We owe a lot of gratitude to John Lewis for all he did to save the wild turkey,” said Brandon Butler, CFM executive director.

The Celebration of Life for John Lewis will be Saturday, November 11 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. at the Columbia County Club, 2210 North Country Club Drive, Columbia, MO.

To hear John describe his turkey restoration efforts in his own words, you can listen to our recently recorded Conservation Federation podcast: