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RALEIGH, N.C. (July 16) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has honored two men for their contributions to the Tar Heel state.

R. Wayne Bailey and Wayne E. Smith were recognized by the Board of Commissioners on July 11 when a game land and shooting range, respectively, were named in their honor.

Bailey, a long-time Milton and Caswell County resident who passed away earlier this year, served a lengthy, distinguished career as a wildlife biologist for the Commission. He’s widely acknowledged as a visionary leader in the restoration and conservation of wild turkeys in North Carolina.

“Wayne Bailey was a consummate sportsman and conservationist whose life and career has and will benefit North Carolinians for many generations,” said Richard Hamilton, executive director of the Commission.

To honor his legacy, commissioners passed a resolution renaming the Caswell Game Land the R. Wayne Bailey – Caswell Game Land.

Among his many accomplishments, Bailey championed then-controversial changes in turkey management including closure of the fall hunting season and the initiation of spring gobbler season. He was the first charter member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, and also pioneered successful methods to capture and relocate the birds.

Bailey’s daughter, Cheryl Hardy, accepted the award on his behalf.

Smith, a Waynesville native, was instrumental in the creation of the newly opened Cold Mountain Shooting Range, now named the Wayne E. Smith Shooting Range.

Confined to a wheelchair, Smith has served with distinction as a member of the Commission’s Disabled Sportsmen Society since 2003. An avid sportsman, his outgoing nature and resolute determination have helped improve access for disabled hunters and anglers at Commission properties across the state.

“Wayne Smith champions issues related to disabled sportsman access and has assisted the Commission in expanding these important efforts across North Carolina,” noted Hamilton.
 
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