Lynn Boykin (deceased)

Former Hometown: Mobile, Ala.
Former Occupation: President, Boykin Management Company
Family: Married, six children, nine grandchildren
Interests: Freshwater Fishing, Saltwater Fishing, Hunting
For the premier issue of their Women In The Outdoors magazine, the National Wild Turkey Federation chose to feature Mrs. Lynn Boykin, a Mobile, Ala., businesswoman whom the NWTF holds close to its heart.

Boykin was elected as the first woman president of the NWTF in February 1995. She was a member of the organization for nearly two decades and served on the national board of directors for 10 years, prior to her death in 2000.

As a mother of six and a grandmother of nine, Boykin brought a perspective to wildlife conservation circles that focused on children and women's issues, which played a major role in the future of American hunting traditions. She was president of Boykin Management Company, a large commercial development and management corporation with holdings in a number of states. Boykin practiced what she preached by preserving as much habitat as possible within the company's developments. Every acre on her family's land holdings is intensively managed for wildlife.

Not only was Boykin an instrumental force in the NWTF, she was heavily involved in other conservation organizations, such as the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the Alabama Wildlife Federation, the National Rifle Association and the Wildlife Legislative Fund of America.

Q&A With Lynn (based on an interview prior to her death):

What is your favorite outdoor activity?
"It is between freshwater and saltwater fishing. I really don't care if I'm catching a bass, bream or a 300-pound marlin, just as long as I have a rod in my hand. Now, if you were to ask me what my most challenging hunting activity is, I would say it is calling a turkey within gun or camera range. It is an indescribable feeling."

What is your most memorable outdoor experience?
"The first time my husband (then boyfriend) took me turkey hunting at the Boykin Hunting Lodge, I began coughing during the hunt. He told me that I was going to have to be quiet. I said, "You can't talk to me that way," and stormed off into the woods. Of course, I got lost. I came to the conclusion that if I was going to date this man, I had better learn the woods. Very quickly, I walked every piece and learned every section. Now, I never get lost."

How important a role has hunting and fishing played in your life? Was it a major force in your life?
"Definitely, yes. I have fished all my life. When I was 16, my family moved to Mobile. I saw the large expanse of water from the Mobile Bay Delta, and I fell in love with the area. I started making plans to spend the rest of my life here. Shortly after, I found that besides the excellent year-round fresh and saltwater fishing, there were also great hunting opportunities. I immediately learned to do it all. Hunting, fishing and conservation have been in my life ever since."

How has hunting and fishing brought your family closer together?
"Anytime a family can do something together, whatever it is, it makes them closer. Any time you can share something with your husband and children, it gives you something in common and keeps the lines of communication open. Even with our children grown, we are still experiencing the thrill of hunting and fishing with grandchildren, nieces and nephews."

Describe the things you've been involved in that have helped protect our hunting heritage and benefited wildlife conservation.
"In my later years, I have become very passionate about doing what I can do to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the outdoor experiences I have enjoyed. About 13 years ago, I realized what the anti-hunters were doing to take this privilege away from us, and it didn't seem like anyone was doing anything to combat them. I also realized that I couldn't do anything as an individual.

About that time, I was asked to run for the NWTF National Board. I knew of their high ethics and love of God, family and country. I knew that with an organization such as this, I could begin to accomplish my goal. We set up the Hunting Heritage Fund, which for the last 10 years has donated to organizations that are fighting to maintain our hunting heritage. The Wildlife Legislative Fund, the 4-H clubs and the Olympic shooting teams are just a few of the organizations that the NWTF is supporting."

Has there ever been a time when being outdoors has been therapeutic for you?
"Every time I go outdoors is therapy to me. It gives me self-confidence. It makes me feel good. It makes me feel close to God. That's my church. I don't go to man's church, I go to God's church. It tells me why I am alive."
Boykin's conservation ethic and hard work set a high example that any American sportsman would be proud to follow.

[story and photo courtesy of the National Wild Turkey Federation]