For turkey hunters, taking a wild turkey in season pretty much guarantees the hunter a big smile.

So, too, does giving a Thanksgiving turkey.

Today, members of the Yakima Basin Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation hauled 46 turkeys, ranging in weight from 9 1/2 pounds to 13 pounds, to Northwest Harvest in Yakima — in plenty of time for distribution to local food banks in time for Thanksgiving.

It’s the third year the still relatively new Yakima Basin Chapter has participated in the NWTF’s “Turkey Hunters Care” program. In this case, the local chapter purchased $500 worth of turkeys for donation to the food banks through Northwest Harvest.

The local chapter officers who made the delivery were, coincidentally, both employees of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife — treasurer Rich Mann, who heads up the WDFW’s Region 3 enforcement division, and president Ross Huffman, the Oak Creek Wildlife Area manager. Not coincidentally, both are avid wild turkey hunters.

And, apparently, avid turkey givers.

— Scott Sandsberry