Turkey Calling Champions Crowned at NWTF Convention
EDGEFIELD, S.C. --(AmmoLand.com)- With an expert panel of seven judges to impress, the winners at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Grand National Turkey Calling Championships had to call nearly “purr-fect” for victory.
Each year, nine Grand National champions are crowned at the NWTF’s National Convention and Sport Show. This year’s convention, sponsored by MidwayUSA, took place Feb. 18 to 21 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville.
“It’s very surreal. It’s obviously a dream come true,” said Mitchell Johnston, the Senior Division champion. “The first phone call I made was to my wife because she didn’t travel here with me this year. As soon as I heard her voice, we both kind of lost it. It was a special moment. I mean this is the best feeling you can have as a turkey caller. It’s hitting a grand slam or winning the Super Bowl.”
Callers of all ages descended on Nashville to compete for more than $25,000 in cash and prizes in nine divisions. Callers used natural voices, latex mouth calls, pot and peg friction calls, box calls, owl hooting tubes and more to yelp, cluck, purr, gobble and hoot their way to the top spot on stage.
“Winning a title at Grand National Turkey Calling Championships is like reaching the summit of a mountain. There is no higher place among the turkey calling’s elite,” said George Thornton, NWTF CEO. “The atmosphere in the room during the trophy presentation is electric. Raising the first-place trophy at these contests means that you have beaten the best callers in the world.”
Thousands of outdoor entusiasts attended the 34th annual NWTF National Convention and Sport Show. The Grand National Turkey Calling Championships were just one of many featured events that included seminars by legendary hunters, the three-day sport show with more than 550 vendor booths, and performances by Jeff Foxworthy, Little Big Town and Colt Ford.
The NWTF National Convention and Sport Show will return to the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Feb. 17 to Feb. 20, 2011.
Founded in 1973, the NWTF is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage.
Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $306 million to conserve 14 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.
2010 Grand National Turkey Calling Champions
Brought to you by Wild Turkey Bourbon
- Senior Division: Mitchell Johnston — Purlear, N.C.
- Friction Division: Bobby Woods — Dante, Va.
- Team Challenge Division: Mark Prudhomme and Kerry Terrell — Georgetown, S.C., and Brooklet, Ga.
- Rare Breed/Champion of Champions Division: Mark Prudhomme — Georgetown, S.C.
- Gobbling Division: Stephan Richardson — Springdale, Ark.
- Owl Hooting Division: James Harrison — Hillsboro, Mo.
2010 Youth Grand National Turkey Calling Champions
Brought to you by Mossy Oak Brand Camo and Ol’ Tom
- Intermediate Division: Dakota Clouser — Danville, Pa.
- Junior Division: Lewis Armistead — Pleasant Shade, Tenn.
- Poults Division: Benjamin Pentecost — Heflin, Ala.
For more information about the NWTF visit www.nwtf.org or call (800) THE-NWTF.
2010 Convention Sponsors:
Affinity4, ATK/Federal Premium Ammunition, Bank of America, Bass Pro Shops, Benelli, Browning, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, CamoFX, Chevrolet, Farm Service Agency, Foxy Huntress, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, HuntVe, Knight Rifles, Leupold & Stevens, Marlin Firearms Company, MeadWestvaco, MidwayUSA, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, National Band & Tag Co., O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., Mossy Oak and The Pursuit Channel, The Outdoor Connection, Remington Arms Company, Inc., SHE Outdoor Apparel, TriStar Sporting Arms, USDA Forest Service, Weatherby, Inc., Wild Turkey Bourbon, Winchester Division/Olin Corp.
About the NWTF: The National Wild Turkey Federation is a nonprofit conservation organization that works daily to further its mission of conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage.
Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its more than 350,000 members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $306 million to conserve 14 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.
The Federation works to increase interest in the outdoors by bringing new hunters and conservationists into the fold through outdoor education events and its outreach programs – Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin’ Sportsmen, JAKES and Xtreme JAKES.
The NWTF was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C. According to many state and federal agencies, the comeback of the wild turkey is arguably the greatest conservation success story in North America’s wildlife history.
Visit www.nwtf.org or call (800) THE-NWTF for details.