What: Wild Turkey Bourbon/NWTF Calling Contest, Feb. 21-24
Who: Turkey callers from across the U.S. and Canada
Where: Charlotte Convention Center, Charlotte, N.C.
When: Thursday, Feb. 21 @ 1:00 p.m.-3:00 p.m. (Senior Division Preliminaries)
Friday, Feb. 22 @ 7:30 p.m. (Gobbling Contest)
Saturday, Feb. 23 @ 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. (Owl Hooting Contest followed by Senior Division Finals)
Sunday, Feb. 24 @ 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (Champion of Champions and Team Competition)
Charlotte, N.C.—Throughout the year professional football players practice for and compete at the Super Bowl. Professional turkey callers prepare to compete in an equally challenging event—the Wild Turkey Bourbon/NWTF Grand National Calling Championships.
The Championships will be held at the Charlotte Convention Center as part of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s 26th Annual Convention and Sport Show, Feb. 21-24. There will be dozens of callers competing for more than $20,000 in cash and prizes. To be the Wild Turkey Bourbon/NWTF Grand National Calling Champion is to win one of the most coveted titles in the game-calling world.
Past winners have gone on to appear on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Late Night with David Letterman.
Contestants will perform six compulsory calls such as the hen’s “yelp,” the most common call used by a wild turkey. Another call performed will be the “cutt of an excited hen,” a call, which when used while hunting, is important to getting some gobblers really fired up.
Judges are selected by the NWTF and are experts on wild turkeys and turkey calling. Contestants receive scores based on the accuracy of their calls.
Contestants in the Senior Division are over age 21, and have won first place in an NWTF-sanctioned open, state, national senior division or world division calling contest during the past year. The championship division is Saturday, Feb. 23 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Two-time defending Senior Grand National champion Chris Parrish also will be competing along with other past champions.
The Grand National Team Challenge is Sunday, Feb. 24, and begins at 11:00 a.m. Teams are given actual hunting situations and have one minute to address the hunting situation and make proper calls.
The Champion of Champions competition directly follows the team competition. This is for any person who is a past Grand National Senior Champion, a past World Open Division Champion or a past Natural Voice World Champion. These former champs are judged on required calls and use of callers.
On Friday, Feb. 22 at 7:30 p.m., the serious competition of the calling championships gives way to a little fun and mayhem as contestants try their best to make the audience laugh as they act like gobblers in the Wild Turkey Gobbling Contest.
The Owl Hooting contest on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m., also provides great entertainment as competitors perform their best impressions of a barred owl. Because owls and turkeys are natural enemies, the owl’s call is often used while hunting as a challenge call for a wild turkey tom.
The Senior Division, Team Challenge, Champion of Champions, Owl Hooting and Gobbling contests have all been proudly sponsored by Wild Turkey Bourbon since 1994.
The Wild Turkey Bourbon/NWTF Grand National Calling championships are the centerpiece of the NWTF’s 26th Annual Convention and Sport Show. The Convention boasts nearly 400 exhibitors, big-name entertainment and the most prestigious seminar speakers on hunting in the world.
The Wild Turkey Bourbon/NWTF Grand National Calling contest admission price is included in the $7 exhibit hall and hunting seminar price.
For more information about the 2002 Wild Turkey Bourbon/NWTF Grand National Calling Championships call Mara Flynn at 212-679-6600, or for convention information or event registration, call 800-THE-NWTF. — Doug Howlett
About the NWTF: In 1973 when the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded, there were an estimated 1.3 million wild turkeys and 1.5 million turkey hunters. Thanks to the work of wildlife agencies and the NWTF’s many volunteers and partners, today there are an estimated 5.6 million wild turkeys and approximately 2.6 million turkey hunters. Since 1985, more than $150 million NWTF and cooperator dollars have been spent on over 18,000 projects benefiting wild turkeys throughout North America.
The NWTF is a 390,000-member grassroots, nonprofit organization with members in 50 states, Canada and 11 foreign countries. It supports scientific wildlife management on public, private and corporate lands as well as wild turkey hunting as a traditional North American sport.
For more information on the National Wild Turkey Federation, call (803) 637-3106