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Columnists : Wild Turkey
Last Updated: Feb 22nd, 2007 - 18:37:03

Turkey Call Makers To Compete In Nashville
By Jonathan Harling
Feb 5, 2007, 06:59

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The earliest turkey calls were made to bring wily birds into gun range, rather than to impress other hunters and admirers of folk art.

Today, wild turkey call makers combine beauty and practicality to make works of art, and working calls, which they submit to the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Grand National Callmaking Contest to compete against the best custom call makers in the world.

“The NWTF’s custom call competition is the best forum for call makers to determine their level,” said Dave Constantine, 2006 NWTF Grand National Decorative Turkey Call Maker of the Year. “There’s no other place where call makers can compete at this level.”

Held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel and Convention Center during the NWTF’s annual Convention and Sport Show February 22 to February 25, 2007, the call making contest will be its toughest ever with the world’s best call makers competing for the right to call themselves the best.  

“This competition brings together the best folk art and call makers in the world,” said Rob Keck, NWTF CEO. “Each year, the artists try to outdo their creations from the previous year. This makes for unique works of art that are a pleasure to the eye.”

Calls entered in the Grand National Decorative Call contest often don’t even look like turkey calls at all. Instead, calls resemble deer fawns lying in the woods, feathers atop a pile of oak leaves or even a fiddle and bow. The only limitation is the artist’s imagination.

Entries in the Grand National Working Call contest are no less impressive. The craftsmanship that goes into making a piece of wood or slate sound like the sweet calls of a hen turkey is an art form in itself. Call makers put their reputations on the line as experts in turkey calling and hunting judge the calls for tone and the “amount of turkey” each call contains.

The Duck & Goose Callmaking Competition brings the best waterfowl call makers to show how they turn blocks of wood and acrylic into amazing sounding works of art.

“The NWTF’s Grand National Call Contest is the premier callmaking contest,” Keck said. “The call maker who wins knows that he or she is the best.”

For more information about the NWTF’s annual National Convention and Sport Show, its Grand National Callmaking Contest or to compete, call (800) THE-NWTF, or go online at www.nwtf.org .

2007 NWTF Grand National Decorative Callmaking Contest Sponsors:
Cardiac Diagnostics of Va., Chris Smarte

2007 NWTF Grand National Duck & Goose Callmaking Contest Sponsors:
Callmakers & Collectors Association of America

2007 Callmaking Championship Ring Program Sponsors:
Vic Diebel, Kanati Calls

2007 NWTF annual Convention and Sport Show Sponsors:
Bank of America, Bass Pro Shops, BASF, Ray Bell, Broadfield Foundation, Browning, Callmakers and Collectors Association of America, Cardiac Diagnostic Services of Virginia, Chevrolet, Crosman, Federal Cartridge Company, Henkel Harris Furniture, Kanati Calls Music, Leupold & Stevens, Marlin Firearms / H&R 1871, Mathews, Inc., Maurice Hamilburg, MeadWestvaco, Mossberg Firearms, Motorola, Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau, National Band & Tag, The Outdoor Channel, The Outdoor Connection Inc., Remington Arms Company, Jeanette Rudy, Tennessee State Chapter, T.I. Industries Frame Molding, U.S. Forest Service, US Sportsmen's Alliance, Wild Turkey Bourbon, Winchester/Olin Corporation.

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 more than 7 million wild turkeys and nearly 3 million turkey hunters. Since 1985, the NWTF and its cooperators have spent more than $230 million upholding hunting traditions and conserving more than 11.3 million acres of wildlife habitat.

The NWTF is a nonprofit organization with 545,000 members in 50 states, Canada, Mexico and 14 other 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.
NWTF is online at www.nwtf.org .  

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