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NWTF Grand Ole Wild Turkey Convention
 
The NWTF has just made attending the 2003 National Convention and Sports Show much easier with an online registration form. The form is now available by clicking here.

The National Wild Turkey Federation’s Annual Convention and Sport Show is a sportsmen’s dream come true.

The exhibit floor rumbles with industry chatter about the latest and greatest hunting products, events and entertainment—all for the benefit of wild turkey and deer hunters. And, with more than 400 booths and dozens of seminars and events, the excitement never ends.

This gathering of nearly 30,000 attendees each year celebrates wild turkey and deer hunting, as well as wildlife conservation, in thrilling fashion. Browse the latest in outdoor gear and accessories, participate in outdoor hunting seminars, calling contests and art competitions and enjoy first-class entertainment and newfound camaraderie. In addition, this year’s convention will serve as host to the Bass Pro Shops “King of Bucks” display. Six semi-trailers will haul more than 150 monstrous whitetail mounts to the convention site for the first ever public showing, adding to the event’s rising popularity since the first ever NWTF convention in 1977.

“A collage of events, entertainment, and dedicated wild turkey hunters and enthusiasts make this convention one of a kind,” said Rob Keck, NWTF CEO. “It truly is a sportsmen’s dream.”

Entertainment

What to look for: NWTF Calling Contests
Without question, a convention highlight is the Wild Turkey Bourbon/NWTF Grand National Calling Championship. Entrants, numbering close to 100, test their skill in the Senior, Team Challenge, Owl Hooting, Gobbling, and Champion of Champions divisions. Spectators listen in awe as the nation’s best compete for more than $20,000 in cash and prizes. Judges with an ear for wild turkey lingo score the competitors calls for one of the most coveted game-calling titles in the world.

In addition, the NWTF Grand National Junior and Intermediate Calling Championships feature the future generations of turkey callers. Youths can strut and purr just like their calling idols and compete for their own prizes.

“The calling contests are the highlight of the NWTF annual convention and sport show,” said NWTF COO Carl Brown. “Past calling champions have even appeared on the David Letterman and Jay Leno shows as well as many of the major news stations.”

Country Music’s Best—When it comes to convention entertainment, the NWTF’s reputation lures some of the finest. Lively comedians and country music superstars are but a few acts that draw in thousands alone. The 2003 Convention in Nashville, Tenn. will include The Oak Ridge Boys and comedian T. Bubba Bechtol on Thursday night. Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas are scheduled to dazzle a packed crowd on Satudray night.

Wild Turkey Art
Some of the finest pieces of wildlife art and calls in the United States are unveiled at the NWTF convention. The best artists in wildlife painting, taxidermy, call making and carving display their work for all to admire, judge and reward. The NWTF selects an NWTF Featured Artist of the Year, Stamp Print Artist of the Year and “Best of Show” in the Master Division of the Grand National Wild Turkey Taxidermy Championship, among many other artistic categories.

What to look for: Artists of the Call
Call collector and expert Howard Harlan once wrote that call making is an “endearing American folk art.” Nowhere is this more evident than at the NWTF’s Grand National Turkey Call Competition, where dozens of America’s finest artists/callmakers compete for top honors at the premiere call making competition.

Today, great turkey call makers are producing calls of such unique beauty and artistry that the average hunter would think twice before taking them into the woods.

Today’s decorative calls barely resemble the legendary Gibson, Turpin, or Lynch calls and are so unique that each can certainly be recognized as individual works of art.

Some don’t resemble turkey calls at all, but maybe a pile of oak leaves and a turkey feather or a fiddle and bow.

Though not as elaborate, calls in the Working Calls division are no less artistic. The calls in this category may not be as pretty as the decorative calls, but the craftsmanship that goes into making a piece of wood or slate sound like a turkey is truly an art form. In this division, call makers from across the country put their reputations on the line as a panel of experts carefully scrutinizes the whines, breaks in tone and overall amount of turkey each call possesses.

Awarding NWTF’s Finest

Leading conservationist’s, dedicated volunteers, wildlife researchers, wildlife officers, outdoor educators, corporate sponsors, NWTF communicators, and the list goes on of those recognized at the NWTF Convention. Each year the NWTF gives back to a membership that will soon top 500,000 by honoring volunteers and experts who go above and beyond the call for the wild turkey. NWTF chapters from around the country are also honored for membership numbers, banquet performance and educational programming.

Conservation of the Wild Turkey, Preservation of our Hunting Heritage

There’s nothing more special than signing up to be a member of the NWTF at the national convention. Thousands of attendees will make the choice to join one of the fastest growing conservation organizations for the betterment of the wild turkey and other wildlife.

What to look for: NWTF program opportunities
The JAKES, Wheelin’ Sportsmen and Women in the Outdoors outreach programs offer endless opportunities to volunteers and participants, helping to preserve the hunting tradtion. In addition, an endless list of NWTF national and regional conservation programs ensure the future of wild turkey habitat across the United States. The NWTF produces five colorful magazines, including Turkey Call magazine, JAKES Magazine, Women In The Outdoors, The Caller, and Wheelin’ Sportsmen magazine to members during the year. Conservation programs offer seeds, saplings and land management tips for landowners everywhere, which also lures in loads of attendees.

Convention attendees can stop by any of the program’s booths for more information or to sign up.

The NWTF Convention is an event for volunteers, staff and the general public to celebrate conservation successes and future projects. Convention attendees will recognize the NWTF emphasis on wildlife habitat, conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of the hunting tradition. The convention brings together some of the outdoor industry’s most well-known leaders as well as those who for the first time join America’s premier conservation organization.

2003 Convention Sponsors

  • BASF
  • Bass Pro Shops
  • Crosman
  • Federal
  • International Paper
  • Jeanette Cantrell Rudy
  • Marlin/H & R
  • Miller High Life
  • Mossberg Firearms
  • Mossy Oak
  • Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Remington
  • Skyline Camo
  • Stratos Boats
  • Tennessee Chapters of the NWTF
  • Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency
  • Trebark Bigwoods
  • U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance
  • Wild Turkey Bourbon
  • Winchester/Olin-Saturday
For more information about the National Wild Turkey Federation's 
Operation SOS, contact Bobby Maddrey at (803) 637-3106.

For information on the National Wild Turkey Federation, 
call (803) 637-3106; check out our website at www.nwtf.org or e-mail questions to nwtf@nwtf.net.

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 state wildlife agencies and the NWTF's many volunteers and partners, today there are an estimated 5.4 million wild turkeys and approximately 2.6 million turkey hunters. Since 1985, more than
$135 million NWTF and cooperator dollars have been spent on over 15,000 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.
 


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