I just returned from the 2009 National Wild Turkey Federation Convention in Nashville, Tenn., and my ears are still ringing from all the sweet yelping, cutting, clucking and purring at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
Legendary caller Eddie Salter of Hunter’s Specialties shows off the
company’s new Ring Zone friction call at the 2009 NWTF Convention.
The show is a celebration of all things turkey, and from all indications, people were ready to celebrate. The floor was very busy Friday and jam-packed Saturday, as folks checked out all the great turkey gear available from the smallest custom call-makers to the largest manufacturers. The convention also featured awesome taxidermy displays, outfitters from across the country, calling and call-making contests, and seminars from the best-known turkey hunters in the industry.
Of course, many attendees enjoyed fellowship above all else. I was fortunate to spend some time with Turkey & Turkey Hunting contributors Jim Spencer, Ron Jolly, Tes Randle Jolly and Kathy Butt, and also managed to meet some of our regular T&TH forum users.
Mike Pentecost, founder and owner of Woodhaven Custom Calls, makes turkey music on a box call.
I missed the calling contests, but they were good ones. In the Senior Division of the NWTF/Wild Turkey Bourbon Grand National Calling Contest, Jim Pollard of Charleston, Ark., won an incredible fourth title by nipping two-time Grand National and two-time World Champion Chris Parrish Centralia, Mo., by one point.
Chris Kirby yelps on Quaker Boy’s new user-friendly Firebox box call.
Pollard won three straight Grand National titles — the top prize in competitive turkey calling — from 2002 through 2004. Only five-time champion Walter Parrott has more Grand National titles than Pollard.
The convention really got me fired up for spring, and with turkeys weighing so heavily on the brain, it will be tough to endure the final few weeks of winter.