March 4, 2009
Tennessee – Charleston’s Jim Pollard took top honors
in the Senior Division of the National Wild Turkey
Federation's Grand National Calling Contest
Championships during the group’s annual convention held
in Nashville, Tenn.
Pollard was one of many top-notch turkey callers from
across North America competing for state pride, bragging
rights and more than $25,000 in cash and prizes.
The calling contest's Senior division is open to
contestants over age 21 who have won a qualifying NWTF
sanctioned open, state or friction division contest. The
Senior division champion receives a trophy, a
championship ring, $5,000 cash and a spring turkey hunt.
"The competitors here are like my family, and they're so
darn good," Pollard said. "It's a huge honor to come out
with a win in such a tight competition against such
excellent callers. This win is monumental for me."
After a pressure-packed minute on stage in which
contestants must mimic various sounds of a wild turkey,
callers nervously awaited the final verdict from a panel
"It's like the Super Bowl of turkey hunting, and the
clock's running out and you've only got one play left,"
said 1981 Senior Division Grand National Calling
Champion Tom Stuckey of Roanoke, Va. Stuckey added that
performing for the crowd was "One of the most
nerve-racking moments of my life. The wild turkeys in
the woods are a lot more forgiving than the judges."
The Grand National Calling Contest was one of many
events at this year's NWTF convention, including
entertaining and educational outdoor seminars,
award-winning country music entertainment, exciting
auctions, world-class taxidermy and custom turkey call
displays, an exhibit hall packed with more than 545
booths of the outdoor industry's latest gear and much
This year's convention attracted more than 43,000
sportsmen and women that appreciate the skill and
dedication it takes to closely mimic the sounds of the
wild turkey. The number of attendants broke the record
set by the NWTF convention in Nashville in 2007.