Something For Everyone At 32nd Annual NWTF National Convention

Get ready for turkey season at the convention and sport show to be held Feb. 21-24 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.

GON Staff | February 7, 2008

Reigning champion Shane Hendershot sounds off during last year’s Grand National Turkey Calling Contest. This year Shane will attempt to defend his title against Matt Van Cise, the two-time champion who lost the title to Shane last year.

With deer season over, big-game hunters across Georgia are shifting gears. Turkey season is a little more than a month away, and it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to trick that wiley old gobbler.

The National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) National Convention and Sport Show is coming to Atlanta Feb. 21-24 just in time to help you do that. For four days, the Georgia World Congress Center will be filled with the sounds of the turkey woods, as turkey hunters and their families get fired up — and geared up — for the upcoming turkey season.

“There will be nearly 600 booths with everything folks need to get ready for turkey season,” said Brian Dowler, a spokesman for NWTF. “Everything new to hit the turkey woods this season will be there.”

From calls to bowhunting gear, hundreds of vendors will be there offering bargains on anything you need for the upcoming season, but there will be other things to do, as well, offering turkey-related fun for the whole family.

Country music acts like Tracy Lawrence and Lorrie Morgan will provide the musical accompaniment for a whole slew of activities starting Thursday evening and running through Sunday. Learn from the pros with hunting seminars conducted by the people who make their livings hunting wild turkeys, and take a look at lifelike taxidermy displays on the Congress Center Floor. Ladies at the convention will be thrilled to see seminars and vendors geared specifically toward women in the outdoors.

There will be live and silent auctions throughout the weekend for hunting and fishing trips, trucks, boats, furs, guns, knives, art, jewelry and more. And there will also be celebrity autograph signings and plenty of activities for the kids at JAKES Junction, a whole section of the exhibit hall filled with hands-on conservation and wildlife displays where kids can participate in outdoor programs and classes.

Then there are the contests. There will be custom call-making competitions, an owl-hooting competition and “the Super Bowl” of turkey calling — the 2008 NWTF Wild Turkey Bourbon Grand National Wild Turkey Calling Contest. Last year, two-time Grand National Champion Matt Van Cise of Chicora, Pa. took second to Shane Hendershot of Zanesville, Ohio, and he will be back to try and reclaim his title. Shane will do his best to hold Matt and a host of other expert turkey callers off for the first-place prize of $5,000, a championship ring and a turkey hunt.

“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 champion Tom Stuckey. “The wild turkey woods are a lot more forgiving than the judges.”

There will also be a Youth- and Intermediate-division Grand National Calling Competitions at the show.

For more information on the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show, log on to the NWTF website at <>.

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