Yonah Invitational Grand National Qualifier Sends Two To Nashville

Mike Bolton | September 18, 2022

Dave Owens (right) won the Open Division at the Yonah Invitational Grand National Qualifier at the GON Outdoor Blast in Emerson. He’s headed to Nashville in February to call in the NWTF Grand National event.

Just as the Ag-Pro Outdoor Blast seems to have found a home at the Lakepoint Sports Complex in Emerson, it also seems to have found a new permanent attraction.

The Yonah Invitational Grand National Qualifier turkey calling contest returned for the second year and was again a huge hit. Sanctioned by the National Wildlife Turkey Federation, the Grand National qualifying event attracted 31 entrants with hopes of claiming a world championship in Nashville next February. The event drew a lot of turkey calling’s biggest names, including former NWTF champions and NWTF Hall of Fame members, who participated or judged the event.

“The competition was a huge success, and we believe it will continue to grow in popularity,” event organizer Donald Jarrett said. “These callers want stage-time, and they all have a dream to reach the stage in Nashville. Some of these callers have called in Nashville and have won there, but they still need that stage time.”

Dave Owens won the Open Division and qualified for the NWTF Championship in February, along with Jason Bryan, who qualified through the Friction Division. Other winners were Corey Powell in the Owling Division, Clay Townsend in the Hunter Division, Josh Pruitt in the Gobbling Division, and Gavin Bryan in the Poults and Junior Division.

Donald said the event was a success thanks to the big names who played a role.

“We’re grateful to John Browning for all he has done to help make this event popular, to Joe Drake, an NWTF Hall of Famer and past NWTF winner, for all he does for this event,” Donald said. “We really appreciate Terry Rohm, another NWTF Hall Of Famer and past Grand National Champion, for his work in the management of the calling judges. Deep gratitude to Mac Drake, Parrish Elliot and our rotating judges, as well.

“This event gets better every year, and it is exciting to see it grow. We are truly grateful to Daryl Kirby, Brad Gill, Mike Rhodes and all the Georgia Outdoor News staff for their help in making this event a huge success.

“I’d also like to thank all of our sponsors, as well. Georgia Power, Pistol Creek, Jeb’s Chokes, Mossy Oak, South Dakota Hunting Service and 67 Hunts. It took everyone mentioned above and all of the great callers who participated to have an event like this. We are already looking forward to next year.”

The 2023 Outdoor Blast will take July 28-30, 2023.

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