Shane Hendershot, Ohio
Hometown: Zanesville, Ohio
Family: Hendershot's biggest supporters are his wife, Kathie, 16-year-old daughter, Shalene, and 13-year-old son, Devon.
Hunting and Calling Experience: Hendershot has been hunting turkeys since 1994 and has been a calling pro for the last seven years. He won the Grand National Senior Division Championship for the first time in 2007 and again this past February at the NWTF convention.
NWTF member since: 1994
Shane Hendershot shows his intense focus during a calling sequence in the Senior division finals.
NWTF: Describe your recent experience of winning the Senior Division and new Head-to-Head division at the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships.
Shane Hendershot: Winning the first ever Head-to-Head division was just as exciting, if not more so, than the Senior division. The aspect of being on stage, just a few feet away from another caller who you have to beat in order to advance to the next round, adds another level of nervousness! Winning the Head-to-Head and Senior divisions in the same weekend was the most rewarding feeling I've ever had as a caller.
NWTF: What's your biggest strength as a turkey caller that helps you on stage? Biggest weakness?
SH:My biggest strength while on stage as a caller is the way I present my routine to the judges. You can have a great sound, but without a routine that sounds like a hen turkey in the woods, it's all for nothing. The biggest weakness I have, and many other callers might agree, would have to be the clock. Callers have one minute per call to get it right and sometimes I let the ticking clock rush my routine.
NWTF: How does contest calling translate into success in the woods?
SH:You don't have to be a champion caller to call a turkey to the end of your gun barrel. However, there are certain situations when having the ability to sound like the real thing has its advantages. For example, a longbeard that has been pressured all season is used to hearing average or bad turkey calling. Often times, it's possible for a strong turkey caller to say things in turkey language that will fool him into thinking there is a real hen calling to him. My calling helps me harvest pressured turkeys that have been over-called by other hunters.
NWTF: If someone wanted give contest calling a try, what advice would you give?
SH:The advice I would give to someone wanting to get started turkey calling would be to get into the woods and listen to turkeys as much as possible. There is no better teacher than the real thing.
NWTF: What call do you use most in the woods to harvest more turkeys?
SH:The mouth call is the one call that has put more turkeys on the ground for me than any other. It's hands free and gives you the ability to sound like multiple birds by changing your tone.
NWTF: What is your favorite part about being an NWTF member?
SH:My favorite part of being an NWTF member is knowing I'm part of an organization that cares as much as I do about our hunting rights and heritage.
NWTF: How would you describe the experience of attending the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show?
SH:People come from all over to attend the NWTF convention and each year, attending the convention allows me the opportunity to see and talk with people I hardly get to see throughout the year. I also get to see all the new goodies for the upcoming turkey season!
NWTF: Who has helped you along your journey to being the world's top turkey caller?
SH:Without a doubt, my family and close friends have kept me motivated and grounded throughout my calling career. My wife, Kathie, has only missed a couple contests in the 12 years I've been calling. She has always supported me in everything I do. She and the rest of my family have helped me become the caller and person I am today. They are the best group of people and supporters anybody could ask for.
NWTF: That's great Shane. Anything else you want to talk about?
SH:I want to take a few seconds to say "thank you" to the NWTF, Wild Turkey Bourbon, MidwayUSA and all the volunteers and people behind the scenes at the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships. Without all of these companies and individuals, I would not be where I am today.
Also, a special "thank you" to the NWTF's Chris Piltz. This was his first year running the competitions and he did an outstanding job.
Like a lot of the other callers, I can't wait to come to the NWTF Convention every year because it's one of the only places where I can see certain people who live far away from me.
I look forward to seeing everyone next year and competing in the calling contests again. Good luck to everybody this spring and be safe!