Pennsylvania Legend Receives NWTF National Award
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Dale Rohm’s first calling contest was his last. But it turned out to be the beginning of something big for the NWTF’s 2013 C.B. McLeod Award recipient.
Rohm’s three sons watched their father win a local wild turkey calling contest in Perry County, Pa., and fell in love with the sport, becoming champion callers.
“I won my only contest,” said the 84-year-old Rohm. “After that I quit because it made me too nervous.”
Rohm did feel right at home making turkey calls. The highway department employee soon started a successful call making business, and his sons followed in his footsteps, making the family name famous among turkey hunters.
Rohm received the C.B. McLeod Award, given annually to an NWTF volunteer who has dedicated his or her life to wildlife, conservation and our hunting heritage, on Feb. 16 at the NWTF Convention and Sport Show at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.
Rohm helped organize the first-ever U.S. Open Turkey Calling Championship in Perry County, which is in central Pennsylvania. An early NWTF member, he helped start his home chapter, the Sherman Valley Strutters.
While his sons Terry, Robby and Jody (Putt) won calling contests throughout the country, Rohm became one of the nation’s most-respected turkey calling judges, serving at all the major national competitions, including the NWTF’s Grand National Calling Championships.
Rohm, whose Rohm Brothers Calls became a much-heralded leader in the call industry, has donated calls to the NWTF for more than three decades. The longtime NWTF Pennsylvania State board member has also conducted youth hunting training and turkey habitat programs on public game lands.
“When I joined the NWTF, I never dreamed how much it would change my life,” said Rohm. “The NWTF has done so much for my family. Through the NWTF, I have met so many great people.”
“Many NWTF National Board members call on Dale for support during elections,” said NWTF Board of Directors Vice President Vern Ross. “He is very respected by the turkey hunters in Pennsylvania and many other states.
“He is a quiet, religious man who has never had a bad thing to say about any person.”
Growing up on dairy farm, Rohm was a hunter and a conservationist at an early age. He was the only private to earn a spot on the Fort Benning shooting team.
In 2002, Dale and Terry completed a Grand Slam during a two-week trip with Dale finishing the task first by harvesting the initial Rio Grande at their last stop in Texas.
Rohm still lives in Blain, Pa., with wife Ann. He still makes decorative calls, many of which are on display each year at the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show.
Terry Rohm now heads the hunting division of Wellington Outdoor Sports. Robby owns and operates Rohm Brothers Calls. Putt manages Dale’s D & A Private Label, named after the initials of Dale and Ann. Another son, Kirby, recently retired from the Air Force after 30 years as a master sergeant.
D&A specializes in decorative calls, though Dale makes sure “they are also pretty good out in the field.”
The NWTF, a nonprofit organization, is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore 17.3 million acres of wildlife habitat, investing $412 million.
Since the NWTF’s founding in 1973, the North American wild turkey population has increased from 1.3 million to 6.5 million with wild turkey inhabiting 99 percent of suitable habitat.