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02/18/2011

Turkey Calling Duo Wins Team Challenge Championship


Photo available upon request.

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Official Sponsor

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — After displaying nerves of steel and amazing skill, Mitchell Johnston and teammate J.R. Lanham were crowned champions in the Team Challenge at the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 18.

By winning a division at the world's most prestigious contest, Johnston and Lanham are in fact, the best in the world.

"We started competing together last year and finished third," said Johnston, who lives in Purlear, N.C. "Since we don't live close to each other, we talk on the phone about what we want to do."

"It's a big rush to win my first Grand National championship" said Lanham, who lives in Bunker, Mo. "I put a lot of time and work into my calling and dream about what it's like to win one and then it happens. It's great."

Each year, the National Wild Turkey Federation hosts the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships during the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show. Dozens of the world's best adult and youth turkey callers gather to test their skills in front of a panel of expert judges.

"When we call the name of a new grand national champion, the atmosphere in the room in electric," said George C. Thornton, NWTF CEO. "It takes a special talent and years of practice to master the sounds of wild turkey. To become a champion on our stage is the most prestigious honor a turkey caller can achieve."

This year, champions will be crowned in 10 divisions at the 35th annual NWTF convention, which is sponsored by MidwayUSA and housed at the Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

In the Team Challenge division, callers imitate the yelps, cackles, and gobbles of wild turkeys. Overall, the winners from each division competed for their share of more than $25,000 in cash and prizes.

The NWTF National Convention and Sport Show attracts tens of thousands of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts who explore a sport show that's larger than four football fields, meet their favorite celebrities from the hunting industry and watch the world's best turkey callers compete.

In 2012, the 36th annual NWTF National Convention and Sport Show will return to Nashville and the Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Feb. 9 to Feb. 12.

Founded in 1973, the NWTF is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $331 million to conserve 15.9 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.

The NWTF works to increase interest in the outdoors by bringing new hunters and conservationists into the fold through outdoor education events and its outreach programs - Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen, JAKES and Xtreme JAKES.


2011 Convention Sponsors

MidwayUSA – Official Sponsor

Academy Sports and Outdoors, Bass Pro Shops, Bank of America, Benelli USA, Browning-USRAC, Call Makers and Collectors Association of America, Chevrolet, Federal Premium Ammunition, Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, HuntVe, Marlin Firearms Company, Mossberg & Sons Inc., Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, Nationwide, The Outdoor Connection Inc., Remington Arms Company Inc., Rivers Edge Treestands, SHE Outdoor Apparel, U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, Weatherby Inc., Wild Turkey Bourbon, Winchester/Olin Corporation

TO PRESS RELEASE ARCHIVE

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