EDGEFIELD, S.C. –– Through the 43 years of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Grand National Calling Championships, many individuals were involved in its success. They played vital roles in promoting the sport of competitive turkey calling, supported callers and contests across the country and mentored the generations of turkey callers that followed them. Through induction in the second class of the NWTF Grand National Calling Championships Hall of Fame, the NWTF paid tribute to seven individuals who left their lasting mark on the championships and the sport of competition calling.
“So many people have made the Grand National Calling Championships what they are today,” NWTF CEO Becky Humphries said. “It’s important for us to honor and celebrate their achievements and to thank them for all they have done for the sport of turkey calling and for promoting safe and ethical hunting.”
The 2020 class of the NWTF Grand National Calling Championships Hall of Fame includes:
Richard “Dick” Kirby, Orchard Park, New York (1942-2010)
A barber by trade with an unrivaled passion for the wild turkey, Kirby began making his own turkey calls in the mid 1970s and incorporated Quaker Boy Game Calls in 1981. Innovator, designer, visionary, Kirby would guide Quaker Boy with a strong faith in God and a love for his fellow turkey hunters. A two-time Grand National Senior Division champion and a Champion of Champions title-holder, his coaching tree of professional turkey callers he helped would eventually contain dozens of Grand National champions. His son, Chris Kirby, accepted the award on his behalf.
Denny Gulvas, DuBoise, Pennsylvania
The 1983 NWTF Grand National Champion would become one of the most respected experts on turkey vocalizations. Gulvas’ groundbreaking video productions and years spent as a seminar speaker helped educate a generation of future competitive callers and turkey hunters, alike. Most notably, he would mentor several future Grand National champions, including six-time Senior Division champion, Matt Van Cise. Since the late 1970s, he has built turkey calls for his Gulvas Wildlife Adventures line.
Paul Butski, Niagara Falls, New York
As the first three-time Grand National Senior Division champion, Butski set the bar for competitive turkey calling in the mid-1980s. His promotion of turkey hunting and calling through his seminars, television and other media outlets inspired many competitive callers and turkey hunters that followed him. He produces his own line of turkey calls under the Butski and Maestro Game Calls lines.
Walter Parrott, Farmington, Missouri
Parrott would begin calling competitively in 1977 and go on to make history, becoming one of the most successful callers of all time. His five Senior Division titles (1987, 1989, 1992, 1996, 1997) were later surpassed by Matt Van Cise of Pennsylvania. A seminar speaker as well as an original member of Bass Pro Shops’ Red Head Pro team, Parrott spent many years with Knight & Hale Game Calls where he helped design and perfect numerous calls.
Ron Jolly, St. Joseph, Louisiana - Media Award
Beginning in 1987, Jolly produced over 30 feature videos and numerous instructional videos for companies such as Primos Hunting, Woods Wise, Quest and Ol’ Man Treestands. He would also serve as executive producer and creator of "Outdoor Alabama" television show. Jolly would go on to become an accomplished, award-winning outdoor writer whose work has appeared in Turkey Country, Gamekeepers, Turkey and Turkey Hunting and numerous other publications.
Harold Knight, Cadiz, Kentucky - Call Maker Award
The barber by trade partnered with David Hale to form Knight & Hale Game Calls in 1971 and helped build the company into one of the most successful call companies in America. A master wildlife communicator, Knight would become one of the call industry's foremost innovators, responsible for mentoring numerous Grand National champions and influencing generations of turkey hunters. His support of competition callers led to more than 50 GNCC titles under Knight & Hale sponsorship.
David Hale, Cadiz, Kentucky - Call Maker Award
A driving force in wild game call making and a farmer by trade, through a chance encounter with Harold Knight, Hale helped form the iconic Knight & Hale Game Calls company. Hale was an early pioneer of outdoor video, educating and entertaining untold numbers of turkey hunters, while inspiring a generation of outdoor producers and media personalities. His support of competition callers led to more than 50 GNCC titles under Knight & Hale sponsorship.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
When the National Wild Turkey Federation was founded in 1973, there were about 1.3 million wild turkeys in North America. After decades of work, that number hit a historic high of almost 7 million turkeys. To succeed, the NWTF stood behind science-based conservation and hunters’ rights. The NWTF Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative is a charge that mobilizes science, fundraising and devoted volunteers to conserve enhance more than 4 million acres of essential wildlife habitat, recruit at least 1.5 million hunters and open access to 500,000 acres for hunting. For more information, visit NWTF.org.
For more information, contact Pete Muller at (803) 637-7698 or firstname.lastname@example.org