Division 1 Rules

26th Annual Grand National NWTF Decorative Turkey Call Competition Official Rules

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I. Charter

The Decorative Turkey Call Competition is a supportive division. This is a chance to support the NWTF and gain national recognition by competing in exciting and challenging categories. The Earl Mickel Purchase Award will be selected from the 3 Best of Class winners in categories 1-25. It will become the property of NWTF and put on permanent display at the National Headquarters. NWTF reserves the reproduction rights.

All other entries will be sold by means of silent or live auction at a 50/50 split (unless entry fee waiver is elected) at the 2019 NWTF National Convention. The 50/50 split entitles the artist or craftsman to 50% of the auction bid and the remaining 50% goes to support the NWTF. Name recognition and competition placement (if applicable) will be displayed with each entry at the auction. Checks will be mailed out from NWTF Headquarters following the convention (Usually 3-4 weeks following the convention). A panel of well-known wild turkey call experts will judge the Grand National NWTF Turkey Call Competition whenever possible. Alternative less known, but experienced, judges will sometimes be used in circumstances where judges need to be replaced due to unforeseen situations. Alternate Judges are screened and evaluated by multiple staff members, and other professionals before they are approved to judge the competition.

II. Rules and Announcements

  1. All call makers are required to pre-register all entries they plan to enter in the 2019 competition. The pre-registration deadline for all entries is January 18, 2019.
  2. TO REGISTER YOUR CALLS: To register your call(s), type in customcalls.nwtf.org.  You will need to create an account - this is a very quick and easy process... please make sure to include your email address.  If you have any questions or need guidance, please feel free to contact Karen Cavender at (803)637-7428 Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST.  This online process will allow you to track the sale of your custom call, receive your scores from the judges, obtain a bid paddle or silent auction number, pay for your registration fees, bid paddles and calls online and upload photo's of your custom calls.  You have the option to hide these photo uploads until the contest begins to prevent other callmakers from being influenced by your designs.
  3. When registering your call(s), please be sure to include a description of the call including types of materials used and any information that will enhance the sale should the call be selected for the Grand National Call Auction on Saturday morning.
  4. NEW THIS YEAR: Many changes have been implemented since the 2018 competition. Details of these new changes can be found throughout our website. Here is a brief list of the changes we have added, or intend to add
    • Online Bidding for silent auction calls to replace Absentee Bids
    • Upload photos of your custom calls to our website (All photos go through an approval process)
    • Reputation points that accumulate from year to year
    • Callmaker profiles that allow you to connect
    • Text message notifications
    • Where you placed in the categories you enter (i.e - 30th out of 50)
    • Easier for judges to leave feedback (Still not required though)
    • Easier to register Calls
    • Payment system is being re-designed for both buyers and callmakers to make it easier
  5. On July 6, 2016 the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced that a ban on the commercial trade of ivory went into effect. This ban prohibits the sale of ivory. Therefore, we are prohibited from allowing any call to be entered in the Grand National Custom Call Competition that is made of or has ANY ivory on the call.
  6. Entries must be the work of the call maker (no collaborative work, except for Cat. 29 Collaborative Calls) and be completed since March 2018.
  7. All entries will be required to remain at the NWTF National Convention until Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019.
  8. Buyers will be allowed to pay for and pick up calls beginning at 6 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 17. PLEASE NOTE: We may(not guaranteed) be able to release calls beginning Saturday at 6:00 pm. However, the convention hall closes at 7:00 pm.  It is the Gaylord Opryland Policy requirement that all attendees must exit the convention hall no later than 7:00 p.m.  This includes anyone who may be standing in line to pay for and pick up their call(s).  We apologize for the inconvenience but again we have to comply with Gaylord Opryland's policy. NO EXCEPTIONS can be made. If you are required to exit the convention hall at 7:00 p.m., before picking up call(s) you purchased, you will be able to return Sunday morning beginning at 6 a.m.
  9. Entry fee is $25 per call. All entries are 50% supportive unless the call maker specifies the entry is 100% donation. If entry is 100% donated, entry fee is waived and NWTF retains 100% of proceeds from the sale of the call.
  10. Call makers are responsible for selecting the category in which they wish to enter each piece. The NWTF reserves the right to place any call in a different category than the one designated by the entrant if the NWTF believes the new category better fits the rules. If a change is made, the call maker will be notified via email of the change.
  11. It is necessary for the call maker to list the estimated fair market value for all entries. Please provide this information when registering online. 
  12. Call makers who are unable to attend the convention or are concerned that their call(s) may sell for less than market value are able to place a bid online for their call once they have obtained a bid number. Online bidding for silent auction calls will replace absentee bids. Once you place an online bid for a call, you are agreeing to purchase the call for that price if you do not get outbid by another buyer.
  13. IMPORTANT: Once again, we will be identifying calls entered into this competition by a call ID number. This call ID number was given to you when you registered each call (each call will have a different ID number). Marking your call number on calls and any individual pieces that make up that call and/or its base should be done in a non-evasive way. The image to the left shows the way we would recommend. Stickers can be used but may cause damage to the finish (even painters tape has the potential to damage finishes). You are free to carve the number into the call but it could possibly decrease the value of the call.
  14. The call maker or their designated person may deliver pre-registered calls in person to the Grand National Custom Call Registration Desk at (Please check back soon for Location) from  3-7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 13. Registration fees can be paid at time of registering calls online OR at the convention when delivering your call(s).
  15. If you are mailing your calls to NWTF Headquarters, the deadline to RECEIVE the call(s) is January 18, 2019. Please make sure the check for registration fees (if applicable) are TAPED TO THE OUTSIDE of the package in an envelope. We do not open packages before the convention. Mail to: NWTF Grand National Decorative Turkey Call Competition, 770 Augusta Road, Edgefield, SC 29824. Packages can be sent Priority, UPS or Fed Ex.
  16. Bidding on all silent auction calls will begin on Friday, Feb. 15, 2019 and will close starting at 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16. Approximate closing times are listed below.
    • Division II will begin at 1 p.m.
    • Division I will begin at 2 p.m.
    • Division III will begin at 3 p.m.
    • Division IV will begin at 3:30 p.m.
    IMPORTANT: All silent auction online bidding will close 10 minutes before the division is closed for bidding. If you wish to cancel your bid, you will have up to 10 minutes after you place that bid to cancel (Unless we are in the final minutes of online bidding).  Otherwise, the bid will stand. If you wish to enter last minute bids after online bidding is closed, please designate someone to enter those bids on your behalf who can be in the call making area as those division categories are closing.  
  17. It is the call maker’s responsibility to place an acceptable insurance value on the entry for shipping purposes.
  18. The NWTF will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to entries that are beyond the control of the contest.
  19. Business cards are not allowed next to calls any longer. As an alternative, you can now opt to have your information displayed on the silent bid sheet when the bid sheet is laid out. Callmakers can now be followed by the buyers and collectors participating in the competition. After the contest has ended, your contact information will be displayed to anyone who requests it (Assuming you have allowed us to share it)
  20. Winners of the 26th Annual NWTF Grand National Custom Call Maker Competition will be announced at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, 2019, during the 16th Annual Premier Custom Call Auction (Please check back soon for Location of Live Auction). The Live Auction will begin at 10 a.m. Call Makers must sign and date their entry.
  21. Call makers are limited to no more than two (2) entries per category. All call makers are required to pre-register their entries no later than Jan. 18, 2019.
  22. All calls entered must be in total compliance with all Tennessee laws, rules and regulations.
  23. Cases and/or presentation displays are not required for calls entered in categories 1-24. They are required in categories 25 & 26 and judged together as one.
  24. Outstanding Youth Decorative Turkey Call Maker of the Year Award. This award will recognize an outstanding youth call maker 17 years of age or less at the time of the convention. The winner will receive a Youth - National Champion Medallion with ribbon. In addition, all youth call makers will receive a Youth Participant medallion with ribbon for participating. The call maker must indicate when registering if he/she is entering as a youth contestant.
  25. Amateur Decorative Turkey Call Maker of the Year Award.    NEW CHANGE: All callmakers who have been awarded Amateur Call Maker of the Year in a particular division will not be eligible to enter as an "Amateur" in that particular division.    EXAMPLE: If you have won Amateur Call Maker of the Year in Division I - Decorative Turkey Call, you are not eligible to enter in Division I as an amateur again.  However, you may continue to enter the remaining divisions (Divisions II, III and IV as an Amateur until you reach Amateur Call Maker of the Year in each one of those divisions).  All amateur callmakers will receive an Amateur Participant medallion for participating. This does not eliminate any call maker from entering both the Amateur categories and the other categories. You may enter both the Amateur categories and the other categories.
  26. Judges will be asked to be available to meet with contestants and answer questions from noon-1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15 in the custom call area.

III. Judging Criteria for Decorative Calls 

The following list the criteria that each call in this division is judged on and the weight that is used for automatic tiebreakers. The higher the weight value, the more valuable the criteria is when it comes to tiebreakers.

  • Eye appeal, artistic beauty. Scored from 1 to 20 possible points, with 20 being highest. (weight of .10)
  • Craftsmanship, sanding, gluing, finish, etc. Scored from 1 to 20 possible points, with 20 being highest. In the air-operated categories 10-15, the inside of the bell will also be included in the judge’s evaluation of the call. (Weight of .05)
  • Ingenuity, originality and creativity uniqueness in design. Scored from 1 to 20 possible points, with 20 being highest. (Weight of .02)
  • Sound. It must be capable of producing realistic turkey sounds, i.e. yelp, cluck, etc. Scored from 1 to 10 possible points, with 10 being highest. (Weight of .07 )

Judging will be on Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Judging begins for Divisions 1 & 2 at 9:00 a.m.. Judging begins for Divisions 3 & 4 at 1:00 p.m.

How calls are judged:

  1. A panel of judges are given computer tablets, current year rules and regulations, and are required to sign ethic statements before continuing their job of going through every call that has been assigned to them.
  2. As a group, the judges inspect all categories to ensure that all calls are in the correct category. If a minimum of three judges agree that a call is placed in the wrong category, they will inform the NWTF Chairman who will place it in the category the judges agree upon.
  3. Each judge will independently score each call in a category and when he/she completes their assignments, the scores are available to the NWTF staff immediately. The judge then waits for all judges to finish scoring the division.
  4. Judges are not permitted to talk with other judges until they have completed judging all categories.
  5. Once all judging is completed, the scores are calculated automatically by the computer and all tiebreaker calculations are automatically performed by the computer.
  6. Once the winners are determined, the judges will move on to judging the winners of the categories to determine who the class winners are for the division. Classes are:
    • Best of Class I - Box Calls Categories 1-9.
    • Best of Class II - Air Operated Calls Class 10-15, 24.
    • Best of Class III - Friction Calls Class 16-22.
  7. NWTF staff will separate and group together the 1st Place winners in Categories 1-9 - Box Calls. The judges will independently rank all nine 1st Place Box Calls to determine Best of Class I winner. The judges will then rank the remaining eight 1st Place calls and the 2nd place call from the category that won Best of Class I to determine the 2nd Best of Class I winner. If the 2nd Place call wins, the 3rd place call is eligible for consideration for 3rd Best of Class I.
  8. NWTF staff will separate and group together the 1st place winners in: Categories 10-15, 24, - Air Operated Calls. The judges will independently rank all eight 1st place Air Operated Calls to determine the Best of Class II winner. The judges will then rank the seven remaining 1st place calls and the 2nd place call from the category that won Best of Class II to determine the 2nd Best of Class II winner. If the 2nd Place call wins, the 3rd place call is eligible for consideration for 3rd Best of Class II.
  9. NWTF staff will separate and group together the 1st place winners in Categories 16-22 - Friction Calls. The judges will independently rank all seven 1st Place Friction Calls to determine the Best of Class III winners. The judges will then rank the six remaining 1st place calls and the 2nd place call from the category that won Best of Class III to determine the 2nd Best of Class III winner. If the 2nd Place call wins, the 3rd place call is eligible for consideration for 3rd Best of Class III.
  10. Next the judges will select the Earl Mickel Award winner from the above three 1st Best of Class winners.
  11. NWTF staff will group together the three 1st Best of Class winners. Judges will independently rank all three 1st Best of Class winners. The call with the highest score will be the Earl Mickel Award winner.
  12. Next the judges will determine the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place Best of Class IV for categories 25 and 26.
  13. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place calls in Categories 25 and 26 will be eligible. Judges will independently rank all six calls. The three calls that score the highest will be the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Best of Class IV winners.
  14. All calls entered by Youth Call Makers will be identified and the judges will select the Outstanding Youth Maker of the Year. In addition, all youth Call Makers will receive a Youth Participant medallion with ribbon for participating.
  15. The Amateur Grand National Decorative Call Maker of the Year will be determined by scoring the 1st place winners in categories 9, 15 and 21. The call maker with the highest score will determine our winner. All amateur call makers will receive a Amateur Participant medallion with ribbon for participating.

IV. Division I - Categories of Decorative Turkey Calls

In Categories 1-24, judges only score the call. If a display base is used the judges will separate the call from the base and only score the call. The base will enhance the presentation of the call and will influence the sale price.

Category 1 – Decorative Box Call - (glued box and glued lid design, other than categories 2-8). Entries must be hand made of wood or other materials. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 2 – Decorative Box Call - (solid one piece box and lid of natural wood, not glued, painted or carved) Entries must be hand made of wood or other materials. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 3 – Decorative Box Call - (carved and painted) Entries must be hand made of wood or other materials. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 4 – Decorative Box Call - (carved, not painted) Entries must be hand made of wood or other materials. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 5 – Decorative Box Call - (laminated only) Entries must be hand made of wood or other materials. Layers of wood or other material glued together to form a laminate. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 6 – Decorative Box Call - (inlaid only) Entries must be hand made of wood or other materials. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 7– Decorative Box Call - (wood burnt only) Entries must be hand made of wood or other materials. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 8 – Decorative Box Call - (open) Entries must be hand made of wood or other materials incorporating two or more art forms. Examples: carved and wood burnt, laminated and carved, etc. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 9 – Decorative Box Call Amateur - (open) Entries must be hand made of wood or other materials. Examples: carved, wood burnt, laminated and carved & painted, etc. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 10 – Wingbone Yelper - (thread wrapped only) Entries must include 1 yelper, constructed of 2 or more wingbones only. No painting, scrimshaw, inlays or other embellishments on calls. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 11 – Wingbone Yelper - (open) Entries must include 1 yelper, constructed of 2 or more wingbones only. Yelper can be painted, thread appliques, scrimshaw, inlay etc. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 12 – Turned Barrel Trumpet Style - (no carving and/or painting) Entries must include 1 turned yelper with 1 or 2 mouthpiece inserts. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 13 – Air Operated Yelper - (open, other than categories 10 – 12) May include wing bone, animal bone, horn, cane, metal or other type of material. Must include 1 yelper and 1 or 2 mouthpiece inserts. May be carved and or painted. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 14 – Tube Call - Entries must include 1 tube call – open to any design. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 15 – Air Operated Yelper Amateur Open : Including yelpers, locator calls etc. - May include wing bone, animal bone, horn, cane, metal or other type of material. Must include 1 yelper and 1 or 2 mouthpiece inserts. May be carved and or painted. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 16 – Friction Call – carved and or carved and painted only - (slate, glass or other material) Entries must include 1 friction call and 1 striker only. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 17 – Friction Call – solid one piece pot of natural wood, not glued, painted or carved - (slate, glass or other material). Entries must include 1 friction call and 1 striker only. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 18 - Friction Call – open category, other than Cat. 16 and 17; - Acceptable entries include laminated, woodburnt, checkered, terrapin design and painted only with slate, glass or other sound boards. Entries must include 1 friction call and 1 striker only. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 19 – Trough Style Call - (slate, glass or other material) Entries must include 1 trough style call and 1 or 2 strikers – open to any design. Depth of trough must recede a minimum ¼ inch or more to qualify and the ends must be open. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 20 – Scratch Box - Entries must include 1 scratch box and 1 to 2 strikers – open to any design. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 21 – Friction Call Amateur Open - Entries must consist of a striker and friction surface and include pot call design, trough call, scratch box etc. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 22 – Push Button Design - Entries must include 1 push button call – open to any design. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 23 – Striker - Entries must include 1 striker – open to any design. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 24 - Locator Call - Entries must include 1 locator call (i.e. owl, crow, coyote, deer, etc.) – open to any design. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker.

Category 25 – Matched Set/multiple calls - Entries must include minimum of three different turkey calls in any combination, i.e. locator, box call, friction, tube, wing bone, etc. – open to any design. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker. Must have a display base or other presentation case which will be included in the judging.

Category 26 – Best Overall Presentation - Open to any design. Call must be signed and/or numbered by the call maker. Must have a display base or other presentation case that will be included in the judging.

Category 27 – Innovative Hunting Related Collectibles & Accessories - Entries are eligible for cash award. Category for hand made items (one of a kind type) that accompany the hunt such as fancy turkey/bird totes, lanyards, gun slings, bird decoys, gun cleaning boxes, shooting sticks and reproduction vintage calls. All reproduction calls must be signed by the call maker to prevent any misrepresentation. Entries will be eligible for the 16th Annual Premier Custom Call Auction. Call makers can enter multiple entries. Calls in this category may be entered with bases or displays and will be ranked by the judges.

Category 28 - Grand National Champion of Champions: - This is a stand-alone category limited to past Decorative Turkey Call Best of Show Winners (1994 thru 2004) and The Earl Mickel Purchase Award winners (2005 to present) in Division I - Decorative Turkey Calls. Category 29 is not eligible for consideration for call maker of the year. But is eligible for the 16th Annual Premier Custom Call Auction on a 70/30 split (callmaker/NWTF). Call makers can enter multiple entries. Calls in this category may be entered with bases or displays and will be judged.

Category 29 – Collaborative Decorative Turkey Call: - This is a stand-alone category that features two or more call makers who wish to work together to create a call. This category is open to all types of calls; box, friction, air- operated or other. Category 29 is not eligible for consideration for call maker of the year, but is eligible for cash award and the 16th Annual Premier Custom Call Auction. Call makers can enter multiple entries. Calls in this category may be entered with bases or displays and will be ranked by the judges.

V. Decorative Awards

Class & Category for Cat. 1 – 24

  • Best of Show - The Earl Mickel Purchase Award (from Best of Class I-III)
    • Grand National Championship Ring
    • $3,000 cash
    • trophy
    • medallion w/ribbon
  • Best of Class I, II and III
    • 1st Best of Class (each class) - $250 cash, trophy, medallion with ribbon
    • 2nd Best of Class (each class) - $150 cash, trophy, medallion with ribbon
    • 3rd Best of Class (each class) - $100 cash, trophy, medallion with ribbon
  • Category Winners - Categories (1 - 24)
    • 1st Place (each category) - $150 cash, medallion with ribbon
    • 2nd Place (each category) - Medallion with ribbon
    • 3rd Place (each category) - Medallion with ribbon
    • 4th Place (each category) - Medallion with ribbon
    • 5th Place (each category) - Medallion with ribbon

Decorative Awards by Class & Category for Cat. 25 - 26

  • Best of Class IV - Matched Set and Best Overall Presentation Categories 25-26
    • 1st Best of Class IV - $500 cash, trophy, medallion with ribbon
    • 2nd Best of Class IV - $250 cash, trophy, medallion with ribbon
    • 3rd Best of Class IV - $125 cash, trophy, medallion with ribbon
  • Category Winners - Categories (25-26)
    • 1st Place (each category) - $150 cash, medallion with ribbon
    • 2nd Place (each category) - Medallion with ribbon
    • 3rd Place (each category) - Medallion with ribbon
    • 4th Place (each category) - Medallion with ribbon
    • 5th Place (each category) - Medallion with ribbon
  • 2019 Outstanding Youth Decorative Turkey Call Maker of the Year Award  
  •  This award will recognize an outstanding youth call maker 17 years of age or less at the time of the convention. The call maker must indicate when registering if he/she is entering as a youth contestant.
    • Youth National Champion medallion with ribbon
    • All youth call makers will receive a Youth Participant medallion with ribbon for participating
  • 2019 Amateur Decorative Turkey Call Maker of the Year Award
  • Amateur National Champion medallion with ribbon
  •  NEW CHANGE: All callmakers who have been awarded Amateur Call Maker of the Year in a particular division will not be eligible to enter as an "Amateur" in that particular division.    EXAMPLE: If you have won Amateur Call Maker of the Year in Division I - Decorative Turkey Call, you are not eligible to enter in Division I as an amateur again.  However, you may continue to enter the remaining divisions (Divisions II, III and IV as an Amateur until you reach Amateur Call Maker of the Year in each one of those divisions). The Amateur Decorative Turkey Call Maker of the Year will be determined by judging the 1st place winners of Categories 9, 15 and 21 and will be eligible to win the Amateur Grand National Decorative Call Maker of the Year.  All amateur callmakers will receive an Amateur Participant medallion for participating.

Other Categories

  • Decorative Awards for Category 27 & 29
    • 1st Place - $100 Cash & Medallion with ribbon
    • 2nd Place - Medallion with ribbon
    • 3rd Place - Medallion with ribbon
  • Decorative Awards for Category 28 (Grand National Champion of Champions)
    • $250 cash, trophy, Medallion with ribbon

 

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