21st Annual Grand National NWTF Hunting Turkey Call Competition Official Rules
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The basis for this competition is to determine each call's stand-alone merit of how well it performs in the hands of a hunter. The judges of this competition will be a qualifed panel of experienced turkey hunters who will grade each call on the prescribed criteria. Please note that this is not a contest to determine who the best caller is, rather it is a contest to determine the best call in each specific category.
While it is expected that call makers can run their own calls with great precision, the question with turkey hunters is, how simple or easy the turkey call is to use and how much does it sound like a turkey. In determining and selecting the best hunting turkey call each year, the NWTF strives to ensure fairness and impartiality without prejudice towards commercial or custom call makers or with the design of any call entered in the hunting call competition. Criteria for determining and selecting the best call places equal emphasis on sound quality and tone, ease of use, versatility and its ability in attaining what is commonly referred to as a break over. (Crow and Locator calls will be judged a bit differently.)
II. Rules and Announcements
The purpose of the hunting call competition is to select the most consistent, user friendly and best sounding calls. Entry into the event is open to commercially manufactured or custom, handmade or hand tuned calls. Special awards named in honor of Henry Gibson, Neil Cost, Jeremiah Stevens, D.D. Adams, Tom Turpin, Don Chancey and Charles Jordan will be given. In addition, the 2019 Grand National Champion Hunting Turkey Call Maker of the Year will be recognized.
All entries will be sold on either the silent or live auctions at a 50/50 split (unless entry fee waiver is elected for 100% donation) at the 2019 NWTF National Convention. The 50/50 split entitles the call maker 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).
- 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.
- 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 call 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.
- When registering your call(s), please be sure to include a description of the call including type 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. All call makers are limited to two entries per category.
- 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 on Silent Auction calls replaces 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
- RESTRICTIONS: 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.
- PLEASE NOTE: Calls made with box turtle or turtle shell are not permitted.
- Entries must be the work of the call maker and be completed since March 2018. Entries must be signed and dated by the call maker.
- All entries will be required to remain at the NWTF National Convention until Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019.
- BUYERS: Buyers will be allowed to 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 p.m. 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 paying for and picking up call(s) you purchased, you may return Sunday morning beginning at 6 a.m.
- 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.
- 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.
- It is necessary for the call maker to list the estimated fair market value for all entries. Please provide this information when registering online.
- 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 will replace absentee bids. Once you have placed 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.
- IMPORTANT: Once again this year, 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 the call (each call will have a different ID number). Marking your call number on calls you have entered should be done in non-evasive ways. The image to the left shows the way we recommend. Stickers can also be used but can cause damage to the finish (even painters tape can be bad for finishes). You are free to carve the number into your call, but it could possibly decrease the value of the call.
- The call maker or their designated person may deliver pre-registered calls in person to the Grand National Custom Call Registration Desk (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).
- 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 Hunting Turkey Call Competition, 770 Augusta Road, Edgefield, SC 29824. Packages can be sent Priority, UPS or Fed Ex.
- 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.
- It is the call maker’s responsibility to place an acceptable insurance value on the entry for shipping purposes.
- The NWTF will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to entries that are beyond the control of the contest.
- Business cards are not allowed next to calls any longer. As an alternative, you may 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)
- Winners of the 21st 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). Auction will begin at 10 a.m. Call Makers must sign and date their entry.
- 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.
- All calls entered must be in total compliance with all Tennessee laws, rules and regulations.
- 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.
- Amateur Hunting 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). The Amateur Turkey Call Maker of the Year will be determined by judging the 3 - 1st place winners of Categories 4, 9 and 13 and will be eligible to win Grand National Hunting Call Maker of the Year as well. In addition, all Amateur call makers will receive an Amateur participant medallion with ribbon 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.
- 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.
DISTINCTION OF CLASSES AND CATEGORIES FOR DIVISION II – HUNTING CALLS
Entries are limited to two calls per category and should be the original work of the entrant and completed during or since March 2018.
Category 1 – Short Box: Hinged-lid design; traditional double-sided design e.g. (Cost, Lynch, Turpin). Short box dimensions are as follows: length of call 10 inches or less, sound chamber 5.5 inches or less with slight variations.
Category 2 – Long Box: Hinged-lid design; long paddle design e.g. (Eminence fence post caller style, Cost style boat paddle). Long box dimensions are as follows: length of call 11 inches or greater, sound chamber greater than 6.5 inches with slight variations.
Category 3 – One Sided Box: Hinged-lid design e.g. (Lynch fool proof).
Category 4 – Box Call Open Amateur – Entries can be short, long or one-sided design.
Category 5 – Slate and Striker
Category 6 – Glass and Striker
Category 7 – Other Friction Call and Striker (i.e. aluminum, copper, rock, etc.)
Category 8 – Double sided pot call (can be any combination of surfaces) and striker(s)
Category 9 – Friction Call Open Amateur – Entries can be pot calls, scratch boxes, push pins, troughs, and tongue designs
Category 10 – Turned Trumpet Call: Turned or machined barrel with mouthpiece, mouthpiece is not required to be turned.
Category 11 – Wingbone Open: Minimum of two or more wingbones or various materials such as wingbone/rubber tubing/cow horn are permissible.
Category 12 – Jordan Style yelper: Three-section glued yelper with internal chambers of various sizes; may include 1 wingbone mouth piece. The second and third sections can be any material other than wingbone consistent with Charles Jordan-style yelpers.
Category 13 – Air-operated Yelper Open Amateur. Entries may be wing bone design or turned barrel or Jordan Style.
Category 14 – Scratch Box Design
Category 15 – Push-Pin Call
Category 16 – Trough Call and Striker: e.g. (Ray & Ira Chisholm, Pap Nelson, Ben Lee). Depth of trough must recede a minimum ¼ inch or more to qualify and the ends must be open.
Category 17 – Tongue Call and Striker
The following categories are not part of any class:
Category 18 – Grand National Champion of Champions Box Call: Stand-alone category (limited to past Gibson Award Winners; limited to hinged-lid design calls only, short, long or one-sided or combination). Category 18 is not eligible for the current year Gibson Award or Best in Show (Neil Cost) Award. All calls entered in this category will be sold on a 70/30 (callmaker/NWTF) basis.
Category 19 – Box Call Sets: Must include one Category 1 type box and one Category 2 type box. The winner of this category will receive a first place medallion and will earn the Don Chancey Award.
Category 20 – Crow Call
Category 21 – Locater Calls (any locating call other than a crow call. This can be any kind of call that could be used to locate turkeys -- i.e. tube, owl, woodpecker, coyote, hawk, train whistle, etc.) Please see notes below:
Category 22 – Deer Call – (grunt tube design)
III. Judging Criteria for Hunting Turkey Calls
Judging will be held 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.
- A panel of judges are given computer tablets, current year rules and regulations, and are required to sign ethics statements before continuing their job of going through every call that has been assigned to them.
- 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.
- 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
- Judges are not permitted to talk with other judges until they have completed judging all categories.
Once all judging is completed, The scores are calculated automatically by the computer and all tiebreaker calculations are automatically performed by the computer
Categories 1-19: The following characteristics of each call will be scored.
- Ability to produce turkey-like sounds. Examples include, but are not limited to, yelp, cluck, kee-kee, cackle, cutting of the hen, purr, putt, gobble, tree call.
- Ease of use to produce turkey-like sounds --- i.e. how simple or user-friendly the call is to use.
- Tone, pitch and sound quality.
- Break over or roll over.
- Versatility: the ability to obtain a vast range of turkey like sounds - i.e. both spring or fall type calls, gobbler of hen sounds, including the ability to sound like more than one turkey.
Categories 20-22: The following characteristics of each call will be scored.
- Ability to produce the sound of the animal or object the call is meant to mimic.
- Ease of use to produce the sound of the specific animal or object.
- Tone, pitch and sound quality.
- Projection quality - i.e. loudness and clarity of the sound of the call.
IV. AWARDS - DIVISION II - Hunting Call Awards will be as follows:
Best of Show - NWTF Grand National Champion Call Maker of the Year
- Grand National Championship Ring
- Medallion with ribbon
Best of Class I - Box Call Categories 1-4
- $250, Gibson Award, trophy, medallion with ribbon
Best of Class II - Friction Call Categories 5-9
- $250, D. D. Adams Award, trophy, medallion with ribbon
Best of Class III - Turned Trumpet Call Category 10
- $250, Tom Turpin Award, trophy, medallion with ribbon
Best of Class IV - Wingbone Call Category 11-13
- $250, Charles L. Jordan Award, trophy, medallion with ribbon
Best of Class V - Scratch Box, Push Pin, Trough Call Categories 14-17
- $250, Jeremiah Stevens Award, trophy, medallion with ribbon
Grand National Champion of Champions - Category 18
- $250, Neil Cost Award, trophy, medallion with ribbon
Box Call Sets - Category 19
- $250, Don Chancey Award, trophy, medallion with ribbon
1st place for each category
- $100 cash, medallion with ribbon
2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th place for each category
- Medallion with ribbon
2019 Outstanding Youth Hunting 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.
- National Champion medallion with ribbon
- All youth call makers will receive a Youth Participant medallion for participating
2019 Amateur Hunting Turkey Call Maker of the Year Award
- 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 Turkey Call Maker of the Year will be determined by judging the 3 - 1st place winners of Categories 4, 9 and 13 and will be eligible to win Grand National Hunting Call Maker of the Year as well.
In addition, all Amateur call makers will receive an Amateur participant medallion with ribbon for participating.
- When submitting calls for Category 21-22, please also submit what animal or object this call is designed to mimic. Additionally, please include any instructions on how to blow or play the call.
- Due to the overwhelming popularity of this contest, we urge you to ship your pre-registered calls ahead of time. As we are starting the judging on Thursday, we must physically have all of the calls at the convention center by the end of registration on Wednesday, February 13th (3 -7 p.m.).No exceptions will be made. If you cannot be at registration by 7 p.m. on Wednesday, February 13th, please make arrangements to ship your calls to our NWTF Headquarters office in Edgefield, SC at the address stated above to be RECEIVED NO LATER THAN JANUARY 18, 2019.
- All calls will be sold on a 50/50 basis, except for entries in Category 18 - Grand National Champion of Champions. All calls entered in this category will be sold on a 70/30 (callmaker/NWTF) basis.