General Rules

General Rules

The Grand National Custom Callmaking Competition is made of of 5 different divisions. Each division could have special rules that apply to that division. Please make sure that you review the specific rules for whichever division you are entering as well as the general rules listed below



Judges will no longer be allowed to hand deliver calls for any contestant in the competition. This was implemented to preserve the integrity of the judging. If the callmaker cannot hand deliver their calls to Nashville on February 13th, 2024, they will need to make other arrangements of ship their calls to the NWTF headquarters by the February 6th deadline. 

Important Dates


Registration deadline for people hand delivering calls to Nashville on February 13th between 2-6pm is February 12th at midnight. 


Registration deadline for people shipping their calls to the NWTF headquarters because they cannot deliver the calls to Nashville is a little different. We must receive those calls no later than February 6th at 5:00pm. 


Check-in location in Nashville at the Gaylord Opryland Events Center again. You should be able to park behind the building for easy access. We are working on security issues where the hotel security staff blocked roads off to the event center last year. Hopefully, if we can get the approval, you will be able to tell the security gaurds that you are checking into the callmaking contest to gain access. Please check back here again for updates. 


  • The call making contest came into existence with the principle of supporting the NWTF and gaining national recognition with call makers competing in exciting and challenging categories. There are a total of five divisions within the contest (Division 1 - Decorative Turkey Call; Division 2 - Hunting Turkey Call; Division 3 - Decorative Duck; Goose Call and Division 4 - Hunting Duck & Goose Call, and again this year we will host Division 5 - Wildlife Art).
  • Judging will take place like normal with the judges playing each call. If the judges are not comfortable playing each call (Including air operated calls) they can ask someone who is comfortable to play the call for them so that they are able to judge the call based on sound. 
  • The entry fee is $30 per call. All entries are 50% supportive unless the call maker specifies the entry is 100% donation. If entry is 100% donated, the entry fee is waived and NWTF retains 100% of proceeds from the sale of the call. Starting this year, you will need to be a NWTF member in order to enter calls into the contest.
  • TO REGISTER CALLS: To register your call(s) You will need to create an account – this is a very quick and easy process. If you already have an account, please log in to that account. If you have forgotten your password, you will be able to reset it. This online process will allow you to track the sale of your custom call, receive your scores from the judges, obtain a bidding number, pay for your registration fees and calls online. Call-makers can also use this website to upload photos of their custom calls. 
  • 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 of the call. 
  • Entries must be the work of the call maker (no collaborative work, except in categories and divisions where this is allowed) and be completed since March 2023. Entries must be dated and signed by the call maker. No calls previously entered into the contest are allowed to participate.
  • 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.
  • On July 6, 2016, the U.S. Fish & Game 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.
  • All trophies can have the name of the winner engraved into them at no additional cost to the callmaker upon request. 
  • All trophies are mailed to winning callmakers after the competition has run its course unless the callmaker wishes to pick them up after the competition winners have been established.
  • Calls made with box turtle or turtle shells are not permitted.
  • All calls entered must be in total compliance with all Tennessee laws, rules and regulations.
  • 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. You may wish to use marking tags with strings (can be purchased at Walmart, Office supply stores, etc.). Stickers and painters tape can be used but may cause damage to the finish. You are free to carve the number into the call but it could potentially decrease the value of the call.
  • If you are UNABLE TO ATTEND the Convention your calls must be shipped to the NWTF Headquarters, the deadline to RECEIVE the call(s) is February 6th, 2024. Mail to: NWTF Grand National Call Making Competition, 770 Augusta Road, Edgefield, SC 29824. Packages can be sent Priority, UPS or Fed Ex. 
  • It is the call makers’ responsibility to place an acceptable insurance value on the entry for shipping purposes.
  • The live Auction will take place on Friday February 16th at 2:00p.m. Winners can take the calls they win in those auctions with them after paying the final sale value. Only Live auction items can be taken home that day. We will also do the awards ceremony will be at 2:00p.m followed directly by the live auction. 
  • The silent auctions have been replaced by online auctions. Online auctions will continue until the 24th of February 2024 and will be shipped with appropriate insurance.
  • The NWTF will not be held responsible for any loss or damage to entries that are beyond the control of the contest.
  • In the event that a call is damaged before judging has been completed, the call will be removed from the competition and sent back to the callmaker after the convention is over with. If the call is damaged after it has been judged, we will remove the call from the auction and send it back to the callmaker at no cost to the callmaker. If the call is damaged after the auction is completed but before it has been shipped, we will refund the buyer and pay any 50/50 split to the callmaker based on the sale value. If the call is damaged during shipping to the buyer, it will be the responsibility of the buyer to file an insurance claim with the shipping service. In situations where a resolution cannot be obtained from the shipping provider (i.e. USPS, UPS), we will work to resolve the issue with the buyer in some circumstances. 
  • All entries will be sold by means of the online auction at a 50/50 split (unless an entry fee waiver is elected) on the website. The 50/50 split entitles the artist or artisan to 50% of the auction bid and the remaining 50% goes to support the NWTF. Grand National Champion of Champion winning calls for each division will be sold by means of the silent or live auction at a 70/30 split (unless an entry fee waiver is elected). The 70/30 split entitles the artist or artisan to 70% of the auction bid and the remaining 30% goes to support the NWTF. (Exception: the Earl Mickel Purchase Award-winning call – Division 1 – Decorative Turkey Call). This award will be selected from the 3 Best of Class winners in categories 1-25 and will be brought back to Headquarters to be on display in the museum. Name recognition and competition placement (if applicable) will be displayed with each entry at the auction.
  • Call makers who are unable to attend the competition or are concerned that their call(s) may sell for less than market value can place a bid online for their call once they have obtained a bidding number. Online bidding 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.
  • A panel of well-known call experts will judge all categories in which they specialize. Alternative, possibly 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.
  • Checks will be mailed out from NWTF Headquarters following the convention (Usually 4-6 weeks following the completion of the contest).
  • IMPORTANT. If you have concerns about the contest, staff or volunteers, bring them directly to the Grand National Custom Callmaking coordinator, Kevin Alley, or either chairman Galen Braddy or Mark Warmath to see if they can be resolved. Apparel that Custom Callmaking Competition staff deems to be offensive or leud will not be allowed during the competition if you are receiving an award and are on stage. Inflammatory or damaging comments about the NWTF, the Grand National Custom Callmaking Contest, contest staff, contest volunteers or contest sponsors in a public forum can result in immediate and/or future disqualification and ban from the competition. This action is not taken lightly and is reviewed by a designated committee before action is taken.
  • By participating in the contest you are giving the NWTF rights to photograph your entries or the people attending this contest in person (Including you) and you are not entitled to any monetary gain from the images that are captured. You understand that you may be photographed and that those photos could be featured on our website, in our magazine, on our social media accounts, and in advertisements.
  • Sometimes the unfortunate happens and entries get damaged during, shipping, unpacking, judging, or the hundreds of times a entry is handled at the competition by passing convention attendees. The NWTF bears no responsibility for these damages. If a entry has been determined to be damaged, the entry is pulled from the competition. If the entry is damaged before it has been judged, the call will be mailed back to you and any entry fee's will be refunded at a later time. If the entry is damaged after the results are posted, the entry will still be returned, but no refund will be awarded. If the call did win any prize money or medallions, the callmaker will still receive those awards and a check after the competition checks are mailed out. 
  • While we make every effort to prevent theft, it sometimes unfortunately happens. A police report will be filed in these circumstances, camera footage will be reviewed, and criminal charges will be persued. In the event that a entry has been stolen off the table, we will speak with the callmaker and offer them the fair market value of the call based on a third party appraised value of the entry.