The annual turkey-calling contest season is now in full swing. Few things give the serious turkey hunter more entertainment and more learning in a short time than a calling contest. There are a couple serious calling contests upcoming in our area.
On?Sunday, Feb. 26, at the Jaffa Outdoor show, the Allegheny Mountains local chapter will present a great contest. Registration for the contest begins at 10 a.m. and the contest begins at 2 p.m.
This writer will be the emcee for this contest.
There will be a junior, amateur, friction, open and owl-calling contest. Trophies and prizes will be awarded to the top 3 finalists in each division. Since this is a sanctioned contest, all contestants must be a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation. The exception to this is the Amateur division; those contestants may compete without a membership in NWTF. Renewal opportunities will be available at the contest.
The Junior Division has a $10 entry fee; the required calls will be the cluck, a plain hen yelp, the cutting of an excited hen and the caller's best call. The friction division has a $25 entry fee; the calls required are excited hen yelps, fly-down cackle, cluck and purr, cutting and caller's best call.
The open division has a $25 entry fee; required calls are the tree call, assembly yelps, KeeKee run, fly-down cackle and caller's best call.
The Amateur Division is open to anyone who has never won a first place in a prior event. It has a $20 entry fee and required calls are: cluck, plain hen yelp, cutting of excited hen and caller's best call.
Probably the most entertaining of all events in a calling contest is the owl-calling competition. There is a $20 entry fee for this.
The first-place winners in the open and friction categories will qualify for the 2013 Grand National Calling Contest in Nashville, Tenn. It's safe to stay there is lots at stake.
For more information, call Ben Chamberlain at 931-4002 or 710-7570.
And if you want more
Six days after this event is another area contest that might interest you - The Alan Keagy Memorial Turkey Calling Contest.
On Saturday, March 3, at the Claysburg-Kimmel High School Auditorium, the "Pennsylvania State Championship" contest will take place. Much of it will be the same as the contest at the?Jaffa show, but there will be some added features in this one.
Poults, junior, intermediate and amateur contests begin at 10 a.m. State open, state friction, the Alan Keagy Open, friction and owl contests being at approximately 1 p.m. The doors to the auditorium and contest will open at 8 a.m.
All contestants must be a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation since this is a NWTF-sanctioned event.
Only those in the amateur division can compete with being a member of NWTF. Cash prizes and trophies will be awarded to the top three finalists. All division fees collected will be paid out to the top three finalists within the same division.
A unique feature of this contest will be the team challenge. There is a $10 entry fee and each team consists of 2-to-3 people.
They have a choice of presenting a spring or fall scenario. Scenarios will be chosen during the sign in and plaques are awarded to the first and second place winners.
The owl calling contest - always a hoot - is strictly for the entertainment of the audience. First-place winners in the state open, state friction, the Alan Keagy Open and friction will qualify to compete in the 2013 Grand Nationals in Nashville, Tenn.
If you want to know the list of required calls for each category, contact Chamberlain at 931-4002 or 710-7570.
Chamberlain has won more calling contests, trophies and titles than I can list here and his two sons are following right in his footsteps.
On the rise
Hunter Wallis is a star on the junior scene, already having won numerous titles in Harrisburg and at the Grand National in Harrisburg.
Along with brothers Dakota and Corey?Chamberlain, who both won in Nashville, Wallis is the one to beat, even now, and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future. He will be at this Claysburg contest.
Keagy, for whom this contest is named and dedicated, is a Blair County man who contributed much to the conservation of the wild turkey in Blair County.
He died an untimely death a couple years ago and was a past president of the Allegheny Mountain local chapter, participated in many habitat improvement projects and judged many calling contests and was himself well known for his turkey-hunting prowess.