EDGEFIELD, S.C. — The National Wild Turkey Federation will induct its fifth class of the Grand National Calling Championships Hall of Fame this February in Nashville at the 48th annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show.
Voted on by former GNCC champions and their peers, three individuals have been selected for induction in 2024: Billy Yargus, Eddie Salter and Chris Kirby. The induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 at Nashville’s Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. This free event in the Governor’s Ballroom is open to the public to honor and celebrate these three outstanding champion callers.
From 1977 in Hershey, Pennsylvania, site of the first GNCCs, to today’s grand contest in Nashville as a prelude to wild turkey hunting seasons across the country, many great callers and supporters have played a pivotal role in promoting the sport of competitive turkey calling and cut a path for future outdoorsmen and women. Without their efforts to champion wild turkey hunting and calling, millions of hunters who pursue the wild turkey each spring would not have the opportunities available today.
“The NWTF Grand National Calling Championships was a catalyst for the conservation movement in the early years of the NWTF and continues to bring notoriety to the Convention and Sport Show each year,” NWTF co-CEO Jason Burckhalter said. “These three individuals enter the illustrious company of the GNCC Hall of Fame and have helped pave the way for turkey hunting and an increase in conservation work to benefit America’s greatest game bird. We believe future callers and hunters will follow their lead, join the NWTF to support wild turkey conservation and our hunting heritage, and aspire to become championship turkey callers.”
The 2024 class of the NWTF GNCC Hall of Fame includes:
Billy Yargus: A call maker and pro-staffer with Woodhaven Custom Calls, Billy started calling competitively in 1996 and has won three Grand National Senior Division titles, in 2008, 2015 and 2016. He also won the 2016 World Championship Turkey Calling Contest and has many other state and regional victories, including three Mid-America Open wins, three Missouri State championships, two World Championship Two-Man Team titles, and the U.S. Open championship.
Eddie Salter: The “Turkey Man” is one of the industry’s best-known callers and hunters. He’s a two-time World champion, winning in 1985 and 1989, and has taken many other calling titles, including seven Southeastern Open Turkey Calling Championships and six Alabama State Championships. Eddie is also an educator, mentor and call maker, and he entertained generations of turkey hunters with his appearances on numerous videos from H.S. Strut and others. He was named one of the top-10 sportsmen in the United States in 1986 and 1989.
Chris Kirby: President and owner of Quaker Boy, Chris is one of the few competitive turkey callers to win the Grand Nationals Senior Division (1998), World Championship Turkey Calling Contest (1995) and the U.S. Open (won four times). He also won two Masters Invitational Championships, won or placed in 75 contests across the country, and made 11 consecutive GNCC Senior Division finals. As a call maker and video producer, he’s influenced generations of turkey callers and hunters, and he continues to be a staunch supporter of the NWTF mission.
About the National Wild Turkey Federation
Since 1973, the National Wild Turkey Federation has invested over half a billion dollars into wildlife conservation and has conserved or enhanced over 22 million acres of critical wildlife habitat. The organization continues to drive wildlife conservation, forest resiliency and robust recreational opportunities throughout the U.S. by working across boundaries on a landscape scale.
2023 is the NWTF’s 50th Anniversary and an opportunity to propel the organization’s mission into the future while honoring its rich history. For its 50th Anniversary, the NWTF has set six ambitious goals: positively impact 1 million acres of wildlife habitat; raise $500,000 for wild turkey research; increase membership to 250,000 members; dedicate $1 million to education and outreach programs; raise $5 million to invest in technology and NWTF’s people; and raise $5 million to build toward a $50 million endowment for the future. Learn how you can help us reach these lofty goals.
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