Van Cise crowned nations' best

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Matthew Van Cise of Brookville, Pa., earned the extreme honor of being crowned national senior division turkey calling champion.  Van Cise edged out last years’ champion, Shane Hendershot of Zanesville, Oh., to win the title.

Van Cise demonstrated his remarkable talent in front of a huge crowd at the Wild Turkey Bourbon/NWTF Grand National Senior Division Championships Feb. 11 in Nashville, Tenn.
Van Cise won the 2005 and 2006 competitions, but had struggled in recent years.

"This means more to me than any of them because I had to work so hard to get back to this point," Van Cise said. "It's taken me six years to get things to where I'm comfortable with it again. For what all of us do, this is the greatest accomplishment."

Each year, the NWTF hosts the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships during the NWTF National Convention and Sport Show. Dozens of the world's best adult and youth turkey callers gather to test their skills in front of a panel of expert judges.

"The announcement of a new grand national champion creates a phenomenal effect in the crowd," said George C. Thornton, NWTF CEO. "It has taken years to perfect the sounds of a wild turkey one hears at the championships, so it is no wonder the crowd anticipates the declaration of the champion's name. Our champion has received the highest honor for a turkey caller."

This year, champions were crowned in 10 divisions at the 36th annual NWTF convention, which celebrated the theme Hunters: Champions of Conservation. MidwayUSA was the official convention sponsor.

In the Senior division, sponsored by Wild Turkey Bourbon, callers imitate the yelps, cackles, and clucks of a wild turkey hen. Overall, the winners from each division competed for their share of more than $25,000 in cash and prizes.

The NWTF National Convention and Sport Show attracts tens of thousands of hunters and outdoor enthusiasts who explore a sport show that's larger than four football fields, meet their favorite celebrities from the hunting industry and watch the world's best turkey callers compete.
In 2013, the 37th annual NWTF National Convention and Sport Show will return to Nashville and the Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Feb. 14 to Feb. 17.
National Wild Turkey Federation
Founded in 1973, the NWTF is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and the preservation of our hunting heritage. Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have achieved a great success in restoring wild turkey populations throughout the United States, spending more than $372 million to conserve 17 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.
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