Anna Leigh McGraw is first female to win at the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships since 1994
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Anna Leigh McGraw, from Camden, Ala., shocked the outdoor world when she recently became the first female to win at the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships since 1994.
McGraw, just 9 years old, won the Poults division for youth ages 10 and under.
"It was amazing. I never expected to win," said McGraw, whose father, Sadler, won the Grand National Friction division title in 2009. "Plain hen yelp is my favorite call but I'm best at the fly down cackle."
Anna Leigh McGraw, from Camden, Ala., shocked the outdoor world when she recently became the first female to win at the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships since 1994.
Photo by: NWTF
Each year, the National Wild Turkey Federation hosts the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships at 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. Ironically, this year's NWTF convention theme was "Our Youth. Our Legacy.," and as the first female champion at this event in almost two decades, Anna Leigh McGraw is leaving quite a legacy.
"When we call the name of a new grand national champion, the atmosphere in the room in electric," said George C. Thornton, NWTF CEO. "It takes a special talent and years of practice to master the sounds of a wild turkey. To become a champion on our stage is the most prestigious honor a turkey caller can achieve."
This year, champions were crowned in 10 divisions at the 35th annual NWTF convention, which was sponsored by MidwayUSA and housed at the Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.
In the Poults division, sponsored by Mossy Oak Brand Camo, 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 almost the size of five football fields, meet their favorite celebrities from the hunting industry and watch the world's best turkey callers compete.
In 2012, the 36th annual NWTF National Convention and Sport Show will return to Nashville and the Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Feb. 9 to Feb. 12.
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 helped restore wild turkey populations across the country, spending more than $331 million to conserve 15.9 million acres of habitat for all types of wildlife.
The NWTF works to increase interest in the outdoors by bringing new hunters and conservationists into the fold through outdoor education events and its outreach programs - Women in the Outdoors, Wheelin' Sportsmen, JAKES and Xtreme JAKES.