Time Out For The Turkey

This sign says it all, pointing turkey hunting fans to the entrance of the NWTF Convention and Sports Show at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. (Craig Lamb photo)

Gobbler addicts get their fix at NWTF Convention and Sports Show

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Wild turkey hunting season is still months away. Even so, thousands of the sport’s most faithful followers flock here each February for a pilgrimage to celebrate America’s most prized game bird.

The destination is the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention and Sports Show. This year’s 38th annual event at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center just wrapped up at the largestnon-casino hotel and resort outside of Las Vegas.

Click image to see shots from the floor Day 1
Click image to see shots from the floor Day 1

The 2,800-room hotel resort filled to capacity with turkey fans. They explored and shopped through 700 booths covering 220,00 square feet at the sports show. Auctions featuring once-in-a-lifetime hunts, limited edition guns and original artwork benefited conservation programs. Country music stars entertained attendees. And of course, the nation’s best callers vied for the ultimate title at the Grand National Calling Contest.

Click image to see shots from the floor Day 2
Click image to see shots from the floor Day 2

“It really is a pilgrimage of sorts for all of us with a passion for conserving and sharing the legacy of the wild turkey,” said Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland. He’s the senior vice president of media service for Mossy Oak.

Beyond the title, Cuz is no different than the other 65,000 attendees of the show and convention. They all share a zombie-like affliction for outwitting the wiliest of all game birds. There will be weeks of insomnia from early morning hunts. Stories will be told about coaxing hung-up gobblers within shooting range. There will be lamenting over the stubborn bird that took days to bring home.

Click image to see NWTF silent auction items
Click image to see NWTF silent auction items

In the meantime, the NWTF show polarized the group around one common belief. And that is wild turkey hunting is a pastime lived the year-round.

Recommended for You


Game & Fish Magazine Names New Editorial Director

G&F Online Staff - May 23, 2019

Adam Heggenstaller takes over after 14 years with NRA Publications.

Other Hunting

New Gear: MidwayUSA Competition Range Bag

G&F Staff

Perfect for competition or a day at the range.


MLF Pros: What's Your Go-To Lure?

G&F Online Staff - May 20, 2019

When all else fails, here's what these pros tie on.

See More Recommendations

Trending Stories


Top 10 Biggest Pike World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - August 19, 2015

While wildly popular amongst anglers around the world, the IGFA World Record book shows the...


Understanding Catfish Spawning

Keith Sutton - June 06, 2006

Unlike many game fish, catfish can be harder to catch during the spawn. Here are some...


10 Biggest Catfish World Records of All Time

Jack Vitek - December 08, 2014

Unless you live in Antarctica, the only continent they aren't known to inhabit, there is a...

See More Stories

More News


Bucks & Bulls

The Revolution with Jim & Trav

We're hunting Bucks & Bulls! Tune in to "The Revolution with Jim and Trav" this week as they...


Spring Turkey Season Checklist

Gayne C. Young - March 26, 2019

Keep an eye out for snakes and ticks, but don't let a tom spot you.


Big Game Pursuit

The Revolution with Jim & Trav

Moose, caribou, elk, bear and more – there is no shortage of opportunity during the fall...

See More News

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.