From the entire Tennessee State Board we welcome you to the Tennessee State Chapter’s new and improved web site. As you navigate through the site we hope you find it user friendly as well as informative and interesting. We encourage you to participate in supplying pertinent information on upcoming NWTF events across our great state.

As an added feature, Jeremy Lawson, our webmaster invites you to submit pictures from you local events such as JAKES day, Wheelin’ and WITO events as well a hunting photos from your most recent hunts. We hope you’ll visit often as Jeremy will be updating the site almost daily with the most recent and current events and happenings occurring in Tennessee. As always, we ask for your feedback and look for ways to continually improve communications to our NWTF members.

Information and pictures should be emailed to Jeremy Lawson. All other correspondence should be emailed to Joe Shults, State Chapter President.



Letter from the President


The Tennessee State Board and NWTF staff invites you to come see what Tennessee’s 10,000 members are doing! Since 1985 over $2,000,000 has been raised and spent in our GREAT state. Tennessee currently ranks 5th nationally in total membership and 2nd in JAKES with over 3800 kids participating. Sponsorships, Wheelin’ and WITO memberships continue to remain strong and places us near the top in each category.

Tennessee has and will continue to be a leader in land acquisition. Since the mid 80’s we have spent over $350,000 to purchase and help preserve 26,442 acres for future generations to enjoy. With the help of our regional biologist over 286,000 acres across our state have been enhanced while investing $872,000 on these habitat improvement projects affecting over 25 WMA’s and publicly owned areas.

Our emphasis on future generations of hunters and outdoors enthusiasts is evident by our commitment to invest over $500,000 on 600+ events to insure the kids, physically challenged, disabled veterans and women of this state have an opportunity to experience the “GREAT“ outdoors. These efforts have NOT gone unnoticed as many chapters and individuals have been recognized nationally for their contributions.

Come see what we do

We think you’ll be pleased and we hope you’ll considering joining one of the largest conservation organizations in Tennessee.

Joe Shults, President

Tennessee Turkey Hunter Hall of Fame

Past inductees into the Tennessee Turkey Hunter Hall of Fame. To nominate someone for this award, please click on the link below for information and requirements.

Nomination Information


Jack Murrey
Jack Oliver


John Webb
Robert Clift


Jim Arthur


Turpin Game Call Family


Jeanette Rudy


No Inductee


Dr. Tim Agee
Keith Hickman


Benny Skiles


Mike Sentell


Mike Halter


Billy Minser
Sam Mars III


No inductee


Perry Jeter


Wayne White
Alan Ricks
Mark Warmath


Brenda Valentine
Larry Profitt
Buddy Duke


No Inductee


Tom Rainey




Scholarship Winner


The 2019 Tennessee State Scholarshio winner is Caylin Alxis (Lexi) Daniels! Lexi is a member of the TN River Longbeards! Congratulations Lexi!! She will now move on to compete for the National Scholarship as well!

NWTF State Board Elections


The Election to the NWTF State Board will be held June 29th. There are 2 available seats in West Tennessee , 2 available seats in Middle Tennessee, and 3 available seats in East Tennessee. All paper work must be into the nominating committee by March 1st. Depending on the Region you are in the paper work needs to be sent to these nominating committee members listed below:

Wendall Dobbs

Jereme Odom

Keith Hickman

James Wattenbarger

Mike Sentell

If you have any questions please feel free to call Joe Shults at 423-237-1397 or any of the names listed above or you Regional Directors.

Joel Parker Memorial Classic

Tennessee State NWTF Sanctioned Turkey Calling Championships
October 6, 2018
Registration 8:30 - 10:00 AM
Caller's Meeting 10:00 AM
Opry Mills Bass Pro Shop
323 Opry Mills Drive
Nashville, TN 37214


2018 Board of Directors Meeting

The National Wild Turkey Federation
Tennessee State Board of Directors Meeting
Wilson County Fairgrounds
945 E. Baddour Parkway
Lebanon, Tenn.
June 23rd, 2018
10:00 am (CST)

* Call to Order – Joe Shults
* Roll Call – Marsha Raley
* Pledge / Prayer
* Reading of January 2018 Board Meeting Minutes – Marsha Raley
* Treasurer’s Report – Tim Agee
* Old Business
* Specialty Plate Report – Joe Shults, Mark Darnell
* Regional Biologist Report and Save The Habitat Report – Chris Coxen, Lynn Lewis
* State of the Turkey – Joy Sweeny
* RD and Jakes Take Aim Trailer Insurance Subject – Mike Sentell, Joe Shults
* RD Reports – Charlie, Mark, Tim
* Jakes Report – James Wattenbarger
* The Nature Conservancy – Blue Ridge Fire Crew – Katherine Medlock
* Announcements
* 2019 National Convention – February 13th – 17th, Nashville, Tn.
* HFAC Update – Keith Hickman
* Milan Arsenal Hunt Update – Mike Sentell, Jason Craig
* Delk Fund Golf Tournament – Mark Osborne
* TWRA Commissioners Meeting (Turkey Decline) – Mark Darnell, Keith Hickman, Mike Sentell, Tim Agee
* New Business
* Dashboard Coordinator – Chris Petterson
* Save the Habitat Report – James Wattenbarger
* Save the Hunt Report – Mike Sentell
* State Sanctioned Turkey Calling Contest – Jeff Jackson, James Wattenbarger
* Tennessee State Chapter Bylaws – Mark Darnell, Joe Shults
* Super Fund – Mark Darnell
* Hall of Fame Nominees
* Election of Board Members in 2018
     East: Scottie Phillips – Joe Shults – Jason Noe
     Middle: James Wattenbarger – Jeremy Odom
     West: Jeremy Lawson – Keith Hickman
* Nomination Of Officers and Officers Election
* Doors Prizes: Joe Shults
* Meeting Adjourned

Download this as a PDF

May 18 Press Release

The NWTF state board of directors has heard from a number of our volunteer members and our friends in our state and we recognize that there is a problem with our turkey population in TN. Our farmers see it, our landowners see it, and our hunters see it, now we need to address it.

We have heard your concerns. We understand some of the problems, but certainly don’t have all the answers. We want to be proactive.

Many of us remember the successes that hunters have had in the past and we also remember a time when just hearing a turkey gobble was considered a productive hunt. We do not want to return to those good old days.

Representation from the NWTF board of directors of the state of TN went to the TWRA commission meeting on May 17th to voice our concern. We did not know if we could affect any change, but knew it was our responsibility to try.

For those reasons we, along with help and strong recommendations from staff NWTF biologists, we sent a letter to the TWRA commission about some proposed turkey season changes. We believe in the adage that "an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure."

While we did not get a significant time to talk directly about our recommendations, we feel that we were somewhat heard. The commission did elect to suspend hunting beardless birds in the fall season for at least the next two seasons. While this is not a big change, it is defiantly a starting point. The commission also voted in an amendment on May 18th to reduce the state wide bag limit to 2 birds. That amendment failed.

The TN state board of directors of the NWTF is committed to sustaining the restorative hard work of thousands of volunteers for the past 45 years. We want the same cherished opportunities for interaction with the wild turkey for our children and grandchildren that we had. We will not fail.

We would like to urge anyone with an opinion about the current state of affairs of the turkey and/or their population or welfare to contact us. You can see the contact information for our entire board of directors and NWTF employees at nwtftennesseechapter.org.

We would also urge you to contact your TWRA commissioners. You may find all of their contact info at tn.gov/content/tn/twra/tennessee-fish-wildlife-commission.html#meet. No one knows anything about your situation unless you tell them. Please contact someone to let you feelings be known.

Famed TN biologist Jack Murray told our group more than once, "IF you don’t have any hens, you won’t have any gobblers and if you don’t have any gobblers, you won’t have any hunters." His words ring as true today as they did then. We appreciate you help in our conservation efforts.

NWTF State Board of Directors Joe Shults, President

Download this as a PDF

TN River Longbeards Banquet

Come join us for an enjoyable evening with fellow turkey hunters. Doors open at 5pm, dinner at 6:30pm on Saturday February 24th, 2018 at the Henry County Fairgrounds.

For more information, contact Keith Hickman at (731) 336-3769 or keithhickman@pga.com

Banquet Flyer     

Board of Directors meeting

Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for 10am January 13th, 2018 at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. See below for agenda details.

Meeting agenda     

Latest Membership Data

We're growing! See below for lastest membership data as of August 31, 2017.

Membership Report     Membership Report by State


National Wild Turkey Federation Sanctioned Calling Contest

Date: October 7, 2017
Wilson's Wildlife Artistry
210 Stanley Hood Rd.
Crossville, Tennessee 38571
Registration: 10:00 am to 11:30 am
Callers Meeting: 11:30 am
Contest begins: 12:00 noon
Entry Fees:
Poults - Free
Jakes - $10
Hunter - $20
Friction - $30
Open - $30
Owl - $20
Gobbling - $20
Poults: Plain Hen Yelp, Cluck and Purr, Callers Best
Jakes: Assembly Yelp, Cluck and Purr, Cutting of the Excited Hen
Hunter: Tree Call, Excited Hen Yelp, Cluck and Purr
Friction: Kee Kee Run, Excited Hen Yelp, Fighting Purr, Cutting of an Excited Hen
Open: Assembly Yelp, Flydown Cackle, Jake Yelp, Tree Call

Come call in a great contest as well as see some of the best wildlife creations from all around the world.

For more information, contact James Wattenbarger at 931-260-6246.



To the members of the State:

In June, at the board meeting in Edgefield, SC, I made some comments that embarrassed our regional directors.  For that, I sincerely apologize.  These comments involved our election at that time which involved Billy Ball.  I had no intention of insulting him and if I did, I want to apologize to him.  Tim Yates, Charlie Tollett and Mark Jackson are an important and integral part of TN NWTF and do a wonderful job.  I thank them for their hard work.

Tim Agee
NWTF TN State Board

NWTF Superfund dollars at work in Tennessee


Larger image

2015 Tennessee State Scholarship Winner

Dear Board, Staff and Friends,

I'm proud to announce that Jackson Timken of Murfreesboro has been selected as our 2015 scholarship winner. Jackson currently attends Siegel High School where he carries a 3.974 cumulative grade point average and ranks 22 out of 422 in his class. After graduation he plans to pursue a finance degree at the University of Tennessee/Knoxville.

Jackson is the current President of the National Excalibur Honors Society and a member of the National Honors Society, Beta Club, Math Competition Team, Fellowship of Christian Athletes and numerous other teams and organizations including varsity soccer and cross country. His community involvement includes: Green House Ministries, Crisis Pregnancy Center, Salvation Army, UNICEF and many other local civic organizations. His accolades also include high school perfect attendance in 2011-2012 and 2013-2014!!

Jackson's essay focused on his passion for hunting and the important role it has played within his family over many generations.

Please join me in congratulating Jackson and his family,


2015 NWTF Tennessee Awards Presentations

The annual awards banquet was recently held where several chapters were recognized for their achievements.

Click here to see all the pictures from the event.


4th Annual Jug and Bow

Fishing Tournament

For more information, contact David Edgar at (615) 319-6000.

Stones River Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation presents a fishing tournament at Fall Creek Ramp at Percy Priest Lake

Blast off Friday, July 18 at 7PM with weigh in Saturday, July 19 at 6AM. Prizes awarded for each division, see flyer below for details!

Download flyer


Seed Corn is here!

Interested parties,

Seed corn is now available for purchase. There are a couple of things to note:
 - You must be an NWTF member and know your membership number to buy the corn.
 - There is a 5 bag limit per member.
 - Cost is $35 per bag.
 - There are 200 bags available, so first come first serve.
 - Most importantly, the corn MUST be planted for wildlife and not harvest.

Please call Indoor Comfort at 731-644-2794 to schedule pickup. Feel free to share this with anyone who might be interested.

Keith Hickman
NWTF State Chapter President

Passing of a Friend

Dear Friends,

It is with much sadness that I inform you of the passing of Retired Col. Jack Oliver of Clarksville, TN. Jack passed away this morning after a long battle with cancer. Jack, along with Jack Murray, were the two first inductees into the Tennessee Turkey Hunters Hall of Fame in 2000. Jack was one of the founding members of the North Central chapter in Clarksville, TN and held all of the official titles of the chapter at one time or another. Jack's passion for the wild turkey was unsurpassed and we will miss him greatly. Jack also had a stellar military career spanning over 30 years. Arrangements are not available at the present time, but will be forthcoming when I get them.

Please remember Jack's family in your thoughts and prayers during this time.

Mark Jackson
District Field Supervisor NWTF TN / KY

2014 State Scholarship Winner

Dear Board, Staff and Friends,

I'm proud to announce that Amber Winkelman of Jackson has been selected as our 2014 scholarship winner. Amber currently attends Sacred Heart of Jesus High School where she carries a 4.0 cumulative grade point average and ranks first in her class. After graduation she plans to pursue a nursing degree at St. Louis University or Union University.

Amber is a member of the National Honors Society, Beta Club and was elected to Girls State. She was also very active in soccer where she received numerous awards including: MVP offensive player of the year, all district, all west and was recently elected to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Hall of Fame. She also held numerous leadership roles in Relay for Life and was given outstanding excellence awards in citizenship, pre-calculus, English and morality. Her community involvement included working with the Dream Center, Meals on Wheels and Morning Side nursing home.

Amber's essay focused was on the importance of our hunting heritage and using the outdoors to bring peace into our lives.

Please join me in congratulating Amber and her family,

Keith Hickman

2014 NWTF Convention and Sport Show

Draws Record Crowd

For more information, contact Melanie Swearingen at (803) 637-7634.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Turkey hunters and conservationists from all over the United States, Canada and Mexico gathered at Nashville, Tennessee's Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center for the 38th annual NWTF Convention & Sport Show, sponsored by MidwayUSA, Feb. 13-16.


"This year's attendance of 48,530 eclipsed last year's total by almost 2,000 participants and all of them left with a better understanding of the NWTF and our Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. initiative," said Karen Lee, NWTF director of marketing communications.

Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. will slow the loss of critical wildlife habitat by conserving and enhancing 4 million acres; create 1.5 million hunters; and increase access to 500,000 new acres of public hunting lands.

NWTF CEO George Thornton also unveiled plans for the NWTF Hunting Heritage Center and Palmetto Shooting Complex at the NWTF Wild Turkey Center in Edgefield, S.C.

"Our vision is to have the premier hunting heritage and outdoor education center in the country by the end of the decade," Thornton said. "Our commitment is to use it to save the habitat and save the hunt."

The 2014 convention drew a record 420 exhibitors, making it one of the nation's largest sport shows. The event also featured the new Family Adventure Village, which gave kids the chance to explore hands-on conservation education and a variety of outdoor skills, as well as earn a special collectible patch, all free to the public.

NWTF members and active military personnel received free admission to the sport show with their membership card or ID.

Convention-goers enjoyed performances from entertainers Thompson Square and The Isaacs, as well as seminars, celebrity autograph sessions, the Grand National Turkey Calling Championships and more.

Matt Van Cise of Brookville, Penn., captured his third consecutive and fifth overall Senior Division Grand National Calling Championship at the event.

The Waterin' Hole, the new social hub of the NWTF convention, was where attendees relaxed, drank, celebrated and talked turkey between events. "It's why we are here this weekend," said Will Primos of Primos Hunting Calls, who served as master of ceremonies for the Thursday Welcome Party and Saturday's Awards Banquet. "We are here to have fun and celebrate the early success of our new initiative - Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt."

For more information, including a complete list of annual award and calling contest winners, visit NWTF.org.

National Wild Turkey Federation 770 Augusta Rd., Edgefield, SC, 29824

Our Sympathies


It's with much sadness that I inform you of the passing of former state chapter president, long time state chapter board member and Tennessee turkey hunter hall of fame member, Mike Halter. Mike died yesterday in Alabama of an apparent heart attack. Mike's body has been donated to science for research.

At this time there has been no announcements of any services, however, the NWTF is in the planning some type of memorial next week in Nashville at the convention. I'll update everyone as soon as the details are released.

During times like this is when our prayers mean so so much!!

Keith Hickman

Volunteer Opportunity!

The guys at Special Ops Xcursions have a Wounded Warrior/Wheelin' Sportsman turkey hunt planned for April 12th on their club at Reelfoot and are looking for volunteers to help guide and general assistance.

If you're interested, please contact them through their Facebook page or their website.

2013 State Scholarship Winner

Dear Board, Staff and Friends,

I'm proud to announce that Heather Fair of Dyersburg has been selected as our 2013 scholarship winner. Heather currently attends Dyersburg High School where she carries a 3.7 cumulative grade point average. After graduation her plans include either a nursing or AG business degree at UT/Martin.

Heather is a member of the National Honor Society, DECA and was a football/basketball cheerleader. She also held numerous leadership roles in the FFA and was elected student council class representative as a senior. Her community involvement included working with relay for life, service learning and little lamb camp.

Heather's essay focused was on the importance of a continued education, the love of family, hunting & the "GREAT" outdoors way of life.

Please join me in congratulating Heather and her family,


2013 NWTF Convention

The 37th Annual NWTF Convention and Sport Show Feb. 14-17, 2013 at Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.
Convention details

NWTF Celebrates 40th Anniversary in Nashville

From nwtf.org

The annual NWTF National Convention and Sport Show will be especially special in 2013 as the NWTF celebrates its 40th anniversary Feb. 14-17 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.

"Then. Now. Always." is the theme of the milestone birthday party, emphasizing the NWTF's continued dedication to wildlife habitat conservation and its important role in the future of hunting.

With free admission to NWTF members and active and retired military personnel, the giant convention showroom will be filled with 650 booths displaying the latest in top-quality outdoor gear as well as taxidermy and specialty turkey calls exhibits.

The prestigious Grand National Calling Championships, including exciting head-to-head competition, and seminars from top outdoors and hunting experts are also free to NWTF members.

The convention schedule includes opportunities to meet outdoor celebrities such as Michael Waddell, Brenda Valentine and members of the cast of the popular "Swamp People" television show.

Country music star Craig Morgan and longtime country favorite Sawyer Brown will highlight the list of performers at special events. There's no better time than the present to register for special events, including Thursday's Welcome Party with Sawyer Brown and Saturday's Awards Banquet with Morgan.

"We've put together an outstanding schedule of events befitting the NWTF's 40th anniversary," said NWTF CEO George C. Thornton. "This will be an unforgettable weekend that you won't want to miss."

Bring your current NWTF membership card to gain quicker access to all the activities when you arrive. Preregister to ensure yourself a ticket at special events.

Annual NWTF membership is $35. Daily admission to the showroom, contests and seminars for non-members is $20. Active members of the military are admitted free with their military ID card.

Since its founding in 1973, the NWTF has helped lead the fight to increase the North American wild turkey population, which has grown from 1.3 million to almost 7 million. The NWTF and partners have conserved 17.3 million acres of wildlife habitat, investing more than $412 million.


Upcoming Banquets

*There are no banquets scheduled at this time.



*There are no Tennessee Events scheduled at this time.


Plenty of events for the Tennessee turkey hunter! Please see the NWTF events page for a complete listing.

Tennessee Chapter Board


Joe Shults

State Chapter President
   East TN Representative
   Superfund Committee

P.O. Box 1874 Newport, TN 37822
joeshults63@gmail.com | 423-237-1397


Jeremy Lawson

State Chapter Vice President
   West TN Representative
   Hall of Fame Committee

3284 Crucifer Rd. Huron, TN 38345
jeremydlawson@hotmail.com | 731-307-7467


Marsha Raley

State Chapter Secretary
   East TN Representative

227 Whetsell Ln. Maynardville Tn 37807
marsharaley@bellsouth.net | 865-382-2501


Tim Agee

State Chapter Treasurer
   West TN Representative
   Superfund Committee

20 Graves Ln. Trenton, TN 38382
ageedvm@yahoo.com | 731-414-7550


Keith Hickman

   West TN Representative

21 TVA Access Rd. Buchanan, TN 38222
keithhickman@pga.com | 731-336-3769


Jereme Odom

   West TN Representative

3630 Corbondale Rd. Palmyra, TN 37142
odom2103@bellsouth.net | 931-216-3800


Tom Rainey

   West TN Representative

352 Cedar Creek Lane Pocahontas, TN 38061
twrainey@gmail.com | 901-359-4774


Jason Craig

   West TN Representative

4772 Jack Douglas Rd. Union City, TN 38261
jwcraig1119@yahoo.com | 731-697-6017


Mark Darnell

   Superfund Coordinator
   Middle TN Representative

7144 Scottsville Rd. Lafayette, TN 37083
mdarnell@nctc.com | 615-633-8767


Jeff Jackson

   Middle TN Representative

119 Four Season Dr. Murfreesboro, TN 37129
jddub@aol.com | 770-367-7810  


James Wattenbarger

   Middle TN Representative

45 Martha Dr. Crossville, TN 38571
tnjakes@gmail.com | 931-260-6246


Mike Sentell

   West TN Representative

1920 Okenna Dr. Dyersburg, TN 38024
msen@cableone.net | 731-589-7553


Scotty Phillips

   East TN Representative

341 Beatress Circle Rockford, TN 37853


Wendell Dobbs

   East TN Representative

385 Eli Lane Oneida, TN 37841
dobbsconstruction@yahoo.com | 423-539-1636


Sherri Letner

   East TN Representative

140 Riverside Dr. Madisonville, TN 37354
fullmoonoutfitters@gmail.com | 865-924-8292


Jason Noe

   East TN Representative

3496 Boatman's Mtn. Rd. Morristown, TN 37814
jnoetnbod@yahoo.com | 423-258-4920


Chris Peterson

   East TN Representative

5780 Window Cliff Road Baxter, TN 38544
chpeterson@avaya.com | 931-510-5421


Joy Sweaney

   TWRA State Turkey Biologist

  Joy.Sweaney@tn.gov | 615-781-6656


Chris Coxen

   NWTF District Biologist NC/TN

  215 E Chestnut St. Apt. 12 Asheville, NC 28801 ccoxen@nwtf.net | 910-315-5549


James Wattenbarger

   State J.A.K.E.S. Coordinator

45 Martha Dr. Crossville, TN 38571
tnjakes@gmail.com | 931-260-6246


Mark Jackson

   Senior Regional Director

1700 Garner Creek Rd. Dickson, TN 37055
mjackson@nwtf.net | 615-441-3747 | 615-347-7549


Charlie Tollett

   Senior Regional Director

544 Phipps Rd. Crossville, TN 38571
ctollett@nwtf.net | 931-707-0043


Tim Yates

   Regional Director

880 County Road 110 Athens, TN 37303
tyates@nwtf.net | 423-463-4260

Let Us Hear From You

Send us you comments or questions. We'll do our best to get back with you right away.

Thanks for your interest


Now taking applications

Dear Friends,

We're excited to announce that our NWTF License Plates are now available for you across the State of Tennessee at your local County Clerk's office. The proceeds benefit the Tennessee State Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation, for distribution to the Tennessee local chapters of the organization, and shall be used exclusively in Tennessee to further the organization's mission to conserve the wild turkey and preserve the heritage of hunting in Tennessee. Get yours today!

For more information reqarding Tennessee's specialty license plates, please visit the following: Tennessee Specialty License Plates