NWTF 2009Feb 27, 2009

We just got back from the National Wild Turkey Federation convention in Nashville, TN.  Wow, what a show!  We spent many weeks preparing the taxidermy displays for the decorating of the convention and spent two and half days loading everything needed into two trucks and trailers, and a U-haul box truck. 


Team HC loading the trailers 


Loaded up and ready to roll!

After spending nine and half hours on the road Tuesday, we pulled into Nashville for an evening at one of our “must stops”, the Cock of the Walk.  They have some of the best fried catfish and all the fixins to go along with it.  If you ever get a chance check it out and be sure and try the fried dill pickles.  By the end of the meal if you haven’t had a “deep fried” fix lately you will be set for a month or so!


Nashville, here we come!


What’s left of our catfish dinner.


Boys will be boys.


Team HC in the land of giants.

After a good nights sleep, one of our six nights at the Opryland Hotel, we got an early start and down to the business of unloading the trailers and decorating the registration hall.  Even with the seven of us from the shop that attended, it still took all of Wednesday and Thursday to get the taxidermy displays placed and our booth set up and ready for the doors to open on Friday.  


T-dog backs up Big Red.


Now the unloading begins!


Don’t cry Cally. We’ll have it unloaded soon.


One of the many customer pieces we had at the show.


A serious discussion regarding how the booth looks.

Our taxidermy displays looked awesome spread out all over the show. The best part was that most of the pieces were customer mounts and we were able to experience their reactions first-hand. We would like to thank all of the customers who allowed us to share their trophies with everyone at the show.  


Desiree and Danielle Garland and their birds 


Our grand slam piece looked awesome there!


Another one of our displays

The great thing about our business is that our customers many times end up being our friends.  We had a few of these guys hang out and help us in the booth this year and enjoyed our time spent with them.  We also got to meet up and spend time with the guys from Jack Pine Productions.  We have spent many long months working by phone together on the Bringin’ It Home with Hazel Creek hunting DVD.  The project is in its final stages and this show was a great opportunity to just hang out and have some fun.      


Our booth crew. From left: Tony, Phil, David, Adam, Annetta, Jesse, Doc Sam, Trever, and Caleb (Cally behind the camera)


Cally and Annetta with the Jack Pine Boys. From left: Jason, Annetta, Cally, Al, and Preston

From the moment they opened the trade show doors on Friday until they closed the doors on Sunday we talked turkey to a lot of our existing customers and friends, and hooked up with some new ones.  The NWTF convention set record attendance and had a fun filled weekend scheduled for those of us lucky enough to attend. 


The doors open.


Let the shopping begin.

The NWTF goes all out when it comes to entertainers.  Blake Shelton put on an hour and half concert at the Thursday night welcome party.   His singing performance beat all expectations from those of us who are fans and have enjoyed his albums for years.  Not only can the guy sing, he kept us rolling with his great sense of humor.  He can go from singing an emotional love song, to having you bent over laughing in a matter of seconds.   


Blake Shelton on stage performing.

Saturday nights entertainment was jam packed full of talent.  Andy Griggs was the first to perform, it is not often you get to see a recording artist jam it up in his camouflage.  Next up was Daryl Singletary, just a man and his guitar blowing us all away.  Talk about country music, the man can sing!  Rhett Akins closed the show.  The NWTF has been fortunate enough to get Rhett to perform a couple of songs for the last few years.  But he rocked it out this year in true Rhett style.  He is an awesome singer, but what makes him even more special is his song writing.  His songs range from heartfelt love songs to heartfelt, wack‘em, stack’em, hunting is my world songs.  What did all the performers at this year’s convention have in common?  They are hunting fools just like the rest of us!         


Rhett Akins entertains the crowd.

Well the show ended, we loaded the trailers, and made it back to the shop.  We have had a chance to describe and share our week with the rest of the Team that were left back running the shop.  Now we are coming down off the high of this year’s convention and already looking forward to next year.  Mark your calendars for February 18-21, 2010 and plan on attending a fun filled weekend at the NWTF convention in Nashville, Tennessee.  We hope to see you there!