Turkey & Owl Calling contest winners named

The Tygart Valley Chapter of National Wild Turkey Federation hosted the sixth annual Wayne Williams Memorial Youth Turkey & Owl Hooting Calling Contest recently at the Elkins High School, during the Randolph County HOFNOD Expo.

This event was organized to honor the late Wayne Williams, of Elkins, for his accomplishments and many titles he held during his exciting life. Throughout the years, he earned more than 50 titles and many championships, which included the state title of Turkey Calling Champion for five years, placing second in the 1989 World’s All-Around Turkey Calling Championship and earning the state title of Owl Hooting Champion in 1982.

During the event, Chapter Vice President Ray Mearns hosted and thanked all the individuals and businesses that help sponsor this event. This contest was sponsored by the TV Chapter of NWTF and the Wayne Williams family members. The trophies used for prizes were actually trophies that were won by Williams while completing in contests. Many thanks to Nancy Williams and the Williams Family for their support and prizes that they have donated for this year’s and past contests.

Others who made the contest possible with donations were: Clyde Campbell, Dave Shaffer/Uncle Dave’s Custom Turkey Calls, Judy Fence Craft and Jim Pack.

Also, a special thank you goes to Wayne’s hunting buddies traveling down from Pennsylvania, Regis Ferrera and Dennis Burns. Regis every year donates special hats that are designed for the contest, with Dennis/Burns Production videoing the event. A poem titled “Just Another Gobbler,” written in honor of Williams, was read and written by his friend, P. Brett Kenney, of Morgantown.

Other chapter members who helped with the event were Don and Trish Thomason and Joan Thomason. The scorekeeper for the day was Ashley Watkins and judges included: Jack Cromer, Mike Pizzino, Vic Mastrogiuseppe, Jr., Clyde Campbell and Kenny


The chapter is pleased to announce the winners of this years’ Turkey Calling Contest: First place, Ronnie Shirilla, of New Castle, Pa.; second place, Gina Maloney, of Greenville, Pa., third place, Hunter Taylor, of Huttonsville; fourth place, Cody Keefer, of Elkins. The results from the Owl Hooting Contest include: First place – Gina Maloney; second place, Peyton Casey, of Elkins; and third place, Hunter Taylor.

Ronnie Shirilla, the first place Turkey Calling Contest winner, was presented with a custom made turkey call created by Clyde


All contestants that placed in the contest were also given plagues and signs that were custom-made for the event.

Plans are in the making for next year’s contest, which will also be held the weekend of Randolph County Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs Expo.

All children ages 10 – 17 are encouraged to enter and show off their special talents and skills. You may learn of all the Tygart Valley Chapter’s Youth events by checking out their Facebook page.