Anyone with more than a passing interest in turkey hunting knows Josh Grossenbacher’s name. He’s a World Champion turkey caller, having earned that title in 2015 by winning the World Championship competition at Mack’s Prairie Wings in Stuttgart, Arkansas. He also puts his extraordinary turkey calling and hunting abilities on display to millions of viewers each year as a regular personality on the hit show, Avian-X TV, on Sportsman Channel.
Now, Grossenbacher has another esteemed title, winning the highly competitive Head-to-Head Division competition of the prestigious 2017 NWTF Grand National Calling Championships, held earlier this month at the 41st annual National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Convention and Sport Show in Nashville, Tennessee. The Head-to-Head Division, which was sponsored by Cabela’s, is always an entertaining crowd-favorite, as competitors face off using both diaphragm- and friction-style calls to produce specific calls and sequences requested by the judges.
“The Head-to-Head competition showcases the best callers in the world calling against one another over several rounds,” explains Avian-X TV Host, five-time World Champion caller and two-time Grand National Champion, Matt Morrett. “Some of the most realistic turkey sounds of the entire competition come from that event, as competitors play every trick they’ve got in order to get by to the next round.”
In the end, there were nine of them, as Grossenbacher endured that number of grueling rounds en route to his new Grand National Championship title. “I’m numb right now,” he said after winning the Head-to-Head title. “All these guys are amazing competitors and callers. I can’t even believe this right now. This is crazy.”
But what even serious turkey hunting and calling enthusiasts may not know about Grossenbacher, is that he literally pours himself – and his Champion abilities – into every single diaphragm call made and sold by Zink Calls. Grossenbacher, you see, designs diaphragm calls for Zink and personally handles the assembly of the key components to every diaphragm call that leaves the company’s Port Clinton, Ohio manufacturing facility.
“A Champion in Every Call is more than a marketing slogan,” says Zink Calls and Avian-X company founder, Fred Zink. Like Grossenbacher and Morrett, Zink is a champion in his own right, winning 26 different goose-calling championships before moving on to assume nearly every business role imaginable in the waterfowl-hunting industry. “We are truly blessed to have such talented individuals like Josh and Matt working for us, lending their expertise, and representing our company. Josh loves competition, but his true passion is turkey hunting. He’s a champion of both, and that level of knowledge, skill and ability is transferred into the calls we make, put our names on and proudly ship out to passionate turkey hunters around the world.”
Grossenbacher’s championship effort at this year’s NWTF Grand Nationals comes at a special time for the Zink Calls and Avian-X brands he represents. The premium brands became the Official Calls and Decoys of the NWTF as of January 1 of this year. That means a portion of the sale of every Zink turkey call or Avian-X decoy goes to the NWTF to help support their Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt initiative. What’s more, Avian-X and Zink stepped up with significant additional support to become the NWTF’s 2017 Grand National Calling Championships’ primary sponsor.
“Anyone with a passion for – or even a casual interest in – turkey hunting or wildlife conservation understands the significance of the NWTF and the unrelenting positive impacts the organization has on wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, hunter access and education,” says Pete Angle, VP Marketing for Plano Synergy, parent company to the Zink Calls and Avian-X brands. “We are extremely proud to place the NWTF logo on the packaging of the products we’re so passionate about making. It represents a long-term partnership that is great for turkeys, hunters, and anyone else who values wild things and places.”
In addition to Grossenbacher’s championship performance, Zink Calls pro-staffers, Hunter Wallis and JR Lanham earned First Runner-Up honors in the Intermediate and Senior Divisions, respectively. At just 19 years old, Wallis is already a six-time NWTF Grand National Champion.
While Grossenbacher is proud of his accomplishment and appreciative of his new title of NWTF Grand National Champion, he’s especially grateful for something more fundamental. “It’s a true gift to have the opportunity to get up everyday and do what I love,” he says. “But it’s a real blessing to do so while being surrounded by so many others who share the same passion.”
For more information on Zink Calls’ complete line of premium turkey calls, including the Josh Grossenbacher Signature Series Diaphragm Turkey Call, visit www.zinkcalls.com.