A natural voice: Crisp inducted into Grand National Calling Championship Hall-of-Fame

Published 12:10 pm Monday, February 20, 2023

NASHVILLE — A Natchez resident made it to the Opryland resort this weekend but it wasn’t for his singing. Tucker Crisp was inducted into the National Wild Turkey Federation Grand National Calling Championship Hall-of-Fame Saturday for his success in natural voice calling. The ceremony was held during the annual national NWTF convention. 

Crisp is talented when it comes to using his natural voice to sound like a turkey, owl or crow. He has figured out how to imitate the different types of calls used to produce hen yelps, cuts, clucks and purrs, gobbling and owl hoots. 

He makes his living by doing taxidermy from his backyard shop and has been generous in the past with his time to talk about taxidermy, turkeys and the art of calling. While working in his shop Monday, he said he learned he would be inducted back in September. 

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“I told my friends and family then. When I found out it was an honor. I never had a clue I would get picked,” Crisp said. “It was a shock then. I thought one of the guys I knew on the board might be behind it. When he called me I thought it was because I might have messed up the voting for other people.” 

Over his lifetime, he has won three gobbling championships, the first champion of champions and seven owl calling championships in the Grand National Calling Championships. Crisp additionally won World Natural Voice, two World Gobbling, four World Owl Championship, the Louisiana State Open, Louisiana State Open Friction, the Gulf States Classic, two Mississippi State turkey calling titles, five Mississippi Owl titles, four Gulf State Owl titles,  Levi Garrett Turkey Calling title and Levi Garrett Gobbling Contest. 

His immediate family including his wife Donna Crisp made the trip to Nashville along with some friends and extended family. Crisp stepped on stage to give a speech but it was not his typical seminar speeches where he gives turkey tactics or tells funny stories from hunting birds. 

It was a ceremony he wanted to keep serious. He looked out to the crowd but was blinded by the lights. 

“I’m used to being able to see the crowd but I could not look up without being blinded by what looked like UFO lights. When you aren’t telling jokes you don’t hear anyone, you feel all alone up there,” Crisp said. “I talked about how I got started in turkey calling and the people who paved the way for me. I was fortunate to hunt with them. I thanked everyone and what an honor it was to be inducted. I thanked the NWTF for organizing the event. This is a sport where you can hunt with someone. It is just a good family sport.” 

Crisp was unable to estimate how many hunters he took under his wing or helped harvest their first turkey. He has always tried to not turn anyone down if he had the time, especially the older he has gotten. 

Since Saturday, he has received a lot of texts and he is working his way through in responding to each one. On Facebook, Kim McCall Thomas and Paige Whittington thanked Crisp for taking them on turkey hunts. 

“I get enjoyment out of seeing someone take their first turkey. It gives you a good warm feeling inside,” Crisp said. There are so many people who do so much more though. They are the unseen heroes, the people who set up the competitions. Even the people who set up this ceremony. They donate their time. They love taking people hunting but they put a lot of work into this. I felt guilty up there almost. I know there are so many more who deserve recognition and don’t get it.” 

Crisp did a demonstration of his natural voice calling last year for the paper. You can watch him calling with a natural voice here.