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Current River Callers, Jacks Fork JAKES host NWTF Hunting Heritage Banquet


The Current River Callers and Jacks Fork JAKES groups recently held their annual National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) Banquet in the multipurpose building on the campus of the Winona R-3 School, with about 160 people in attendance, organizers announced.

It is the goal of NWTF to "Save the Habitat, Save the Hunt." This is achieved through the work of volunteers, sponsors and donors, said organizers, noting NWTF funds are used for educational programs, Archery in the Schools, Wheelin' Sportsmen events, scholarships, promoting youth hunting, women's hunts, Share the Harvest and JAKES events.

JAKES, a youth organization, stands for Juniors Acquiring Knowledge, Ethis and Sportsmanship. Intended for young outdoors enthusiasts age 13 and younger, it is a NWTF program aimed at hosting kids-only skill-building events known as JAKES Conservation Field Days.

Every year, said banquet organizers, the NWTF superfund provides $250 and the local chapter adds another $250 to give a $500 scholarship to a deserving local high school senior applicant. This year’s winner of the Current River Callers scholarship is Hailey Michel of Summersville. Students selected to receive the local scholarship are able to advance to the state scholarship competition, where they have a chance of winning at least $1,000 in scholarship money. From there, advancing to the national scholarship competition gives them the opportunity to win $10,000 in scholarship funds. A 2025 senior who wishes to apply for this scholarship can check out the application on the NWTF website or contact their school counselor.

Also at the banquet, NWTF recognized local veterans, law enforcement and first responders who were in attendance.

Organizers expressed appreciation to sponsors and donors for helping to make the 22nd annual auction and banquet a success:

Sponsors recognized are Bailey’s Chevrolet, Willow Springs; Rick Pliler, West Plains; Brown’s Farm & Garden - Jerry and Patty Orchard, Mountain View Lumber - Steve Hickman, Shelter Insurance - Andrea McNew and Yarber Mortuary, Mtn. View; Bank of Birch Tree Branch of Alton Bank, Birch Tree Lumber and Hardware - Travis and Tricia Rector, C&K Lumber - Kevin Conner, David and Valeria Adams, Jackson & Dee Trucking - Jackson and Shawna Rutledge and Lester Nicholson Construction - Lester Nicholson, Birch Tree;

Bradford Funeral Home - Russell and Abby Gaither, Cathy’s Creations - Cathy Tuttle, Dusty Smith Logging - Dusty Smith, H and N Fencing - Cole Newby, K&D Lumber - Kenny Smith and Standing Memoires Monuments - Jason and Desiree Tuttle, Summersville; Security Bank of the Ozarks locations in Eminence, Winona and Summersville; Wilson Family Chiropractic - Kalena Wilson, Houston and Summersville; Family Dentistry - Shan Wilson, Houston;

Brewer Ice; Brewer Boys, Cox Cattle Company - Bill and Alex Cox, Eminence Manfuacturing - Michael Ennis, Farm Bureau Insurance - Audriana Hicks, Huffman’s One Stop - Brandon Huffman, Lacey’s Taxidermy - Brent Lacey and Tim’s Food Mart - Tim Combs, Eminence; The Current River Observer - Taylor Pettit and Scenic River Guide Service & Tours - Billy Smith, Van Buren; Ink Door Company, Custom Cabinetry & Woodworking - Richard Cassinger, Ink; Black Hill Angus Farm - Scott Lanham, Bunker;

Brawley’s Powder Horn - David and Darrin Brawley, Brown Oil Company - Butter Reeves, Custom Spreaders - Greg Phillips, D & S Logging - Dwane and Starila Neal, Debbie Bridgeforth, Lexi’s Medicine - Scott and Mika Lindsey, Tori McAffee, Troy’s Transmission - Troy and Margaret McAfee, and Turtle’s Hulls & Guns, Winona; Young’s Produce - Tom Young, Alton.

KRE Rehab, Springfield; The Wake Foundation - Robert Wake, Stoddard County; Joe and Pam Shultz, Newport, Tenn.; and The Earth Foundation, Lavonia, Ga.

Donors: recognized are Antler Rings, BC’s Raskulls, Bone Collector Game Calls, Bonnie Jo Derryberry, Cooper’s Farm Supply, Cuddeback, David and Valeria Adams, David Brawley, Debbie Bridgeforth, DSG Outerwear, Daisy Firearms, Feradyne Outdoors, Guns and Honey, Hornady, Jeremy Russell, Joe Shults, Pie Barn, Kathy Ennis, KW Branded Photos, Midway USA, Monty’s Outdoors, Mountain View Animal Clinic, Mossy Oak, Newby Auction Service, OnX Maps, Pickle Me Green, Primos Hunting, Randy Birdsong, Sara Bridgeforth, Scentlok, Silencer Central, The Lindsey Way, Twin Pine Conservation Education Center and Wilcox Farms.