EDGEFIELD, S.C. — Michael Waddell, the outdoor industry’s charismatic television show host, has agreed to become the official spokesman for the National Wild Turkey Federation.
In this new role, Waddell will represent the NWTF as host of its television series, “Turkey Call,” which airs on Outdoor Channel. In addition, Waddell will assume emcee duties at the organization’s national convention, which will be held Feb. 19 to 22, 2009, in Nashville, Tenn. Members also will be treated to personal appearances by Waddell at many other NWTF events.
“I love the folks that make up this organization. NWTF is the grassroots of the hunting and conservation culture, period,” said Waddell. “And the national convention is my old stomping grounds with the calling contests and meeting all the great people who make up the NWTF and the hunting industry. No other organization celebrates the outdoors like NWTF. These people really understand the value of conservation and hunting as well.”
Waddell joined the Realtree staff in 1994 as a cameraman and producer. He moved in front of the camera hunting for Realtree before becoming host of his own show, “Realtree Road Trips,” a funny, fast-paced, award-winning hunting show that airs on Outdoor Channel. Waddell also is the official celebrity spokesperson for Outdoor Channel and was elected to serve as chair of the National Hunting and Fishing Day 2008.
Waddell grew up hunting and fishing with his father. After graduating from high school, he started competing, and winning, turkey calling contests. He gained recognition as one of the nation’s top callers, and in 1993 he won the Realtree Grand America Turkey Calling Contest. Though Waddell is a skilled hunter and caller, it was his humble, country charm that won over America’s hunters, anglers and shooters.
“Michael is truly one of us. He’s an avid sportsman with a passion for wild turkey hunting,” said NWTF CEO George Thornton. “He embodies the spirit of the NWTF as a family man, a conservationist and a person who appreciates his blessings.”
Viewers can expect to see Waddell’s energy, hunting know-how and terrific sense of humor take “Turkey Call” television to the next level. As emcee of the NWTF’s national convention, he’ll make sure attendees get a brand new show in their favorite place, Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville.
Waddell, who originally hails from Booger Bottom, Ga., still makes his home in Georgia. He loves to hunt and spend time with his family, wife Ashley, his three boys, Mason (8), Meyer (4) and Macoy (1) and daddy’s little girl, Addie (1).
Editors Note: I have had the pleasure of meeting Michael Waddell and I have not been more impressed by any one person in the hunting industry as the day I got to meet him. As well as being a bit starstruck, I sat back and watched him interact with his adoring fans and I can tell you this man is down to earth and one of the great rising stars in the hunting world. Michael is a class act and I think he represents the interests of the 100’s of thousands of members of the NWTF very well.