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Blocker Ambassador Jason Powell Struts Into The Grand Nationals With Big Showing At NWTF-Nashville

turkey calls

Meet Jason Powell, a Blocker Ambassador whose journey from childhood curiosity to battlefield bravery has woven a unique tapestry of passion for turkey hunting and dedication to the art of turkey calling.

Discovering his love for turkey hunting at a tender age, Powell’s fascination with making noise through turkey calls ignited a lifelong passion. Despite his family’s limited interest in the sport, Powell’s enthusiasm knew no bounds. His first successful turkey harvest on the family farm began a remarkable journey shaping his future. However, Powell’s path took an unexpected turn when he enlisted in the Army, driven by a sense of duty and patriotism. Serving his country with honor, Powell’s military career was tragically cut short by a severe injury sustained during combat in Afghanistan in 2012.

Undeterred by adversity, Powell found solace and purpose in his father’s machine shop, where he began crafting turkey calls. This newfound passion served as a therapeutic outlet and propelled him into the competitive world of turkey calling contests. As Powell honed his craft, his reputation as a skilled turkey caller caught the attention of renowned hunting brands such as Mossy Oak and Nexus, including ScentLok and Blocker Outdoors. Transitioning from soldier to brand ambassador, Powell’s unwavering dedication to his craft and genuine love for deer and turkey hunting became his trademark.

Despite his deep-rooted connection to deer hunting, Powell’s heart belongs to the turkey woods. Powell explains he began his relationship with Nexus by promoting and working for ScentLok. “I have often said, I am a deer hunting guy who loves turkeys,” jokes Powell.

Grand National Turkey Calling At The NWTF Show in Nashville, TN

Being a man who does not like to lose helped fuel a year full of hard work for Powell while competing in the turkey calling circuit across the country. After making the cut in the friction division at the prestigious Grand National Turkey Calling Contest in 2022, Powell says he was nothing short of angry when he failed to do the same in 2023. After working hard, practicing honing his skills and presentation of calls, Powell went into this year with a determination to achieve better results on turkey callings’ biggest stage, amongst hundreds of the nation’s best turkey callers.

A few weeks ago, while competing in the 2024 Grand Nationals, Powell completed his goal of making the cut, and even better, Powell finished 6th place in the friction division. “In all my years of competing, I have never seen the final 13 callers be so close in talent. Anyone could have won that day,” says Powell. The talent showing is a true testament to the honor it was for Powell to finish in the top six.

Powell’s Work And Effort

After making the cut the prior year but missing out on the next, Powell analyzed what he did right and also what he did wrong. Over the past year, Powell put in the work. He was performing such tasks as having his daughter time his calling sequence to produce the best call in a designated period, ensuring that his calling was the best for the judges to hear. Powell also gives credit to a few of his fellow competitors, such as champion caller Matt Van Cise, who won his 9th Grand National title in the open division this year. Powell took advice from his fellow callers throughout the year and used it leading into the night before the contest. “After learning the calls that would be required during the competition, I went to the practice room and did just that: I practiced,” says Powell. While in the room, Powell explains that Van Cise said, “Whatever call you just used, throw it away.” A comment like that would have made many callers angry or intimidated. Yet, Powell says he has enough respect and trust for guys like Van Cise to do what they say because they genuinely care how the next guy competes, so into the trash the call went.

Powell explained that one of the efforts that helped him finish strong was working on his presentation of the call while on stage. “I know the calls; I have the sounds in them, and I know I need to compete,” Powell listens for the sound of a turkey when calling. “Many callers, when thinking a friction call, think of a friction sound; I think of real turkeys.”

Does Being A Good Turkey Caller Make You A Better Hunter?

I am often curious to ask contest callers if being a good turkey caller makes you a better hunter. Powell answered my question with a 100% yes. “I have hunted with horrible turkey callers, and we have killed turkeys,” says Powell, adding, “I have also hunted with Matt Van Cise, the greatest turkey caller of all time, and he can make turkeys do things that no other hunter can because of his calling realism.” “Yes, anyone can call in a turkey when hunting, yet after seeing results when hunting with someone who is an excellent caller, you leave the woods knowing that you need to work on becoming a better caller,” Powell says that Van Cise can call in more turkeys simply because of the realism of his calling and how gobblers respond.

Over the years, Powell states humbly that after his calling advanced, so has his success rate while hunting. If one practices their calls and mimics the sounds of a real wild turkey, they too can reap the reward of carrying more turkeys over the shoulder after a successful hunt.

Stay tuned for next month: Author Heath Wood sits down again with Jason Powell as they talk about Powell’s favorite type of turkey call, the pot call. Pot Calling 101 with Powell is coming your way soon!

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