National Wild Turkey Federation Press Release
Allen Jenkins, CEO of Allen Jenkins Turkey Calls and one of the National Wild Turkey Federation's founding directors, donated an M.L. Lynch Big Chief turkey call to be permanently displayed in the NWTF's Winchester Museum in Edgefield, S.C., Oct. 23, 2008.
Jenkins presented the Big Chief slate call to George C. Thornton, NWTF CEO, during a luncheon with the NWTF's National Board of Directors. The call will be a part of the Federation's collection of 23 M.L. Lynch turkey calls.
Made around 1952 by Mike Lynch, founder of M.L. Lynch Turkey Calls, the Big Chief is one of the Lynch company's more unique calls. It features a sliding plate with circular wooden cutouts that was intended to help novice turkey callers find the "sweet spot" on the slate. However, the call's square design proved too bulky for many hunters and kept it from reaching commercial success.
"The Big Chief is a unique treasure that most people have never seen," Jenkins said. "It was made to be a fool-proof slate call that any hunter could pick up and use. Although it was never a top-seller, it's a neat piece of turkey call history, and it belongs in a place where other people can see and appreciate it."
Jenkins purchased the M. L. Lynch Company from Mike Lynch in 1970 and has produced more than 3 million handmade and hand-tuned turkey calls since then. He served as a founding director for the National Wild Turkey Federation from 1973-78 and received an Outstanding Service Award from the Federation for his dedicated service in 1979.
An NWTF Diamond Life Sponsor, Jenkins played a vital role in the Federation's growth in its formative years. He helped early membership numbers grow by providing a mailing list of 25,000 names of the most recent hunters who had purchased a Lynch turkey call and distributing approximately 300,000 leaflets about the newly formed organization. Since 1973, the NWTF has grown to nearly a half million members in 50 states, Canada, Mexico and 14 other countries.
The NWTF's Winchester Museum is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the wild turkey. Each year, the free Winchester Museum entertains and educates more than 10,000 visitors and is filled with one-of-a-kind artifacts, world-class taxidermy, fun games and interactive multimedia exhibits.
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