Jersey Shore teen places in national turkey calling contest

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mike Longnecker, of Jersey Shore, placed fourth in the head-to-head category of the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Grand National Calling Championship, which was held Feb. 16 at the NWTF Convention and Sport Show.

In the head-to-head competition, two turkey callers perform at the same time with the judges determining the winner.

The competition stretched over six hours.

The top three finishers were Scott Ellis, of Mulberry, Fla., winner; Jessie Martin, of Mt. Sterling, Ky., runner-up; and Chris Jannakos, of Gray, Ga., third place.

A Jefferson County man won his second straight Grand National Calling Championship in the senior division.

Matthew Van Cise , of Brookville, wasn’t completely motivated when he arrived to defend his title. But his mindset changed after seeing a video of past champions before the competition began.

Van Cise saw his name listed as tied for third all-time with three GNCC senior titles and Pennsylvania listed with nine overall titles.

“When I saw that, something just clicked,” Van Cise said. “That kind of lighted the fire.”

Van Cise responded by beating 54 competitors at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center.

It was Van Cise’s second victory in as many calling contests since winning the GNCC senior title last year. He won the Pennsylvania state title in his other performance.

“I did it as good as I could do it,” Van Cise said of his latest performance.

Van Cise now is in second place in GNCC Senior Division career victories.

The NWTF, a non-profit organization, is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. It is dedicated to the conservation of the wild turkey and other wildlife species.

and the preservation of our hunting heritage.

Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial agencies, the NWTF has conserved 17.3 million acres of wildlife habitat, investing more than $412 million.

Since the NWTF was founded in 1973, the wild turkey population has increased from 1.3 million to almost 7 million and has been restored to 99 percent of suitable habitat. Wild turkeys are in the 48 continental U.S. state and Hawaii.

For information on the NWTF, go to or call (800) THE-NWTF.