TURKEY COMPETITION RULES & REGULATIONS
April 2020 Turkey Competition Rules & Regulations
PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY
The 2020 Whitetail Heaven Outfitters turkey hunting tournament is open to anyone who who registers who is of sound mind and body and able to physically and mentally participate in an active competition of skill. WHO Staff are ineligible to compete. Any candidate for competition who, in the judgment of the Tournament Director, is disabled in such a manner as to unfairly hinder their partner or endanger the safety and well-being of their teammates or themselves or anyone else involved with a WHO sanctioned event may not be eligible to participate. A properly completed and signed official entry form must be provided to WHO tournament team during the registration. Tournament entry fees must be received by the official due date posted on WHO website and email correspondence. Any balances or new entries received after the entry fee due date will be subject to WHO approval. WHO reserves the right to discontinue acceptance of applications prior to deadline and/or extend the acceptance date. ANY AND ALL DEPOSITS AND PAYMENTS ARE NON-REFUNDABLE AND NON-TRANSFERABLE REGARDLESS OF THE DATE OF CANCELLATION.
HUNTER CODE OF CONDUCT
Hunters participating in any WHO sanctioned event shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for the specific event in which they are participating. Hunters shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a manner becoming professional hunters that will not reflect unfavorably on WHO, its competitors, officers or representatives, tournaments, property owners or sponsors. To this end, hunters shall use their best efforts to demonstrate professionalism and integrity in support of the sport of professional hunting. Any hunter who violates any of the provisions of the Hunter’s Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, reduction of points, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in future WHO sanctioned events, permanent ban from WHO competitions, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by WHO.
Each team must have at least one team member check-in/register in person with official WHO registration staff at the time and place designated in the schedule of events. Failure to register in person could result in a team’s automatic disqualification with a non-refundable entry fee. A government-issued photo ID or birth certificate is required as part of registration.
LIABILITY WAIVER AND RELEASE FORM
as a condition of participation in each tournament, each competitor must execute a waiver and release of liability and a name and likeness release. All forms must be completed and signed on the day of registration prior to participating or engaging in any WHO activities or events. (This includes property drawing and scouting) Failure to do so will result in disqualification and removal from WHO sanctioned event cutting all ties between all of the team’s individual members and WHO.
WHO teams will draw their land units and be assigned a WHO representative at the day and time and location specified in WHO schedule of events. Teams will then be allowed to go to their properties to scout, track and roost turkeys (without weapons). Scouting is optional. All team members do not have to be present for the scouting process. Teams must notify their WHO representative when they exit and enter their assigned property. Failure to notify their representative may result in fines, score penalties, or disqualification.
A (Team) consists of two (2) members no more, no less.
LICENSES, PERMITS, AND GAME TAGS
All eligible shooters must obtain and possess: All pertinent resident or non-resident HUNTING LICENSES, PERMITS and GAME TAGS required by the state(s) in which the hunter’s assigned property is located. The 2019 WHO assigned Properties are in the states of Kentucky, Ohio, and Indiana. WHO is not, and will not be held liable or responsible for or legally tied to any individual team in any way. By signing WHO registration, each team acknowledges and agrees to follow all State and Federal Hunting rules and regulations and agrees to hold harmless Whitetail Heaven Outfitters for any and all illegal actions committed by any WHO team member. WHO will work hand in hand with State and Federal officials to make sure that all rules and regulations are being adhered to and all hunting licenses, permits and tags are being obtained.
WEAPONS AND EQUIPMENT
A WHO competitor is allowed to attempt to harvest an adult bearded turkey with any weapon deemed legal by the state in which WHO event takes place. A competitor is allowed to attempt to harvest an adult bearded turkey using any hunting decoy that is deemed legal by the State in which WHO event takes place, however no electronic decoys are permitted. Note: any use of a drone is absolutely prohibited during WHO competition. A competitor is allowed to attempt to harvest an adult bearded turkey using any hunting blind that is deemed legal by the state in which WHO event takes place (including but not limited to pop up/ground blinds, ghost blinds, Camo net type covering or shield).
TURKEY CALLS AND CALLING
Any of the two eligible, legally licensed team members are allowed to attempt to call a Wild Turkey during WHO competition. WHO is a contest of skill therefore:(a) Any use of digital turkey calls or any pre-recorded nature calls of any kind is prohibited and will lead to disqualification from WHO. (b) Any and all types of “legal” manual Turkey calls, devices, and apparatuses are allowed in WHO, including but not limited to: mouth calls, diaphragm calls, box calls, friction calls, gobble calls, owl calls, crow calls,etc. Any devices or hunting techniques or methods that are illegal in the State in which WHO is being held, will be forbidden in WHO. (c) No dogs or any other types of living decoys are allowed. Only non-living decoys are allowed.
WHO’s Annual Turkey Competition is a two and a half day hunting competition. All teams will stop hunting (guns down) by 2 pm EST on the third day of hunting in WHO competition. NOTE: the shooter must be considered an eligible shooter for each particular hunt according to WHO rules and regulations. Teams are required to leave their property 30 minutes after dark on all days during the hunting or scouting process. No camping or spending the night on assigned land units is allowed at any time in the competition. Hunting equipment, i.e. Pop up/Ground blinds are allowed to be left in position on the assigned property at the team’s own risk. Teams will abide by all Federal and State Hunting Rules, Regulations, and Restrictions. WHO stipulations, limitations, preferences, and contest rules take precedence in all WHO findings, rulings, and determinations for WHO contest purposes. No trapped, road killed, poisoned, pen raised, snared, previously killed birds or any other means that deviates from calling to and shooting a Wild Turkey will be allowed. A Turkey shall not be altered or tampered with in any way that would cause an inaccurate measurement or weigh-in. All beards and spurs must be intact and attached to the adult Tom Turkey in order to be measured and scored by WHO Officials. No night hunting will be allowed. (Hunting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset). No shooting across legal, maintained or well-traveled roads. CONTESTANTS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO HUNT ANY PROPERTY OTHER THAN THE SPECIFIC PROPERTY PROVIDED BY WHO. Under no circumstances will a contestant(s) pay a fee to have exclusive rights to private property. Fees include money, favors, or material objects having a value of $00.01 or more. Dealings made by families, friends, or business associates in exchange for “an advantage” in the competition are also illegal.
REPORTING A HARVESTED BIRD
Immediately upon successful harvest of a bird, the team is to take a photo of the bird before moving it and text it to their assigned Judge along with their location within their assigned parcel of hunting land. The Judge will provide instructions from that point. It is at the Judge’s discretion whether the team will be allowed to move the bird to meet WHO officials elsewhere or if WHO officials will meet them at the site.
Each team will be assigned a Team Judge who will monitor Hunting Operations of each team and make sure all WHO Contest rules and regulations as well as State hunting laws are being adhered to. NOTE: It is the team’s responsibility to make sure that their Judge knows the team’s exact location during both the scouting and hunting portion of the competition. The Judge is not allowed to carry the teams gear or harvested birds or act as a camera man. The Judge will under no circumstances what so ever act as guide/navigator or offer any input or opinion related to the hunt in any way. The Judge has the final say regarding his actions and is allowed to sit with any of his/her assigned teams. In the unlikely event of an issue involving a WHO Judge, all complaints and disagreements about a WHO Judge can be brought to the rules committee chairman via cell phone or radio or brought to the attention of the rules committee.
WHO reserves the right to assign a camera team to any team in the competition. The WHO-assigned cameraman is a passive observer and cannot be asked to assist the team in any way. The WHO camera team will not interfere with the competition.
There is a 4-bird limit over the duration of the April 2020 contest. State law as to daily limit per hunter must be honored.
TURKEY CHECK-IN AND MEASURE
All teams must check in before 10 PM EST time on the day of the harvest. In the instance a team is not likely to make the check-in deadline, the team captain must contact WHO event coordinator with a reasonable explanation that must be verified between the event coordinator and the team’s Judge. Failure to do so could result in disqualification of the birds harvested on that particular hunt. Check-in area will be clearly identified. Turkeys must be brought in whole. Turkeys must have all legal tags attached to each particular bird prior to check in and throughout the entire time that the birds are being held in the possession of WHO. Harvested turkeys are the sole property of the individual contestant. WHO will store all legally tagged and identified birds for team members for the duration of the competition at the contestants own risk. WHO is not responsible for any harvested turkeys being lost, damaged, spoiled or stolen etc. Any team member caught transporting an untagged wild turkey will automatically be disqualified from WHO competition and authorities will be notified.
All birds will be weighed and measured according to the NWTF scoring system/method. All measurements are taken in 1/16-inch increments and converted into decimal form. Birds will be weighed in pounds and ounces and will be converted to decimal form. Spurs will be measured along the outside center, from the point at which the spur protrudes from the scaled leg skin to the tip of the spur. Both spurs will be added together and the combined measurement of both spurs will be multiplied by 10 The beard will be measured from the center point of the protrusion of the skin to the tip of the longest attached hair and multiplied by 2. The weight of the Turkey will be added to the points scored by the spurs and the beard for the total score. In the NWTF scoring system, non- typical Turkeys(birds with multiple beards) will be added together for the total “beard score.” However, in order to omit or alleviate any potential “luck” of a-typical or non-typical genetics, WHO does not honor or recognize multiple beards or spurs as an aspect of a team’s total score. In the event of a multi-bearded bird, only the longest attached hair of the longest beard will be measured and counted towards the total points scored. Non typical, multi-bearded birds, will not receive extra points for their multiple beards. In the highly unlikely occurrence of double spurs, only the longest spur will be measured.
(i) Each competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director immediately any violation or infraction of any tournament rules. Failure to report any known violations, or suggestions to another competitor and or Judge that they violated these rules, maybe cause for disqualification. OFFICIAL PROTESTS MUST BE FILED IN WRITING AND ALL PARTIES OF INTEREST WILL BE PROVIDED A COPY. (ii) A team can be disqualified and/or a particular “Turkey Kill” can be disqualified and uncounted depending on the magnitude of the offense. Any action believed to be done with intent to deceive will lead to automatic “Team Disqualification.” A committee of a minimum of 3 judges will settle all disputes and disqualify Turkeys or teams and confirm kills and methods of take. ALL DECISIONS ARE FINAL. In the event of a questionable Turkey or its method of take, the judging committee will do a further examination and their decision will be final. Each team could be required to submit to a polygraph or voice analysis test and will abide by its results. (iii) Hunters will obey and abide by all hunting rules and regulations as set forth by the state in which they are assigned. Any consequence or disciplinary action brought against a member or members of an individual team due to failure to adhere to Federal or State Hunting Regulations is solely between the individual teams and the State of which the alleged offense occurred. It is the responsibility of the team members to familiarize themselves with any and all Federal and State Hunting laws, rules, regulations, and restrictions. ALL WHO contestants, teams, team members and team sponsors agree to hold WHO and any and all of it’s multiple entities harmless in the event of said team being prosecuted for any alleged legal offenses. (iv) All ties will be broken according to your time of departure from the event. (v) Remember you have signed a liability release and in doing so have agreed to follow all wildlife regulations in the area you are hunting in, this also applies to how you handle a motor vehicle so please allow yourself to have enough time set aside to drive safely to and from your hunt. Disqualified teams will be required to leave Whitetail Heaven’s premises immediately upon disqualification.
RULES, VIOLATIONS, PENALTIES, AND APPEALS
Appeals for penalties and disqualifications assessed must be presented in writing to WHO within 48 hours of contest end. Appeals shall be addressed within thirty (30) business days from the date of receipt. If competitors admit to a rules violation, they may not file an appeal of either the finding that they have violated the rules or the penalty imposed for the violation. WHO’s decisions on appeals are final. Penalties for rules violations may include the following: Reduction of days allowed in competition as determined by the Tournament Director/Rules Enforcement Committee. Loss or omission of one or more harvested bird(s) in question. Omission of “kill count” for the day of the violation. Disqualification from the tournament in question. Disqualification from future WHO events, which may be from a specific number of events, a specific period of time, or a lifetime disqualification.
Tournament officials have the right to delay, shorten or cancel an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Tournament properties may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. Ultimately each team is responsible for determining its own parameters for what is and is not deemed to be weather conditions conducive for safe hunting. WHO will use its best efforts to safely and effectively determine and discern inclement weather conditions, however WHO assumes no (zero) risk or liability for weather based accidents, as the ultimate judgment call falls solely on the individual members of a team. WHO will be held harmless, faultless and blameless and free from any claim of negligence caused by or due to any incident occurring due to adverse or dangerous weather conditions or acts of God. IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, COMPETITORS SHOULD CALL 911 FIRST AND ONCE SAFE, NOTIFY TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. COMPETITORS ARE ALLOWED TO LEAVE THEIR ASSIGNED PROPERTY AT ANYTIME AND SEEK SAFE SHELTER IN BAD WEATHER WHERE DANGER MAY BE IMMINENT. The need for personal safety and shelter takes precedence over any other “location based” rule or regulation.
Competitors in WHO are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. Use of drugs (other than those purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) or alcohol by any competitor, during the official “scouting and or hunting period” of the tournament, will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future WHO tournaments. In the event of a drug or alcohol related incident during the official scouting or hunting period, violators will be subject to penalties and punishments set forth by State and Federal law. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to traveling to and from the designated hunting properties as well as hunting close to property lines/borders. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote hunting conservation, and courtesy, may be reason for disqualification. All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states in which a WHO Tournament is held. Competitors are responsible for research of all state hunting regulations. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and/or for disqualification after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director. Any disqualification, suspension from, or other disciplinary action regarding any tournament or hunting organization, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation in WHO tournament, and/or disqualification from any WHO sanctioned tournament, after circumstances are reviewed by a WHO Official.
Where and when state laws require income taxes be paid on cash awards to non-residents, the taxes will be automatically deducted prior to the awards being presented to the winners. All winners will be required to complete a W-9 provided by WHO. WHO competitors are responsible for all applicable taxes on both cash and merchandise awards. Various States require withholding tax on merchandise be paid upon the awarding of certificates and competitors awarded merchandise certificates in these States are responsible for remitting their tax to WHO. Failure to meet these obligations may result in fines, and/or disqualification from all future WHO events in addition to any applicable State penalties assessed due to a taxation violation.
MEDIA & PUBLIC COMMENTS
The favorable public reputation of WHO as an industry leader in the sport of hunting, the integrity of its officials, and the reputation of its properties are valuable assets and tangible benefits for Whitetail Heaven Outfitters. Accordingly, it is an obligation of competitors to refrain from public comments that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of WHO tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow hunters or WHO organization. Public comments that a hunter knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of WHO, WHO officials or sponsors, shall be considered conduct unbecoming a professional and may result in disciplinary action.
WHO, sponsors, property owners, affiliates, associates, hosts or judges cannot and will not be held responsible for any accidents, losses, forces of nature, or acts of God.