Return To Nashville

Through Project Save-A-Stream and its sponsors, Outdoor Life is committed to returning America's headwaters to health. In its third year, Save-A-Stream helps improve the health of the nation's waterways by connecting streamside residents with a network of information, contacts and resources that can get them started caring for neighborhood creeks, brooks, branches and rivers. There is perhaps no better place to highlight Save-A-Stream than Nashville, Tennessee where 13.5 inches of rain last May left nine people dead and parts of the city submerged for days. Outdoor Life Editor-In-Chief Todd Smith took to the streets of Nashville during last week's Country Music Association's Fan Fest to spread the word on Save-A-Stream.
A feature of the Nashville Project Save-A-Stream event is the celebrity outdoor pro-am challenge sponsored by Primos Game Calls. The just-for-fun showdown matches country music stars with outdoor professionals in three disciplines: casting, waterfowl decoy tossing and game calling.
Country music artist James Wesley (left) teamed up with Primos' Shane Smith.
Recording artist Trent Tomlinson, noted for his straight-ahead and unpretentious country lyrics, casts a fishing rod similarly.
Tomlinson's teammate, Outdoor Life's Gerry Bethge, takes his turn with the flipping stick, but made the serious mistake of choosing to cast to the farthest target.
Wesley, on the other hand, couldn't miss--pretty much expected after your first hit is called "Jackson Hole."
Smith sure had the technique down, but fell a bit short on distance.
Singer Sam Crooker, meanwhile, made it look easy in both the casting competition...
...and the decoy toss.
Bethge managed to put two ducks on the pond.
The always entertaining game-calling competition was up next. Defending champ Bubba McPhearson of Primos Game Calls and CMA's Sam Crooker busted it out in the duck-calling competition.
Tomlinson and Bethge acknowledged their inability to duck call so instead turned to playing a rousing rendition of the National Anthem.
Smith and Wesley were the crowd-pleasers for round 1 of game-calling with an authentic reenactment of a day in a duck blind--complete with a water cannon.
Coyote squalling was the name of the game in round 2 as McPhearson (the coyote) tried to make off with Sam's newborn.
Wesley, meanwhile, prepared to take on his coyote (Smith) who came into a dying rabbit call.
All three squads were in a dead heat and it would be turkey calling that would decide the winner. Here, Crooker yelps as a stutter (Bubba) begins his non-too-subtle approach.
Wesley and Smith went from roost to freezer with the help of a "decoy."
It starts with an owl hoot.
The "deke" performed admirably--as did Smith, who tood a direct hit with a Nerf arrow.
With the best turkey-hunting scenarios performed to perfection, Tomlinson and Bethge were forced to get creative: a gobbler fight.
Two "longbeards" approach each other for a throwdown.
A display of dominance--the biggest bird doesn't always win.
As the judges tallied up the final score, Shane handed out game calls to the crowd.
The extremely hot crowd. Temps were in the mid-90s.
Editor-in-Chielf Todd Smith grabs the mike to announce the overall winner as master-of-ceremonies, Rob Powers looks on.
But first, Shane Smith and McPhearson belt out a short tune...
..to an appreciative audience.
Drumroll please...
The team of Brooker and McPhearson win it all! Brooker wins a $1,000 check for the charity of his choice. We invite you to join Project Save-A-Stream. Becoming a participant is easy. Just log on to outdoorlife.com/saveastream and follow links to enroll your stream in the program. The deadline for submissions is June 20th, 2010. We'll send participants a packet of useful tools and information, including garbage bags and gloves to help with trash collection, water monitoring equipment and a number of resources, including The Streamkeepers' Manual, a comprehensive guide to stream health. Eligible projects can include simple community stream clean-up events, Adopt-a-Stream campaigns, larger assessments of water quality or even projects to stabilize stream banks or address pollution or water rights. We welcome angling groups, community organizations, churches and individuals. Caring for America's streams is a big job, but even the most ambitious projects start with just a handful of people with a common passion to improve their communities. After all, the lifeblood of a community is its water, and by caring for its headwaters you'll be benefiting a much larger watershed.

Outdoor Life heads to Nashville and the CMA Fanfest for Project Save-A-Stream and some good, old country music fun.