• 2014 Turkey Season Summary Letter

  • Well, it was just another couple months in, -PARADISE-

    Well I just finished my last hunter on May the 29th and it was another successful hunt. It seems like so long ago when my first two hunters were here April first for the archery season. The many many hunts that I have been on since then are just a blur. I am so thankful that we have the hunting chart to look back on. It helps bring it all back to me as I look at the names and numbers on it. “Wow”, it was a great year. There are not very many blanks on it at all and in most of the blank spots is written in big letters “Windy” and that usually means very windy. I am sad for the people that did not get a bird with us and I hope they understand that most non killing days are due to the weather and there is not a thing we can do about that. There were also a few people that were here for a very short time and that also brings down the percentages of harvesting a bird.

    Lord knows we always do our best to make it happen. But all together we harvested a total of 78 birds and all but 10 of them were long beards. We also set a new record this year with Dottie Peiffer killing a seven bearded bird along with a 5 bearded one. Wow, what trophies those two were and I can’t wait to read the story she is writing about the hunt as well as seeing the pictures of the two after they get mounted. That record was held by Dave Ketcher of MN with his six bearded bird from three or four years back.

    It was sure great to have my ol’ buddy Shane back in camp guiding this year. Between Shane, Coey, Denton, myself and of course my brother, there was never a dull moment in camp and fun was definitely had by all. We also had a lot of new folks hunting with us this year, 31 to be exact. That is a lot out of the total number of hunters we took this season which was 53, and that is way up from last year, with that total being only 29 hunters harvesting 46 birds. This season we also took 12 people that killed their very first turkey ever and that is so awesome being a part of that with most getting hooked on turkey hunting for life, I’m sure.

    This March I went out and bought a couple new cameras. The Canon Vixia HFR52 and we got at least 23 hunts on film. Some didn’t turn out quite the way we planned them, but that’s ok too. They are always so much fun to look back on, well maybe not all of the time, oh heck yes, all the time, and many of them are dang funny. You never know what is going to happen or be said, and so editing is very important part of this as well. Right Walter and a couple others!

    Sometimes us guides are the worst and how can you blame us. We are usually so excited seeing that bird or birds come running in, or strutting in. The adrenaline is flowing full stream at this point, and then a shot rings out or sometimes many shots. Then we see the bird run off and suddenly we are thrown into a state of shock, confusion, denial, hopelessness, maybe a little anger even flows through the veins. Then reality soaks in, the adrenaline has completely stopped at this point. Suddenly words come out from somebody. The shooter, the guide, camera man, you never know who will be first. BUT, one thing is for sure, soon after all of this comes out, it is quickly replaced with some chuckling and giggling, a few pats on the back, smiles, a few funny comments about all the other comments and then life goes back to, “well, that’s turkey hunting, lets go look for another one”. The only thing bad about misses is that they bring out the stars on the chart and this year, like usual, the stars were shinning bright, like a moonless night. TWENTY SEVEN all together! But thats not to bad folks, I have seen as many as forty some one year, so don’t be to hard on yourselves. We have all done it!

    Next year the regular season is starting a little later. It will open on the 15th of April. Archery season opens on the 6th and the youth and disabled begins the 1st for 14 days. Thats OK, we will just work a little harder and a little later in the season to get all you folks in and happily returned home with your birds. And all you folks that did not get one this year should remind us of that and we will try even harder to make that not happen again. I give you my promise. Just make sure you hit ’em. OK, it’s a deal! We took 7 kids this year under the age of 16 and all but one got their bird or birds and all but one of the 6 was their first bird ever. The one that did not get a bird didn’t get to many opportunities to get out much early because of sports and school, but we have vowed to get her out again next year and finish the job.

    Paradise Adventures has been picking a child out of our local school, that my wife Michele works at, for 14 years now. We give that student $300.00 to go out and buy whatever they want to that pertains to turkey hunting. It could be a gun, clothes, turkey lounger vest, whatever. Then we take them out on a guided hunt that is videoed. This has been a great success and we have gotten all of them but one their bird. That is not counting the girl, Kailyn, from this year, but like I said, we will make up for it next season and she will get her turkey and this time I am going to use the word, “guaranteed”. She came very close this year but the birds just would not cooperate for us. We had 3 toms within 20 feet of us but they were on the other side of a couple big cedar trees. So close, but no shot. My friend Nick Trotta from NY liked this idea so well that he started donating a “hunt for a student” also this year. Thanks Nick, I know they appreciate it so much. We have also had other guys donate in the past and all together I think we have gotten at least 30 to 35 kids their first turkey. Anything that we can do to make our hunting heritage continue is a good thing. We need more of this around the country.

    Well lets get on to what I call “the stats" from this past 2014 season.

    # of Hunters: 53 (several hunters only had one tag)
    # of birds harvested: 78
    # of longbeards: 68
    # of jakes: 10
    Double bearded birds: 7
    Triple bearded birds: 3
    Quadruple Bearded birds: 1
    Five bearded birds: 1 (Dottie Peiffer)
    Six bearded: 0
    Seven bearded: 1 (our first and also by Dottie Peiffer)
    Longest beard:12 1/16 inches, by David Black (first bird ever)
    Heaviest bird: 25 1/4 lbs., by Lance Robertson (Archery) (first bird ever)
    Longest spurs: 1 5/8 inches, by Bob Burks
    Shot in the AM: 51
    Shot in the PM: 27
    Most misses: I can’t tell you that!
    # of Easterns: 41
    # of Rios: 13
    # of Hybryds: 24
    # of Double’s-(2 in one shot): 6, by far the most we have ever had in one season.

    This year we had people come from 11 different states. Those were:

    CO. – 1
    MS. – 8
    IA. – 1
    PA. – 8
    MN. – 6
    NY. – 5
    OK. – 4
    AR. – 8
    UT. – 4
    MA. – 4
    KS. – 4

    Well as you can see it was a great season for Paradise Adventures and a busy one. We can’t thank you all enough for coming out and sharing the fun with us and I can’t thank my guides and cook/house keeper enough either. They did an awesome job and give up so much for Mike and I. We are forever indetted to them. It would not happen if it wasn’t for their dedication and the love of the sport. Denton was away from home for 51 days and Coey and Judy were here for 36 days and on the road for 4 days. They are like family to us as well as most of the people that hunt with us because they have been hunting here for so many years. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts.

    I also want to thank God for another safe and successful season as we traveled so many miles and hunted so many days. We are getting ready to start our 30th year here at Paradise Adventures and thanks to Him we have never had an accident and all of our hunters and guides have returned home safely. Wow, Thank you Lord, thank you so much. I can hardly wait for next season and it will be here before you know it. Take care everyone, see you next year. Also to my dear friend Denton and his lovely wife Jessica. A big congratulations goes out to them for their little baby girl was born on June 8th and her name is Oakley Remington Wenner. Awesome!

    A Friend Always,
    Kurt

    Written by;

    Kurt Nunnenkamp during the first part of June, 2014

    P.S: This is my second letter. My new Apple ate up the first one, gone forever. I guess that is why there is a bite out of the apple.