• 2015 Turkey Season Summary Letter

  • Rain or Shine, here we go! Howdy folks, this year I am going to start with the stat’s sheet first. This is how the entire season stacked up.

    • 59 Total number of Hunters ( 2014 was 53 )

    • 78 Total number of turkeys harvested (2014 was also 78)

    • 43 Eastern Species

    • 12 Rio’s

    • 23 Hybrids

    • 53 Were taken in the AM hours

    • 25 Were taken in the PM hours

    • 19 Were taken before 7:00 AM

    • 2 Were taken after 5:00 PM

    • 11 birds were taken with more than 1 beard

    • 6 with two beards

    • 3 with three beards

    • 1 with four beards

    • 1 with six beards

    • 14 First time ever hunters

    • 14 First time ever to harvest a turkey with a gun

    • 4 First time ever to harvest a turkey with a bow or crossbow

    • 1 Disabled hunter taking his first Long Beard ( Must watch video on You Tube or website. His name is Kevin Olson and he also does my website)

    • 44 missed shots ( Ouch! ) A few of these were hits but not retrieved

    • Hunters from 17 different States

    • Where they were from; 5-KS, 5-MS, 5-AR, 6-CO, 5-KY, 4-OK, 2-NY, 7- PA, 8-MN, 1-IL, 2-WY, 6-UT, 1-MO, 1-NH, 1-FL.

    • Heaviest turkey ever harvested at Paradise weighed in at ( 30 lb.) taken by Charlie Thompson from OK with a bow and arrow.

    • Longest spurs of the year ( 1 11/16” ) taken by Gene Davis from MS with a gun

    • 7 hunters left without harvesting a turkey

    • But only ( 2 ) did not have at least one shot

    • 6 Hunters only had one tag to fill

    • 14 Jakes were harvested and 1 Bearded Hen

    Well I’m not sure how many days it rained, but it was a bunch. Once again the weather played a big factor in our total number of birds being harvested. Talking to other people around the country about how their season went makes me think that overall we faired pretty good. It was a tough season my guides and I thought for calling in big toms. Part of the problem we figured was the number of jakes that were out there. Many times our hunts were disrupted by jakes, but other times we had occasions where the jakes ran the toms right to us and that right there tells you who was in control in some areas, The Jakes. All of us had toms come in to see what was doing the calling only to run off once they saw the jake decoys. So of course we started leaving the jake decoys behind in certain areas.

    One thing I did learn this year was how to run away those pesky cattle. You know, the ones that just won’t leave you alone. Just do what my new friend and hunter did from KS City. All you have to do is, ( In the dark ), ( Well it might work in the daylight also ) is do a face plant to the ground, roll around a bit moaning and groaning with your gun securely in one hand. Yep, that’s it. Wow wee, man does that ever get them moving. We never saw those cattle again that morning. Thanks Lloyd! A man is never to old to learn a new trick. And I thank God those cattle stayed in that guys pasture. But you better be selective when and where you do this trick. Because I know if you did that in Mr. Travis’s pasture, well, his cattle would end up in the next county and you would be chasing cattle for the rest of the day and at the same time trying to explain to him what happened. And that would not be a good thing. I would rather set behind bars for a week. Hey Lloyd, I Sure hope you can show me some new moves next year because I am always eager to learn. Just kidding, I am thankful you never got hurt, because mouth to mouth resuscitation is probably not going to happen. løl

    Well we got lots of compliments on our new addition to the camp. Our new deck with roof over it was a big hit. We spent countless hours on it laughing and teasing each other, eating, drinking and telling stories about what happened in the woods that day. It truly was a great addition and thanks to Coey and Denton, it was built to perfection. many folks said it was the best thing we adding on yet and I agree. And you will too once you try it out.

    Well, this was the beginning of my 31st year guiding people. Wow, I can’t even imagine how many people I have met through all those years. I set back and think of it and I am in awe of the whole thing. I have met hundreds and hundreds of people from everywhere and I just want to set down and thank the Lord because He has allowed me to do this. He has been there through it all with me. The good times and the bad. He has given me so many friends around the country that are what I call TRUE friends. They call me all the time to see if my family is all right, if we made it through the bad storms, they ask me how our crops are doing and is there anything we can do for you. Some even call me brother, which touches my heart in a special way, because they mean it and they care. My love for people has grown so much and there are so many GOOD people out there and through this business God has put so many of them in my life. My passion is to make people happy. There smiles and hugs are what motivate me. And I think that goes for my guides as well. There joy is shared by the stories they tell and the time they put in. I can see it on their faces. Of course we all have bad days, but the good ones out weigh the bad by a hundred times. At the end of each season tears are shed as we part our ways, never knowing if we will see each other again, but at the same time dreaming of the good times we will have next season. God has been good to me. I am rich with Blessings from the people he has put in my life. Money has nothing to do with it. Friends are priceless and God is free. No one can take my memories away from me and no one can pluck me out of His hand. Thank you Jesus, for the people you have put in my life, especially the ones that work with me. I just hope I have touched their lives in a good and special way as much as they have touched mine. As one of my buddies says, “It’s all good”. Yes it is.

    Our season was long it seemed, but we have taken a lot more hunters in years past. But now days only using 3 guides makes the season stretch out a bit more. Plus our state moved our gun season back a week which didn’t help my scheduling out at all. I remember the days when we had 5 and sometimes 6 guides going in 6 different directions and believe me that was stressful. But back then I was about 10 to 12 years younger and that really makes a difference. I can feel my aching bones every morning getting up as early as we do to get everyone ready to go. Early season we start getting up around 4:30 to 5:00. But by May we are getting up at 3:30 making sure that we are in the woods in time to watch and listen to the outdoors waking up. That is definitely the most exciting time of the day and a big part of the hunt. Nothing gets your blood pumping like a big o’gobbler belting out his early morning wakeup call. Especially when they happen to be right above you. It makes the hair stand up on my neck and puts a rush of adrenaline through me like no other.

    Once again we started out with youth & the disabled season taking out a couple kids from the local school district. And I also vowed to get Kevin out early this year and we did just that on no other than, “Good Friday”. Well the way it turned out it was “Great Friday”. It was just after 10;00 AM when Kevin and his lovely wife Janna showed up. I was in the blind waiting for them and had already spooked off some birds as I drove up. Once they arrived we hurried and got Kevin in the RNRV, (Red Neck RV) and commenced to getting him set up for the hunt. For those of you that are not familiar with Kevin, he is a disabled friend of mine that got injured in a swimming accident many years ago that left him a quadriplegic. He is also the man behind my great web site. Just thought I would throw that in because he does me a outstanding job with it. Anyway, it takes about 20 minutes to get him and everything ready for the hunt. Once we were settled in I stuck my box call out the window and made 3 series of calls with it. I remember turning to Janna his wife and explaining that sometimes they come running in and sometimes they don’t. This being her first turkey hunt I wanted to explain to her what was about to take place or maybe not take place. She just smiled and went along with what I had to say. Anyway, I hope I have your attention because what is about to happen was all caught on film and rather than tell you, I want you to watch it on my website or you tube. Please watch this amazing hunt by going to hunting videos. Click on Kevin Olson’s tom turkey hunt 2015.

    Thanks, because words alone can not express my feelings about this hunt. You won’t regret it and it will warm your heart, and if it don’t, well maybe you better check to see if you have one.

    We also had a great time during the archery season taking 5 hunters. Four of them used crossbows and one used a compound bow. Charlie Thompson just happened to take a tom that weighed in at a whopping 30 lbs on official scales. For some reason he didn’t trust our antique rusty old scales, so he took the bird home to get mounted and that is where he had him weighed. Our scales had him at 29 1/4 so I was glad to take the higher number. Any way he has set a new record for the heaviest bird ever taken at Paradise. He also took the bird from a blind in a pouring down rain. Way to go Charlie and Coey, NICE JOB! That bird was only a 2 year old bird with 3/4 inch spurs and that bird also resembled me, you know, with that huge chest. Easy, no comments please, only compliments.

    Gun season was as usual, a roller coaster ride of ups and downs as far as emotions go. One minute your life couldn’t be better, you’re thinking of possible time off maybe with this double coming in and the next minute your hands are in your face with disbelief of what just happened. Whoa! And then a few minutes later you’re doing cart wheels, high five’n, taking pictures, laughing about the other hunt where the double was missed and all of a sudden life couldn’t be better again. WELL, that’s Turkey Hunting at its best. Oh how we love it!! We must, or we wouldn’t do it for 50 days straight now would we.

    Well I must thank GOD for another great season. Full of laughs, hugs, welcome’s and good by’s. But the main thing is that it was another safe season. Lots and lots of miles were driven, walked and flown. I thank Him for this and that is what I always pray for. Safety for my guides and safety for my hunters. It doesn’t do any good if we were to kill a thousand birds if someone was to get hurt going to or from or during one of our hunts. I praise His name for never making me go through an accident. Not one in 30 and 1/2 years. Thank you Jesus, thank you!

    I also want to thank all of you that came out and hunted with us. It was great to see familiar faces and meeting all the new hunters this season. We had a total of 31 new faces in camp this year. Wow, can you believe that. That is awesome and several of them were first time hunters as far as turkey hunting goes. A big thank you also goes out to my guides and cook. Judy does a fantastic job in the kitchen and elsewhere and she also did some early morning scouting for us. I can’t thank her enough, she is the best. Now for my guides/carpenters/consultants/friends/ comedians/and many other things, you are also the best. I love these guys from the bottom of my heart and once again words cannot express the way I truly feel about them. They do so much more than just guide. For one thing, they leave their homes and families for weeks and months at a time. They do what ever we ask of them during this time which ranges from farming, moving cattle, talking to farmers about hunting, building, cleaning, the list could go on and on. And the hardest part is keeping me on the up and up and not letting me get discouraged. I Love you guys. Here are their names that helped this year. Denton Wenner, Emlenton, PA., Don (Coey) Coe and his wife Judy from Constableville, NY., Shane McKinley from Renovo, PA. and Josh (Beaner) Hansen from Wichita, KS. and I can’t forget my brother, Mike. THANK YOU ALL, none of this would happen without you.

    Happy Trails to everyone, and until we meet again, good luck and may God Bless you all.

    Written by: Kurt Nunnenkamp 05-21-2015