Veteran turkey hunter has taken more than a ton of birds

04/24/2014 5:41 PM

04/24/2014 5:42 PM

Few hunters have as much experience in the Missouri turkey woods as Ken White.

He started hunting the big birds in 1960, the first year Missouri had a spring season, and he’s been at it ever since.

Over that time, he’s compiled a record that would be hard to match. When he took a turkey shortly after the 2014 season opened Monday, it was the 129th bird he has shot in the Show-Me State.

“I keep a record of the county where I took the bird, and the weight of bird,” said White, 84, who lives in Stockton, Mo. “I added it up, and the total weight comes to well over a ton.”

The latest turkey he shot was especially noteworthy. It was one of his biggest ever.

Hunting on a neighbor’s land, he shot a bird that weighed 28 pounds.

“It felt like 100 pounds by the time I got it up the hill to my truck,” White joked.

Turkey opener harvest

The Missouri turkey season didn’t get off to a great start Monday.

Hunters shot 5,913 birds on the first day of the three-week season, the lowest total on an opener in the last five years.

Hunters took 6,131 turkeys on the first day last year.

Franklin led the state with a kill of 155 turkeys Monday. Callaway was second with 144 and Sainte Genevieve third with 120.

Father-son turkeys

Brent Chapman of Lake Quivira is often thinking about bass at this time of the year. He is one of the top pros on the national BASS circuit, and the schedule takes him across the nation.

But lately, he had his mind on turkey hunting. He took his 10-year-old son, Mason, hunting April 11 on the family farm in southeast Kansas, and they had a day to remember.

As dad tried to work a big gobbler to within shooting range for his son, two jakes (young birds) suddenly raced in and the older bird left. Mason shot the first turkey, then dad got his turn.

Minutes later, they were posing for pictures.

To make things even better, Brent returned the next day with a friend and took a big adult bird. His friend also shot a bird to complete the sweep.

“Two days, four turkeys,” Chapman said. “It doesn’t get much better than that.”

Kids fishing day

The Missouri Department of Conservation will play host to a kids fishing day Saturday at its Lost Valley Fish Hatchery in Warsaw, Mo.

The event, which will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., will offer fishing for youngsters ages 15 and younger. There also will be a chance for kids to pose for first-fish photos, and to participate in archery shooting and crafts.

Help will be provided to youngsters, and rods, reels and bait will be provided to those who don’t have them. Gift bags will be handed out, and lunch will be provided.

Band of anglers

If you’re a Kansas City-area trout fisherman and you’re a “joiner,” this meeting might be for you.

Area fishermen are interested in forming a local Trout Unlimited chapter. But first, they want to gauge interest in such an organization.

That’s why they’re holding an introductory meeting at 6:30 p.m., May 10 at the Orvis Store, 4537 W. 119th St., Leawood. The meeting is open to fishermen who would like to join the local chapter.

For more information, contact Jeff House at 913-638-8850.

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