Kansas connection delivers ideal first experience


EL DORADO, Kan. — Parker Schamle’s first hunting experience included a close look at a flock of turkeys on the roost, then a longbeard’s full-tilt flogging of a jake decoy immediately after flydown. When the hunt concluded with a successful shot not long after, he was already hooked for life.

Parker lives in Cheney, Kansas. He got connected to the Kansas One Shot Turkey Hunt through OutdoorMentors.org, an organization dedicated to helping youngsters learn to hunt and fish.

“I was online and found out about the program,” Parker’s mom, Katie Schamle, said. “I wanted him to get involved in hunting or fly fishing, so I sent in an application for him and he was lucky enough to be chosen.”

Moms play a critical role in many outdoorsmen’s lives, and there was more than one mom involved in this connection. Greg Gonzales scouted the ground and the birds Parker hunted, then guided Parker on his hunt. That connection came about because Greg’s mom Kim is the youth coordinator for the Kansas One Shot Turkey Hunt.

Encouragement of youth hunting is a key part of the Kansas One Shot Turkey Hunt. Organizers selected youth hunters from five different regions in Kansas, plus a randomly-chosen youth competitor in a national turkey calling contest. Sponsors gifted each with a full set of TrueTimber camouflage, a Tri-Star shotgun, a lifetime Kansas hunting and fishing license and more, then brought them to El Dorado for the three-day turkey hunting event.

“I had scouted turkeys in the place we hunted three times in the last week-and-a-half or so,” Greg said. “They were roosting in a sycamore tree right on a small creek, but the creek didn’t have any water in it so we didn’t even have to get our boots wet.”

From the gobbling on the roost and eventual flydown, to the decoy flogging and Parker’s shot, his first hunt couldn’t have been more made to order.

“I’d go again right this minute if I could,” Parker said.

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