The 17th annual Bart Jacob Memorial Youth Turkey Calling Contest, held April 15 in Castleton, attracted 21 competitors including several Vermont 4-Hers.
The Oxbow Mountain 4-H Club of Pawlet hosted the event in collaboration with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department at the Kehoe Conservation Camp in Castleton. Anyone 18 years old or younger was eligible to participate. Each age group was required to perform a specific set of calls, using either a store-bought or handmade turkey call.
The first-place winner in each age group received a turkey decoy courtesy of Vermont Field Sports in Middlebury and custom knives, donated by Joel Flewelling of Rutland, in memory of Keith Mason of Pawlet. Mason was a strong supporter of the Oxbow Mountain 4-H Club who died last November.
Vermont Fish and Wildlife provided Bone Collector turkey calls for the second-place finishers while third place received shotgun ammunition donated by John Butler, Dorset. Ken Jones, Proctor, donated mouth calls to all of the winners.
14- to 18-year-olds: Colby Butler, Dorset (first); Samuel Luis, Whiting (second); Tanner Alexopoulos, Manchester (third). Robert Harris, Poultney, also competed in this age group. The competitors were scored on how well they performed several turkey calls including the cluck, yelp, purr, kee kee run and caller’s favorite.
11- to 13-year-olds: Brooke Flewelling, Rutland (first); Beckett Perham, Pawlet (second); Noah Buck, Rupert (third). Other participants were Wyatt DeLance, Castleton; Silas Kuum, West Clarendon; and Jacob Mead, Poultney. This group performed the cluck, yelp, purr and a locator call of their own choosing.
8- to 10-year-olds: Sawyer Sheldon, Dorset (first); Jase Mead, Poultney (second). Calls for this division included the cluck, yelp and locator call of choice.
Young turkey callers, ages 1-7, also had an opportunity to demonstrate the cluck, yelp and a locator call but were not scored. Each received a turkey-shaped trophy.
They included Blake and Rhett Butler, Wells; Gabriel Greene, Poultney; Anna Guidon, Argyle, New York; Ryker Jenks, Bondville; Mack Parsons, Proctor; Lennox Petty, St. Johnsbury; Oliviah Ross, West Danville; Knox White, Dorset. Several of these participants also took part in this age group at last year’s event.
Judges were Charlie Hewes, Manchester; Ken Jones, Proctor; Brent Lafreniere, Williamstown; Dan Nardi, Rupert; Wally Surething, Mount Holly; and Erwin Tobin, Shushan, New York.
The annual contest honors the late Bart Jacob, a nationally recognized turkey call-maker and avid turkey hunter from Pawlet who passed away in 2006. Jacob, a strong supporter of youth hunters, was one of the founders of the National Wild Turkey Federation and past president and life member of the Vermont chapter.
To learn more, contact Holly Ferris, University of Vermont Extension 4-H Shooting Sports coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.