LaCyne, Kansas was the place to be mid-April as singer-songwriter Bobby Pinson once again threw his annual Flextone World Turkey Hunting Championship in its biggest year yet, sponsored in part with Mossy Oak. The competition drew out some of the best professional and amateur turkey hunters for the four-day event that took place at Wicked Outfitters on opening day of the Kansas State Adult Spring Turkey season.
Many of television’s favorite hunting personalities threw their hats into the ring for top prize, including Nate Hosie and Randy Birdsong of HeadHunters TV, Cragg Fitz and Slade Priest of Trained Assassins, Turkey Man’s Eddie Saulter, Drop Zone’s Hal Schaffer, Bucket List’s Jerry Klamer, Silent Draw’s Shaine Reece, and country star/hunter Andy Griggs, along with Cody Alberson who once again entered under their upcoming show, D'em Boyz.
However, famous faces weren’t the only ones pulling together entry fees to participate. Several of the teams involved in the 2016 WTHC were comprised of every day hunters who all have the same heart and drive for the great outdoors, including 3rd place team, Alabama Hook Hunters, Chattahoochee Spur Chasers and Poplar Flatts Killers (Brian Franks, Cody Cox and CJ Pickens).
All 47 of the three-man teams were vying for over $50,000 in cash and prizes to become the World Turkey Hunting Champion. Teams had three days to harvest up to four adult Tom wild turkeys – capturing the uncut video on film to reveal the “kill shot” and the shooter – where the turkeys would then be weighed and the length of the beards and spurs would determine who would become the 2016 champion.
Team Mobo Gobbler was one of the first teams to get a bird on the board with one of the most intense hunts of the entire event. Levi Arens crawled 200 yards to his henned up bird while Mobo Gobbler creator Blake Boeckmann drove their life-like decoy operated with a Rock Crawler remote control devise toward the gobbler and Aaron Throneberry captured the action on film. When he was less than five yards from the strutting bird, Levi showed himself from behind the decoy, dropping the Tom to the ground with a perfect shot. The hunt later earned the team the Best Footage award, which included hunting gear, game cameras, food plot seed, blinds and Extreme Blower products.
Grizzly Coolers not only lent their skill to the hunt with their team, but also provide hunters and regulators with Grizzly Grip tumblers that were included in every swag box. They also unveiled their latest 40 quart cooler for part of the give-aways and raffles featured, benefitting Catch-a-Dream, a non-profit organization that provides once-in-a-lifetime hunting and fishing experiences for children who have a life-threatening illness.
Jebs Precision Chokes (comprised of owners Bobby Sears and Jimmy Washam, as well as Jerrod McDaniel) put their product to use by killing multiple turkeys over the three days. Team Outtech was one of the many teams returning to the WTHC this year, following their 4th place title in 2015 and 3rd place victory in 2014.
“We have known Bobby for the last five years and really like his vision of the WTHC and how it also gives back,” explains Brian Malone, Director of Sales for Outtech, Inc. “We work with many leading companies that produce hunting products, and once we explain what Bobby is doing and also the positive attention it is drawing, they’ve started to step up.”
The greatest success story for the 2016 WTHC came when team Unbroken – comprised of Layton Hoyer, Devin Greenwood and Josh Matthews – took top honors. The three grew up loving the outdoors all while attending the same school together. Four years back, Layton was diagnosed with testicular cancer, but beat the odds following chemo treatments, while Devin's life turned upside down – literally – while driving home from college when he was struck by a train. The freak accident had Devin ejected from his truck after being dragged by the train for several miles. “He had more bones broken than doctors could count,” Josh reveals. “Doctors were saying that walking wouldn't be in his near future. Devin wasn't going to accept that, and in a short time, he was back on his feet. I believe God puts people in our lives for a reason. It just so happened that these were the men that I would get to share this journey with, and we will always remain 'Unbroken' no matter what comes our way.”
In addition to the hunting, special fundraising dinners, auctions and a concert by Aaron Lewis were also on the agenda, continuing to bring together lasting memories, all while giving back to a great cause. “I think the WTHC is an unbelievable event to attend, not only for the competitive atmosphere, but for all the stories that come along with it from over 150 participants,” says Trained Assassins co-host and co-owner Cragg Fitz. “But what makes it even more incredible is the fact that it helps benefit an organization that truly deserves all that it receives.”
“The WTHC is something that I look forward to ever year,” adds HeadHunters TV's Randy Birdsong. “It's become like a redneck reunion to me!”
Other teams that competed in the 2016 World Turkey Hunting Championship included Avian X, Tag It Worldwide, Drop Tine Archery, SPG, Jeffrey Archery’s Southern Smoke, Under Armour, PA Mountain Hollow Strut Freaks, Southern Slayers, Hick, Fatal Addiction, Tagged Out, Hunters Crate, Reaper, HowtoHunt.com, Extreme Blower Products, Average Day Hunter, Louisiana Legends, Traeger Grills, Jostens, Hunter Specialties, Gobble Deez Nuts, TruGlo, A Time to Kill, Guthries Chicken, Nomad, Huntin’ Is Good! and Watson Airlock. For information on the 2017 WTHC and registering to compete, visit www.worldturkeyhuntingchampionship.com.
2016 Flextone World Turkey Hunting Championship Ranking:
- Dem Boyz
- Alabama Hook Hunter
- Tag It Worldwide
- SPG 1
- Huntin' Is Good!
- Louisiana Legends / MPB
- Mobo Gobbler
- Drop Tine Archery