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Pikes Peak Chapter Chairperson

Willie Kalaskie


The Colorado State

Wild Turkey Federation


April, 2012, saw the first-ever turkey hunt on the United States Air Force Academy.  Supported by the U.S. Game and Fish Commission, the Unites States Air Force, the Colorado Department of Parks and Wildlife and the NWTF Pike’s Peak Chapter, this inaugural hunt was limited to women and children and was a huge success.  Four of five hunters bagged their toms.



History will show 12-year old Evan Williams, of Superior, CO, was the first person to ever shoot a turkey on the USAFA.  Evan’s Merriam tom weighed-in at 21 pounds, and had an 8-inch beard with a one inch spur (this old tom had obviously been sparring over the years as one spur was worn down to nothing but a tiny nub).  As expected, Evan was absolutely thrilled at taking his first tom.  For his feat, he was awarded an NWTF hat, a JAKES pin and a framed certificate of accomplishment.  His Dad, Wes, and Evan joined the NWTF on-the-spot.



Wednesday morning, 18 April, young Steffen Stefanko, 14-years of age, from Fountain, CO, bagged his Merriam and became the second person ever to shoot a USAFA turkey.  Steffen’s tom weighed 18 pounds, sported a 9½-inch beard and spurs reaching one inch.



A few days later, on Saturday, 21 April, Janet Borland of Parker, CO, became the first woman to shoot a turkey on the USAFA.  Janet’s tom was a heavy 18-pound tom that sported an 8-inch beard and 7/8-inch spurs.   




On Sunday, 29 Jan 2012, Fawna Start, of Palmer Lake, CO, bagged her gobbler; another 18 pound tom, with a 7-inch beard and ¾-inch spurs.  I use the word, “finally,” because Fawna worked especially hard to take her first-ever turkey.  She hunted from opening day; but, for whatever reason, those birds just would not come into shotgun range. 


With all the cadets, golfers, joggers, bicyclists, walkers, and hikers on the USAFA over the years, these Merriams are a bit more used to a human presence than birds out on public land.  However, while definitely not tame, these birds are still wary of humans “on their turf” and can still be a challenge to hunt.

So went the first-ever turkey hunt on the USAFA.  What a lot of fun!  Four happy hunters took four very nice Merriam gobblers and the NWTF’s Pikes Peak Chapter was there to document their efforts and provide each hunter with a certificate and hat from the NWTF. 



National Wild Turkey Federation Pikes Peak Chapter © 2012