Cast & blast at Shuhart Creek


About 18 months ago I became acquainted with the 2 gentlemen who own and operate Cutting Edge Game Calls.  

Eric Steinmetz and Brian Benolken have the most unique and versatile turkey call on the market today.

Last winter, while at an outdoor trade show out east, they met Rich Burian. Mr. Burian is the owner/operator of SHUHART CREEK WHITETAILS in Hancock County, Illinois.  

As these 3 guys got to know each other over the 3 days that their booths were side-by-side, Burian expressed his huge desire to promote youth hunting, especially at SHUHART CREEK. 

In fact, Rich Burian offered to donate a 2021 youth turkey hunt to Cutting Edge Game Calls to use as they liked. 

What a great gesture from a true outdoorsman.

It was shortly after that conversation when my phone rang. Brian Benolken knows that I have a grandson who loves to hunt.  

He offered us this hunt and told me how to get in touch with Mr. Burian. From our first conversation we were friends.

Rich explained to me that SHUHART CREEK WHITETAILS operates on about 2,500 acres in west-central Illinois in Hancock County, near Warsaw.  

We sat our date for the last weekend in March, which is the first of 2 weekends that Illinois offers youth-only turkey hunting.

My 9-year-old grandson, Connor (CJ), was excited about our plan. In 2020 CJ, on his first-ever turkey hunt, killed a 24-pound tom.  

Trying to go 2-for-2 had him pumped up.

We arrived at SHUHART CREEK about 5 p.m. on the evening before opening day. Rich had arranged for his guide, Greg Hymes, to meet us and show us around.  

To prove it is a small world, I have known Greg for over 25 years. I did not, however, know that he was working with Burian.

Greg had a blind ready for us and we took most of our gear out there that evening so we would not have so much to carry in the dark the next morning. We saw about 20 turkeys on that short trip.

We got settled in the extremely comfortable SHUHART CREEK lodge. Before Greg left he suggested we grab a couple of rods and reels in the lodge and try some fishing in the pond. He said we might have some luck.  

Well, let’s just say that CJ’s first fish of 2021 was a solid 4-pound largemouth bass. He rubbed that in all night.

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