Editor’s Note: Ronnie “Cuz” Strickland videoed for Mossy Oak and Primos Hunting for some years. Today, Ronnie, “Cuz” Strickland is Mossy Oak’s vice president in charge of television and video production. Strickland probably has filmed more TV shows and videos about hunting and the outdoors than anyone in the industry. Currently he’s responsible for producing 5 TV shows, including “Hunting the Country”, “Deer Thugs”, “Turkey Thugs”, “Inside the Obsession”, and “Game Keepers,” as well as all the videos that Mossy Oak produces. Strickland has hunted all over the nation and all over the world with celebrities and everyday hunters and has seen about everything that can happen in the woods. We’ve asked Strickland to tell us about some of the funniest and strangest hunts he’s been on while hunting across the country.
I was hosting a writers’ hunt at a lodge, and they had some other customers there. Since I wanted the writers to hunt with some of the famous guides, I agreed to guide the customers. Because I had hunted from this lodge many times, I knew the land, and I knew the turkeys. I don’t know why, but the customers were excited about hunting with me. These two guys were on their first turkey hunts. So, the night before the hunt, we were showing videos to allow these two clients to see what a turkey hunt was like, what we do when we go turkey hunting, and to at least give them an idea about what was going to happen the next morning. I went over the safety rules of hunting turkeys, and what I expected them to do to be safe. These two fellows were really pumped-up and excited about going turkey hunting. Because they wanted to hunt together, I was going to take both of them. At breakfast, they told me that they were so pumped they hardly had slept.
Before we left the lodge, the two gentlemen were pacing back and forth – like bulldogs pulling on their leashes ready to go. So, we got in the truck, went to the place we were going to hunt and walked several hundred yards in the dark. We went to a power line right-of-way where I hoped to hear a turkey gobble. As daylight broke, I gave an owl hoot to try and get a gobbler to shock gobble. The guy next to me grabbed his gun and started to bring it to his shoulder. “Wait a minute. Wait a minute. What are you doing?” I asked. He said, “Aren’t we going to shoot hoot owls?” I started laughing and said. “No, we really are going to hunt turkeys. We are not going to shoot any hoot owls.”
One of the things I enjoy most about hunting is being with people who never have hunted and watching them really get excited about every aspect of the hunt. Now, don’t get me wrong. We all do crazy things, or we’re with people who do crazy things, when we’re hunting. For me, the kind of memories that I have shared with you this week are what makes hunting so much fun and so exciting to me. The hunters I hunt with always have been more fun and more enjoyable than any-other aspect of the hunt. If you’re a seasoned veteran of hunting, and if you want to put some spice into your hunting, this year, take someone with you, who never has hunted before. You both will make memories that will last a lifetime.