Editor’s Note: Although country singer Craig Morgan lives in Tennessee permanently, for much of the year he lives on a bus touring the nation, performing his songs. And, coincidentally, the places he puts on his concert tours generally are within easy access of hunting and fishing. A singer for most of his life, Morgan’s only been singing professionally for 15 years. He’s had 15 top-10 hits on the country chart and three number one-songs, including “Redneck Yacht Club,” “That’s What I Love About Sunday” and “International Harvester.” Morgan has been a Mossy Oak Pro for many years, and his TV show “Craig Morgan All-Access Outdoors” appears on the Outdoor Channel. Morgan emphasizes, “My favorite camo pattern has been Mossy Oak Bottomland for years, and I refuse to give it up. I also wear Mossy Oak Break-Up Infinity and believe it’s a great pattern too.”
One of my most-memorable turkey hunts was a hunt I went on with the booking agent for “Fox and Friends.” Three years ago I started an invitational turkey hunt, and on this invitational hunt, I invite media people who aren’t from the hunting industry. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate all the people in the outdoor media, but I also think bringing-in media people who don’t know what hunting is all about is very important too. I want these people to know why we do what we do as hunters, so they can have a better understanding of who hunters are, what we do, and why we enjoy hunting. I’ll bring in editors from “People Magazine,” the booking agent from “Fox and Friends,” the editor of “Country Weekly” and other people who aren’t outdoorsmen.
On this particular hunt, I had the booking agent from “Fox and Friends” on a turkey hunt. He’d never shot a gun or been hunting in his entire life. I was fortunate enough to crank-up a gobbler for him. This bird put-on one of those shows that every turkey hunter dreams about seeing – strutting and drumming from about 200-yards away. When the bird was within range, this fellow was so excited that he didn’t get the stock of the gun cradled into his chest, so when he squeezed the trigger, he was a little off balance. The recoil of the shotgun forced him backwards, and he knocked me over. He was so excited about that hunt and taking that gobbler that he couldn’t believe what he had seen and done. That one hunt gave this fellow a dose of turkey-hunting fever from which he’s never recovered. He goes hunting all the time and is eaten-up with hunting and everything outdoors.
I’ve realized that the more individuals in the media who aren’t turkey hunters or any type of hunter for that matter that we have the opportunity to introduce to the hunting lifestyle, the more our sport will grow. Last time I talked this guy he said, “Craig, I want to go deer hunting with you. I don’t even have to shoot. I just want to see and learn what deer hunting is all about and be in camp with you.” I had so much fun hunting with this fellow and seeing him enjoy the hunt that this invitational turkey hunt has become an annual event. This is one of the ways I think we all can help educate non-hunters to see and understand what being outdoors means. How great will it be if each of us can take someone hunting who never has been hunting before and let them experience the thrill and the fellowship of the hunt and being outdoors.