We've got some of the most fantastic turkey hunting that I've ever witnessed right here in Cadiz, Ky. I’ve turkey hunted all over this great land of ours, and I can honestly say that today we have some of the best turkey hunting in and around Cadiz of any place I’ve ever hunted. To have good hunting, you have to have plenty of land to hunt on, and I know quite a few folks who have known me all my life and will allow me to hunt their properties. Having said that, you have to remember that I can only take two turkeys per season. Our turkey season is 21 days long, and I was able to hunt 19 of those 21 days this year.
Many days I’d pick up one hunter in the morning, and he’d bag his turkey. Then I’d take a different hunter out in the afternoon, and he or she would bag a turkey. During those 19 days, I also had three hunters miss turkeys. Now missing a turkey is no reflection on the hunter’s skill or his or her accuracy in shooting. I’ve missed plenty of turkeys myself.
The one thing you can know for certain about a hunter who says, “I have never missed a turkey,” is either he’s not been on many turkey hunts, or he’ll probably lie about something else. If you hunt turkeys long enough, you will miss some.
Another great thing about this past season is that I had four people that I guided and called for who took their first turkeys with me. Over my entire turkey hunting career, I've called in turkeys for more than 100 people who have bagged their first turkeys. One of those first-time turkey hunters was John E. Phillips, Jr., of Birmingham, Ala., when he was just a little tyke. Today, Coach Phillips is in his early 40s and still loves the outdoors.
It’s a special occasion when a new hunter bags his or her first gobbler. After 61 years of turkey hunting, I still claim as my greatest trophy seeing the excitement and pure joy that infects people when they bag their first gobbler. Even though I’ve been hunting a long time, nothing excites me more than watching a gobbler come in and watching the hunter as the bird gets closer and closer until the hunter finally pulls the trigger and puts the turkey down. The Good Lord has blessed me by letting me be a part of many first-time turkey hunts for people, which brings me great joy every time.