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Firmly committed to the idea that turkey hunting’s past serves as a looking glass into the sport’s future, Jim Casada has been an avid (some might say addicted) student of its lure and lore since that magic morning, decades ago, when he stood mesmerized in a moment of bittersweetness while admiring his first gobbler.

Firmly committed to the idea that turkey hunting’s past serves as a looking glass into the sport’s future, Jim Casada has been an avid (some might say addicted) student of its lure and lore since that magic morning, decades ago, when he stood mesmerized in a moment of bittersweetness while admiring his first gobbler. America’s greatest game bird immediately laid a firm hold on a corner of his sporting soul. Since that glad occasion, his has been an unending quest for information on turkey hunting’s rich and varied past.

In Remembering the Greats: Profiles of Turkey Hunting’s Old Masters, a 317-page hardbound book, Casada brings his training as an historian, his decades of studying the grand masters of the sport, his avid collecting of the literature and other mementoes of the sport, and his personal hunting experiences to bear in a detailed examination of the careers of 27 icons from turkey hunting’s past. Collectively they epitomize the essence of what old timers sometimes refer to as true “turkey men.” Coverage includes well-known individuals-Tom Turpin, Henry Edwards Davis, Neil Cost, Dave Harbour, Earl Mickel, M. L. Lynch, Ben Rodgers Lee, and Dick Kirby-along with names which might not be quite as familiar to today’s hunters such as Parker Whedon, Doug Camp, Larry Hearn, Leon Johenning, C. L. Jordan, and Simon Everitt. Others profiled include E. A. McIlhenny, Frank Hanenkrat, Henry Bridges, Roger Latham, Gene Nunnery, Tom Gaskins, Charlie Elliott, Dwain Bland, Wayne Bailey, Jack Dudley, Frank Piper, and Kenny Morgan. Through these richly detailed and lovingly crafted profiles, accompanied by ample photographic support and extensive source notes, the reader can take a delightful trip down darkening avenues into a past which is at once fascinating and enlightening.

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Each vignette focuses on the person’s contributions to the world of turkey hunting in capacities such as callmaking, authors of articles and books, avid hunters, seminar speakers, television personalities, biologists, conservationists, and more. Two common threads typify every man profiled-their consuming love of the wild turkey and the fact that they were fascinating characters.

Pre-publication reviews of the book have been glowing. Tom Kelly, the sport’s unofficial poet laureate, says “this is a major work which takes the sport of turkey hunting from its very beginnings and discusses the sport’s practitioners with wit and charm and feeling. Anyone who does not have this one in his library has a major hole in his education.”

Jim Spencer, one of the most widely published contemporary writers on the sport, comments: “Jim Casada has chronicled the stories of 27 of turkey hunting’s icons. Open this book to any chapter. If you’re not entertained, if you don’t pick up something you didn’t know, I’ll eat the guts of your next turkey. But Casada has taken this project a step further. In the thorough fashion I’ve come to expect from him over the third of a century we’ve been friends, competitors, hunting buddies, and occasional hot-tempered antagonists, Casada has provided those of us who are interested in learning much more about the greats a way to do so. As he readily admits in his dedication, this book doesn’t cover all of turkey hunting’s icons. But it’s a damn fine start, and I’m predicting that some day in the future, when Casada and yours truly and many others of us have gone on to the place where turkeys always gobble, some other writer will put together another book of the greats. And Jim Casada will be in it.”

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The book, which features a striking dust jacket, gold stamping on the front cover and spine, Smythe sewing, and top-quality paper, sells for $39.95 + $5 shipping and handling. Insurance, if desired, is $2 extra. Signed, inscribed copies can be ordered through www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com using PayPal, or by personal check or money order by contacting the author directly (1250 Yorkdale Drive, Rock Hill, SC 29730). There is also a sample chapter from the book which can be read on the website.

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Ethan Smith is a seasoned marine veteran, professional blogger, witty and edgy writer, and an avid hunter. He spent a great deal of his childhood years around the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in Arizona. Watching active hunters practise their craft initiated him into the world of hunting and rubrics of outdoor life. He also honed his writing skills by sharing his outdoor experiences with fellow schoolmates through their high school’s magazine. Further along the way, the US Marine Corps got wind of his excellent combination of skills and sought to put them into good use by employing him as a combat correspondent. He now shares his income from this prestigious job with his wife and one kid. Read more >>