This writer has been blessed over the past four decades of sharing news and views of the great outdoors with readers and listeners across not only Louisiana but on occasion, the nation. During these 40-plus years on the outdoors beat, my paths have crossed and I've become friends with some of the greats in the outdoors media field.
Jim Casada is one of the "heavy hitters" of the profession and I am proud and humbled to claim him as one of my dearest friends in the industry. I have the utmost respect for Jim for the huge body of work that fills several pages on his resume. This retired college history professor with a Ph. D. from Vanderbilt in British Imperial History, can be as down-to-earth as the Duck Dynasty gang (minus the beard), especially when engaged in writing about or participating in his passion, turkey hunting.
Several years ago, Jim responded to an invitation from Jerry Antley, owner of Cedar Hills Game Calls and me to give north Louisiana turkey hunting a try. He and I hunted together. Jim got a gobbler; I didn't, although the days we spent together tromping the Union Parish hills are as precious as ingots of gold in my memory bank.
In recent years, a spirited but friendly rivalry has developed between us as to which is the better marksman. During an annual conference of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA) in Greenville, MS a few years ago, our rivalry extended to a dove field as Jim, quite frankly, cleaned my plow with the doves. In a proper display of homage, I bowed before him and someone snapped a photo.
This past fall at the SEOPA conference in Johnson City, TN, another round of competition, sponsored by Mossberg, took place and as usual, my friend and I became locked in competition. I won that event handily and I hope like heck someone snapped a photo of Jim bowing in humility before me.
I say all this to set the stage for telling you about a book my friend has written. It's not his first book, by a long shot; in fact, he has more than a dozen to his credit. This one, though, is extra-special. In "Remembering the Greats: Profiles of Turkey Hunting's Old Masters", Casada has melded his mastery of history with his passion for turkey hunting into a book that should be in the library, or on the coffee table, of every serious turkey hunter.
I read this in a blurb promoting the book..."Firmly committed to the idea that turkey hunting's past serves as a looking glass in 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 bitter-sweetness 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 a pre-publication review, Jim Spencer, one of the most widely published contemporary writers on the sport commented, "Jim Casada has chronicled the stories of 27 of turkey hunting's icons....I'm predicting that some day in the future, when Casada and yours truly and many others of us have gone 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."
The book, featuring a striking dust jacket, gold stamping on the front cover and spine, is truly a work of art befitting the author. It sells for $39.95 plus $5 shipping and handling. Signed inscribed copies can be ordered through www.jimcasadaoutdoors.com using PayPal, personal check or money order, or by contacting the author directly (1250 Yorkdale Dr., Rock Hill, SC 29730.)
(As an after-thought, should you contact him, get him to tell you how I beat the stuffin's out of him in shotgun competition this fall. Be sure and take with a grain of salt, however, any negative comments he makes about yours truly.)
Glynn Harris Outdoors is proudly sponsored by DSK, Ltd. of Minden.