More than 200 wild turkeys were killed in Letcher County during the 2013 spring season. Without the National Wild Turkey Federation, the number would have been zero. What I wonder is how many of those hunters belong to the Little Shepherd Chapter of the national organization, our local group that supports many things such as being able to hunt turkeys.
I already know the answer: Not many. What a shame. When I was a young man growing up in Letcher County we were all in the same boat. We either floated together or sunk together. Now the norm seems to be, “What do I get out of it?” Gone are the days when we worked for the betterment of all concerned.
There are some exceptions. One is my best friend here in Estill County. His name is Rick Hardy and he lives beside me. He and his wife, Georgia, whom I call her Miss G, operate a small old-fashioned grocery. They are the type of salt of the earth people who have been in my life since my early days growing up in McRoberts. Rick and Miss G are hard working people you can count on every day, all day long. If I need help they are here. And it is right then, not later.
Rick hunted on my leased property during turkey season. Although he never killed anything he never complained one time. Miss G has fixed me some of the finest meals I’ve ever eaten and even brought them to my door. One was my favorite, catfish, and the other chicken and dumplings. They are here for me, and I hope to always be there for them. They remind me so much of the people of Letcher County, who have always given me an extra measure of love.
If you come through this little county, stop and say hello. You will think you are back home in Letcher County. Meanwhile, I would like to see more hunters join the Little Shepherd Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation so that the sport we love so much will be here for many years to come.