Meridian Star

Outdoors

February 21, 2014

Otha Barham's latest book

MERIDIAN —     “I am a turkey hunter consumed by the body of lore associated with hunting this great bird,” says Barham. “What stirs my passion are accounts of actual hunts. Every experienced hunter has a plethora of these stories, and it would be difficult to declare the account of a single hunt uninteresting. Even a 20 minute episode from an owl hoot to the shotgun blast is a shining star in a dark sky of exhaustive chases filled with failed trickery by the hunter that may last hours, days or sometimes years. Does the gobbler finally fall to the gun, or does it remain forever unattainable by a hunter and submit only to nature's plan of finality?”

    In Barham's book, “Spring Beckonings,” there are 37 blow by blow accounts of exceptional gobbler hunts. Selected stories also offer interesting aspects of the people involved, including some about local world champion turkey caller Jack Dudley.

    In the pages of “Spring Beckonings” turkey hunters will recognize themselves and the birds they have sought. Selected accounts also offer interesting aspects of the lives of the hunters involved, like the founder of the National Wild Turkey Foundation World Records Program, Dave Harbor and his son, Doug Harbor, for whom Barham guided turkey hunters in Colorado. Other readers will enhance their understanding of the powers that so seductively lure wild turkey cultists into the spring woods, hypnotized by the mating rituals of a game bird that for two months becomes one of the earth's wildest creatures.

    The author is described as a “turkey junkie” by Mississippian Jill Easton, past president and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association. In addition to her comments on “Spring Beckonings,” nationally known writer/hunters Tom Kelly, Jim Casada and Jim Spencer favorably endorsed the book. Kelly, the acknowledged guru of turkey hunting, offers in the book's foreword; the writer, “gives you a chance to wallow in the presence of the bird and its surroundings...Don't loan this book to anybody. You might not get it back.”

    Jim Casada commented on the book. “Otha Barham is a master at capturing the sport's essence.” And Jim Spencer notes, “This book is going into that small area of my bookshelf reserved for those books I absolutely must read every February and March to get my engines properly revved for the upcoming season.”

    “Spring Beckonings” contains 59 captioned photographs, 17 of which are the work of award winning photographer Kye Clearman (12363 Hand Road, Collinsville, Mississippi 39325.) Contact Clearman at his address or telephone (601) 479-9199 for wildlife photographs. See samples of his work on the Meridian Star Outdoors page and at south.shutterfly.com. For inscribed copies of Spring Beckonings, contact the author at obarham@comcast.net or (601) 482-4440. (contact information at top of this page each week.)

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