Waddell: 'Redneck is finally cool'
by Bradley Hartsell
Michael Waddell of the Outdoor Channel’s “Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector” visited the Coweta Club in Arbor Springs on Aug. 9 to speak at the monthly Newnan-Coweta Board of Realtors luncheon.
Waddell, who is naturally charismatic, a gifted storyteller and country as they come, managed to tell his story while speaking directly to the Board of Realtors by discussing the renewed interest in land.
Waddell said that “redneck is finally cool” and that being outdoors is more accepted than ever before thanks in part to shows like “Duck Dynasty.”
Waddell grew up in Manchester, GA, and, as a boy, became a world class turkey caller.
He’d go around the country competing in turkey-calling events, often winning them. He’d have to get his dad to drive him to events and they’d split the winnings, Waddell recalled.
His skill as a turkey caller landed him a job as a turkey caller guide for hunters, a small-paying gig but one that allowed him to do something he used to do for free while guiding icons like Dale Earnhardt and Jeff Foxworthy.
Through a series of connections, Bill Jordan, founder of Realtree and an outdoorsman, got Waddell working in television, once again for his skill as a turkey caller.
No doubt because of his own love for hunting and owing to his natural charisma, Waddell found himself with his own TV show.
Waddell flowed from funny anecdotes and observations to thoughtful takes on the outdoor life. He said of hunting: “It’s more than just a privilege, it’s a God-given right.”
The speech concluded with Waddell demonstrating some turkey calls, joking that if it were translated to English, he’d be saying some really nasty stuff.
Turkeys are very cocky, he says, and they are aggressive when they are pursuing a female. The Realtors got a kick out of this and the calls he performed were extraordinary.
Waddell, who has hunted all over the country, says of Coweta County: “The deer and turkey hunting in Coweta County is as good as anywhere in the country.”
“I’ve always hunted right across the the Coweta County line at Moreland,” he said of his favorite hunting spot in Coweta.
“The deer hunting here is unbelievable, but my favorite is probably turkey hunting.”