GUEST BLOG: KRISTEN MONROE, THE VOICE OF REZIN (REASON)
Kristen Monroe of Outdoor News Publications spends every day of her life around always interesting outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen. But one person in particular that sticks out in her mind is Rezin Hudkins III of Cabin Fever Game Calls. Find out why in her following post.
Thoughts of the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention raced through my mind as I sat in the Nashville airport waiting for my plane. The name badge around my neck and camouflage backpack resting on my tired feet were dead giveaways to the stranger across the way that we had both just left the NWTF Convention. His camouflage hat opened up a natural door to conversation. The chat began very generic as it usually does with two strangers, but it quickly became personal.
It started with sharing names and reason for being at the convention. Rezin (pronounced- reason) Hudkins III, explained his turkey call business and his eyes filled up with tears. “I started my call business for my father, Rezin II, in 2010. He was getting cabin fever. His health was keeping him inside and he needed something to get his mind going again. We combined his turkey hunting passion with his past work experience. My father worked 43 years as a machinist in the dirt and filth to support our family,” said Rezin. They researched how to make a call, created a logo, built a website and named it Cabin Fever. His grandfather was a carpenter so they had the precise mix of talent to create the perfect hand turned call. “My father’s not doing well right now and it’s really hard losing one of your best hunting buddies,” Rezin said. My throat tightened up and blinked rapidly to try and hide my own tears. Rezin and his father have been trying to come to the NWTF show for the last two years but could not because of his father’s illness. He wanted to support his dad at the hospital back at home in West Virginia, but his father insisted on him going this year without him. How could I be getting choked up only after knowing someone for such a short period of time? Maybe it was our instant camouflage bond, or because the man reminded me a bit of my own father.
Without hesitation Rezin grabbed a call out of his bag and showed me a thing, or two. Neither of us gave a second thought about the others in the airport glaring at the sounds coming from the call. I am a novice turkey hunter, so I was a sponge soaking up as much info as I could about call making, and turkey calling techniques.
It was our first NWTF Convention; I inquired about his favorite part. “You’re asking me to put my thoughts into a thimble, but if I had to pick a few things it would be the Winchester Breakfast and the diversity of the show. The Winchester Breakfast honored the veterans and there were a lot of wet cheeks. Some people take our freedom for granted and if it wasn’t for our vets we wouldn’t be here today,” said Rezin. We both agreed the convention had a plethora of activities for kids and hunting enthusiasts male, or female.
I contacted one of Rezin’s good friends Terry McNair to find out more about Cabin Fever Game Calls. He confirmed it was much more than a call business. The business started as a vision to get his father motivated about life again and together they turned it into an innovative reality. They evoked a family talent that they never even knew existed. Rezin II and III worked together as a cohesive team to develop the finest call around. It’s not about the quantity that is produced rather the quality of the call, each one being tuned and custom made. Just like their style of turkey hunting. It’s not the amount of turkeys they will take in their lifetime- it is the quality of their hunt and spending time with Rezin II. If he was having a bad day they wouldn’t leave him behind to sit alone. Rezin III would go out of his way to find clever hunting aids so they could still enjoy the hunt with the rest of the guys. “Rezin is the most thoughtful and passionate people I know. Every father would be blessed to have a son like him, actions speak loader than words, “said McNair. Cabin Fever Game calls were created as a symbol of a son’s love for his father so his legacy will live on for years to come.