HAZARD — Logan Stidham, a 15-year-old from Hazard, recently competed in the adult Gobbling Division at the Grand National Calling Championship in Nashville, Tennessee. He took the second runner-up spot. He is the son of Bryan and Alisha Stidham.
He was one point away from taking second-place at this year’s championship.
On his narrow loss to second-place, Stidham said he would keep working hard and prepare the best he can for next year’s competition.
“I’m proud of my myself,” said Stidham.
This isn’t Stidham’s first success at a turkey calling competition.
At 11 years old, Stidham took part in his first turkey calling competition in 2013. He won first-place in the Kentucky State Championship in the 15 and under youth division.
“I was very nervous,” Stidham said about his first time competing.
Stidham was encouraged to attend turkey calling competitions after speaking with a friend about it during a hunting exposition. He took a shot at joining the competition and the rest fell into place.
He would then go on to find more success in the years to come.
Last year he placed fourth in the NWTF Grand National Calling Championship Adult Gobbing Division, first-place in the Kentucky State Turkey Calling Championship adult Gobbling Division and he placed first in the Kentucky State Turkey Calling Championship in the 15 and under Division.
Stidham said it felt good competing with adults from all across the world. Despite all of Stidham’s success, he remains humble.
He said he made several lifelong friends at the competitions.
Stidham is in the eight-grade at Willard Elementary. He is an avid outdoorsman. Stidham loves to hunt and fish with his dad.
Stidham’s biggest catch is a 6 lb. 2 oz. large mouth bass. The fish came from the Lake Okeechobee in Florida.
His favorite animal to hunt is the turkey. Stidham has also hunted deer, wild boar, squirrel, coyote, and bobcat. He hunts with both bows and guns during their respectful seasons. Though, Stidham said he preferred to hunt with a shotgun.
Stidham also plays on Willard’s basketball team. He is on Buckhorn High School’s archery team. Stidham said he loved being on the archery team at Buckhorn and participating in the National Archery in the Schools Programs.
When asked how his parents responded to his success in the turkey calling competition he said, “My parents are very proud. They keep encouraging me and pushing me to do my best.”
Stidham makes his own turkey calls for the competitions. He said he practices by trying his best to sound like a turkey.
“That’s all there really is to it. You stand on stage during a competition and try to sound like a turkey,” Stidham said.
In the meantime, Stidham said he would focus on pushing himself to be better. He hopes next year he will take the first-place spot.
TJ Caudill is a reporter with The Hazard Herald. He can be reached at 606-629-3245.