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Rosco Reams, 84, Expert Outdoorsman

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PostPosted: Sun Sep 21, 2008 11:03 am    Post subject: Rosco Reams, 84, Expert Outdoorsman Reply with quote

Roscoe Reams, 84, expert outdoorsman

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Roscoe Reams was a modern-day Daniel Boone. A world-class archer, he once shot a bear with a bow at 30 yards in the Smoky Mountains.

Mr. Reams wrestled alligators, set fishing records and was a master turkey caller who was in great demand as a hunting guide.

Roscoe Reams, surrounded by his collection of turkey calls, was a master at using them. He also was a famous archer.Even in his later years, Mr. Reams kept going strong, joining friends on hunting trips to Alaska and other parts of the U.S.

Mr. Reams, 84, of McDonough, died Tuesday when the old Ford Bronco he was driving ran off the road near Watkinsville. No other vehicles were involved in the crash, and Mr. Reams was alone in the Bronco. He died at St. Mary’s Hospital.

The cause of the accident isn’t known, said his wife, Elinor Reams. “No one saw it. He may have had a stroke or a heart attack and then run off the road,” she said.

The Bronco was Mr. Reams’ “hunting and fishing car,” Mrs. Reams said. He had just finished his weekly feeding of wildlife on a friend’s farm, she said.

“If it had to be, I’m glad he was doing what he loved best on his last day,” Mrs. Reams said.

The memorial service will be today at the Berea Christian Church in Hampton. Haisten Funeral Home of McDonough is in charge of arrangements.

Mr. Reams grew up roaming the woods and camping along the Chattahoochee River. He graduated from Atlanta Boys’ High School and attended Georgia State University. During the 1940s, he taught himself to hunt with a bow and began giving demonstrations.

He became so famous as an archer that he appeared on “The Tonight Show,” his wife said.

He once was featured in a full-page ad in Life magazine sipping a glass of whiskey after a hard day in the field. In real life, Mr. Reams never drank liquor or smoked cigarettes, not because he disapproved but just as a personal preference, Mrs. Reams said.

Mr. Reams was hired in 1958 by Delta Air Lines to lead safaris in a new venture for the Atlanta-based airline. That didn’t work out, however, and Mr. Reams asked to stay and be trained as a mechanic, his wife said. He worked for Delta until his retirement in 1986.

During his years at Delta and after he retired, Mr. Reams continued to pass along his hunting wisdom at gatherings like the Georgia Wildlife Federation’s Turkeyrama.

A 2000 story by Atlanta Journal-Constitution outdoors writer Kent Mitchell described Mr. Reams as a “Zen master,” dispensing nuggets such as “Patience kills turkeys,” and, “It takes at least three days to get from the life we lead back to the pace of nature.”

In addition to his wife, survivors are sisters Betti Triplett of Lake Oconee and Miriam Lay of Daytona Beach, Fla.; daughter Dianne Henneger of Lewisburg; and stepson Greg Hanson of Winder.
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