Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Saturday, March 24, 2018
10 for 10 WITH BILL HENRY
I was, as always, quite anxious about my Florida Osceola turkey hunt with my friend/guide Bill Henry last Wednesday. For several days the nasty weather here in Flagler Beach and our hunting area in New Smyrna Beach was continuous pouring rain, thunder and lightning and high winds. But on this past Wednesday – there was no rain and very little wind which is what we needed to get the turkeys eager to move again.
At 5:15 a.m. I was at Bill’s house and off we went in his truck. “We are going to a different spot I have found where I have seen a lot of turkey and some very nice toms.” That’s all I needed to hear to get my adrenaline going. It was still dark when we made our way through some heavy cover to the edge of a field. Here Bill had put up a blind about 10 yards off of the field. To the right was some heavy brush and trees. Bill said he believed the turkeys were roosting to our right somewhere down the wood line.
He was right, because on his second and third owl hoot he got a gobbling response. They were away off but continued to response to his calls. When the sun began to peek through the trees Bill changed to a box call and then the fun began. They were answering, and on the move – GETTING CLOSER. Now despite all the years I have been doing this when a gobbling tom’s calls gets closer and closer; especially when you cannot see it yet, I get very excited. And, I was.
I was ready and all 3 toms came into view just where Bill said they would. I did not have to wait long for a clear shot, put the red dot on him and squeezed the trigger. He went right down. We watched the other two toms walk around for a few minutes and then ran off across the field. It was only 7:15 a.m; and I was done. This was my 10 th turkey with Bill in 10 years. Thanks Bill – see you in March in 2019. If you are thinking about getting you National Wild Turkey Federation you need an Florida Osceola.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
WEST SHORE OUTFITTERS HOG HUNT
Well the Florida hog hunt at the West Shore Outfitters located in Orlando this past Thursday was a 100 percent success. ALL of the 7 of us that hunted - brought home the bacon. Actually 9 hogs were taken and there were some big hogs taken – the biggest by 12-year-old Cooper Nieson. He took a 165 hog with one shot from a .308 caliber. His sister also took a big 135 pounder.
Prior to the hunt we were all briefed on hunter safety and firearms inspections which include one bow hunter’s bow. And lastly an explanation of the hog’s habits, shot and arrow placement, etc.
My new friend Brian Bodine, owner of the Razorback Guides Service in Virginia was visiting his dad Ray, who also was staying in the same condos as my wife and I in Flagler Beach told Brian about the hunt and he wanted to join me. Brian was the one bowhunter on this hunt.
The afternoon of the hunt was a very comfortable 70 degrees when climbed up into my bling which just happened to be the same blind I shot my hog from last year. Now when I am sitting in a blind I have a habit of writing articles etc. but since I have begun writing a book on turkey hunt. There are a number of my fellow outdoor writers who have been telling me to do the turkey book; SOOOOOOO I did. Right now I have about 30,000 words written. However on this particular afternoon in the blind after settling in and checking with my scope the different places where the hogs could come from I had the gun leaning against the wall and started to write.
I don’t think I had more than 100 words written when I looked up and saw the bushes moving 70-80 yards from me. The cover here is very thick and chest high so you really do not know exactly where they will appear. I guess at the sport; and was wrong. Out came a small hog with I immediately had the scope on it and my safety off. Should I or shouldn’t I shoot. While still in the scope another small one came out. I decided to wait and hoped I had made the right decision.
I DID! Just a minute or two out came what I wanted and I squeezed the trigger and he went right down. I climbed out of the blind, made sure the hog was dead and called to come get me. I looked at my watch – I had been in my blind a total of 32 MINUTES. The first thing I told them when they came to get me was – I want to reserve this blind for next year. It was my 8 th year hunting hogs with West Shore Outfitters and my 8 th hog. He weighed in at 135 pounds.
Last out of the woods was Brian who had hogs in sight most or the afternoon but out of bow range. He was patient and had to make a few decisions on “shoot or don’t shoot” due to size but he waited and got a nice hog at 30 yards and didn’t require tracking.