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Florida Osceola.

Started by Hayudog, April 25, 2018, 11:29:47 AM

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The month of April has been a blur. I've been in more airports and still a few to go.
But here's the adventure hunting with Jim, Ruttin and Struttin.
It started in 2017 when we were hunting Merriums in Idaho. We formulated a plan to hunt Osceola 's in Jim's home state of Florida. Figured it would take a few years to draw a tag, but every so often you get really lucky.... and I did.

I flew down from California a couple days early to scout the WMA. We went out as if we were hunting. In the dark waiting. Cool clear morning and the Barred owls are tearing it up. The stage is set for a gobble fest! ..... NOT a single gobble.!  So we check out a couple spots Jim knows usually have birds. All quiet. But, as the morning goes on we see a total of 5 gobblers atdifferent spots. And about the same number of hens. I now believe there's turkeys on this WMA. I mean really??? What kind nd of turkey doesn't gobble at sunrise on a cool morning????
So, plan is set for our first morning hunt. Now, this is a public hunt area, so something has to go not as planned, and usually that involves another hunter.  There was a guy parked in plain View of the spot we had planned to hunt. Now the good news is we only had to resort to plan B....  not the next 3.
We set up in an open area that we had seen birds and Jim had hunted before. Actually heard a bird gobble!!!! And he gobbled 2x on the ground. I had thought these birds had some sort of lock jaw.
Shoot time came and went.  No players. About 9am we peeked out of our hide of palmettos to see two strutters about 150 yards away. They were tied by some sort of invisable string to the two hens that wanted nothing to do with them. And they showed perserverance of typical guys, wouldn't leave their live dates. Eventually they disappeared into the sea of Saw Palmettos. We relocated to that spot to wait out a possible return. About 1130 a tom came into view about 2oo yards away. Fed to about 9o yards and the. Did a perfect 9o yard arc around the decoys.
That's about the end of day one.
Day two has us snuggled in that same spot. A good hide. And here comes day break to a concert of of quiet. Nada. Damn Osceolas.
But I've learned, they are just lock jaw turkeys. Sit there. They may come. And so one did.
At the same spot that I had seen a gobbler come and disappear, one was standing on the edge of the field. We hadn't called. Not a peep. He bowed up. Strutted for a bit. And started the fifteen minute I'm getting closer move. At minute twelve is where I pulled the trigger for the first time only to hear that defining sound of a "Benelli click". Omg. I flinched at the sound, but the turkey didn't. I then reached up to jiggle the bolt. I pushed. Rattled. Pushed and prayed. Less than a minute later the 20 made its point known. And he went down with just a few wing flaps. By the time I could run out he was still. The perfect cooperative 2 year old Gobbler. The type I look for.
Picture time. High fives with Jim. Ya gotta love when a turkey plan comes out like you think they should.

To say thanks to a great guy is hardly enough. We shared laughs, hunting stories, fire Department stories and life's events. Jim, thanks for everything you've done. And here's to the next years to come. Let's go kill some turkeys in other states. And Cookie is a catch. Congrats to you.

Time to get on another plane.   Doug


Thanks Doug!! It was a pleasure hanging out and hunting with you again. I'm definitely down with making it an annual event!
It was quite a late season Osceola hunt. I'm glad it all came together and we made it happen despite the obstacles, including the infamous Benelli "click"!!
In addition to the hunts, my wife and I also tremendously enjoyed showing you some parts of FLA that the tourists don't normally see. Congrats on your gobbler, you're now one step closer to your Grand Slam. Guess I'll have to take you to SC next to get you the last bird you need.
Good luck in Cali and Idaho brother!!  :firefighter:

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Good story.  Congrats on the Florida bird.  And props to Rut for sharing his public land honey holes. Heck of a nice guy haha.


Awesome guys!

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Cluck more, yelp less


Congrats again Doug and Jim.  :icon_thumright: