“Spring Turkey – Opening Day”

Lately the weather has really put a damper on 2010 fishing for us weekend warriors in SW Florida. The weather this past weekend however, looked stellar compared to what it has been. I received the invite from My buddy Ben to hunt opening day of Spring Turkey and there was no hesitation. Turkey hunting in the past few years, has become one of my favorite types of hunting. The plan was to meet with Eric about 4:30 Friday and drive to the hunting gounds outside of Immokolee where Ben was. We arrived just before six but had a 30-40 min ride into the woods which is the best part of arrival! This place has to rank in the top 10 areas to hunt in the state, I am too lucky to be able to do so. We were driving just as the sun was setting:

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Theres something about trying to hunt an animal with eye sight 10X better than yours – not to mention with a shotgun, which is up close and personal! Our Saturday Morning hunt was filled with a whole lota nothing…very little moving around! We ran the buggy around for a few hours scouting but that too yielded very little. We took some rest at camp to have our traditional camp breakfast/lunch. About 2:30pm we decided to pack it up and get an early start on our afternoon hunt. Eric and Ben were off to hunt one side of the property and I took the other truck to the opposite side. I figured the sun was still fairly high, I would drive around to do a little scouting. I made it through the first oak hammok to a clearing and there, about 300 yrds in front of me, stood about 30 turkeys, hens and gobblers!!!! I hid the truck in the oaks and grabbed the bare mininmum and off I went. I finally made it to where I thought they would be and nothing…not a bird in sight…But I did hear a gobble about 150yrds away. I setup in a palmetto head and let a few variant calls fly and then two Toms came sprinting out of the thick trees into the clearing. I made one little squeak and they came right to me!!!! I had my bird within 20min of hunting, not bad!!! Eric heard my shot and met me at camp for a quick photo and we both went back to the same area (same palmetto head) – just as last it took about 15min, a few calls, and we had hens and gobblers working their way to us. He choose his bird – and dropped it with his 20 gauge!! We were too excited that we were able to call in two birds within in an hour!! The next morning Ben hunted by himself but didnt get a bird in range – but, he ended the morning by getting a 225lb boar hog! Spending the weekend in the heart of S. Florida’s greatest hunting grounds with good friends 3 weeks before my wedding will never go unforgotten!! Enjoy the photos – Hopefully ill get to see the water with a fly rod in hand next weekend, as it looks like the warming trend may start to produce some heated flats!! Until then, enjoy the photos from the weekend!  Special thanks go out to Ben for inviting us to his property time and time again – He truly has an epic piece of property!  BTW – we saw too many deer to count….(I needed a 40omm this weekend to really capture the beauty of bucks in velvet!)

For any of you who hunt, here were the measurements. A pair of respectable birds taken this weekend:

Mine: Beard: 7.25″ Spurs 1.5″
Erics: Beard: 4.75 (see note above photo) Spurs 1 1/8″
Hog: ~225LB

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As you can see Eric’s bird looks as though he had highlights done…(this and the short beard is caused from Mites -something I have never seen until this weekend)

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Gotta love the orange moon!

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