Annetta and Cally Finish Their Slam in FloridaMar 23, 2010

   Our first turkey hunt of the year was for Osceolas in Polk City, Florida with Wayne Shelby on the Frazier Family farm.  I turkey hunted with Wayne last year, and before I left I made sure to book several spots for this year.  I have turkey hunted all over the country, and with several outfitters, and Wayne is one of the best!  He spends about two weeks every year patterning the birds, and when season rolls around, he knows exactly where to go.


Cally and Wayne pattern the Benelli.



   This was not only my first turkey hunt of the year, but for Annetta and I, this was our first good chance to shoot an Osceola! I have killed every other species time and time again, but up until this year, I had never killed an Osceola.   Simply getting away from the winter weather of Missouri and going south was another reason why we were pumped to say the least.  
   The camp consisted of me, Annetta, Jesse, and my friend John Chalk and his son-in-law Ransom Foose. We also brought along Annetta’s mom Eudora, who felt the same way about getting out of the cold weather as I did. John and I have been friends for a  very long time,  and I love it when we get the chance to hunt together.  He brought along Ransom, who had never shot an Osceola either, and was equally as fired up as we were.
   Being the wonderful, giving husband that I am, I let Annetta carry the Benelli first.  She strapped the Super Black Eagle II with the pistol grip over her shoulder, and we took out the first morning with high hopes.  The hunt that followed was amazing!  Two big ol’ long beards came in to our decoy spread and put the beat down on our strutting jake. The beat him so bad that they took his head clean off, and then one of the birds picked the head up off the ground and carried it around like a dog with a bone!  It was one of the coolest things I have ever seen a turkey do!


Annetta and Wayne get set-up.



Annetta scores!

   The next day was my day to kill, and I did something that I don’t think I have ever done in my turkey hunting career.  I passed up on a perfectly good looking  gobbler.  It might have been a three year old, but it looked like a two year old, and I had already made the decision that I wanted an older bird.  Jesse was going crazy behind the camera because the turkey put on an awesome show for us, and I wasn’t shooting!  We ended up not getting a turkey that day, but the next morning, we set up in the same area, and I successfully completed my slam!


Cally surveys the area.





   Meanwhile, Ransom and John had both put the smack down on some big long beards!  Ransom already liked to turkey hunt, but I think the experience down in Florida made him a life long turkey hunting fanatic!  It was a pleasure to have him and John in camp, and we left there with plans to do it again next year.  





From Left: John Chalk, Cally, Annetta, Wayne Shelby, Ransome Foose, and  Jesse


Annetta with Jill Shelby



Cally and Annetta show off their trophies to Eudora.




   The only person left in camp with a tag to fill was Jesse, and it was obvious that he was itching to get a gun in his hand! It took two days, but on the last morning of our hunt, he put a Federal Heavyweight # 7 through the side of a big gobbler head! That made the camp 100% for turkeys, and we were ready to relax in Florida for a day.





Jesse takes a minute from filming to smash a bird.

   It was a great camp with Wayne. His wife Jill cooks some amazing food, and is a lot of fun to hang out with.  Annetta and I  are happy to call Wayne and Jill our good friends, and I found another place that I simply have to visit on a yearly basis!