Ralph, RJ and I headed down to Florida, to Hoppy Kempfer’s at Osceola Outfitters for turkey season! This was going to be RJ’s first time turkey hunting. RJ was up first and he took his very first turkey, which happened to be an Osceola, the first morning out!! Ralph ended up taking his bird that afternoon, on the same day!! Go figure, Father & Son tagging out on the same day!! It was pretty neat!!
Well, since they were tagged out, it was finally my turn!! We woke up early, including my new cameraman, RJ! We got set up close to where Ralph had shot his bird the day before, because we saw about another 5 gobblers that afternoon! We sat out there, all of us in the palmettos and not one gobbler to be heard!! We continued to call and listen, but to no avail. We decided to go in for something to eat and on the way in we saw a couple hens, but not any gobblers.
We went back out again after lunch, and once again the gobblers didn’t want to come out and play!! It figures, my turn up to bat and nothing wants to show up!!
The next morning we woke up early again. I am not so sure RJ really liked the waking up at 4 a.m. every morning, but that was part of the deal! Hunt and film.... We drove with Hoppy to somewhere on the ranch and as soon as we got out of the truck, he did an owl hoot. Immediately we had turkeys gobbling back! RJ thought that was pretty neat!! Well, until we were starting to walk to where we were going to be set up, a raccoon started walking towards us. All you could see were the eyes that were shining in RJ’s headlamp! He said that was pretty creepy and was ready to head back to the truck!
We set up where we thought we needed to be, Hoppy did a couple more hoots and yelps and got a response every time! Then the owls all started to fly in closer to us, and they all started to hoot around us. Once again RJ thought this was kind of creepy, especially right after the owls stopped, the coyotes started in!! It gave me goose bumps and I’m sure RJ was a little nervous!! He did learn something that we all learn sooner or later.... Naps in the woods!!
The birds flew down into the orange grove, rather than in our direction. We could hear them gobbling further and further away as they walked!! We packed everything up and went to see if we could find some more to try to get up on. We ended up spotting some gobblers & hens out in the middle of a burn. Hoppy went and set up the full strut decoy and saw that they were already heading in our direction. I was set up about 5 yards in front of Ralph, RJ, and Hoppy. They were leaning up in a couple palm trees, I was sitting next to a palmetto bush.
We waited a few minutes and Hoppy thought they should have already been there, when I first spotted their heads. The 2 gobblers came in and started to destroy our decoy; they even kicked off his head!! Well one of them finally gave me a clear shot and I took it!! The bird went down!! We were all pretty excited!! I was so happy to be able to share it with RJ!! He was pretty excited too; he let me use his Benelli shotgun on my hunt!! RJ seems to think his bird was the biggest, Ralph seems to think his was, and well...... I know mine wasn’t!! (But it had some great spurs!!)
Thank you Osceola Outfitters, Hoppy, and the Kempfer Family for everything you do for us!! You are the best!! For more information on Osceola Turkey hunts go to; www.osceolaoutfitters.com.