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Dave Reisner harvested a Wild Boar Hog on 3/19/10 and John O'Dell harvested an Osceola Turkey on 3/21/10

Well after a long and cold winter Dave and I were finally able to kick off the 2010 spring turkey season down in the Sunshine state with our good buddy Scott Crippen www.whitestackle.com. Scott had invited us down for the second year in a row to hunt at Lost Arrow Ranch near Fort Drum FL. This year however we only brought our PSE bows to chase hogs and Osceola longbeards. We always have a great time in Florida with Scott and to say that we were both pumped up for the hunt when stepped off the plane in Melbourne would be a huge understatement.

We headed out in the afternoon on the 19th to look for some wild hogs and things started out fast and furious. Literally within minutes Scott had spotted a nice big black boar hog. The hog had been hitting his protein feeder that he has for the whitetail deer on his ranch so he was definitely a target animal. In no time the stalk was on and it did not take long for us to position Dave within 35 yards of the big porker. So as I filmed right over Dave’s shoulder he wasted no time executing a perfect shot and we all knew that hog would not go far. So a short time later we recovered Dave’s pig which happened to be his biggest wild hog to date. It was a great stalk and a great way to kick off our Florida adventure.

The next morning was opening day of turkey season and it’s is amazing to me that after more than 25 years of chasing spring turkeys I still can’t sleep the night before the opener. I feel like a little kid at Christmas full of anxiety anticipating what the morning may bring. That said when the morning finally arrived Scott had put us in the perfect location and we were literally surrounded by gobbling turkeys. Unquestionably it was the single best gobbling morning I have ever had while hunting Osceolas. Well you know what they say about the best laid plans and after the 1st morning, try as we may we could not get one of those elusive Osceola longbeards on the ground with our PSE bows. We did some more scouting in the afternoon along with some fishing and we were ready for day 2.

Day 2 is hard for me to put in words. On this hunt I was trying to harvest an Osceola with my PSE as this would complete my archery slam for wild turkeys. I had also been in and out of the hospital due to some health issues in the weeks leading up to this trip so I was uncertain if I was going to be able to make it. So when this hunt unfolded it was truly one of those special moments in life that you will cherish forever and never forget. It was the single best turkey hunt I have ever had as we had a front row seat to turkeys hammering on the roost, flying down, gobblers fighting, strutters chasing off jakes, gobblers breading hens, and more strutting and gobbling than a person can take all within 50 to 80 yards of our blind. I seemed to be shaking uncontrollably as longbeard after longerbeard worked just outside of my predetermined effective range of my PSE Omen. FINALLY after what seemed like forever a big Osceola gobbler made the mistake of strutting to within 35 yards of our set up. I put the pin on his wattles and let her rip. Well the rage almost took his head clean off and he dropped right where he stood. I was hit with a flood of emotions and I was torn up from the floor up. This might as well have been a B&C whitetail buck. I had just finished my bow slam and experienced a truly incredible morning in the turkey woods.

Unfortunately that afternoon we were rained out as severe thunderstorms blew across the area. Then the next morning which was the last morning of our hunt we headed to the blind we had strategically placed based on our scouting only to find out that it was pretty much under water due to the torrential rains. We made a quick move to another ground blind that was on higher ground on one of Scott’s food plots. A short time later Dave had a close encounter of the unfortunate kind with four big Osceola longbeards at close range.

All in all we had an incredible trip. We had a complete blast! Dave harvested his biggest wild boar to date and I finished my archery slam with my PSE! A HUGE thank you goes out to Scott and I sure hope that he invites us back again next year!

My next hunt is during the VA youth season with my son Jacob for his first turkey hunt ever and I can’t wait.

Until then good hunting!

John