April 8, 2009: I was up late last night, yet again, thinking through my mental list of things to do and things to pack. Looking at the growing mound of hunting gear, boots, bags, and guns that already sat in my den floor waiting to go out the door in the morning, I had that ever nagging feeling that I could have possibly forgotten something. Hmmm, what could I have possibly forgotten that either Richard or I had looked over? Don’t you hate when that happens? We decided that if it wasn’t packed it was probably something we could pick up along our travels. Excited to get out the door and on the road, about to bust like a child going to the circus or county fair, I did my once over, said goodbye to the cats, checked their water, food and litter box one more time.
We loaded the truck and started our trip to Homosassa, Florida to hunt with Billy Henderson of Deep South Outdoors Outfitters for Osceola turkey, our second leg and second species of our 2009 Quest for a Grand Slam (www.dsooutdoors.com). I spoke with Billy on the phone yesterday and he said they had seen a trophy Tom in one of his fields the previous day and his client had harvested a bird earlier that morning. This was great news!! It was 29 degrees outside when we left but quickly warmed up to 62 degrees by noon. The forecast for the rest of the week warned of rain on Friday, but we were prepared with raingear. I am probably one of the few hunters who actually like hunting in the rain so this was not going to be an issue with me; however I know that turkeys tend to bunch up in the wide open fields when it is extremely windy or raining so this may prove to be a challenging hunt.
As a native of Florida and with family still residing there, I cannot tell you the number of times that I have crossed the Alabama-Florida State line over the past 20+ years and snickered at the groups of people who had stopped to take a picture of that notorious “Welcome to Florida” sign. Needless to say I felt more than a little corney stopping to take a picture of that monumental sign. Richard absolutely refused, without hesitation mind you, in assisting me with the perfect shot. Embarrassed I was, as he kept hollering out to me over a 60-80 yard distance, “hurry-up, come on before more folks pull in, this is embarassing, quit stalling”, without regard to the number of tacky tourists, children in summer outfits and dogs on leashes that were already pilfering around waiting their moment of bliss with the notorious Florida welcome sign. But I got that shot for all my blog followers. Yep, I sure did!!
We arrived in Homosassa, Florida at 3:00 p.m. EST. Our first order of business was to stop at the local WalMart and purchase our license and turkey permits.; which surprisingly was quite painless and without error. I can tell you some real horror stories about getting linceses and tags at establishments that don’t deal directly with the rules and regulations of licensing on a daily basis. Then we headed to our lodging to unload all of our gear and bags. We drove back into town to pick up some groceries, drinks, and snacks for the week and settled in for the evening. Our guide will be on our door step at 5:15 a.m. for our first hunt. We will be headed to some private property that had several good Toms henned up 2 weeks ago and have not been disturbed since. I am excited about our first hunt and I am hitting the sack early tonight to make sure I am well rested. Stay tuned for tomorrow evening’s post of our first hunt.
© Nancy Jo Adams 2009