April 10, 2009: After dropping me off to hunt the ground blind, Billy and Richard headed one hour North for Richard’s afternoon hunt. Here is the story in Richard’s words:

“We arrived at a horse farm one hour outside of Homosassa around 2:15 p.m. We pulled off the side of the road. Billy and I got the gear and headed out across a pasture. As soon as we got to the other side we spotted a hen across another pasture. We stopped and glassed the field. Billy let out a yelp and instantly a Tom belted out a gobble. We were not able to go across the bottom without being seen so we had to back out and go around cutting the Tom off. Any sound that we made that Tom would belt out a gobble. Before we even got settled into our first hunting spot, he gobbled more than 20 times. In trying to get into position we almost bumped him out. We set up and started calling and we could tell he was going away from us along a fence line. We backed out of that spot and took off to try to get around in front of him again. As we were on the move, it seemed that nearly every breath that bird took, he let out a gobble. We got set up at our second hunting spot and as expected he worked his way back down to the first location that we set up on. Once we were set up, Billy started calling again and immediately he started answering and we could tell he was headed our way. Within a matter of minutes he crested the top of the hill. Billy was watching him through his binoculars and noticed the bird was so hot he was actually panting. The Tom kept working his way to us; strutting and showing all his glory until he got within about 15 yards from us. I put the bead on him and the showdown was over. ”

Richard harvested his Osceola species April 10, 2009 that weighed 19 pounds, had a 9 ½ inch beard and ½ spurs on his hunt with Billy Henderson of Deep South Outdoors Outfitter.

© Nancy Jo Adams 2009

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