The sun was still a couple hours frin rising as my friend, Donnie Mullins, from Fort Wayne Ind., and myself pulled the old Chevy Silverado from the grounds of Watermelon Pond Plantation in Archer, Fla., where I had already admitted defeat on our Osceola turkey hunt.
Things were much better just a few days before as we hunted wild boar with God’s Country Outfitters in San Mateo, Fla., and both Donnie and myself had gotten two nice boars — me with a rifle and Donnie with a knife. While he was trying to take his boar with a knife, I was safely hanging onto a limb 20 feet above.
It was a beautiful spring morning, although cold for Florida, about 35 degrees, and the stars were showing off, as only nature can. We headed north to Wellborn, Fla., to finish our 2013 turkey hunt. Donnie had already gotten himself a nice Osceola, and it was his first “Slam.”
As we talked, laughed, and admired the beautiful stars, a sudden chill came over me as we pulled into Old Woods Plantation. There at the gate was a “For Sale” sign. My heart stopped.
When I started hunting there years ago, I was taken around the old plantation, which had been in the Miller family for five generations and was now operated by grandson Garrett Miller, although it was owned by his aunt and dad. The stately white mansion with 300 old oak trees draped with Spanish moss takes me back to a simpler time.
Garrett, always the gentleman, shook our hands and told us we would probably be the last hunters to hunt the 700-acres. His dad and aunt had decided they needed the money more than the plantation.
It had actually sold three days before we arrived, although the big company from Miami had not taken over yet.
Although I understand it is theirs and they could do what they want with it, another piece of history bites the dust in the name of the almighty dollar.
Garrett Miller, old friend, I wish you the best. Aunt and Dad, I hope the IRS takes it all for taxes.