With less than a month to go until opening day of turkey season in Florida, I must report that our truck is full. Sorry if you missed the chance to get your “Grand Slam” by not going with me to the Watermelon Pond Plantation in Archer, Florida. You will miss a fun trip.
The last person to jump on board was my longtime friend and National Wild Turkey Federation member Richard Mullins of Mayking. Richard called me and wanted in, so down south we will go. Richard already has his “Grand Slam,” but wants to expand on it. A couple more Osceolas is a good start.
Several hunters have traveled with me to Watermelon Pond and returned with their dreams having come true. I will be mostly guiding, but I plan on fishing mostly and maybe hammering down on a nice long beard.
I have hunted with Ms. Kate since 2004 and have always left with turkey meat in my cooler. Last year, Ms. Kate asked me a question that broke my heart to have to answer. But she had the right to know and I gave her my opinion, right or wrong, ad it is what I believe. She sat on her porch and asked, “Steve, why is it that hunters just don’t come back and hunt with me?” I felt a lump in my neck, but I had to answer. I said, in the kindest way, “Ms. Kate, they don’t need you anymore. You, at the best price in Florida and the best hunt anywhere, can’t get them back because they have their Slam, and to most hunters that is the top of the mountain. Ms. Kate, they don’t hunt just for the love of hunting, they hunt with a goal in mind, and when they come here and get their Slam it is game over.’
Ms. Kate looked at me with tears in her eyes and responded, “But they can fish here, they can hunt quail, all at no extra charge.” I said, “They can fish and hunt quail much closer to home than coming to Florida.”
I love Ms. Kate and her crew, and always have a blast with them. She is well into her years, and I hope she is around for many more years to come.
I will be guiding two of my friends from Illinois, one from Wisconsin, and Richard. That will leave very little time to sit around the Watermelon Pond Plantation to fish and enjoy the place.
I hope to see all of you soon. Although the Florida trip is now full, there is still space on my trip out west. Does anyone need a Rio or Merriam?