In normal times I would now be ready to head to Florida to open my spring turkey season. These are not normal times.
After I hunted on the Water Melon Pond Plantation for the past 18 straight years, its owner, Miss Kate, has sold the plantation to the State of Florida, which has closed the land to do a survey to make sure it is alright to hunt and fish there.
After the State of Florida bought the Brady Ranch and did its survey, it kept hunting closed there for 15 years, so I expect nothing less for Water Melon Pond. Miss Kate is getting on in life, and she did her best to make hunting or fishing there a real pleasure.
I have taken many of my friends to Water Melon Pond to get their turkey grand slam. All but one came away a winner, and that wasn’t because he didn’t see anything to shoot at, he just missed. My friend Richard Mullins of Mayking hunted there with me last year, and he came away with two big long beards, killing both within 10 minutes.
All that Florida needs to do is ask hunters like me if there is anything there to hunt. That would save a ton of money and probably give better answers. My friends and I have killed turkey, saw deer, quail, ‘gators, and wild boar at Water Melon Pond Plantation.
When my daughter, Nema Brewer, wanted to go wild boar hunting last year, that is where I took her. She had tagged out before midnight, was back to camp and had her hog cleaned. It was a monster. We were planning another trip there, but that is now just a dream.
So my season this year will start in Kansas in mid-April, where I again will hunt with my friend of 17 years, Bill Anderson, at his Little Creek Ranch. Bill is now 86, which makes me wonder how much longer his ranch will be available for me to hunt. Things change, sometimes not for the best.
Thank you, Jay and Miss Kate, for the memories at Water Melon Pond Plantation.