Well, it was a long hot morning in Florida today, but I’m thrilled to report that at 11:06 am (Saturday, March 18) approximately 5 hours 1 minute after I heard my first gobble of the ’06 season, I put a nice Osceola on the ground. In fact, try nice to tune of 1-1/8 inch spurs and 18 lbs.

I’m down here hunting with a group of outdoor writers and TV folks as guest of Hunter’s Specialties, Winchester ammo (and guns) as well as Cabela’s. And everything sitting on all cylinders.

While the birds threw a slight curve on the guides today by changing their patterns as if they knew it was opening day, gobbling was light to moderate. Three jakes pitched into our set up and kept us company for anhalf hour just after flydown, three set ups later another strolled to within 7 yards behind us, spitting and drumming, then gave us the slip. Just as we were about the leave, we spotted another longbeard racing toward us from a different direction.

With 2 cameras rolling (it was like the turkey paparazzi around me, talk about pressure!) a big tom rolled around the corner 40 yards out, turned and began walking parallel to me. It then raised its head and got leveled by a #5 Winchester Xtended Range turkey load. To my shock a second, and bigger, tom that I never saw stepped out, stood over the flopping bird and then slid back off.

At the end of the day, 5 out of 9 hunters had tagged out. Stay tuned, more updates and pics are to come.