Out of ideas, my frustrated guide decided to prospect for a roosted gobbler. At dark, we started on what later amounted to be a four mile walk. The whole time we looked, called, looked some more through binoculars, but no gobblers. These Osceolas have been gobbling very little. Just enough sound-off from the roost to let their lady friends know where they were, and a couple of courtesy gobbles when they hit the ground. After that, silence was the rule.
Tom Collins, Bang’s son, picked us up and brought us to another end of the property where he had witnessed a longbeard getting a beating from the jake posse. Sure enough, there they were.
Walking like loan sharks on the prowl for someone that owes them money, a gang of 10 jakes were patrolling the pasture. My guide did not even try to see if the longbeard was around, feeling the jakes would have run him off. Probably so…
My last evening, I tried one shot at reaching my goal by setting up near the roost once again. But, no luck. Nada!
Well, there it is in a nutshell. I had a great time. Bang and Tom Collins put together a great hunt. Unfortunately, the taking of my first Osceola longbeard was not to be… Maybe next year.
Doug's Note: I'd just like to thank Ruben for sharing the story about his hunt with us this week. I hate that he didn't connect, but like he said, "maybe next year." Also, thanks for the pictures Ruben. He shot these while on the hunt and shows that he is as good with a camera as he is with his words.