Outdoor Life photographer and my occasional turkey hunting bud John Hafner just checked in with the Strut Zone on his recent Grand Slam completion.
Here’s what Haf had to say:
“Just returned from a week-long hunt and photo frenzy in Georgia, Alabama and Florida. I spent a couple days photographing Michael Waddell in GA, another couple days shooting pics of Alabama longbeards, and then the highlight of the trip: an Osceola hunt with Ted Jaycox of Tall Tine Outfitters … and an opportunity to complete my turkey grand slam.”
So how was the hunting along the way?
“The Florida birds didn’t disappoint. We had birds all around us everyday. They were very vocal on the roost, and we had a few close encounters early on. But turkeys being turkeys, they gave us the slip … but would usually play ball again by mid-morning. The first two days offered several close calls, but I wasn’t able to seal the deal. Frustrated, exhausted and seriously wondering if I would tag a bird and wrap up my slam, I prayed for an Easter miracle … and got it. Around 7:00 p.m. on Easter Sunday, we intercepted a lone longbeard as he made his way across a big meadow. He was making a beeline for a stand of pines, no doubt on his way to roost. A little patience, a couple soft clucks and a load a 3″ #5s was all it took to drop the bird at 35 yards. Game over. Grand slam complete. I was one very excited, very grateful, very humbled turkey hunter. Thanks to Ted Jaycox, Realtree’s Dodd Clifton, and everyone else who helped make this hunt a dream come true for me.”
Check out more of John Hafner’s work at: johnhafnerphoto.com