Chasing Spring: First Toms of 2011

Last weekend Chasing Spring embarked on its first turkey hunt of the 2011 season, and as you can see it was an overwhelming success. I flew down to Florida to hunt some wily Osceolas with the boys from Outdoor Life and CJ Davis from Nikon. Here's our crew from left to right: Stephen Mitchell, Eric Zinczenko, CJ Davis, Greg Gatto, me and Brian Lisankie.
On the job, just another day in the office. CJ Davis from Nikon and I hunted together to get some gobblers on camera. We did, and you can see the footage from his entire hunt here.
CJ Davis patiently scanning the area for any sign of an approaching gobbler during one of our many video camera set ups.
Mosquitos are at a premium so ThermaCell is very effective and a life saver in the Florida swamps.
Capturing the morning as it unfolds. This is my early-morning camera set up between the roost and the orange groves.
South Florida is a unique and special place, we were hunting very close to the Everglades.
It didn't take long for CJ to connect on this nice tom.
Limb hanger! Florida's true Osceola has the longest spurs of any of the sub species of wild turkeys.
When you can hang a gobbler on a limb with his spurs you know, that against all odds, you have succeeded in taking an old mature Osceola swamp Ghost.
Here's me, CJ Davis and Brian Lisankie with CJ's a long-spurred south Florida gobbler.
But we weren't done yet. Here's the ready room, a huge screened-in porch that worked well as our guys prepared for the morning hunt.
Stephen Mitchell puts the finishing touches on a natural blind for our evening hunt.
Long hours on camera require lots of water and a few snacks ...
Luckily we had more to eat than canned sausage. Greg Gatto of Outdoor Life is a great camp cook and is shown here with one of his many dinner creations.
Greg also took a nice bird.
OL Publisher Eric Zinczenko took his gobbler with stick and string.
Scopes for turkey hunting? Yep, this Nikon Turkey Pro did the job.
One of the best parts about hunting is talking it over and reliving the moment. It was a great hunt and everyone tagged out on a turkey. It was the perfect way to kick off Chasing Spring 2011.

To officially start my 2011 turkey season I headed down to Florida to chase big Osceola toms.