by Wayne Nichols
Early spring in SoFlo means one thing; March Madness! No, I’m not talking about college basketball, I’m talking about 4am mornings to 10pm nights every day here at Red Eye Safari for the next 7 weeks. As we roll into March, South Florida becomes the envy of the turkey world. South and Central Florida have the Crown Jewel of the U.S. Grand Slam, our famous Osceola turkeys. The Osceola can only be found in Florida, mainly from mid central to South. While there are some Osceola’s in North Florida, your odds of getting a hybrid or eastern are much higher. To get a true Osceola turkey you need to hunt from about the Orlando area all the way to down south. There are plenty of guides around to help get you an Osceola and your best odds for one are on private lands, by far. You’re gonna pay for it though. Landowners seem to raise the price on these birds about every year; it’s getting harder and harder to keep private lands under our belts to guide on. (FYI, IF YOU OWN PROPERTY AND ARE WILLING TO LET US GUIDE FOR TURKEY, ALLIGATOR, OR HOGS FOR A MONETARY COMPENSATION PLEASE CALL ME!) Florida’s lands are shrinking, and habitat for our animals along with it. Prices on guided Osceola hunts range from $1500-$3500 per bird. I’ve said it before, more money does not mean a better hunt and most don’t even guarantee you an opportunity to harvest a bird. We work with dozens of small and large landowners and have some of the best guides in Florida, and we always guarantee you an opportunity at harvesting an Osceola or NO PAY. Ask your outfitter/guide about success rates, how many hunts they conduct, references, etc., Look at their ratings as well, but use some common sense in doing so. There are plenty of great outfitters down here that anti-hunters or disgruntled hunters will give bad reviews, even other outfitters have people give bad reviews on the competition, call them up and ask about it. If you’d like to go hunting with us give us a call anytime at 863-990-7650, we’re always willing to chat with you and get you outdoors. Remember to take a kid hunting or fishing when you can, it can change their lives!