80.9 F
Spring Hill
Thursday, July 11, 2024

Happy New Year!

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My friends, another year has come to a close, and I’m just plum tickled to see what this next one has in store. 2022 has had its ups and downs, to be sure, but I’m mighty proud to report, at least for myself, it’s been more on the upside. Kinda hoping to keep that trend alive!
The year started out with a couple of end-of-season deer finding their way into my freezer, and then by February, I got to attend the 2nd Annual Brooksville Squirrel Hunt and had a ball, making some great memories with some wonderful kids. I can barely wait until the 3rd Annual Squirrel Hunt, as that event just keeps growing bigger and bigger! Right after, March came along with our turkey season, and you want to talk about some memories!

I guided forty-five days straight and called in more turkeys than I ever have, but one really sticks out. A young man from Kentucky and his father joined me one morning east of Brookville. I called in, and the young man shot the new official state record Osceola ever harvested by a youth hunter and is the fourth largest wild turkey ever killed in Florida by any hunter of any subspecies. I reckon it’ll take me some time to get over bragging on that day!

I sure did get to chase hogs and frogs and pythons over the summer, and I participated again in the State’s Python Challenge, a competition hosted by our fine Governor, Ron Desantis. Now, I didn’t win, having only caught one during the time frame set forth for the competition. However, my lovely assistant for the event was incredible, and her enthusiasm for the hunt helped to make some beautiful memories of our time in the Glades.
A few deer did join me for a ride home already this year, thanks to a new recurve bow I had picked up from Gold-diggers and Gunslingers in Inverness, but most fulfilling to my old heart has been the number of first-time deer hunters I’ve been able to guide to success. Including some while guiding hunts for our state Forestry Division’s Operation Outdoor Freedom! That three-day hunt last month was set up to bring our wounded and disabled warriors back into the woods for some healing time, excellent relaxation, and an opportunity to bring home some excellent, free-range, organic venison for their families.

Now, my friends, if any of you would like to spend a little time in the woods with me during 2023, I sure hope you’ll reach out to me. It’ll give me something to look forward to, and I promise I’ll do whatever it takes so that you a well can have a lot of fun while enjoying some success. As always, if you have any comments or questions or just want to share your success from the woods, give me a shout-out at [email protected]. God Bless, and Good Hunting!

Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit
Toby Benoit is a best selling novelist and professional outdoorsman with thirty-five years of experience guiding and outfitting for big game all across America. Toby is a renowned archer and turkey hunting expert who manufactures custom game calls and is a regular judge at NWTF sanctioned turkey calling events across the Southeast.
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