Toby Benoit

Finding Fawns?

I’m seeing a lot of does with their spotted fawns following closely behind them.  A few times while out in the field this time of year, I’ve come across bedded fawns, seemingly all alone with no doe in sight.  As you head out to find your adventure in the woods and fields around our county, you may even come across one yourself.  Right now is the peak time for fawns to be born, so I urge you NOT to touch them.  There is a better than average chance it’s right where it’s supposed to be. 

Finding The Swine

Since Ponce De Leon delivered the first swine to Florida, five hundred years ago in 1521, hogs have become an important source of both fun and food.  You really don’t need to wait for any particular season to come back around since hog hunting is allowed all year round on private land.  All you have to do is to gain permission from the landowner.  And, you can always find a place that offers hunts for a fee, but I wouldn’t overlook our public lands.

String Stretching Time

After my turkey season bout with Mister No-Shoulders, I’m healing quickly and part of my physical therapy has been suggested that I begin walking each day.  Well, I can’t argue with the Dr’s on that point, I need the exercise.  But rather than strut down the street, I think I’ll do all of my walking out on the archery range.  Only twenty-five rounds of thirty yard targets is nearly equivalent to an extra half of a mile and for a fat guy with a bum leg, that’s plenty to get me started.

Stick n String Sausage

Now that turkey season has ended and I’m laid up recovering from an encounter with Mister Shaky-tail, I’ve begun counting down until opening day of archery season in September.  That’s when I can take to the woods in an attempt to bring home some venison.  However, for anyone fortunate enough to have private land with a population of hogs, there’s no reason to wait on venison when fresh pork will do.  And you can be assured, I’ll be filling in the time until deer season with plenty of trips to the field for fresh sausage. 

Get Fit For Success

I have a confession to make.  It’s not going to be much of a surprise to any of you who know or have met me, but…. I’m fat.  Yeah, I know, I’m not surprised, but there’s more to it.  I’m also getting older and it’s definitely not in my favor.  This Spring’s turkey season wraps up on Sunday and it’s been mighty hard on this fat, old fella.

Henned Up Toms

Week three of Spring gobbler has finally arrived and the flocks are definitely changing their habits.  The early part of the season has a tremendous amount of activity among the flocks as the toms are forming their harems and the hens are picking their nesting sites.  These times, the toms are very eager to breed, but the hens aren’t having it.  That’s what makes them thunderchickens so vulnerable when they hear a hunter mimicking the calls of a loving and receptive hen.

Garth & Mutt on the hunt

I recently had the pleasure of escorting a pair of octogenarian turkey hunters to the woods and listening to their stories.  Between these two brothers, they shared experiences with me from over a combined 120 years of hunting these big, beautiful birds all over the country.  Anybody who knows me understands just how much I appreciate a good story and these two did not disappoint.  Mutt, 82, and his older brother Garth, 84, were true turkey hunting gentlemen and great sports. 

The Bachelors

This past Saturday, the opening day of Spring 2021, I found myself and a client seated on the edge of a small cypress strand.  We were there to hunt a big Osceola gobbler; my client and good friend Devin Selowese, has since named the bird, “Chuttles.”  The “Chuttles” name came from the raspy, warble way he would finish his gobbles.  Made it sound like he was saying, “Gobble-Gobble-Gobble, Chuttle, Chuttle”.