Toby Benoit

Offshore Adventure

I stepped way, far out of my comfort zone recently after accepting an invitation from an old friend and hunting companion, to join him in the Gulf of Mexico in pursuit of sharks.  Now folks, if you’ve read a handful of these columns, you’ve probably figured out that I’m a bit of a landlubber.  It’s true, I do enjoy a good fishing trip from time to time, but more often than not, it’s just sitting out on the bank of the Withlacoochee with a cane pole and a can of worms.  Shark fishing though….

Swatting Skeeters and Piling up Porkers

And here we are, stuck in the seasonal doldrums; turkey season long behind us, yet deer season seemingly still so far away.  It’s the time of year when it’s just plain hot and hunting activities drop to a minimum amidst so many other sporting options.  However, for us die-hards committed to maintaining full freezers and keeping our edge out in the field, there are still a few options available to us that help fill in the time between the seasons.

Croaker Cravings

I had the good fortune of visiting some good friends last weekend for an offshore fishing trip, bringing some big sharks alongside the boat for CPR; catch, photograph and release.  An epic weekend, to say the least, with great friends, great fishing, pretty girls and aged bourbon, all of it capped off with a world class sunburn.  But, one event of the weekend did leave me mildly dissatisfied….  You see, my party stopped at a local Venice eatery and I was very happy to see that they had frog’s legs on the menu, but they really let me down.

New Appreciation for Old Skills

I find it fascinating, the number of new hunters, who have been reaching out to myself and other old-timers I know, looking for advice on how to hunt.  These days fewer and fewer of these new hunters are entering the sport for the “thrill of the hunt” or to begin collecting trophies from the wild.  But rather, they’re seeking to place a wedge between themselves and their family’s hunger.  Already, store shelves are far less stocked than we’ve become accustomed to and the meat markets are rationing their supplies.  Should the forecasted meat shortages cont

Last Chance to Bag Your Bird

Sadly, all things must come to an end, or so I’ve so often heard stated.  But, this Sunday at sunset, ends this year’s Spring Gobbler Season; and what a season it has been!  My clients and I have enjoyed some remarkable success and witnessed some amazing sunrises and lots of beautiful wildlife.  Wild turkeys have been abundant in each part of the state I’ve travelled to, but none more so than right here in my home county.

New Opportunities for Hunters

One of the hardest things about being a hunter these days is finding and earning access to new lands.  Not everybody has the deep pockets and can purchase our own private preserves, nor even enter upon a leased parcel agreement as I’ve been noticing that lease fees are steadily getting higher and higher.  Not a thing wrong with public lands hunting, in my opinion…. despite the stigmas many may associate with them; I’ve enjoyed many successful seasons on public land over the last forty years.

Big Blade for a Big Boar

This past weekend I was honored with an invitation to carry a special young man to hunt his first hog on a beautiful ranch near Polk City, Fl.  Thirteen-year-old, Hunter Geer is new to the hunt although he did find success on his first whitetail this past November. But, when I extended the invitation to hunt hogs, he didn’t hesitate.  Naturally, I had checked with his parents ahead of time and was mighty tickled to have the chance to get the little man back in the woods.

Python Bowl 2020

Taking advantage of the hype surrounding Super Bowl LIV, with assistance of the Miami Super Bowl Host committee, Governor Ron Desantis has announced the 2020 Python Bowl!  The Python Bowl will be held throughout South Florida or more specifically our Everglades region on January 10th through the 19th.  It’s a python catching contest that is open to the public and orchestrated to help rid our state of the invasive Burmese pythons.  And, as many of you may already have figured out, I’ve got my team assembled and am signed up!

Quackers for the Kitchen

I’ll admit right up front that I’m not much of a duck hunter. It’s not that I don’t love those frosty mornings out on the marsh, watching the flocks winging in, I do.  I just can’t seem to connect when it comes time to fire the gun! I’ve gone duck hunting a handful of times and have managed to make an awful lot of noise with my old Winchester, but I have yet to so much as even cut a feather.