Hunting

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.

Talking The Talk

There are a lot of people out there who apparently think that whitetail deer are simply cute little mutes wandering about the forest.  Well, although they aren’t the loudest of critters, they’re far from mutes.  The fact is, they have a pretty fair range of vocalizations from social grunts, a “hey how are ya” type of call, to a shrill wheeze, sounding the alarm of danger.  But, one call that’s been mighty important for deer hunters to learn, is the bleat.

Pythons Pushing North, Part II

Last week I was telling you folks about the northern spread of the Burmese Python in Florida and how in recent weeks they’ve been popping up in some really, unexpected places.  Since my last column, two different presumably wild pythons, as they wore no microchip, were captured near Orlando and Miami; one a ball python and the other an Indian red-tail. Things are definitely a bit wilder out there in our wilds these days!

Making Plans and Making Friends

As the next deer season continues to creep up on us, most of us are beginning to get outside a bit more.  Scouting out the mature bucks for sure, placing trail cameras and looking for signs from last year’s rut. Quite a few of us are going over our gear, checking to make sure things are as it should be.  Others still are making their lists and checking them twice, readying for a bit of shopping to replenish last year’s supplies; deer pee, Thermocell cartridges, nitrile gloves and such.

String Stretching Time

Archery season is just around the corner and it’s time to get our gear ready.  Time to knock the dust off the old quiver, pull the targets out and begin flinging arrows.  For the bowhunters who don’t shoot year round (I can’t imagine) now is the time to begin stretching out the muscles to draw smoothly and comfortably and put your set up through its paces to ensure we’re every bit as ready for the big hunt as we can be.

First aid on the hunt

One of the most important pieces of gear for anybody who likes to leave the pavement is a solid first-aid kit.  Whether you are heading into the deep stuff for a multi-day hunt or simply hitting your local standsite while setting trail cams, a first-aid should always be in your pack.  Never assume the outfitter, your hunting buddy or someone else along the trail will have a medical kit, so always be ready to take care of yourself.

Grabbin’ some legs

Now folks, it’s that time of year when I begin growing a hunger for frog! I’m tellin’ you, fill up a platter of fried legs with a pot of hominy grits on the side with some cornbread and iced tea and you’ll have a Southern meal fit for a king!  But, how’s the best way to go about gathering up the main ingredient for a frog fry?  Well, that’s a bit of a subjective answer as some ways are certainly more efficient than others, but efficiency aside, my idea of the best way is the way which is most fun…. to jump in and grab ‘em old school, with your bare hands.

Guardian of the Glades, Part 2

by TOBY BENOIT

During our last trip to the Everglades, my best hunting buddy, Meghan Bailes and I joined The Wildman, Dusty Crum, his long-time girlfriend Natalee Mckinney and fellow member of the South Florida Water Management District’s, Python Eradication Team, Greg Morris, for a night’s hunt, searching for wild Burmese pythons.  I had the pleasure of interviewing them about the plight of the Everglades and it’s native wildlife.  

'Guardian of the Glades'

by TOBY BENOIT

June 14, 2019

Funny how life works out sometimes, isn’t it?  For instance, last Friday began as any other with a handful of household chores, later a few odd jobs around the farm.  But by midnight, I was standing in the middle of the Everglades with the star of Discovery channel’s newest hit show, Guardians of the Glades, the Wildman, Dusty Crum…. with a fourteen foot python over my shoulders and peeing down my back.