Many people don’t know that at one time Florida produced more cattle than Texas and any of the other western states. Today, Florida is still one of the top cattle-producing states in the nation. In Florida, you'll see numbers of improved pastures that seem to go on for miles. So knowing that I want my calls to travel a long way, I like to use high-frequency friction calls to get a gobbler’s attention.
Decoys will bring in gobblers, and I've found that the Osceola gobbler is very susceptible to come into turkey decoys, especially in those large fields where they can see a long way. I suggest you get the most-realistic decoys you can afford. My number-one decoy is a big, strutting gobbler, and I’ll have one or two hen decoys placed around him. The reason you want that oversized gobbler decoy is because he can be seen at long distances. The season opens south of State Road 70 in south Florida the first week of March, usually around March 4th. North of State Road 70 the season opens on March 18th. I like to use my big gobbler decoy in the early season. Then later in the season, I’ll just use hen decoys.
On the morning you're hunting Osceolas in the cattle pastures, plan to get to the field well before daylight. Build a blind out in the middle of the pasture where you’ve seen the turkeys the day before, or use a pop-up blind and brush it in. Many times there will be some natural cover close to where you saw the turkeys the day before; but if not, build your blind before daylight. This part of Osceola hunting is much like duck hunting in that you want to be on the spot where you’ve seen the turkeys the day before. The field turkeys usually hang out in the same place in a field where they’ve always stayed during the day. I’ll call about every 15 or 30 minutes; but if the turkeys are really vocal on the day I'm hunting, I’ll call more than that. If the turkeys aren’t calling very much, I just want to call enough to let the birds know where I am. The main lure that I use to bring the gobblers within gun range is my decoys.
Tomorrow: How to Hunt Swamp Gobblers