Seamark Ranch, a faith-based ranch that’s a children’s home, is located in Clay County close to Green Cove Springs, or about an hour from Jacksonville. Every year we have a charity hunt at the 26,000 acre Dee-Dot Ranch that I manage for the Seamark Ranch. It’s not far from the property I manage, and all the money that hunters pay to go on this hunt goes to help support the Seamark Ranch. The Dee-Dot Ranch is primarily timber lands with a number of food plots scattered throughout it. We took 14 hunters who paid $7,500.00 each to hunt turkeys. Obviously that’s more money than most people pay to harvest an Osceola turkey. However, since most of the money goes to this children’s home, we have a good group of hunters who want to support it and have a good chance of taking an Osceola gobbler each year.
The hunt is broken up into two, 2-day hunts. Of those 14 hunters, 12 hunters harvested turkeys, the 13th hunter missed a turkey, and the 14th hunter only hunted half of one day. We invited him to come back later and hunt with us for free. Mossy Oak provided the guides and all the camo for this hunt as they did for the Team Red, White and Blue (Team RWB) hunt. Bill Sugg, the president of Mossy Oak, always comes down for the hunt and helps us guide. Tack Robinson, who once worked for Mossy Oak, also guides. Mossy Oak has been sponsoring this hunt for 13 years.
On Saturday morning, I was to guide Randy Nader,who owned a pest control company here in Jacksonville and sold his company. He had been a supporter of this hunt, since it was started 13 years ago. Randy and I set up on a food plot surrounded by a pine plantation. On one side of the plantation was a hardwood swamp. The turkeys started gobbling really early, and the hens flew off the roost followed by the gobblers. We had put decoys out, and the gobbler came in and started strutting around the decoys. I would yelp to him a little bit, but he had his harem with him, so he didn’t really pay much attention to my yelping. Then the second gobbler flew down and landed about 100 yards from the decoy, and I got his attention with my calling. Once he saw the decoys, he started coming to us, and I quit calling. We were trying to film the hunt for the Mossy Oak Turkey THUGS TV show, so we let the gobbler get within 10 yards of the hunter. However, then the turkey started putting and walking off, Randy shot the bird at 30 yards. The first bird that flew down was an older, bigger gobbler, but Randy never could get a shot at him because the tom kept all his hens in close.