Keith Kelly manages the Dee-Dot Ranch for the Davis family. Keith and one of our employees, Tack Robinson, got together on a Florida turkey hunt, and that’s how Mossy Oak learned about the Seamark Ranch - a unique type of children’s home that the Davis family helps to support. The kids at this ranch grow their own food and livestock, they have horses for equestrian therapy, and they like to hunt and fish. Mr. Davis makes the Dee-Dot Ranch available for the kids to come over and hunt and fish. Each year, Mr. Davis invites people from the Jacksonville, Florida, community who want to support the Seamark Ranch to come to his ranch, the Dee-Dot Ranch, and hunt for a fee to help support the Seamark Ranch. For the past 13 years, some of Mossy Oak’s employees have guided turkey hunters for this hunt to help raise money for the children’s home. This is one of my favorite hunts to guide for, because I get to see those kids grow up and become great young people. Currently, they’re trying to raise enough money to build two more homes to help take care of these children who need more stable environments. Keith Kelly has become one of our Turkey THUGS, and he's one of the hosts of our Turkey THUGS TV show. Each year, we try to go to this hunt and not only guide while we’re there, but also shoot a TV show.
Some of the pictures in this week’s upload were shot by Patrick Hayes, an outdoor photographer who enjoys working with us for the young people at Seamark Ranch. On that hunt, Buzz was like an Indian in the background. He stayed with us for 3 – 4 days and shot hundreds of beautiful photos for us to use for our social media and in uploads for our webpage.
I know that we all feel like that we get more out of guiding on these charity hunts than we give. We enjoy turkey hunting, helping people raise money for worthy causes, the friends we meet along the way and the fact that helping others is another major thread that runs through the fabric of Mossy Oak. Toxey also has guided, especially on the Catch a Dream hunts, and many of the other charity hunts in which Mossy Oak participates. We’ve also partnered with Ducks Unlimited and the National Wild Turkey Federation to help them raise money to help keep and put more birds in the woods and on the water all over the country for us all to enjoy. We support too the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF) and Safari Club International (SCI).
I think something that most people don’t know about the Mossy Oak family is that Toxey Haas loves turkey hunting as much, if not more, than anyone in his company. He likes to get off by himself, call up a gobbler and harvest that bird. Toxey knows what not harvesting a bird for a long time feels like and how disheartening that can be. He keeps tabs on the people in our company and his friends’ children who haven’t harvested a bird all year long. Toxey makes a point of taking those people hunting and calling up a turkey for them to take. Toxey makes sure he does all he can to help these people harvest turkeys.
Mr. Fox, Toxey’s dad, at 85-years old, still has gotten out in this spring of 2016 and has gone turkey hunting three times already. Toxey has been with him every time he's gone, because he loves his daddy. He loves the fact that this dad has taught him all he knows about turkey hunting, about starting and running Mossy Oak and Haas Outdoors, and has encouraged him to think about other people and help other people because it’s the right thing to do.