I’ve hunted many states over the years, but I am especially looking forward to this spring because the last week of March I will head to Florida to turkey hunt. I will be trying to harvest an Osceola gobbler, one of the 4 subspecies of the wild turkey needed for the Grand Slam of turkey hunting. The four subspecies for the Grand Slam are the Eastern, the Rio Grande, the Merriam and the Osceola. Now there is also the Royal Slam which includes these four and the Gould’s turkey (found in Mexico and now huntable populations in Arizona and New Mexico) and the World Slam which includes the five mentioned before and the Ocellated turkey found in the jungles of Central America.
I have harvested three of the four subspecies of the Grand Slam lots of times. I have harvested the Eastern in lots of states (especially here in Missouri), the Rio Grande in Kansas and Oklahoma about every year and the Merriam’s twice in New Mexico and once in South Dakota. Planning for this hunt is key. The Osceola is only found in southern Florida in a limited area and most people have to go through an outfitter or roll the dice and travel that far to hunt public ground that gets hunted pretty hard from what I understand.
I have been trying to work this hunt out for several years and it is all finally coming together this year. I have heard these birds can be as finicky as an old Eastern and don’t usually gobble as much as our birds here in Missouri. I am already getting all my turkey gear together (along with refills for my Therma-Cell, which I hear is a must) for the trip in just a few weeks. I am super excited to see how these Florida birds react to Ozark Ridge Calls and to finish one of the items on my bucket list: Harvest the Grand Slam. I will keep everyone updated on the hunt; just check in on Ozark Ridge Calls’ Facebook page.
ORC Pro Staffer-Kevin Hess