Bull Creek Outfitters

The Florida Osceola is the most coveted and difficult to obtain of the North American sub-species of turkey. I have beenMonster Osceola Spurs with Bull Creek Outfitters hunting these birds since I was old enough to carry a gun and have come to the point in my own hunting career were sharing the hunt and harvest of one of these amazing birds with a fellow hunter provides me with just as rewarding an experience as taking one myself.

Guiding another person through the steps involved in the hunt, sharing the knowledge I have acquired over the years, most of it the hard way and achieving a successful outcome is something that I just plain enjoy doing. I have experienced some of my best days afield while hunting with and guiding  friends and family in the many hunting and fishing adventures we have enjoyed together.

Guiding for turkeys is not where I make the bulk of my living but owning my own business affords me a flexible schedule and allows be to be in the woods almost every day of the season. This year I will hunt in at least three different states for turkeys.

Up until the 2011 season I have reserved my rather limited time outside of my own hunting for guiding my close friends and family. The tremendous experiences I have enjoyed on these outings has led me to expand into offering some limited hunts with others that are looking for a personalized hunting experience. If you tag out early there is no telling what other adventure we might get into.

I would invite you to take some time to explore my site. All of the photographs and videos on this site were taken by myself and attest to the number of hours I spend in the field each year. The articles on the site are all based on my own knowledge, hunting experiences and observations.

 Personalized Service!

I prefer to provide the hunter with a one on one hunt that includes him or her in every aspect of the hunt. This includes scouting and roosting, kind of a mini turkey school if you will.

Here in Florida we are able to hunt turkeys in the afternoon but this is a far different hunt than hunting a bird from the roost in the morning. I do not generally hunt turkeys in the afternoon for several reasons. Mainly, an Osceola will not hardly gobble on the ground in the afternoon and you run the risk of diverting the bird from his intended roost location to a spot that will probably be less huntable. The most exciting part of turkey hunting is working a bird in the morning off the roost. This is where you are going to get to hear the most gobbling action.

If you are looking to fulfill your own quest for an Osceola Gobbler, give me a call at (386) 437-5903 or email me from the “Contact” page and we‘ll see what we can put together.

Of course each hunter has individual needs and goals for what he or she wishes to come away with from the hunt. Each individual has different levels of experience and capabilities including physical limitations. While I am fully prepared and prefer to provide you with a full days education chasing turkeys, if you only like to hunt until mid morning and relax the rest of the day, that’s completely up to you.

Additionally, you may wish to bring your spouse and maybe even the kids and spend the rest of the day at the beach while I’m out putting a bird to bed for the mornings hunt. The schedule can be as flexible as you desire.

 Photo by Larry Stephens

Taken at Bull Creek Ranch 2012

GUIDING RATES:

Here is what I can provide:

(3) day hunts for (1) bearded Turkey:

The Typical Hunt I provide is a (3) day hunt and involves hunting to approx. 11AM. Though you should be prepared to stay out all day. It is not uncommon for us to meet at 5:00 AM not get back to my office until 10;00PM.  All depends on what the birds are doing and also the weather.  The late afternoon I reserve for scouting for the next mornings hunt and roosting at dark. If you are new to turkey hunting, would like to expand your knowledge or just want to tag along, I would suggest you do so. However, it will make for a full day, I promise! Scouting does depend on which property we will be hunting, as some require more time to keep up with the turkey’s comings and goings. Depending on the situation, it is possible that an afternoon hunt may develop, you never know. Of course, we don’t go to the woods without a gun!

The rate for the Three Day Hunt is $1,495.00

 

Consider a “Jake hunt” for your son or daughter:

The turkey population on one of my hunting properties is such that an opportunity at a young tom is pretty much a sure bet. The turkey population on this small ranch is outstanding and abuts a very large, almost un-hunted tract of land that is some of the best turkey country around, bar none! This small tract is comprised of pasture and open hardwood hammock, has excellent access and is a relatively easy hunt.

The rate for a Youth  Jake hunt is $975.

(Note; if a mature gobbler is taken on this hunt is will be considered a Standard (3) day hunt….$1,495.00)

Hunters 16 yrs and older and born after May 31, 1975 are required to have completed a hunter safety course. Effective Aug. 1, 2006, anyone 16 years or older and born after May 31, 1975 can hunt under the supervision of a licensed hunter, 21 or older, without having to complete the state’s hunter safety certification. The newly established “Hunter Safety Mentoring Exemption” enables those persons to purchase a Florida hunting license and hunt during a one-year trial basis.

I would recommend visiting the visiting the FWC site for additional information at: http://myfwc.com/hunting/safety-education/mentoring/

 

Public Hunts:

If you are trying to hunt on a budget I can arrange a public land hunt. Most of Florida’s public land turkey hunting is through a limited entry drawing system in which you have to enter a drawing for a permit. There are some excellent WMA’s (wildlife management areas) that offer turkey hunts that rival most private land opportunities. I can provide the guidance to help you navigate the permit drawing system and recommend what areas to apply for. As I do not have to pay to access the land I can offer a reduced rate for this hunt though it will probably require more work and scouting.

The rate for a Public Land Hunt is $1,175.

 

Guiding You on Your Land or Lease :

As an alternative to coming to hunt with me, if you already have a place to hunt but are having trouble locating or harvesting turkeys, or whatever problem you may be having that you could use some help with, I can come to you and help you harvest a bird on your own land or lease. I would be glad to propose a reasonable fee for this but will vary depending on the distance, travel, accommodations, etc.. If you can use a service like this, send me and email or phone me with the details and we’ll see what we can work out.

 

“Non-Hunting Guests“ :

If you have a wife, girl friend or child you wish to experience the hunt with you we can discuss arrangements for this as well. This does add some difficulties to the hunt however. It is pretty difficult to get one person in fly down range of a roosted tom, let alone three. There will be a small additional fee for the guest of $50/day.

 

Local Attractions: Click  here for a list of attractions!

I am located apporx. 20 minutes north of Daytona Beach and 1 hour south of Jacksonville, in the City of  Bunnell. Depending on where you decide to stay and what your transportation situation is, you will most likely be no more than 10-15 minutes from the beach! Or….Stay right on the Beach!

Just North is the city of St. Augustine and Fort Matanzas, the oldest city in the country.

There are a number of smaller points of interest and things to do where you could hunt the morning and spend the afternoon taking in the sights. Some of these might include, Ocean fishing at the Flagler Beach Pier, The Board Walk at Daytona Beach and this has tons of mini attractions such as miniature golf, go-cart tracks, water parks, Daytona Beach International Speedway, excellent Golfing, just to name a few. You can Google the area and find additional activities easily.

Of course there are all the larger attraction Like Disney, Epcot, Silver Springs, St. Augustine Alligator Farm, Back country Air Boat Rides on the St. Johns River, etc. but you would need to allow some additional time if you want to include one of these in your trip. These attractions do not mesh well with Turkey hunting.

Just remember, in turkey hunting, the early bird gets the worm! If there is one thing I do not like, it’s being late for a turkey hunt so make sure your in bed early enough that you can get up the next morning!

What’s Included?

The hunt cost includes the hunt for (1) bearded turkey.  Transportation to and from the hunt area from my office in Bunnell. If we are hunting Putnam county we may arrange for you to stay over there and I will pick you up at the hotel each day. There are no trophy fees associated with the turkey hunt.    Shots beyond 45 yds are discouraged and at the discretion of the guide.

If you tag out early, depending on the circumstances and what fish or other critters are available, I may be able to arrange some other activities such as hog hunting or kayak fishing for redfish on the flats, etc..

The world famous Mosquito Lagoon is just over an hour away and is one of the top Redfish destination in the world.

Accommodations:  Lodging & Meals       Click  here for a list of Accommodations!

All food and meals are the responsibility of the hunter. I will help with lodging arrangements at a local area motel or hotel. There is a wide range of accommodations to choose from. If you choose to stay outside the Bunnell/Palm Coast/Flagler Beach area such as Daytona Beach, it will be the hunters responsibility to arrange transportation to the local area. Typically, we meet at my Office in Bunnell and take my vehicle to the hunt area from there.

 

Airport Pick-up:

Transportation to and from the Daytona Beach International Airport can be provided if necessary at a cost of $75.00 per trip.

 

License Requirements:

All Hunters will be required to obtain a Florida hunting license and turkey stamp. If you will be hunting on public land you will need a Management area stamp also.

License costs:

Florida Residents = $17.50

Non-residents = $46.50 for 10 days,     $151.50 for annual license

Turkey permit:

Florida Residents = $10.00,

Non-residents = $125.00

Management area permit: =$26.50  Res. & non-res.  (only required when hunting public land)

Season Dates:

Spring Turkey 2015

Central zone:

Youth Spring Turkey Hunt: Opens:   March 14, 2015, closes March 15, 2015    (This is a youth only, early hunt)

Spring Turkey Hunt:  “C ZONE” (Central) = Opens:   March 21, 2014,   closes April 26, 2014  (North of State Road 70 except Holmes County)

“A ZONE” (South) = Opens:   March 21, 2014,   closes April 26, 2014    (South of State Road 70)

See the 2014-2015 FWC Hunting Zones Map

(Gobblers or bearded turkeys only)

 

Hunting Location:

The hunt location will depend on the hunt type you select and permits drawn if a public land hunt is selected.

The public land varies greatly from tract to tract and has varying turkey population density.

For private land hunts I have multiple locations to pursue turkeys. Most of the videos on this site were filmed at a small ranch with pasture and woods with a bordering creek swamp that abuts a large un-hunted tract. This piece has a tremendous turkey population. Though the tract is small with limited movement, the very limited access provides the possibility of a real trophy gobbler. One of my other locations is a 6500 ac tract with greatly varying habitat from pine flat woods and creek swamps to high sand ridges with scrub. I would rate the turkey population here as very good. I personally harvested a triple bearded gobbler here that will be ranked #2 in the SCI book for the non-typ. category and hunted a long time friend that harvested a 5 bearded MONSTER on this tract in 2013.

New for the 2014 spring season, We have added a new 1,200 ac tract that is built for turkey hunting. The property has numerous areas of mature hardwoods, open pastures  with scattered live oaks and adjoining crop fields. Preliminary scouting has shown that the tract has an excellent turkey population.

Also, I have partnered to provide both TURKEY and HOG hunts on another 3,000 acre tract here in Flagler County.

New for 2015, We have partnered with a long time friend with an operation in the South zone to provide a multitude of different types of hunts and terrain along with a season that opens much earlier. Detail for these hunts will be available at a later date.

 

Reservations & Deposit:

Deposits:

To reserve a turkey hunt you must provide a deposit of $475. The balance of the hunt cost is due prior to your scheduled hunt.

Mailing  address:    Larry Stephens

                               1002 E. Moody Blvd.

                               Bunnell, FL. 32110

Cancellations:

Hunts canceled within 90 days of your scheduled hunt will result in forfeit of 100% of your deposit. All hunts canceled prior to 90 days of your scheduled hunt will have a $100 service fee deducted from your deposit.

Limitations and Hunting Pressure:

I really only have time to allow for personally guiding of a maximum of about (11) hunters per season, so the schedule is somewhat limited but also helps to keep the pressure down on the turkeys. Additional hunt can be arranged but will be guided by one of several guides that work with me.

Other Offerings:

“Turkey School”… The beginning of the spring turkey season is actually timed to start 3-4 weeks after the gobblers have started actively seeking hens for breeding. This is an excellent window of opportunity to learn how to scout, locate, roost and even do some mock hunting (minus the gun). I don’t really recommend calling up gobblers prior to the season as this serves to educate them. If done on a limited basis and with care so as not to scare any of the birds that are called up it’s probably not a big deal. It is however, one of the best times for a new hunter to learn all the ins and outs of turkey hunting without the added pressure of an actual hunt. Each year  I provide a handful of 2-3 day  “crash courses” where a hunter or pair of hunters can go into the field and follow me through the full range of everything that is involved in locating and hunting a wild turkey……scouting, locating, roosting, hunting, etc..  This will most likely involve some videoing in the mornings and prospecting for birds, tracking graded roads in the afternoons and wind up with roosting until after dark. If you want to learn about turkeys, this is some valuable time and you will learn more in three days with me than you could learn in 5 years hunting on your own. This makes for a full day so you need to be prepared. Typically there is not a tremendous amount of walking involved but the day starts well before daylight and don’t end until after dark.

This will also include a free access to my digital turkey hunting book when it becomes available, though there is no telling when it will be completed.

The rate for this is $125 per day  or $225 if accompanied by a friend

(with a max. of two persons per day)

Videoing of your hunt:

I have the ability to film your hunt and can provide you with a finished edited video or just the raw footage and you can have a professional edit it for you. I am by no means a professional videographer but I typically get some pretty good footage. This of course depends on the hunting situation and as this is “REAL HUNTING”, you just never know what is going to happen. Sometimes the situation prevents any video of the kill at all. There is no guarantee but I’ll get what I can for you!

If you would like me to edit the video for you there will be a charge of $125.00 .

What to Expect on Your Florida Osceola Hunt:

Weather:

You need to be prepared for it all. It can be cool in the mornings at times and occasionally even frost so bring a set of thermals. Typically though, your looking at a low in the 50′s and a high in the low 80′s. We don’t usually get a lot of rain at this time but bring a light breathable rain suite.

Terrain:

You never know where were going to end up but you could see it all, from high sand hill, to flooded swamps. Bring a light water proof boot and a set of rubber boots if you can. Typically, it will probably be a dry hunt however.

Bugs:

Florida has bugs! Mosquitoes, Gnats, Ticks, Chiggers, etc.  If it’s a wet year they can be bad, if it’s a dry one, you may hardly see a mosquito. Be prepared and I would suggest some repellent with permethrin to pre-treat your cloths.

A bug tamer suite is nice if you have one but not mandatory usually.

A Thermacell can be pretty handy to have at times also.

Success Rate:

This is “Real Hunting” and there are no guarantees you will harvest but you will have as good a chance as most anywhere else you could hunt. The success rate will also depend on where we are hunting and the population varies depending on which hunt you choose. Not getting a shot opportunity is a rarity. The 2013 season was 100% on shot opportunities. The 2014 season was 92% shot opportunity. Visit the “2014 Testimonials” for harvest photos and comments on the hunts.

Equipment:

The state of Florida allows a hunter in the spring to use a multitude of weapons on private land including, firearms, bow, crossbow, muzzleloader, pistol, etc. I would recommend the old standby, the shotgun for greater odds of harvest. A bow can be pretty tough going but if that is your passion I’ll do all that is possible to get a bird in front of you.

 

If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me by phone at (386) 437-5903 or email me using the “CONTACT” page.

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