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Sportsmen Edition

Outdoors in the Heartland

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September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine



Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

September 2013

Tree T Pee The BEST Frost Protection The ONLY Water Containment System Now the FARMER decides how many inches of rain he puts on each tree

SAVES Money, Water, Fuel and Fertilizer while the young trees are not producing income

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September 2013

Johnny Georges 863-990-2095 Made in the USA from recycled plastic

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Heartland InTheFieldMagazine


SEPT 2013

Departments 14






September Features 32

Professional Outfitters: Your Best Choice, By Jay Houston


NWTF Leadership Conference, By Denise Davis Helms


National Wild Turkey Federation, By Austin Heacock


Patrol, Protect, Preserve: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, By Brian Norris


The Timbers at Chama, By Mike Schoby


Aiming for Perfection: Bunker Arms, By Tina Yoder


Friends of NRA: Supporting the Legacy of Shooting Sports


Family Traditions, By Rhonda Glisson



Make Something Happen, an excerpt from “With Dad On A Deer Stand,” By Steve Chapman


Family Traditions, By Ron Lambert


Wild Game Recipes


National Roping Champions, Photos and Article By Kathy Gregg


The Road to the FCA Finals, Photos and Article By Kathy Gregg


Introducing the FCA Ranch Rodeo Finals Teams

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine





FFA Journal By Wally Martin SW Florida Gulf Coast Fishing Report By Capt. Chris O’Neill Heartland’s Fishing Report By Capt. Mark King Travel Feature: Flyfishing, Golf & River Rafting in Northern Michigan By The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl September Hunting Spotlight: Hunter O’Donnel & Marissa Burchard Woman In Ag: Denise Davis Helms By Robbi Sumner Farmer & Rancher: Chris Mellow By Robbi Sumner Florida Cattlewomen’s Recipe Shredded Beef & Blue Cheese Quesadillas

Health Corner: Feeling Good in the Heartland By Dr. D. Keatley Waldron, D.C.


Ag Calendar


Did you know that a single honey bee colony has 40,000 to 60,000 bees? Learn more next month when we feature Florida’s honey industry.

September 2013

September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine


Publisher Rhonda Glisson Karen Berry Executive Editor Morgan Taylor Norris Business Manager Nadine Glisson Lizette Sarria Art Directors Carrie Evans Olivia Fryer Staff Writers Cindy Cutright Ron Lambert Brian Norris Justin Smith Robbi Sumner Contributing Writers Capt. Mark King, Spc. Levi Lambert Dr. David M. Kohl Rusty Hartline Nell McAuley Brady Vogt Matt Warren Lindsey Wiggins Kathy Gregg Dr. D. Keatley Waldron, D.C. Casey Wohl Capt. Chris O’Neill Tina Yoder Melissa Nichols Jay Houston Denise Davis Helms Austin Heacock Social Media Director Brian Norris Photography Sharon Glisson Kathy Gregg Russell Hancock Nell McAuley Brian Norris Lauren Taylor Holly Taylor Regina Blackman Chelsea Seignious


Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Editor’s Note In the Heartland, we tell time and plan dates around seasons. No, not like spring, summer, fall; more like duck season, snook season, archery season and we can’t forget football season (I had to plan my wedding on a bye weekend!).

Some of the biggest opening days are just around the corner and I know alarms will soon be set well before the sun rises to harvest that trophy catch or get that turkey you’ve been watching strut! We at Heartland Magazine understand your excitement and are looking forward to bringing you our Sportsmen Edition. We take you outdoors in the Heartland and are sharing fishing reports from experienced guides on both Lake Okeechobee and the Gulf Coast out of Boca Grande, stories of hunters in the Heartland, a feature on a gunsmith and some tips from professional hunter Jay Houston. A few of our Heartland team even shared their sportsmen stories; read “Family Tradition” by publisher Rhonda Glisson on page 58. Maybe you aren’t ready for season just yet and need to stock up on gear? Check out our advertisers as they bring you everything you need from “the kill to the grill” as one touts. Personally, I enjoy the sport of fishing. There is just something about setting the hook, reeling ‘em in and holding up that trophy catch. I can’t wait to go out and catch a snook on September 1st when the season opens back up after being closed for a few years. I am so blessed to be able to live only a quick drive out to the shores of Boca Grande. Recently, we decided to take the boat out one afternoon and do a little fishing in Charlotte Harbor. I just planned on enjoying the sunset, until there was a bite on the line, and I couldn’t just sit back. I ended up with my first inshore slam…all caught within about 5 minutes! Trout, Redfish, then a Snook. They weren’t the biggest catches of my life, but a lot of fun and just fueled the fire for our next adventure.

As we enjoy God’s creation we call home, there is an agency that is tasked with managing Florida’s resources on our behalf. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is more than just the officers you may see while out fishing or hunting. The six different divisions of the FWC work together to patrol, protect and preserve. To learn more about this state agency, read the story on page 46. We love to hear from our readers and if you have a story idea or event you think we should be covering, please let us know! E-mail me at or give me a call, 863-381-8014. Enjoy the outdoors and we’ll see y’all In the Field,

Heartland in the Field Magazine is published monthly and is available through local businesses, restaurants and other local venues within Hardee, Highlands, DeSoto, Charlotte, Glades, Hendry, Okeechobee, Lee, Manatee and St. Lucie Counties. Letters, comments and questions can be sent to Heartland In the Field Magazine, P.O. Box 3183 Plant City, FL. 33563 or you are welcome to e-mail them to or call 813-708-3661. Advertisers warrant & represent the description of their products advertised are true in all respects. Heartland In the Field Magazine assumes no responsibility for claims made by their advertisers. All views expressed in all articles are those of the authors and not necessarily those of G Five Publications, Inc. Any use or duplication of material used in Heartland In the Field Magazine is prohibited without written consent from Berry Publications and G Five. All contents Copyright 2013. No part of this work may be copied, transmitted, reproduced or reprinted without the express written consent of the publisher. Annual subscriptions to receive Heartland A Way of Life at your home or business is $25 annually. For advertising, subscriptions or editorial questions please call 813-708-3661 or email Heartland® A Way Of Life In The Field publication has been in print since 2008.

September 2013

Letter to Editor Coca-Cola, Cutrale and Peace River Citrus Products are to be appreciated and thanked for their interest and foresight in seeing the need of growth to help the viability our Florida juice processing facilities. Their gesture, of course, requires planning, money and a lot of risk to accomplish the goal of growth. Anyone who can assist in this effort should also be applauded. There is another effort that also needs everyone’s help. All growers, along with the entire Florida industry that are interested in stimulating the prolonged growth of Florida citrus, should be aware of the need to have two IRS rules changed. 1)


IRS Code Section 263A To allow the cost of planting young trees in a new grove to be expensed, rather than requiring them to be capitalized and depreciated.

The 1986 US tax legislation restricted the ability for passive investors to be able to deduct their losses from their investment.

It is recommended that this be changed to allow passive agricultural investors, which are those that do not work in the day-to-day workings of an agricultural business, to deduct losses as well as receive income from passive agricultural investments. This will allow growth from all sections of the economy including but not limited to Florida growers who have the will to accept the risk and financial means for planting and caretaking, as well as their friends,

September 2013

relatives, and/or outside investors who have cash from other investments but understand the risk of citrus.

Our industry was built by diverse investors like the barbers, schoolteachers, bankers, retailers, and farmers from within our area and even outside our area. We now have the opportunity to find even more diverse investors in areas that are well outside our realm of citrus. Looking ahead with growth of our citrus industry crops from increased acreage owned by more people will allow additional political strength, as well as additional sources to pay taxes and to help pay for research. A growing market of Florida citrus products with increased consumption, increased in efficiency and numbers of processing plants, packing houses and more new jobs will cause a boom in Florida and the US economy. Being the top economic force in southeast is also an achievable objective that can be reached.

This is indeed a big job. However, with five grower organizations along with processing and fresh fruit packing organizations as well as prominent Florida citrus industry leaders all speaking with one message, “that these IRS changes are needed to save our industry from being average!�, is a most attainable goal. Marvin Kahn Highlands County President, Florida Citrus Growers Associates

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine


SEPT 2013

Index of Advertisers 18 19 23 69 84 82 75 80 21 86 3 82 79 30 62 28 17 67 79 27 31 72 85 31

A&K Development Agro Culture Alan Jay Arcadia Stockyard Banker’s South Benchrest Shooters Supply Big T Tire Cattlemen’s Livestock Market Center State Bank CF Industries Creel Tractor CrossTies Farm & Garden Dakin Dairy Desoto Ag Fest Desoto Machine Shop Desoto Memorial Hospital Duke Citrus Dunkin Donuts Edward Jones Everglades Farm Equipment Farm Credit FCA Heifer Sale FCA Ranch Rodeo Finals & Cowboy Heritage Festival Fields Equipment

53 15 18 29 39 53 35 65 39 17 9 13 45 62 87 11 82 21 44 44 19 82 14 65 41

Fields Equipment Florida Dept of Ag Florida Fence Post Florida Forest Service Glade & Grove Supply Glarner Farms Show Pigs Glisson’s Animal Supply Griffin’s Carpet Mart GunSmoke Helena Chemical Hicks Oil Highlands County Farm Bureau Howard Fertilizer Hunt Connections Kelly Tractor KeyPlex Labelle Feed Laye’s Tire Service Lee and Associates Marmer Construction Matt Gose Landscaping Michael G. Kirsch Mosaic Newton Crouch OK Gun Corral

2 79 73 57 34 4 41 83 53 82 26 82 28 16 5 82 57 67 45 88 23 63 82 7

Pathway Agriculture Peace River Citrus Petteway Citrus Quality Liquid Feed Quail Creek Plantation Red Eye Safari River Pasture Metal Art Sebring Thunder Car Show Seedway Spring Lake Hardware Spurlow’s Outdoor Outfitters Superior Muffler Taylor Oil Company The Andersons Tree T Pee Triangle Hardware Trinkle Redman Coton Tutto Fresco Italian Grill Walpole Feed & Supply Watering Hole Restaurant Wauchula State Bank Wicks, Brown & Williams CPA Winfield Solutions Yetti Outfitters

Sales Team Highlands

Morgan Norris


Morgan Norris

Hardee & Desoto


Robbi Sumner

Morgan Norris

Ron Brown

10 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Lee and Hendry

Cindy Cutright

Okeechobee, Glades & St. Lucie

Robbi Sumner

September 2013

Corporate, Polk & Hillsborough

Danny Crampton

Morgan Norris

Rhonda Glisson

September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 11



1278 SE US Highway 31 • Arcadia, FL 34266

1017 US Highway 17 N • Wauchula, FL. 33873

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 863.494.3636 Charlotte Line: 941.624.3981 • Fax: 863.494.4332

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 863. 773. 3117 Fax: 863. 773. 2369




President…………....Jim Selph Vice President……….Jeffrey Adams Sec./Treasurer...... Matt Harrison

DIRECTORS FOR 2012-2013 Jim Brewer John Burtscher Mike Carter Steve Fussell

Lindsay Harrington Richard E. Harvin Ann H. Ryals Mac Turner

Bryan K. Beswick Ken Harrison


President……David B. Royal Vice President…Greg L. Shackelford Sec./Treasurer……..Bo Rich

DIRECTORS FOR 2012-2013 Joseph B. Cherry Corey Lambert Daniel H. Smith

Steve A. Johnson Bill Hodge David B. Royal

Greg L. Shackelford Bo Rich Scott Henderson

Federation Secretary Mary Jo Spicer

Federation Secretary Rhonda Willis

Farm Bureau Insurance.Special Agents

Farm Bureau Insurance.Special Agents



6419 US Highway 27 S. • Sebring, FL 33876

5620 Tara Blvd, Ste 101 • Bradenton, FL 34203

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 863. 385. 5141 • Fax: 863. 385. 5356 Website:

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 941-746-6161 • Fax: 941-739-7846 Website:



Agency Manager: Cameron N. Jolly Agents: Dawn A. Hines, Clint Brown


President………Scott Kirouac Vice President…Doug Miller Secretary………..Carey Howerton Treasurer……..Frank Youngman

DIRECTORS FOR 2012-2013 Sam Bronson Steve Farr Charles Guerndt

Charles Lanfier Mike Milicevic Emma Reynolds

Trey Whitehurst Jeff Williams Marty Wohl

Agency Manager: N. Jay Bryan Agents: George L. Wadsworth, Jr.


President……Gary Reeder Vice President…Jim Parks Secretary……..Ben King Treasurer……..Robert Zeliff

DIRECTORS FOR 2012-2013 Carlos Blanco Gary Bradshaw Jerry Dakin Ralph Garrison

Ken Hawkins Alan Jones Vick Keen Bruce Shackelford

Jim Strickland Hugh Taylor Dan West

Federation Secretary Janet Menges

Federation Secretary Christie Hinson

Farm Bureau Insurance.Special Agents

Farm Bureau Insurance.Special Agents

Agency Manager: Chad D. McWaters Agents: Joseph W. Bullington

12 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Agency Manager: Branden Bunch Agents: Doug Dierdorf, Mike Shannon

September 2013


District 6 Update From the Desk of Andy Neuhofer

Thank You... To Highlands County Farm Bureu’s Heritage Sponsors

The County Recognition Program is a process in which county Farm Bureaus answer questions, writes narratives and provides support material in order to be recognized at the Florida Farm Bureau Federation’s Annual Meeting. The CRP is divided into five categories called Awards of Excellence. They are Legislative/Policy Implementation, Public Relations/Information, Organization/Management, Education/Ag Promotion and Leadership Development. County Farm Bureaus excelling in the Legislative/Policy arena have good relationships with policy makers on all levels of government. They are influencing those folks and implementing Farm Bureau policy on behalf of their membership. The counties doing well in Public Relations/Information are able to inform the public about the things they are doing with their local, state and national programs. Organization/Management includes membership recruitment and retention. County Farm Bureaus doing well in this area are also good managers of the business of running a Farm Bureau. They are good stewards of the members’ money. Education/Ag Promotion includes activities like the Ag Ventures that occur across the state, speaking to civic groups, hosting tours and visiting students in the schools. Leadership Development is the building of future leaders for the organization. A county Farm Bureau that receives all five awards and increases their membership will also receive the President’s Award. It is a difficult challenge to meet the criteria for everything each year, yet many county Farm Bureaus across the state do just that. Currently, county Farm Bureaus are filling out their documents, crossing their t’s and dotting their i’s to boast a little about the accomplishments they have achieved on behalf of their members across the state. The CRPs that have been submitted will be judged on September 11th. Subsequently, the county Farm Bureaus will know the areas in which they were successful and the categories in which they need to improve. Last year, every one of the sixty county Farm Bureaus in Florida submitted at least one application if not all five. In the fall or winter, the CRP books will be returned to the counties. If you are a member, I invite you to look at your county’s book and determine whether there is an area you can help your county Farm Bureau improve on behalf of Florida’s farmers and ranchers. Andy Neuhofer, Florida Farm Bureau District 6 352.318.2506

September 2013

Please support these businesses! Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 13


Hello Heartland! My name is Wally Martin and I am the newly elected 2013-2014 Florida FFA State Secretary. I am honored to have this opportunity to tell you a little bit about myself and share some things our state officer team has done so far this year. I am the son of Mac and Mary Pete Martin and have grown up in Arcadia as a fifth generation Arcadian and a sixth generation Florida Cattleman. I graduated with the class of 2013 from DeSoto County High School where I was a member of the DeSoto Senior FFA Chapter. Since our election at the 85th Florida FFA State Convention & Expo in Orlando in June, my team has been very busy training and putting our training to work. The week following state convention, we came together for BLAST OFF State Officer Training, in Gainesville, and the National Leadership Conference for State Officers, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. More recently, my team and I have had the opportunity to attend the Citrus Expo and the Annual Florida FFA Alumni Retreat.

At the Citrus Expo in Fort Myers, we had the opportunity to spend time with men and women who spend each and every day working in the

agriculture industry. We are extremely appreciative to SouthEast AgNet for our partnership and the opportunity to work with them. Following the expo, we had the opportunity to be with some of the greatest supporters of Florida FFA attending the Annual Florida FFA Alumni Retreat at the Leadership Training Center in Haines City. There, we expanded our understanding of the Florida FFA Alumni and our appreciation for all that the alumni do for FFA members in our great state.

One of the things that I am the most excited for is the Florida FFA Association’s partnership with the Florida Farm Bureau Federation entitled “Building Our Legacy.” At the 85th Florida FFA State Convention, Florida Farm Bureau President, John Hoblick, announced a bold partnership to build a new headquarters for the Florida FFA Association. Estimated at $1.5 million, construction on our new headquarters is scheduled to begin in the fall of 2013 and scheduled for completion in the spring of 2014. You can keep up with the “Building Our Legacy” project at Stay Blue & Golden! Wally Martin, Florida FFA State Secretary

We help feed our world and make the most of its resources.

That’s our promise. As we pursue our mission to help the world grow the food it needs by providing critical phosphate crop nutrients to farmers, Mosaic consistently advocates for sustainable practices that yield abundant crops and reduce the amount of land used. In addition, we provide agricultural tools that enable farmers to optimize nutrients and potentially reduce their carbon footprint. As we passionately support responsible farming throughout the world, we also remain dedicated to creating economic opportunities in the Florida communities where more than 3,000 of our employees work and live. Join in Mosaic’s promise at Corn fields nourished with Mosaic crop nutrients Midwestern farm, United States

14 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

September 2013

The “Fresh From Florida” brand is a symbol of quality and the logo is recognized around the globe. Behind the logo is our dedicated team of marketing professionals with a proven track record of increasing sales of Florida agricultural products. We achieve this by establishing strong retail and distribution partnerships and through consumer marketing on television, in print and online. We also provide export assistance, trade leads, signage, point-of-purchase materials and more. Join today for a $50 membership fee and put the “Fresh From Florida” logo behind your business. Visit or call us at (850) 617-7399.

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September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 15 8/5/13 10:24 AM

Manatee County

Master Gardener Plant Sale The Manatee County Master Gardeners will be conducting their Annual Plant Sale on Saturday, October 5, 2013. The sale will run from 8:00 AM until 1:00 PM or until we run out of plants. We will have people on hand to help you move your plant. All proceeds from this event go to the ongoing support of the Manatee County Master Gardener educational programs in the community and educational gardens.

A wide selection of plants including: natives, shrubs, trees, vines, ground covers, ornamental grasses, herbs and vegetables will be available on a first come first buy basis. Free native seedlings to the first fifty customers. The sale will be held at the Manatee County Master Gardeners’ Garden at the Manatee County Extension Service at 1303 17th St W in Palmetto. If you would like more information about the sale call 941-722-4524 and ask for the Master Gardener.

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September 2013

September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 17

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September 2013

Better Yields, Better Quality, Safer for the Environment Available through Jim Dorman of Charlie’s Plant Farm, Inc. (813) 601-2540

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September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 19 9/18/2012 10:54:40 AM

SW Florida Gulf Coast


By Captain Chris O’Neill

all fishing along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico and the inland bays of Charlotte Harbor and Lemon Bay offer many outstanding angling opportunities for any skill level angler. Our coastal migratory species like bonito, mackerel, bluefish and many others will begin to arrive along the beaches during September as they pursue the hordes of baitfish schools throughout the area. The inshore bite will be “off the hook” with plenty of outstanding action. Without question, this is my favorite time of the year to get a line wet.

Inland fishing is at its best with snook, redfish and trout. Getting out early and throwing topwater baits like Bomber Saltwater Grades Badonkadonk or Heddon’s new One Knocker Spook are excellent options. Locating schools of mullet working shallow grass flats with nearby mangrove shorelines or oyster bars is a great place to start your day when working topwater baits. Mullet are vegetarians and do a great job of stirring up tasty shrimp and crab for predator fish to eat, as they mull through the turtle and eel grass. They also provide excellent protection from pursuing dolphin by camouflaging themselves within the schools. Netting up a livewell full of lively pilchards and herring is another great option. Once the sun comes up, most of your quality redfish and snook are going to head towards docks and mangroves to feed and find sanctuary from the sun. Tossing a free-lined baitfish under the docks will entice a myriad of fish to strike and don’t be surprised if you land a dinner sized mangrove snapper or two along the way. Snook will open for harvest for the first time in several years on September 1st. Nearshore fishing is ground zero for worldclass angling. Running north and south 1-5 miles off of the beaches is a great way to find fish. Mother Nature’s fish finders (birds) will lead you to the action. Position your vessel ahead of the schools and be prepared with various plugs and soft plastics tied onto a typical light tackle set up. I use PENN’s new spinfisher combo consisting of a 7’ medium heavy rod with the matched waterproof 4500 reel, spooled up with 15 pound spiderwire

20 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

invisi-braid. Many of the species will have plenty of teeth, so using light wire or a heavier floro leader is a good idea.

Offshore fishing can prove outstanding during the fall months. Grouper are open for harvest and targeting published reefs or natural hard bottom is going to put fish in the box. Bring plenty of cut bait like squid, sardines and my favorite, mullet. Drifting a knocker-style rig along the hard swiss cheese bottom is hard to beat. Don’t forget that the use of non-offset circle hooks is required by law when fishing the Gulf of Mexico.

Booking a charter this time of year is a great opportunity to spend the day “catching”. My company offers inshore and offshore charters with a team of world-class guides to satisfy your private or corporate fishing needs. All of my guests receive complementary Tail Chaser t-shirts as well as the best service in the business.

Captain Chris O’Neill

is a full time fishing guide and host of The Reel Saltwater Outdoors radio show. Captain Chris is regularly seen on TV shows like Big Water Adventures, Florida Sportsman, Mark Sosin’s Saltwater Journal and others. As a retired U.S. Army hovercraft pilot, he has accrued over 25 years of saltwater experience and has targeted gamefish around the globe. His Reel Saltwater Outdoors Seminar Series has become the largest in the state and he speaks to thousands of anglers annually. His passion for fishing is contagious and you can always expect to have a great adventure when fishing onboard the Tail Chaser. To book a charter visit www.tailchasercharters. com or for more information. You can listen to his FISH ON FRIDAY radio show via www.wengradio. com or the WENG app from 4-6pm weekly. Capt. Chris operates out of the world-class Gasparilla Marina in Placida, FL, just minutes from Boca Grande Pass (the tarpon capital of the world) and Charlotte Harbor.

September 2013

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September 2013


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Captian Mark King

s we head out of August and get into September here on Lake Okeechobee, the fishing still remains pretty good. August and September can be the two tougher months to catch bass here, but with the water level up higher than normal we are still catching some really nice bass, especially early in the morning. The water level is going down and is less than sixteen feet above sea level now; dumping water to both coasts and down toward the Everglades has not been a crowd pleaser. The fresh water coming out of Okeechobee has been wreaking havoc on the saltwater estuaries, but this isn’t the first time this has ever happened and I am sure this won’t be the last time. I do understand the frustration of all this freshwater pouring into the saltwater estuaries but if we don’t get rid of some of this water in the lake, the dike that surrounds it could fail. Now off that subject and on to the fishing; the fishing in the morning for bass has been good on both live bait and artificial lures. And when I say morning, the earlier you can get out the better because by noon the fishing is real tough. The good news is that October is just around the corner and cooler weather and better bass fishing is just a few weeks away. I have been fishing back in the grass in a few different areas and it looks awesome. Even though we have been catching some bass back in the grass, these areas will be even better when the water starts to cool and the bass start really moving back into the grass. For now, the better bite has been on the outside grass line from Clewiston to the Belle Glade area depending on how hard and which way the wind is blowing. For artificial lures, I have been

Captain Mark King

throwing the Gambler Big EZ in the thicker grass areas and a swim jig with the all new Gambler Little EZ as a trailer; it is the perfect sized trailer on a swim jig and should also work great on an Alabama rig. Don’t be afraid to try different areas from the grass line to back in as far as you want, the bass will be going back in the grass real soon. A few good areas to try now are around Ritta Island, East Wall, and around Uncle Joe’s Cut. I haven’t caught many bass lately out on the reefs but I know that they are still there.

is a full time guide and tournament angler guiding out of the world famous Roland Martin’s Marina and Resort in Clewiston Florida and also in the Florida Keys out of Marathon area. Mark is an IGFA Certified Captain, active member of the Florida Guide Association and the Florida Outdoor Writers Association. Captain Mark is sponsored by Ranger Boats, Evinrude Outboards, Roland Martin’s Marine Center, Power-Pole, Minn Kota trolling motors, Charlie’s Worms, Okuma Fishing, AFTCO clothing, Smartshield Sun Protection Products, RMR Industries, Fuel Medic Ethanol Treatment, and Yeti coolers. Mark can be contacted to book a guide trip, seminars, personal appearances, test rides in his Evinrude powered Ranger or to fish a tournament with him at 863-677-0983 or andwww.

Now is the time to start planning a fishing trip to Lake Okeechobee for the 2013 Fall and 2014 season, we are starting to fill up the calendar and looking forward to an even better season than last year. Book a trip to Lake Okeechobee for some awesome fishing, you won’t be disappointed. I have some new rods I am fishing from 13Fishing ( They are one of the most sensitive lightweight rods I have fished and yes, they are tough enough to get bass out of the grass here on Okeechobee, more on them next report. Good luck, tight lines, and I hope to see everyone on the water soon.

Roland Martin Marine Center is a full service marina including boat, motor, and tackle sales and boat and motor service by one of the top service crews in South Florida. Are you looking for a new or used Ranger boat or maybe you just need a new outboard to put on a boat you already have well than a new Evinrude E-Tec would put you right back out on the water. They have the hottest tackle on the market in the story with names like Gambler, Reaction Innovation, Charlie’s Worms, Duckett rods, Lews Reels, and Live Target Kopper. They also have all your boating needs from oils to anchors and everything in between. With two full time mechanics and a fully stocked parts room getting your boat back out on the water will be no problem. They also have minnows, worms, crickets, sodas, beer, and ice at all times. If you are looking for a one stop marina than Roland Martin Marine Center is the place to go. They are conveniently located just before the ramp in Clewiston on world famous Lake Okeechobee. Stop in and see my wife Diane in the parts department and she just might give away a few of my fishing spots.

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September 2013

September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 23


Flyfishing, Golf & River Rafting in Northern Michigan

Author Casey Wohl, known as The Getaway Girl®, is a Travel Correspondent for several nationallysyndicated television shows, as well as a Travel Writer and author of the Girls Getaway Guide travel book series. For more information about Casey, visit

By The Getaway Girl® Casey Wohl


ichigan’s “Little Finger” and “Tip of the Mitt” region is a year round recreational wonderland, where world-class golf and winter sports have replaced the logging operations that brought settlers to the area.

I made my way to Gaylord, Michigan, home to Treetops Resort (, which is a 75-minute car ride northeast from Traverse City. During the drive to Gaylord, I saw Lake Michigan, as well as the rugged natural charm and gorgeous landscapes that resonate so well with the state’s tagline: Pure Michigan. I was surprised by the abundance of locally-produced fudge shops in the area...these people must REALLY love their fudge here. Plus, I had one of the best shuttle drivers ever, Pat Sheridan. This guy had me laughing the entire car ride; what a comedian! I will never forget him.

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I arrived at Treetops Resort, which is situated on 3,500 acres of pristine Michigan soil. The property is beautiful. In fact, when Travel Michigan filmed the Pure Michigan Campaign, they came to Treetops. The resort boasts 81 holes of championship golf designed by golf greats Robert Trent Jones Sr., Tom Fazio and Rick Smith. Treetops is home to a full-service spa, conference and meeting facilities, indoor and outdoor pools and whirlpools, along with a variety of September 2013

dining and accommodations options, and awardwinning children’s programs with a fully-certified daycare facility on site. Plus, they are well known for their winter ski programs for families.

by Rick Smith, his first par three course has received national recognition since it opened, and it consistently ranks as the #1 par three course in America by Golf Magazine, Golfweek and Golf & Travel. It’s perhaps the most recognized par three course in America. For a number of years, Threetops hosted the ESPN Par 3 Shootout. Later that evening, we made our way to Downtown Gaylord to attend the Gaylord Alpenfest (www., which has been one of Northern Michigan’s most unique and fun festivals

My first morning in Michigan was spent rafting on the Sturgeon River. Three of us were sent off on our inflatable raft with some oars and a halfconcocted plan as to how we’d work together as a team. Much to my and Chelle’s surprise, we actually did pretty well. The river was relaxing enough for us to take in the natural beauty but provided enough action that kept us entertained. Many thanks to Big Bear Adventures (www. for a fun morning.

After our rafting expedition, I served as cart girl and beer opener as the others played Treetops Resort’s Threetops Course, which is considered the Best Par-3 Course on Earth by some. Designed

September 2013

for 47 years. This annual Swiss-themed festival is held in July with live music, Queen’s Pageant, parade, carnival, food and drinks. Why Alpenfest? Gaylord’s sister city is Pontresina, Switzerland, which is a tourist community of about 1,800 people. This 850-year-old village is located at the foot of the majestic Bernina Peaks. With live entertainment and wacky contests (Ladies Best Ankles and Men’s Best Knees), Alpenfest is great fun!

After a relaxing morning at the resort and a wonderful massage at the spa, we were ready for some flyfishing on one of Michigan’s gorgeous rivers. We met up with Phil Croff from CC Guide Service (, so I could try my hand a flyfishing. Just putting on the waders proved challenge enough for me, but with my new fashion statement, I was ready to catch some fish. We ended up with no fish (although I had a big bite), but we had a great time fishing until midnight under a full moon in one of Phil’s handcrafted row boats that was absolutely beautiful. If you have never tried flyfishing, it is a must, but be sure to bring your waders! Many thanks to everyone who made my very first trip to Michigan a memorable one!

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 25

September’s Hunting Spotlight brought to you by Spurlow’s Outdoor Outfitters 1 East Wall Street Frostproof, FL 33843 863-635-0240

Hunter O’Donnel Hunter is the 12-year old son of Noella and Rob O’Donnell and is in the seventh grade at West Glades School in Labelle. He enjoys fishing, hunting, air boating and frog gigging. Hunter killed a 8 point Buck weighing in at 150 pounds on the opening day of Bow season on private land. Pictured at left: Hunter O’Donnell with his brother Tanner O’Donnell (another avid hunter)

Marissa Burchard Marissa Burchard is a seven year old who loves reeling in the big ones. She will be very excited on September 1st when snook season opens again, so she can keep fish like these! Anyone who takes kids fishing knows they hate throwing back their big catch!  

Submit your children’s hunting pictures for the Monthly Hunting Spotlight to 26 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

September 2013

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Arcadia, FL 34266 September 2013

Florida Forest Service As the Hunting season begins, the Florida Forest Service would like to remind hunters to practice wildfire safety and use these tips to have an enjoyable and safe season. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.

Avoid burning feed bags and other materials that can create flying embers. When shooting close to the ground, be sure there is no dry grass or tinder in front of your muzzle. Though rare, it’s not impossible for a muzzle blast to ignite nearby leaves and grass. Use caution with cigarettes, cigars and any lit substances.

Check for and obey all outdoor burn bans, please don’t build a fire during dry or windy conditions. If there are no burn bans, keep your fire small and never leave it unattended. Make sure the fire is extinguished and cold to the touch before you leave it. Drive only on designated trails.

Don’t park or idle vehicles in dry grass, which can be ignited by contact with a hot muffler or catalytic converter. Inspect and use spark arresters on all ATV’s and power equipment.

For more wildfire safety tips or to report a Wildfire please contact your local Florida Forest Service office.

September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 29

to capture nuisance alligators throughout south Florida. Jimmy has been wrestling alligators since he was 11-years-old, giving him unmatched ability to handle nearly any dangerous reptile with ease. Outdoor enthusiasts of all ages will enjoy his personality and gator wrestling demonstrations.

Meet Gator Boy Jimmy Riffle! Jimmy Riffle, one of the stars of the hit television show “Gator Boys” on Animal Planet, will be this year’s featured guest at the 3rd annual Ag Fest to be held Saturday, November 23rd at Arcadia’s Turner Center. The “Gator Boys” show follows the adventures of Jimmy and Paul Bedard, two alligator trappers who risk life and limb

30 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Plan to stay all day - with acres of activities and live entertainment, there is plenty to see and do. Kids can “dig in” in the kids area where Mosaic and DeSoto County 4-H will be container gardening, playing games and enjoying the bounce house. Also, check out the latest trucks, ATV’s, hunting and fishing gear. The vendor area is a must see where you will find products fresh from the farm, crafts, tractors, handmade items, delicious food booths and the latest innovations in the Ag Industry. Throughout the day stop by the outdoor stage to enjoy live music. Other demonstrations will include gardening and canning meats, a youth livestock show, mule jumping, AKC agility dog, working cow dogs, cowboy mounted shooting,

motorcycles and helicopter firefighting by our local Forestry department. Gates will open at 9:00am, admission is $2 per person, and parking is free. It will be the best $2 you’ve ever spent! The annual Ag Fest banquet will be held Friday, November 15th at 6 p.m. The event will pay tribute to local agricultural legends, including Walter Bethel, Louie Morgan and Dr. Carey Carlton. Jerod Gross will be honored as the 2013 DeSoto County Young Farmer/Rancher of the Year. Tickets for the banquet are on sale now at the Turner Center for $25 each or you can reserve a table of 8 for $300. Ag Fest sponsors include DeSoto Dodge Chrysler Ford Jeep, Mosaic, Island Grove, First State Bank of Arcadia, and the DeSoto County Board of County Commissioners. For more information on the banquet or Ag Fest, please call the Turner Center at 863.993.4807 or email jsullivan@

September 2013

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Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 31

Professional Outfitters:

Your Best Choice for a Successful Western Big Game Hunt By Jay Houston, CEO Hunt Connections Professional Hunting Consultant Author of 5 Top Selling Books on Elk Hunting (888) 360-HUNT


here is nowhere you will learn more about elk hunting faster than on a fully-guided hunt with a reputable professional outfitter. To make this point let me say this again, there is nowhere you will learn more about elk hunting faster than on a fully-guided hunt with a reputable professional outfitter.

Professional outfitters are in the business of elk hunting or planning for elk hunts 365 days per year. These outfitters and their guides live elk hunting, breathe elk hunting, and sleep elk hunting. It’s not a hobby or a desire to hunt with their buddies that drives professional outfitters. It is how they make a living, and if they do not consistently produce quality hunts for their clients, they do not stay in business for long. Licensed professional outfitters are at the top of their game. For the elk hunter who is either new to the sport or does not have the time necessary to devote to learning how elk live and move in a particular area in preparation for an upcoming hunt, an outfitter is without question your best resource for success.

32 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Statistics tell us that the average elk hunter is successful one year out of every eight. Such data can reflect a wide range of variables including: adverse weather, drought, herd dispersion, predation, food supply, hunting pressure, a hunter’s stamina, and more. The one factor that may have more effect on success than any other however, is a hunter’s preparation and participation…or lack thereof. Every year via referrals from satisfied clients and our business website Hunt, I am contacted by hundreds of hunters looking for the best opportunity they can find for a successful elk hunt. In the 17 years that I have been a hunting consultant, 70% of those contacts are from hunters who whole-heartedly expect to spend a week in elk camp and go home with a cooler full of elk steaks, yet they have either never been elk hunting, or they have absolutely no idea where or maybe even how to hunt elk.

September 2013

Every year, thousands of would-be elk hunters head out into elk country unprepared and lacking the required knowledge and ability to achieve a safe and successful hunt. They opt for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) option because they will not take the time to do a little math to compare the actual hard costs of success in a DIY (do-it-yourself) environment vs. the cost of a guided hunt. Additionally some even allow their ego to get in the way of their own better judgment. They convince themselves that they know more about elk hunting than they actually do. Let’s look at an example that I believe will help you see the value of hunting at least once with a quality professional outfitter. The following example will clearly show why hunting with an outfitter is cheaper than DIY if SUCCESS is your goal.

To make sure that we are comparing apples to apples we need to compare the actual costs required of the hunter to achieve the same level of success with an outfitter as hunting on his own. For purpose of this argument, I will set this at a 65% probability of success. In short what does it take or cost for a hunter to achieve a 65% probability of success?

Cost of an Average Successful Outfitter Hunt

The average cost of a fully-guided elk hunt in Colorado, the most popular elk hunting destination on the planet is about $5,000 plus the cost of tags and travel, so let’s round that up to $6,250. Granted some guided hunts cost more, but this is the average for 2013. In return for your investment here is what the hunter can reasonably expect.

• Opportunity success ratio typically in excess of 50%. Many outfitters can demonstrate consistent annual average ratios in the 75-80% opportunity range. Opportunity is the true measure of the abilities of the outfitter. This measures the ability of the outfitter to place a hunter in the position to have a reasonable opportunity to take a shot at a legal animal. Unlike a true success ratio (above), the kill ratio also includes a metric for the hunter missing the shot or passing up the shot for a chance at a better animal. Kill ratios are not true measures of the outfitter’s ability but include the actions and abilities of the hunter as well.

• An experienced elk hunting guide who is intimately familiar with the area to be hunted, understands elk habits and behavior, knows their travel and feeding habits in the area, has knowledge of the use of calls, and knows how to place his client in the position to have a shot at a legal animal.

• A readymade camp complete with cook, heated sleeping tents or cabins with padded cots, a warm comfy cooking and eating tent, three nourishing meals every day (plus almost all the midday snacks you can eat), hot coffee and hot water available at almost any time, plenty of clean safe

September 2013

drinking water that you don’t have to haul, all cooking and dishwashing is provided by staff, and a covered facility for taking care of personal business (sometimes heated and stocked with hunting magazines).

• Daily hunting transportation usually in the form of rider friendly mountain ready riding and packhorses or mules.

• Wrangler: this is the guy or gal who gets up two hours before your alarm goes off in the wee hours to feed, water and prepare your mount (horse) for the day’s hunt. He is also the one to whom you hand off your horse at the end of the day to feed, water, unsaddle, and care for. (Another hour). Oh…and if the horse gets loose and runs off a few miles, gets sick or goes lame, this is the guy who takes care of those problems as well. • Packers who weigh, load and haul all of your personal gear up and down the mountain so you don’t have to, and field dress your elk and pack it from the kill site all the way down the mountain to your truck. • A professional licensed insured outfitter who in most cases will handle all of the planning and licensing application process for you. Who will be there to take care of your every need 24 hours a day and will attend to your needs should you become sick or injured. • Tags. Cost: $575

• Travel. Cost $500

• Chance of Success: 50-75% average.

• Total out of pocket average cost: $6,250 + tips

The Cost of Achieving 65 Percent Success on a Do-It-Yourself Hunt

Remember, our goal in this comparison is to determine the actual costs for an inexperienced hunter to achieve a 65% opportunity for success. Using an average of state statistics this will take an inexperienced non-resident elk hunter five years to achieve. That is five hunts!! Have a look at the associated costs. • Acquisition cost of a complete elk camp including tent(s), heating stove, cooking stove, cooking equipment, water containers and water purification systems, cooking fuel, wood or gas for heat, cots, pads, tables, chairs, lanterns, and everything else under the sun that you think you have to have. Cost: $3,500 (This is conservative.) • One first-rate mountain-ready horse. Cost: $3,000

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 33

• Annual care, feed, pasture, and maintenance for horse. Cost: $2,500+ (with no injuries) • Or one 4x4 ATV. Cost: $6,000

that we all buy every year. That is not included at all.

• Elk Tag. Cost $575 x 5 years (to achieve 65%): $2,875 • Travel. Cost $700 x 5 years (to achieve 65%): $3,500

• Food in camp. Cost $200 x 5 years (to achieve 65%): $1,000 As you can see, when we factor in the actual costs incurred over the time it will take the average hunter to achieve the same level of success, a fully guided-outfitted hunt is far more affordable AND FASTER. In addition to the actual cost savings, your learning curve as an elk hunter is much higher than starting from square one on your own.

Perhaps you are not a newbie elk hunter and already have all of your gear, a horse, ATV or method of high-country transportation. Let’s imagine for a minute that all of that was free, i.e. no cost to you (which it wasn’t) but just to address that argument. You still have five years of tags, travel, and food expenses to consider. That’s over $6,000…. and you know that my $700 annual travel costs are extremely conservative with 2013 gas and diesel prices hovering in the $3.75 - $4.00 plus per gallon range. Also what about all that “stuff” or gear

If you want to learn a lot about elk hunting, and if you want to increase your chances for success by a factor of five, consider hunting with a professional outfitter at least once. If you do your homework before making the selection, you will probably have one of the best adventures of your life. At Hunt Connections, we have been in the business of helping hunters like you locate and connect with world-class big game hunting outfitters for over 17 years. Our list of highly satisfied clients is second to none. If you need help locating a reputable professional outfitter, give us a call toll free at 888-360-HUNT (4868) or email me at: Check us out on the web at Hunt Connections has been successfully assisting hunters just like you since 1996. Give us a call and let us set up your next hunt. Our services are free to our hunting clients.


setting at its finest!

Whether it’s just for fun or mixing a little business with pleasure, Quail Creek Plantation awards the prize when it comes to an outdoor paradise for hunting and fishing. Shoot some sporting clays to warm up before finding the covey on a guided hunt for upland birds. Finish the day with a pole and go angling for that big fish to talk about later. Kick back and enjoy the Quail Creek Lodge and dine on fried quail for lunch, or have our gourmet chefs help you plan a special dinner for a fundraiser or private event at Quail Creek Plantation. WEDDINGS || CONFERENCES || FUNDRAISERS/BANQUETS || SPORTING CLAYS 12399 Northeast 224th Street • Okeechobee, Florida 34972 • 863-763-2529 •

34 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

September 2013

September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 35


Denise Davis Helms By Robbi Sumner

“There’s no place better than the Heartland of Florida,” says Denise Davis Helms of Fort Pierce.

While she was not raised to hunt, her love of the outdoors led to her becoming an avid turkey hunter. Her passion for conservation and preservation efforts led to her current involvement with the National Wild Turkey Federation.

“I attended an NWTF banquet about ten years ago, and then received a Women in the Outdoors event brochure. I attended the event with several girls from work and enjoyed it so much that I started volunteering.” Denise has served on the NWTF Florida Board of Directors since 2011, was Secretary in 2012, and plans to run for Vice President this year. “Growth of the NWTF is at a pivotal point. I’m excited to help grow the involvement of youth and women within the organization,” she enthusiastically added. Her dedication to the organization involves a fair amount of travel, as she has recently attended the

36 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

NWTF’s National Leadership Conference at their headquarters in Edgefield, South Carolina, the Big Buck Expo in Tampa, and assisted the Capitol City Longbeards with their first fundraising dinner in Tallahassee. Since Denise became involved with Women in the Outdoors, the annual event held at Quail Creek Plantation has grown from

September 2013

events like Friday Fest and an annual Ranch Rodeo. They also recently came together to start an endowment fund to provide scholarships for local students who have been involved in 4-H, FFA, or the St. Lucie Fair livestock program and will be attending Indian River State College.

Denise is also a member of the Royal Palms of St. Lucie County, a service organization similar to Junior League, having completed her term as a Board member in June. The group of approximately 100 members exists to help less fortunate women and children by providing items like food, school supplies, and even prom dresses. “It’s very rewarding to see the boosted self-esteem of teens who wouldn’t otherwise have anything to wear, and therefore wouldn’t want to attend, prom,” she smiles.

In what’s left of her spare time, (did I mention that Denise’s “day job” is that of Supervisor of twelve receptionists for a fivedoctor ophthalmology office in Vero Beach?), she’s working to improve her turkey calling skills and plans to learn to bow hunt. Married since 2000 to her husband Jeff, the couple has two dogs – a half Catahoula, half blue heeler named Allie and a black mouth cur puppy named Gator.

an attendance of approximately 30 to well over 200 this past April, with a goal of 300 for 2014. “Our Women in the Outdoors event is held the last weekend of April each year. It’s been a grass-roots effort that has grown largely through word-ofmouth promotion. Many who attend are mothers-daughters, co-workers, or friends and we had a 65% return rate from 2012 to 2013!” she shares. The event was named NWTF’s “Best Event in the Nation” for 2012, and is now the state event for Florida. In February, Denise traveled to Nashville to attend her first NTWF national convention along with Kelli Hilterbrand, Instructor Coordinator for WITO, to accept the award. Denise points out that many NWTF members are not hunters, but rather people who are interested in conservation efforts. “And it’s not just about turkey,” she adds. “Conservation helps all wildlife like deer, quail, and others.”

“I’m a huge advocate of Florida agriculture – we offer so much that many people don’t even realize” says Denise, referring to the diversity that includes row crops, beef and dairy cattle, citrus and more. She joined the St. Lucie County Cattlemen and CattleWomen’s organizations a couple of years back and currently serves as President of the CattleWomen. She says that the missions of Cattlemen and NWTF often go hand-inhand, as members of each group work as stewards of the land. In addition, the SLC Cattlemen and CattleWomen are working to gain more exposure in the community by sponsoring

September 2013

Denise believes that she “lives in the best neighborhood” sharing that many of the women from the neighborhood hunt together, and each year they support the Beef Builders 4-H Club by purchasing a hog hunt donated by a local ranch. She’s also coordinating a WITO group to participate in the upcoming Southern Swine 4-H Club’s Hog hunt in October. “Hog hunting is addictive – it’s such an adrenaline rush!” she proclaims.

“I try to live my life with no regrets,” Denise shares. With her passion and dedication to all things agriculture, she’s certainly on the right track.

Glades County Woman’s Club 1st Annual High Heel-A-Thon

y o ne LL m the tion o to nda ill g W Fou ed cer Rais Can ast re da B Flori 50 %

of A

Saturday, October 5, 2013 8:00 am @ Moore Haven Chalo-Nitka Grounds

Any questions contact Kimberly clement @ 863-228-0907

*High Heel-A-Thon

*Pink Pumpkin Decorating Contest

$10 Entry Fee - 12 and under $5 –8:00 Registration - Starts at 9:00

*Bra-Dazzling Contest

$5.00 Entry Fee

*Fashion Show

$5.00 Entry Fee

Starts at 12:00 Put on by Southern Divas of Labelle

*$1.99 Woman-Less Beauty Pageant

*Cow-Chip Bingo

$10 Sponsorship Entry Fee! Starts at 3:00


FREE ADMISSION!!! Come and enjoy our vendors and entertainment throughout the day!

Fun for all ages!!

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 37

NWTF Leadership Conference 2013 By Denise Davis Helms

The 2013 National Wild Turkey Federation’s (NWTF) National Leadership Conference (NLC) was held June 1416 in Edgefield, SC. Leaders within the NWTF volunteer system attended this national conference to share in the NWTF’s vision for the future. The NLC provided the chance for over 450 volunteers from across the United States and Canada to network and learn how they could make their state and chapters better through compelling educational and instructional seminars.

38 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

The State of Florida had a team of 12 attend this 3-day conference which included: 2 State Board Officers, 2 NWTF FL Biologists, 3 NWTF Regional Directors, 4 chapter leaders as well as Florida’s NWTF Youth Hunt Coordinator. Volunteers learned about the NWTF’s exciting new strategic initiative - Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt. which will positively impact the future of conservation and hunting. They also participated in a variety of workshops such as: The Future of Habitat Conservation, The Next Generation of Outreach and Education, Volunteer Recruitment, and Outdoor Adventures Education with the Dallas Ecological Foundation.

On Saturday, volunteers visited the corporate headquarters for a fun-filled day of activities. Tours were given of the The Wild Turkey Center which houses more than 100 national staff members who serve the NWTF’s members. With more than 30,000 square feet, the Wild Turkey center includes the Winchester Museum, and Outdoor Education Center, a 3,000 square-foot conference center and a large supply and framing warehouse. September 2013

September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 39

National Wild Turkey Federation By Austin Heacock, Regional Director, NWTF, SoFla

This has been proven over and over again during our first 40 years thanks to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers. We will accomplish this mission and initiative through our Chapter banquet system. Here in the Heartland, we have chapters in Wauchula, Sebring, Lake Placid, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, Lakeland, Winter Haven, Plant City, Dade City, Arcadia, Ft. Myers and LaBelle…to only mention a few. We are looking to start new Chapters in Bradenton, Tampa, Lake Wales, Stuart, Clewiston and Bartow. All we need is someone willing to carry the NWTF banner and host a fundraising event.

Florida is fortunate to be the home of not only the number one NWTF Chapter in the Nation, the Wekiva Springs Strutters in Apopka, but also the number one Women in the Outdoors event in the nation held each April at the Quail Creek Plantation in Okeechobee. This year, the NWTF is celebrating it’s 40th anniversary. During that time, the Wild Turkey population in America has grown from 1.5 million birds to 7.5 million today! One of, if not THE greatest comeback stories in conservation history. Founded in 1973, the NWTF is headquartered in Edgefield, S.C. and has local chapters in every state and Canada. Through vital partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and their members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America. NWTF has spent $412 million to conserve nearly 17.25 million acres of habitat. Wild Turkeys and hundreds of other species of upland wildlife, including quail, deer, grouse, pheasant and songbirds have benefited from this improved habitat. The mission of the NWTF is two-fold: the conservation of the wild turkey, and the preservation of our hunting tradition. During this 40th anniversary year, the NWTF is beginning a new 10-year initiative called “Save the Habitat. Save the Hunt.” Over the next 10 years, the NWTF has committed to conserve 4 million acres of crucial upland habitat and to create 1.5 million new hunters. A huge undertaking, but if the NWTF set’s a goal, it will deliver the desired result.

40 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

Outreach is one of our key methods of growing that 1.5 million new hunters mentioned earlier. The Quail Creek event brings together several hundred like-minded women willing to take a walk on the wild side and learn about the shooting sports, canoeing, outdoor cooking, archery and numerous other activities offered during the event.

Denise Davis Helms, the coordinator of the event and also a member of the NWTF State Board of Directors, brings a certain panache and class to the event that only a woman of her caliber can bring. If you’ve never been, seeing is believing; it’s an amazing day for the ladies. We also offer outreach through our Jakes program (Juniors acquiring knowledge, ethics and sportsmanship) for kids of all ages and our Wheelin’ Sportsmen programs for the sportsman or woman that may be mobility impaired. You can visit our website at and surf around for dates and locations of upcoming events and the details of the NWTF. Or, you can call me at (863) 381-6568 and I’ll be happy to discuss local events, bringing one to your town or just chew the fat about turkeys. I can also be reached at September 2013



863 990 9851


September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 41

FARMER & RANCHER Chris Mellow By Robbi Sumner

“I grew up on the ranch raising calves,




says Highlands County native Chris Mellow, referring to the Rafter T Ranch. “My grandparents, Tommy and Margie Wohl, lived in Hollywood (Florida) but bought the property in the 1960s and it has been a core part of our family ever since. My mom Patty, Uncle Jimmy and Aunt Susie all moved to Highlands County and put down roots because of Rafter T.” The 5,200 acre property is home to a commercial cow-calf operation and has been recognized on several occasions for the family’s environmental conservation efforts.

After graduating from Sebring High School, Chris earned his degree in Ag Economics from Auburn University, where he was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity. Chris joined Cargill Animal Nutrition’s Feed Division, working in Prattville, Alabama for one year before returning to Florida, working as a Sales Representative in Kissimmee and Lakeland. “When territories changed I finally got back to Sebring about six years ago,” Chris shared, obviously happy to have returned home.

42 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

His territory runs from Hillsborough County south to Collier County and through the Heartland area including Hendry, Glades, Okeechobee, Hardee and Highlands Counties. The company now goes by Cargill Feed & Nutrition North America, and is best known for its Nutrena brand of livestock feeds. Chris stays busy calling on existing customers like independent September 2013

dealers, ranches, and horse farms, as well as prospective new customers and veterinarians. He also attends special events like nutritional seminars, pet demonstration days, and equestrian events. “Monday is typically my office day,” says Chris. “Thanks to technology and the prevalence of email and cell phones, I’ve been able to cut back to only being on the road about 600 miles each week.”

Chris considers himself an “avid sportsman,” but enjoys hunting and fishing most when it’s a family event. He smiles, adding “If no one else is at the camp it’s not as much fun going.” Family members hunt dove and deer on the ranch during season, and offer limited guided turkey hunts to others in the spring. “We manage the deer herd for a certain buck-to-doe ratio, and for horn size. We don’t make it so it’s not fun to hunt, but we’re not just out there to shoot anything we see.” Over the past several years Chris has traveled with his dad, Ron, and other family members and friends to Gunnison, Colorado to hunt elk and mule deer during the first week of November. “It’s a 30-year tradition that started when my grand-dad, Dr. Frank Handley, first went out there,” he shares. In Colorado, Chris has killed two bull elk, including one that measured 5 by 6, and a “really big” mule deer that measured 6 by 7 with a 30-inch spread. (He explained to me that those equate to an 11-point and a 13-point, the measurements are just referred to differently out west.)

Ron has property in Alabama where they also enjoy deer hunting. “It has a stocked pond where we can slay the bass too!” Chris laughs. Many of his family members spent the recent July 4th holiday fishing in Chokoloskee. “The

September 2013

kids are starting to get old enough to enjoy it – at least on short trips,” he says. Chris met his wife Heather while making a business call to a horse farm in Hillsborough County several years back. Heather is now a teacher at the Kindergarten Learning Center in Sebring, and the couple has two children, 7-year old daughter Emma, and 3-year old son Ryan.

“We live in town but spend a lot of time at the ranch,” says Chris. The original camp house on the property was torn down and rebuilt in 2008 and remains a central meeting place for family members. “We share it during hunting season and enjoying spending many holidays together here.” It’s that appreciation of family and a rural lifestyle that keeps so many of us here in the Heartland.

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 43




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T: 239.826.3337

44 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine


Located just south of LaBelle. Property includes 2 bed/1 bath home plus mobile home. Currently farmed.

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T: 239.823.0115

September 2013

Our average customer is anything but average.

Howard customers demand 110% from themselves—and expect the same from us. That includes the highest quality fertilizers and chemicals. Outstanding service from the industry’s most knowledgeable sales professionals. Advances such as our new, state-of-the-art dry fertilizer plant in Lake Placid, FL. All backed by the Howard family’s 81 years of helping growers grow. If these are your kind of expectations, we’re your kind of fertilizer/chemical provider.

Contact your local representative. Jared Revell - 863.214.3027 Mark Frisbie - 239.633.2732 Kevin Updike - 863.528.1968 John Bozeman - 863.449.0453 Ryan Hayes - 863.781.6099

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September 2013

7/19/13 8:47 AM Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 45

Patrol, Protect, Preserve: Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission By Brian Norris, Photos courtesy of FWC

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utdoor activities generate billions of dollars for Florida; in fact, fishing, hunting and related activities, including boating and wildlife viewing, contribute almost $15.7 billion to Florida’s economy each year. Along with that, nearly 138,547 jobs are required by those activities.

Many of us here in the Heartland have a love for the outdoors. Some like to hunt, some like to fish, while others prefer to bird watch, hike, boat or all of the above. Though our whitetailed deer may not be the biggest in the country, people from other states come to Florida to hunt them due to the unique environments, which offer a challenge like nowhere else. Some seek the skittish Osceola turkey, which has been deemed by many as the most challenging turkey in the U.S. to hunt. One cannot forget the prized red drum or bonefish, which draw anglers to our part of the state each year. The list could literally go on for pages, but the point is, our state has such awesome, diverse wildlife and ecosystems that people travel from all over the world just to come experience the Florida we live in every day. With all of these people visiting, in addition to the 19 million residents who take advantage of everything this great state has to offer, there is potential to see negative effects on our resources. We, as residents of Florida, are responsible for its caretaking. Since most residents are busy with families and careers, we are lucky to have the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to manage the state’s fish and wildlife resources on our behalf. The mission statement of the agency is “to manage fish and wildlife resources for their long term well-being and the benefit of the people.” In 1999, a constitutional amendment was passed creating the FWC. By combining multiple other agencies including the Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, the Marine Fisheries Commission and elements of the Department of Environmental Protection, such as the Florida Marine Patrol, Florida now has one big agency to manage all of its fish and wildlife.

When talking to residents and visitors alike, it’s not hard to find someone who has come into contact with an employee of the FWC. Many times this contact is made with a member of the Division of Law Enforcement. FWC officers are often the first and only contact the public has with employees of

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the FWC. While the Division of Law Enforcement is one of the largest parts of the FWC, it is only one of six divisions. The divisions of the FWC are: Law Enforcement, Hunting and Game Management, Habitat and Species Conservation, Freshwater Fisheries Management, Marine Fisheries Management and the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. Each of these divisions has its own unique responsibilities allowing it to focus time and effort on specific areas of conserving Florida’s resources. Each division coordinates its efforts with other divisions to help formulate the best management practices for conserving the state’s fish and wildlife. The FWC manages and protects more than 575 species of wildlife, more than 200 native species of freshwater fish and over 500 native species of saltwater fish. They are spread out over the state of Florida, which encompasses: • 53,927 square miles of land • 5,927 square miles of water • More than 34 million acres of public and private land, including 5.8 million acres of wildlife management areas (one of the largest public-hunting systems in the country) • 2,276 miles of tidal shoreline • Approximately 12,000 miles of fishable rivers, streams and canals • About 7,700 lakes (of 10+ acres), covering 3 million total acres.

Seven Commissioners, appointed by the Governor for fiveyear terms, lead the FWC. These Commissioners oversee five public meetings per year that rotate locations throughout the state. At these meetings, Commissioners hear staff reports, take public input, consider rule proposals and handle other commission issues.

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Day-to-day administrative duties of the FWC are the responsibility of the Executive Director, who is appointed by the Commissioners. The current Executive Director is Nick Wiley, who oversees more than 2,000 full-time employees and about 900 Other Personal Services employees.

The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, or FWRI, conducts research and monitoring to provide timely information and guidance to protect, conserve and manage Florida’s fish and wildlife resources. Researchers monitor the status of different ecosystems and species in Florida. They monitor changes in the environment and work to determine what is causing those changes. They rescue sick or injured manatees, sea turtles and panthers as well as other listed species, and also provide cause of death information for these animals. Researchers screen for wildlife diseases such as bird flu and chronic wasting disease, which affects deer

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and other similar species. FWRI provides technical support in response to catastrophes like oil or chemical spills, dieoffs and natural disasters. FWRI conducts stock assessments of important commercially and recreationally targeted species. Researchers provide scientific information, which is combined with information from the other divisions, to help the commission make informed decisions when it comes to harvest regulations. The Division of Habitat and Species Conservation’s mission is to ensure healthy populations of native wildlife and their habitats on a statewide basis. The division integrates scientific data with applied habitat management to maintain stable or increasing populations of fish and wildlife. While managing public lands for wildlife diversity and quality recreational experiences, the division also works in partnership with private landowners, including ranchers, September 2013

Florida’s reputation as the “Fishing Capital of the World.” Freshwater fishing in Florida generated $1.8 billion in 2011. The Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management promotes good stewardship through seminars, camps and programs like TrophyCatch. TrophyCatch recognizes anglers for their trophy largemouth bass catches while promoting catch and release and gathering important data. To participate in TrophyCatch, visit There you can register and become eligible to win awards and prizes, including a drawing for a Phoenix bass boat powered by Mercury – just for registering. Anglers, who catch trophy bass heavier than 8 pounds, document the catch with the required photos to validate the size and release their catch alive, earn a certificate, window decal and other prizes starting with a $50 Bass Pro Shops gift card and Bass King T-shirt. Hall of Fame bass over 13 pounds earn the angler a free fiberglass mount and other great prizes valued at over $1,000. It is a great program that recycles trophy bass, allows fishermen to show off their catches and earn rewards while also providing valuable data to the FWC.

farmers and foresters, by providing assistance with habitat-related issues affecting wildlife. It develops and implements species management plans that serve as conservation blueprints for managing imperiled species. It also coordinates programs to detect and respond to invasive plant and wildlife species.

The Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management works to give the public great opportunities to catch freshwater fish. They operate two freshwater fish hatcheries in Florida and stock fish where they are needed throughout the state to sustain healthy populations. In addition, they work with other divisions to enhance aquatic habitats and develop appropriate management regulations to sustain quality fisheries. This division works to sustain

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The next division, Marine Fisheries Management, has the task of monitoring and managing the saltwater side of Florida, which is a large task. Marine Fisheries works closely with other state and federal agencies to make sure our marine resources are not overfished so residents and visitors have the opportunity to catch and keep fish to enjoy. This division works to create artificial reefs that create new habitat for marine life while giving fishermen and divers more destinations to visit! Florida’s commercial lobster and crab industry is huge. Commercial fishermen use traps to catch stone crab, blue crab and lobster. Unfortunately, a few of these traps can become lost or abandoned and remain in the water. The Division of Marine Fisheries Management has developed a program that removes lost or abandoned traps. Each year, the FWC and volunteers comb the rivers and coastlines of Florida looking for lost, abandoned traps.

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the FWC Division of Hunting and Game Management provides Florida’s youth and their families with many different opportunities to get outdoors and learn about this great state. Each year, FWC sets asides days that are specifically for youth to have the opportunity to hunt. Whether it’s the youth waterfowl days during duck season or the family hunts on many of the Wildlife Management Areas, FWC offers plenty of opportunities to get youth outdoors and involved.

Through these programs, thousands of traps are recovered and recycled, keeping the water clean and protecting marine life at the same time. This division works closely with other researchers and the Commissioners to keep a balance between healthy fish populations and the people’s enjoyment of the resources.

The Division of Hunting and Game Management is responsible for a program with which many of us in the Heartland are familiar. This division is constantly working to create the best hunting opportunities for Floridians possible. Florida has over 5.8 million acres of public land that are available for various hunting opportunities throughout the year. Anyone 16 years of age or older born after July 1, 1975, has to pass a hunter safety course before he or she can purchase a Florida hunting license and hunt alone, unsupervised. The Hunter Safety Program teaches safe hunting practices while allowing each new hunter the opportunity to become familiar with the various ways to hunt game in Florida. Another program that is fairly new is the hunter safety mentoring program. This is a license designed to give a new hunter over 16 the opportunity to go hunting with an experienced hunter over 21 without having to complete the hunter safety course. If you know someone who has never been hunting, take him or her along and show them why you dream about opening day all year! FWC also operates or helps with numerous public shooting ranges throughout the state. Three of them are in or just a short drive from the Heartland: Cecil M. Webb WMA (Punta Gorda, Charlotte County), Knight Trail Park (Nokomis, Sarasota County) and Tenoroc Public Shooting Range (Lakeland, Polk County). These public shooting ranges provide a safe, family-friendly, low cost opportunity to go out and sight in your new rifle or just spend some time teaching someone how to shoot. In addition to their public shooting ranges,

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All of FWC’s programs and divisions strive to promote Florida’s resources while treating those resources with respect and using them sustainably. One

of the commission’s tasks is to pass rules and regulations to help protect Florida’s fish, wildlife and people. In order for these rules to be effective, someone has to enforce them. This is where FWC’s Division of Law Enforcement comes in. The Division of Law Enforcement is made up of more than 800 sworn state law enforcement officers. While the officers have assigned areas for their primary patrol, FWC officers can enforce state laws wherever they are in Florida – in the woods, on the water or on the road. Since the FWC works so closely with federal agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FWC officers are cross-deputized with several federal agencies, allowing them to enforce certain federal rules and regulations as well. September 2013

On a day-to-day basis, an FWC officer’s primary focus is on resource protection and public safety. In these roles, FWC officers are tasked with the unique responsibility of working in areas of Florida many people never get to see. Since many of these areas are swampy, rugged and difficult to get to, officers are issued specialized equipment like four-wheel drive trucks, ATVs, swamp buggies and airboats. In addition,

FWC has an aviation unit with planes and helicopters as well as an offshore fleet capable of staying out at sea for multiple days, allowing enforcement of commercial fishing regulations in state and federal waters. FWC uses this equipment to travel to areas where people may think they think they can abuse public resources and not get caught. This equipment is not just used to catch poachers. In fact, FWC officers are regularly involved in search and rescue missions to locate stranded, lost or injured people. Each year FWC is able to help locate and save about 1,000 people who become disoriented, injured or disabled on the water and in the woods.

FWC officers work hand-in-hand with local landowners to prevent trespassing on private property and poaching. On the water, officers conduct safety inspections and make sure no one is under the influence of alcohol while operating a boat. Proactive patrols allow FWC officers to come into contact with thousands of people each day, simply doing what they love and enjoying the great outdoors. Information provided to FWC officers by the general public is an important element when it comes to catching those who break the rules. Every day, the FWC receives reports from the public about poaching, trespassing and other illegal or dangerous activities through the Wildlife Alert Hotline (888-404-3922). Any tip that leads to an arrest is eligible for a reward, and the caller can remain completely anonymous.

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The FWC Division of Law Enforcement may be the largest conservation law enforcement agency in the country, but we do not do it alone. The people of Florida are the stewards of everything in this state, and though we have entrusted the management of fish and wildlife resources to FWC, that does not mean we as citizens can ignore a personal responsibility for the conservation of our fish and wildlife. To that end, there are many of ways to get involved with FWC programs throughout the state. Whether it’s through the Florida Youth Conservation Centers Network, local programs such as Ridge Rangers, or becoming a biologist or FWC officer, we can all work to “manage the fish and wildlife resources for their long term well being and the benefit of the people.” The FWC mission is clear; let’s all do our part so we can continue to enjoy everything this great state has to offer. Just purchasing a fishing or hunting license ( directly supports conservation, since by law none of those dollars can be diverted to other uses, and each new license holder helps acquire more Federal Aid in Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration money for Florida conservation. Visit for up-to-date rules and regulations and to learn how you can get involved!

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THE TIMBERS AT CHAMA What’s in a name? Take the Timbers at Chama for instance… it just has a certain ring to it. It’s a modern five-star yet rustic timber-framed lodge tucked into a valley outside the town of Chama, New Mexico. It sounds like the kind of place you want to spend the afternoon sipping coffee, maybe tossing another log into the massive fireplace while watching the snow fall silently upon the Brazos Mountains. Well, The Timbers is a perfect place for all that. But from September through December, during daylight hours, at least, you’ll barely be indoors long enough to enjoy the five-star amenities or first class food. There are far too many elk and deer to hunt.

When I first visited The Timbers at Chama, I was blown away with the amenities. I quickly realized, however, this place wasn’t all hat and no horse-it is as much about the hunting as it is the food and lodging. For owner Bill Glisson, it is about providing the total package. “I elk hunted the West for years as a client,” Bill replied when I asked him how The Timbers came to be. “I had hunted all over and had never seen a place quite like northern New Mexico. I fell in love with the country and decided I wanted to be involved in the outfitting business. I knew what I wanted from an operation as a client and felt I

could deliver it as an outfitter. One thing I knew I had to have was a place in northern New Mexico, specifically Unit 4. After some searching, we found The Timbers. I bought it, and it may have been the best decision I ever made.”

It only takes one look to see why Glisson was so enamored with the country. The lodge is surrounded by idyllic elk and deer habitat. Mature dark timber intersperses the short scrub junipers while the long, yellow cheat grass fills in the voids. It is the kind of country that holds a lot of game. Directly around the lodge, 1,400 acres provide a tranquil hunting paradise. And within 10 miles, Glisson has exclusive access to some 10,000 acres to keep pressure to a minimum. During the week I hunted there, I got a glimpse of what it has to offer, as my partner and I tagged two good bulls, saw more big mule deer than I ever hope to see anywhere else, and somehow gained five pounds in the process. What more can you ask for?

For more information or to make reservations for your next hunt, visit

By Mike Schoby, Reprinted from Petersen’s HUNTING

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September 2013

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September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 53

“Aiming for Perfection”:

Bunker Arms By Tina Yoder

As a young boy, when recalling his family hunting trips, Brandan Bunker remembers following his father’s foot steps in the snow with a BB gun in hand, looking for that sneaky rabbit, with no avail. Bunker, 32, now lives in Parrish, Florida with his wife Samantha and 2-year-old son Mason. If you were to ask him what he was passionate about, he would say without hesitation, “God, family and firearms.” Bunker found his passion for firearms at the age of 4, when his father, Jesse, started educating him on the importance of safety with and respect for weapons. It wasn’t long before they were working side by side cleaning, repairing and building guns.

In 1989, Bunker moved with his parents from Michigan to Florida when the manufacturing business was struggling up north. He progressed from hunting rabbit and grouse in Michigan to deer when they reached Florida. Family trips to Duette and Citrus County were commonplace as Brandan and his father went hunting hogs. Growing up, these excursions were some of his fondest memories, further solidifying his love for guns. 54 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

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Since those early trips, Bunker has made a name for himself in the sportsman’s world developing his company, Bunker Arms, providing gunsmith services to over 300 customers throughout the country. Together he and his father have over 30 years of experience already invested in restoring, tweaking, building and upgrading firearms through the family business. “We aim to ensure you have a firearm to be proud to own and be able to pass it along from generation to generation,” Bunker said.

The Bunker Arms trademark is showing up on more guns everyday. Collectors and hunters both have sought out Brandan’s expertise.

“My customers are hard-working family people who have a love for the great outdoors: hunting, camping, fishing, firearms and shooting sports. Many of them are ranchers and farmers from Florida’s interior,” says Brandan. One such farmer and customer, Bill Bone of Bone Farms Inc. in Sebring, finds Bunker impressive and could think of no other place as family-oriented or as knowledgeable about firearms.

“Brandan Bunker is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. He is very meticulous about how he repairs or refinishes various types of guns and seems to be thoroughly enjoying this sideline of work. He’s really good at many things not just one thing and he’s really really good at gunsmithing,” the Sebring farmer said.

Brandan graduated from Northwood University with a BA in Management and Marketing and received his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. The majority of his skills come from his father, but with his education, he was able to utilize his craft and turn it into an emerging business. He also spends time studying the Master Gunsmith, Gene Shuey, through the American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) and participating in forums. Brandan shares his passion with fellow gunsmith advocates through his membership to NRA Business Alliance, NSSF, NSSA and NSA. Bunker’s skill was nationally recognized in the Armor & Mobility January 2013 issue featuring his expanding side arms business and was a guest of A&M’s at the Shot Show in Las Vegas earlier this year.

His favorite craft is working on the 1911 builds and it is definitely his specialty. One 1911 customer claims, “I get a rush with this gun because every time the hammer falls, the hole appears exactly where I aimed!” Bunker Arms’ motto is “Aiming for Perfection” and they are committed to offer superior quality in everything they do. Recently spending time to help others enter the firearms industry as dealers and gunsmiths, Bunker is always willing to share his weapon knowledge. With strong roots in the community, Brandan understands the importance of giving back and spends time volunteering for significant causes. One such organization that is near and dear to his heart is the American Cancer Society (ACS). He has dealt with this issue personally and had victory over the disease a few years ago. However, Brandan lost his mother to cancer last year and has dedicated his business to her memory. Along with the ACS, Brandan shares his devotion to his community through the Junior Diabetes Foundation, American Heart Association and Relay for Life, where he was a board member.

Even though he has a full time job as a southeast regional sales representative, often forcing him to travel, he still manages to balance his passions: church, his family and aiming toward perfection at Bunker Arms. For more information about Bunker Arms and their services visit

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Friends of NRA Supporting the Legacy of Shooting Sports


stablished in 1990, The NRA Foundation, a 501(c) (3) charitable organization, has become America’s leading charitable organization in the support of shooting sports-related programs to develop, expand, and enhance their educational curricula. Grants from The NRA Foundation benefit programs such as youth education, law enforcement training, hunter education, conservation, marksmanship training and more. Since its inception in 1992, Friends of NRA has held over 14,000 events across America, reached over 2.5 million attendees and raised over $180 million for The NRA Foundation.

Annual banquets held locally are one of the primary FNRA fundraising vehicles, and in September such banquets will be held in Arcadia on the 5th and Okeechobee on the 12th. If you haven’t attended a Friends of NRA banquet, you’re missing out! In addition to the food and fellowship, there are games to play, raffles, and both silent and live auctions that provide chances to win a variety of items from limited edition merchandise, firearms, knives, art, jewelry and more. Friends of NRA and The NRA Foundation recognize that the future of our shooting traditions lies in programs that inspire and encourage individuals to further develop their passion for firearm education and training. Further recognizing that America’s young people represent the future of the shooting

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sports, State Fund Committee grants are frequently given to youth programs, allocating more than 80% of grant monies to support activities through groups like JROTC, Boy Scouts, and 4-H.

Other programs include Eddie Eagle GunSafe® which teaches children the important steps to take if they find a gun, and Refuse to Be A Victim® which teaches people of all ages the importance of being alert to imminent danger, equipping participants with life-saving knowledge. The annual Youth Education Summit trains high school students to continue the shooting legacy by intelligently debating Constitutional rights, while programs designed specifically for military and law enforcement enhance marksmanship skills. Women on Target® helps women gain confidence in their firearm skills. Disabled veterans are given opportunities to continue shooting through programs like the Paralyzed Veterans of America’s National Trapshoot Circuit, and young hunters throughout the nation are inspired by the Youth Hunter Education Challenge. Tom Knight helps to orchestrate almost 40 local FNRA banquets each year, including those in Charlotte, Glades, Highlands, Lee and Manatee counties. Based in Bradenton, his territory covers Pasco County and “basically everything south of I-4.” To learn more about Friends of NRA, visit their website, September 2013

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By Rhonda Glisson

My first clue that hunting, fishing and the outdoors were going to be a large part of my life may have been our first date; Billy took me hunting where we harvested two deer and a hog. Or maybe our first Christmas; instead of a small wrapped box under the tree, I found a wrapped shotgun. Yes, the last twenty-three years have been an incredible journey of hunting and fishing adventures.

with his hunting dogs. Mr. Glisson has always enjoyed his hunting dogs and the enjoyment of buying, trading and training has been handed down to his grandchildren. Of course, there is always one dog that will be remembered by his kids and grandkids. “Boscoe� is just one of those dogs that will always be talked about, not only for his hunting ability and sense, but the way he was with the grandkids.

My father-in-law is an avid hunter and while he has hunted many places and many species, he still prefers hog hunting

One of my favorite stories about going on a destination hunt is about my Mr. Glisson He and Billy were hunting elk in New Mexico. They had made their way to the river bottom where there were well over a hundred elk. They got in

Not being from a hunting family or ever being around it has been quite a learning experience being around the Glisson family, an experience that has brought so much enjoyment. I did not have to wonder long where Billy learned about the outdoors or where he acquired his love of hunting; I just had to meet my future father-in-law, IW Glisson. I still see it every day in his children, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren, the tradition of the outdoors, especially hunting, and the conservation of this area he has called home for a long time. My mother-in-law, Annie Laura Glisson, did not hunt but was always there to encourage and support her family. She did not mind helping with preparations for the hunt, cooking and when everyone was out in the woods or fields, she knew where to go shopping no matter where you were.

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I had never been on a hog hunt until I met my husband, Billy, and even though the men in my family love to go, they are not my favorite hunts. Our oldest son was four years old and Mr. Glisson had called wanting Cody to spend the night so they could leave early (and I mean early) to go hog hunting with him the next day. Well, what do you say? You say yes. That became a ritual until Cody’s younger brother Dillon turned four and he started going along. I will always be so thankful to Matt Gose, Mac Cannady and Craig Cannady for the times I am sure they would have preferred not to have had a six and four year old tagging along, but they did and now there are two young men following with that passion as well.

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shooting distance and Mr. Glisson’s guide was saying, “there is a shooter there, and one there, and oh two over there.” Mr. Glisson was not responding and the guide was getting a bit exasperated when Mr. Glisson, without taking his eyes from his binoculars, said, “Son I am 78 years old; let me enjoy this moment.” He enjoyed the moment and did bring home an elk. Some of my best ‘learning moments’ were sitting at the kitchen table with Mr. Glisson talking fishing, hunting and the outdoors growing up in Sebring. The stories about hunting and camping in the Everglades, fishing, guns and Spam (what they ate at camp). And I sure was thankful for our camper, “The Buck Hut!”

Something happened along this journey though; I started wanting to go along on the hunt, or the fishing trip. Then, I wanted to do more than go along, I wanted to be part of it not left at the camper. My hunting has been baby steps, oh, but so much fun. There have been some wonderful hunts and experiences with Billy, Mr. Glisson, the kids and some great friends. The fun at the hunt camp with your camp buddies, thanks Regina and Denise. The hunting trips with the Gordon’s, still blame Greg and Reggie on getting me addicted to turkey hunting! For the longest time, I was just so blessed to walk through the woods in the dark to my tree stand without tripping; to me my day was a success. Then you take more than a baby step, you want that mount on the wall with your husband’s and sons’. There was “The Elk Hunt.” A dear friend and neighbor rancher, Shane Faulkner, and both my sons, Cody and Dillon were rotating guiding me. It was the fifth day, the last legal day and a half hour of legal light left. I was walking back to the truck thinking ‘I have been so blessed to be in the mountains

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of New Mexico with such great company enjoying God’s beauty;’ I was at peace and thankful. Then Shane said, “There he is!” Cody started getting the sticks ready and I was absolutely speechless. He was so far for me, trying to get him in my sight, heart pumping, no, beating out of my skin. They both were excited saying, “shoot when you are ready,” but I knew they were ready for me to shoot. Then my training set in. Billy always said take a deep breath, let out slow and shoot. I cannot tell you the feeling I had after that. Coming back to the lodge, I wish I had taken a picture of Billy’s reaction when he saw us pull up and the first phone call was to my father–in-law to let him know. He started this. And yes, my elk is up on the wall now. I am here to tell you first hand that something happens when you hear the bugling of the Elk in rut; you do everything in your power to move out west and open an hunting lodge. We have been blessed to enjoy God’s beauty in the mountains of Northern New Mexico for the last eight years. However, you always come back to your roots where it all started. Whether we are in the Heartland of Florida, or the Heartland of Michigan, enjoying these traditions that have been handed down through our grandparents are priceless.

Whether it is hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, outdoor photography, Dutch oven cooking, skeet shooting or canoeing, you can always learn and enjoy as a family. As I mentioned, I did not grow up in the outdoors and learning about the outdoors was a bit intimidating to me. I did want to participate and still do. I will continue to learn, whether watching hunting shows, going to trade shows, or participating in clinics. The state of Florida has some great camps and instruction for everyone in so many different walks of life. There are local chapters of the National Wildlife Turkey Foundation, Women in the Outdoors, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, The Safari Club, Ducks Unlimited, FWC’s Youth Conservation Centers, Florida Sport Fishing Association and many more that you can participate in. The family tradition has been such a blessing and I am looking forward with excitement to enjoying our new adventures with Billy, the kids and our three grandchildren.

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Make Something Happen,

an excerpt from With Dad On A Deer Stand With Dad On A Deer Stand written by Steve Chapman and published by Harvest House Publishers/Eugene, OR. Steve is one half of the duo, Steve & Annie Chapman, and author of the best seller, A Look At Life From A Deer Stand (over 300,000 sold) I’m very aware that patience is a major key to deer hunting success. However, I admit that when a hunt turns totally action-less for far too long, I’ve been known to mutter the words, “It’s time to make somethin’ happen!” While it’s not always the best thing to do, every once in a great while my “get up and go” yields something good. Such was the case for the deer hunt my son and I enjoyed several years ago when he came home from college for a Thanksgiving visit.

Due to his heavy study schedule, Nathan forewarned us that he could visit only from Wednesday to Saturday morning. Tennessee’s firearm season was scheduled to start Thanksgiving Day and I assumed that with Nathan’s short stay we wouldn’t get to go to the woods at all. However, on Friday afternoon he asked me the question I hoped he would ask. “Dad, do you think you could take me hunting tomorrow morning before I drive back to school?”

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“You bet, buddy. We can go to Joe’s place and I’ll put you in the ladder stand at the edge of a soybean field. There’s plenty of deer, plus there’s lots of residual beans on the ground. We’ll go before daylight in the morning and if things go well, you could be on the road back to school by 10 o’clock.”

Dawn came on Saturday morning with Nathan on one end of the 180 acre farm perched in an eighteen-foot high metal ladder stand and me sitting on the other end of the property on a stool next to a harvested corn field. I waited and hoped to hear the report of Nathan’s .270, but there were no blasts to be heard. I began to feel concerned and worried that he wouldn’t get the opportunity to take a shot. After another fifteen minutes of wishful listening the words just tumbled out of my mouth. It seemed that I had no more control over them than I have over an avalanche on a Colorado mountainside. September 2013

“It’s time to make somethin’ happen!” With that said, I promptly stood up and headed to the north side of the farm. When I got to the ladder stand, it was around 9 a.m. I looked up at my son and asked the obvious question. “See anything at all, Nate?” His reply was gracious. “Nope. No deer, Dad, just a beautiful sunrise, a few blue jays and a couple of squirrels… but its been a great morning. I guess I better get to the house so I can get ready to head back to school.”

I detected sincere gratitude but also a bit of disappointment. Feeling some fatherly sorrow for the boy I offered an opportunity that I was sure he would agree to. “Nate.” I whispered as soft as I could because his stand placement was next to a thicket where the deer loved to bed during the day. “It’s time to make somethin’ happen.”

There those words were again. It wasn’t the first time Nathan had heard me say them while deer hunting. Through the years, when he hunted with me while he was growing up, he had been on the receiving end of several one-man deer drives that started with, “Let’s make somethin’ happen!” When we did resort to this tactic, I was careful and quick to remind him, “Son, this is not always the best way to hunt but sometimes you just have to “stir ‘em up” in order to see some action. I had no idea that I was teaching him something that would serve him well later on in his life, which I’ll tell about in a moment. But first, to finish this story, Nathan knew exactly what I meant by what I said and smiled down at me as I continued. “How about you stay put for about fifteen minutes and let me walk down this fence row and get in this thicket behind you. Since its nine o’clock something may have come in from the other side and bedded down. If there’s something in there maybe I’ll push it out and you might get a shot at it.” “Yeah. I’d be happy to stay here.”

I took off and when I got about two hundred yards down the fence line, I took a hard right and stepped into the thicket. When I got about a hundred yards from where he was sitting I heard the sweet sound of his .270 announcing that I had indeed stirred up the bedding deer. I could not have been happier. But immediately there were more shots! I heard three more quick booms as I stood there in the middle of the thicket. I had an experienced guess at what was happening and actually did a running commentary on the shots as they sounded.

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Bang! “Oh, yes!” Bang! “Oh, wow! Bang! “Oh, no! Bang! “Oh, well…

As quickly as I could get through the briars, I returned to the ladder stand where my son waited…on the ground. He was reloading as we talked. “Do you think you got ‘em, Nate?”

“Nah… don’t think I touched him. He was a big-bodied deer, Dad. Nice rack, too. I could see the dust flying up around him as I shot so, no, don’t think I touched him.” “Well, we won’t leave the farm until we’ve made sure he’s not hurt.”

Then I heard my son say something that has been etched in my mind since that moment. It’s a confession that we have both laughed about for years. “Dad, I need to tell you something.”

“What’s is it, son?” I was ready for anything from, “I think I shot my toe off,” to, “I’m gonna drop out of college and join the circus!” Instead, it was something much more grave.

“Dad, when I took that last shot I could see your truck in the scope!”

I know my face turned pale when I heard Nathan’s humble admission. I looked toward the truck and immediately gave my son the benefit of the doubt. “That’s an awful long way for a bullet to travel, buddy. But if the old pick-up is dead, we’ll get it mounted and hang it over the mantle.”

We spent the next hour looking for signs of a bleeding deer but found none and then headed home. On the way Nathan did his best to assure me that he had had a great morning even though his tag would go un-punched for the year. I accepted his assessment of the day and we stored the memory away to enjoy. It wouldn’t be until he was out of college and married that I would discover that my son had managed to find something redeemable in my, “It’s time to make somethin’ happen,” attitude which he had seen while hunting with me. The advice I had given him that it wasn’t the best way to go about deer hunting was well-received but so was the other part of my instruction. He had accepted the reality that sometimes it was necessary to “stir ‘em up.” He saw that the tactic was not

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just valuable in the deer woods, but it was also effective in the business world. And apply it he did… so… brace yourself for some blatant, unbridled bragging on an old dad’s part.

When he was ten years old, I bought an electric/acoustic guitar for Nathan as a Christmas gift. When he opened it I said, “Son, your job is to not just learn how to play that thing, but I want you to learn how to make it talk!” Never did a youngster take a dad’s challenge more seriously than Nate did. He proceeded to spend untold hours learning scales, how to read charts, how to mimic great players like Phil Keaggy, and Eric Clapton. As he was learning to play the guitar, I also passed down some recording equipment to him that we used in our business. When we replaced a recording machine with the latest technology, Nate got the earlier versions. Within a short time he was not only skillful on the guitar he was also developing an in depth understanding of “signal path,” that is, becoming a recording engineer. Nathan’s skills as a musician and engineer became good enough to enlist them in the production of some of the earlier recordings that my wife, Annie, and I released and his experience level was growing rapidly.

After getting married, he worked a few jobs that included being a cashier at a bookstore and roofing, but making music was his first love when it came to wanting to earn a wage. He considered entering the business of music by becoming an artist but was not that fond of being center stage. After “sitting on the music stand” for a while and seeing nothing really generate with his musical skills, he decided, “It’s time to make somethin’ happen!”

to, “I can do your songwriter demos fast and cheap and they’ll sound good. Give me a chance and I’ll prove it to you!”

One day, the payoff came for his “make somethin’ happen” efforts. An established songwriter he had worked with brought in a young fifteen-year old female co-writer. Nathan heard something in their collaborations that sparked his interest and he became their go-to guy for song demos.

As it turned out, the music that Nathan produced for the fifteen-year old songwriter got the attention of the team that surrounded her and they hired him to complete a full CD with her. Her initial recording was very well received by Country Radio and yielded a couple top of the chart singles. On the heels of that achievement they recorded a second CD that did so well that it was nominated for, and won, the music world’s equivalent of The Super Bowl/Daytona 500/World Series. Nathan and the artist were called to the stage to receive a Grammy Award for the Album of the Year.

As I bask in the joy of a son whose industrious spirit has yielded such success, I also wonder where he’d be today if he had not been willing to respond to the urge to get up and hit the streets of Nashville with his wares. I know I can’t take total credit for my son’s relentless fortitude, but I like to think that just maybe a few of those “let’s make somethin’ happen” moments we had while deer hunting helped shape it.

Armed with a stack of CD’s containing samples of his ability to produce a full-blown studio version of a song with his guitar, his bass, his keyboard, his drums, and his engineering prowess, he hit the streets of Nashville. Willing to face rejection he marched into the offices of some publishers on Music Row and handed them a disc and said something akin

ton’s Jay Hous

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September 2013

Now booking for next season!

Seth now has taken an interest in salt-water fishing. This is a nice snook caught in Boca Grande with his son Conner in the background ready for his trophy catch! Passing on the family tradition.

Making Memories By Ron Lambert

When I was a young boy, my favorite writer was Robert Ruark. He wrote a number of books, most of which centered on hunting and fishing. My personal favorites were “The Old Man and the Boy” and “The Old Man’s Boy Grows Older.” These were both a collection of short stories detailing his memories of growing up on the South Carolina coast under the watchful eyes of his grandfather who was an avid outdoorsman. I’ve read both of these books countless times and they are an example of the best relationships between a kid and his grandpa.

I realized I could share a story of a special day I spent with my oldest son, Seth, in 1992. Seth grew up with a keen interest in hunting and fishing and I took him a few times to a hunt lease in Glades County the previous year. He was the youngest one there, a boy among men. Naturally, he was happy to have been a part of the time spent in that hunting camp. In November 1992 was opening weekend of hunting season in Hardee County and Seth was dying to go to the hunt camp again. Unfortunately, due to circumstances, we couldn’t go and to say that he was disappointed is putting it mildly. Seth was very vocal in expressing his opinion about what he wanted to do that day. Early in the afternoon, I had had enough and said, “Seth, we are going to go hunting over on the nursery property.” His response? “Dad, there’s nothing but does over there.” I simply replied, “Where there are does, there are going to be bucks.” We loaded our gear and headed on a new adventure, soon parking under the tall shady pines

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that stood sentinel for nearly a century. We had built several tree stands and blinds on the property and as we were walking in, I let Seth choose which stand he wanted. Still being difficult because he wanted to go back to the Glades County camp, he said to me with more teen sarcasm than was necessary, “I don’t care!” I told him which one to go to and headed to the tree stand about a hundred yards from his location. After getting settled in, I saw movement to the side and here came my boy running towards me as fast as he could go. He skidded to a stop and I asked what was wrong. He was out of breath but managed to say, “A buck, a big buck,” pointing back towards his blind. Intent on calming him down, I came down the ladder to stand beside a very shook up little boy. He proceeded to tell me what happened, “I saw a big buck come out of the woods and look right at me. Then it turned around and went back in the trees.” I asked him why he didn’t shoot and he said he was shaking too much.

We made our way back to where he was and Seth pointed to an opening in the trees ahead. “That’s where he was, right there,” he whispered. I sat in front of my son and had him steady his rifle on my shoulder. Less than a minute after we sat down, a beautiful whitetail buck stood in front of us, framed by the late evening sun. I whispered to Seth, “When you get him in the scope, shoot him!” Almost immediately, Seth fired and harvested a nice 6-point buck.

On that November afternoon, memories were made that will be with both of us throughout our life. Be it hunting, fishing, camping or hiking, any type of outdoor activity will make you and your child into better people. Seth is grown now; actually about the same age I was when this hunt took place. He has two children of his own, Connor and Kendal who have been exposed from an early age to life in the outdoors in Florida’s heartland. Memories created with your kids are never boring and should always be something you can look back upon and reflect to yourself, this kid has turned out just fine!

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Elk Chile

Wild Game Recipes Baked Garlic Quail

Sage Faulkner, Los Ojos, New Mexico

Submitted by Quail Creek Plantation



1 pound ground elk 2 TBSP flour 2 or 3 TBSP bacon grease Salt and pepper Few dashes garlic salt 2-4 TBSP Red Chile powder 1 teaspoon course Red Chile (Chile Caribe)

6 quail cut in half 3 TBSP honey 2 TSP brown sugar


Brown meat in bacon grease or oil. If using fresh garlic, add at end so to gently cook. Sprinkle flour over meat and stir. Add Red Chile (less for milder chile) and Chile Caribe, mix so no lumps. Stir in 2 or 3 cups of water (just covering meat). Bring to boil and simmer. This is New Mexico style, served with fried potatoes and beans and fresh tortillas. If you want milder chile or Texas style, add diced fresh or canned tomatoes, and beans. The tomatoes help balance the heat.

Whole Roasted Duck Breast Submitted by Carrie Evans INGREDIENTS:

Whole fresh duck breast Fresh thyme, chopped 2 Tablespoons lemon juice Salt and pepper

4 cups of buttermilk 1 garlic clove, chopped 5-6 whole carrots


Preheat the oven 450o . Put the duck in a large bowl or pan. With a knife, poke holes all over the skin and pour the buttermilk all over the duck. Soak for 5-10 minutes. Drain and rinse duck. Sprinkle duck with thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and lemon juice.

Layer carrots in a roasting pan and then put the duck on top of the carrots. Place duck on top of carrot layer. Bake uncovered at 450o for 45 minutes. Baste duck and reduce temperature to 375o for 30 more minutes or until done.

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4 cloves garlic 3 TBSP soy sauce 3 TBSP oil


Combine all ingredients and marinade in refrigerator overnight. Place on rack in baking dish and bake at 325o for 15 minutes. Increase oven temperature to 425o and bake for 10 minutes until crispy.

Country Fried Venison and Pan Gravy From an “old Heartland deer hunter” Country Fried Venison Ingredients:

One side back strap of a Whitetail Deer 2 cups all purpose flour 1 tablespoon granulated garlic Everglades Seasoning to taste Enough Oil to cover venison in a heavy skillet Country Fried Venison Directions:

Clean meat and remove all tendons. Slice into ¾ inch steaks across the grain and tenderize. Combine Flour, Garlic and Everglades Seasoning. Heat oil and coat meat with flour. Cook meat in oil, turn only once, until desired wellness. Gravy Ingredients:

One onion Flour

One bell pepper Water

GRAVY Directions:

Chop onion and bell pepper. Pour off all but a ¼ cup of grease leaving the drippings. Sauté onion and bell pepper until onion is translucent. Add enough flour to absorb liquid and start stirring with a fork. Mix all ingredients until light brown. Add water to desired consistency.

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Shredded Beef And Blue Cheese Quesadillas Total Recipe Time: 50 to 65 minutes Makes 16 appetizer

Ingredients: 1 package (about 17 ounces) fully-cooked boneless beef pot roast in gravy or au jus 8 red cherry tomatoes, cut in half 16 (1/4-inch thick) slices yellow tomatoes (4 small) 16 (1/4-inch thick) slices tomatillos (4 medium) 2 TBSP olive oil 1-1/2 TSP salt 4 large flour tortillas (11 to 12-inch diameter) 1/2 cup shredded Chihuahua or Monterey Jack cheese 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Instructions: Preheat oven to 400°F. Place tomatoes and tomatillos on rimmed baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Drizzle with oil; sprinkle with salt. Roast in 400°F oven 25 to 30 minutes or until juices have evaporated and skins are blistered; set aside.

Meanwhile, cut 32 rounds from tortillas with 2-1/2-inch diameter cookie cutter; set aside. Combine cheeses in small bowl; set aside. Heat pot roast in microwave oven according to package directions; cool slightly. Remove from

gravy; discard gravy or reserve for another use. Shred pot roast with two forks; set aside.

Place 16 tortillas rounds on rimmed baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Top each evenly with cheese mixture and shredded beef. Cover with remaining tortilla rounds. Spray tortilla tops with nonstick cooking spray. Bake in 400°F oven about 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortillas are lightly browned, turning halfway through cooking time. Top each quesadilla with 1 tomatillo slice, yellow tomato slice and cherry tomato half. Serve immediately.

We are looking forward to our Florida Cattlewomen’s 2013 Beef Shortcourse at the Fall Quarterly in Tampa on September 13, 2013.  Starting at 10:00 am Friday morning after our breakfast meeting, we will be learning safe, approved ways of handling food for the public. Maryann Sullivan will be our Serv-Safe instructor and, for a nominal $10 fee per person, will teach us about food handling and actually certify us that day!  This will be such a help as we push to increase our in-store demos, as grocery stores are more cordial to our requests when we show that we are certified and educated in the safe handling and preparation of food.  Come join us as we once again show the public that we are dedicated to the promotion of beef.  See you there!  

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September 2013

Happy Hour Every Day 3-6pm Any Size Beverage


3504 US Hwy 27 S Sebring, FL 33870

September 2013

Open 24/7 • Gasoline and Diesel Trucks Welcome Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 67


ROPING CHAMPIONS – AT 12 AND 15! By Kathy Gregg

The Heartland has reason to be extremely proud of two young cowboys who came home this summer as national champions.

CHANCE Rodriguez


Several local junior high students travelled to Gallup, New Mexico, for the Cinch National Junior High Finals Rodeo, which took place June 23-29 at Red Rock Park. Approximately 950 sixth, seventh and eighth-graders from 41 states, Canada and Australia gathered to compete in barrel racing, pole bending, goat tying, chute doggin’, junior bull-riding, and breakaway, tie-down, ribbon and team roping.

Competing from the Heartland were Chance Rodriguez of Parrish (in tie-down and team roping, plus chute doggin’), Dawson Cantu of Zolfo Springs (in tie-down, team and ribbon roping, plus boy’s goat tying), Parker Carlton of Wauchula (in chute-doggin’), Z-Man Zamora of Okeechobee (in breakaway and ribbon roping), Scott Martell of Arcadia (in team and ribbon roping, plus chute doggin’), Coy Godwin of Myakka City

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(in tie-down roping), and Rylan and Ashlan Lipe of Arcadia (both in breakaway, plus barrel racing for Ashlan).

During the week, there were two rounds of competition for each event, and then the top 9-19 went back for the short round. Short round competitors were Parker in chute doggin’, Scott and Dawson in ribbon roping, and Chance and Dawson in tie-down roping. But only one – Chance Rodriguez – came back home as a national champion! Out of a field of more than 120 competitors, Chance went into the short round in the tiedown roping in FIRST PLACE, and kept this placement with a run of 10.846 seconds. His 3-round time of 31.161 total seconds also gave Chance first place in the average in this event. And for this tremendous accomplishment, Chance won the trophy saddle, 4 buckles, over $1,000 in scholarships, horse blankets, a Resistol hat, Cinch jeans, Ariat boots and belt, and jackpot money totaling $1,122. Not bad for a 15-year-old! Yet to come is Chance’s portrait (along with the 12 other junior high champions) on a semi wrap, which will travel the roads of America for the next year, and will be parked in Las Vegas for the National Finals Rodeo in December.

The other champion is Dawson Cantu. He was the first 12-year-old in Florida to walk away from the State Finals as winner of the tie-down roping, as well as All-Around Cowboy and Rookie of the Year. Also, Dawson was the ONLY sixthgrader to return to the short round in tie-down roping at the National Finals (where he finished 12th). On the way back home, the Cantu’s stopped in Denton, Texas, where Dawson competed in – AND WON – Roy Cooper’s Junior Super-Looper Calf Roping event, for the 12-and-under class in tie-down roping. There were 56 competitors in this class, traveling from all over the United States to enter this annual roping event. Dawson’s age division took place on the Fourth of July, in the hot Texas sun. But nothing phased this roping dynamo, who walked away with the trophy saddle, jackpot money of $1,200, a Resistol hat, Twisted X boots, and a rope can, piggin’ strings, and breakaway hondas.

These two young cowboys garnered 1,320 of the 1,900 total points that the Florida team won in Gallup. Dawson’s 550 points placed him second for Rookie All-Around, and Chance’s 770 points took fourth place. (The Rules state that the number of events supercedes total points, so Dawson’s 4 events placed him above Chance.) When asked what winning this was like, Chance couldn’t find the words to describe it, but said “It was really fun to meet people from different states and from different countries. It was really cool, really neat to be out there!”

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THE ROAD TO THE FCA FINALS Photos and Article By Kathy Gregg

The final two qualifying events for the 2013 Florida Cattlemen’s Association Ranch Rodeo Finals were those held in Hardee and Okeechobee Counties.

Hardee county The Hardee County Cattlemen’s Association hosted their 2-day event on July 19 and 20 at the Wauchula Cattleman’s Arena. Friday night saw almost 4 hours of steady rain, bringing out all those yellow slickers. Due to the large number of entries, a slack performance took place on Saturday morning, with the conditions being a typical hot, humid summer Florida day. The activities wound up on Saturday night, with even more rain.

These cowboys and cowgirls work cattle in the summer heat and rain, so they didn’t miss a beat! Miss Harley Zoeckler, the 2013-2014 Florida Cattlemen’s Sweetheart, carried the American flag in Friday’s Grand Entry, and Tamme Fussell (of the JTF Performance Horses team) did the honors on Saturday night. Hardee adds a little excitement for the tots in attendance, with mutton bustin’. Many of these riders are the children of

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the adult competitors, and want to be just like Mom or Dad. Cash Langford, grandson of pick-up man Alton Langford, won his very first buckle. But the best-dressed sheep rider award would have to go to Dahlia Mae Turtle, daughter of bronc rider Adam Turtle, who was all decked out in shiny pink chaps and her cowgirl bandana. The 24 teams competed in the events of team sorting (won by AC Cattle), branding (won by M&N Cattle), trailer loading (won by JTF Performance Horses), double muggin’ (won by Lazy JB Ranch), and bronc riding (with the highest score of 72 going to Andy Kisela of the E&P Cattle team). Congratulations go to the winning team of Coffee Cattle Company, made up of Doug Bronson, Cole Fulford, Clay Howard, and Preston Stokes, who were lent a helping hand by Christi Pryor. September 2013

The 2013 Florida Cattlemen’s Association Ranch Rodeo Finals and Cowboy Heritage Festival will take place on September 27-28 at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee. Rodeo action starts at 7:00 each night. Saturday is the Cowboy Heritage Festival from 9 to 2 in the adjoining parking lot, while a working ranch horse competition will be going on in the arena from 9 – 2. Admission to the ranch rodeos is $10, everything else is admission free. See y’all there!!

Okeechobee county The Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Association, joining with Okeechobee Main Street, celebrated the National Day of the American Cowboy on Saturday, July 27. The day commenced with the annual cattle drive down Route 70, from Eli’s Western Wear to the Agri-Civic Center, followed by an afternoon and evening performance of their ranch rodeo. Each Grand Entry was led by the cadre of lovely flag-bearers, with Kellie Steinruck, Miss Rodeo Okeechobee carrying Old Glory, assisted by Sierra Cowart, Miss Teen Rodeo Florida (a title formerly held by Kellie), Jenna Wolf, Laranda Southerland, and Donnielle Harper.

In between the two performances, the OCCA hosted a horse auction with Chad Johnson Auctioneer Services. Whether you were looking for a colt to start on your own, or an already

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well-trained roping horse, they had it all for sale!

These 23 teams were in Okeechobee looking for that last coveted top spot. The events they competed in were bronc riding (won by Heath Crum of Trinity Ranch, with a welldeserved score of 74 on a feisty bronc), roping and branding (won by Fulford Cattle Company), wild cow decorating (won by B&S Cattle), team sorting (won by the Lazy JB Ranch), and double muggin’ (also won by the Fulford Cattle team). And the winners were Grace Ag, with teammates Matt Davis, Brad Moss, Clint Davis, Bobby Lines, and Sage Adams. Congratulations, y’all, and remember to stay on your horses at the Finals!

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 71

Florida Cattlemen’s Association

19th Annual FCA Quality Replacement Heifer Sale Friday, September 20, 2013 Arcadia Stockyard • Arcadia • 1:00 p.m.

CO-SIGNERS INCLUDE: • Blackwater Cattle Co • Carlton & Carlton • Crawford Ranch • Deas Brothers Farms Inc. • Dixie Ranch • Doug Walker • Hardee Farms •Joel Beverly • Kempfer Cattle Co. • Kenansville Cattle Co. • Lightsey Cattle Co • Longino Ranch Inc. • Mike Fussell • Mrs. Barbara Carlton • Mrs. Jenny Lee Zipper • Pat Pfeil • Pearce Cattle Co. • Syfrett Farms • Williamson Cattle Co.

For questions or consignment information contact: Cliff Coddington, Chairman, • 941-747-7859 James Stice • 863-899-4869 Carl McKettrick 863-494-3737 or 494-1808 Auctioneer: Tommy Barnes Sponsored by: Temple Tag, Inc.

Florida Cattlemen’s Association P.O. Box 421929 Kissimmee, Florida 34742-1929

(407) 846-6221


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September 2013

Okeechobee Friends of NRA ANNUAL BANQUET September 12, 2013 6:00 PM Okeechobee Friends of

Okeechobee KOA

4276 US HWY 441 S Okeechobee, FL 34974


$45 each — $80 per pair OR $300 for a table of 8 For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact: Carrie Muldoon @ 863•634•8678 or Carol Merian @ 954•242•8181 or Jeff Sumner @ 863•634•9474 or

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Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 73

2013 Florida Ranch Rodeo Finals & Cowboy Heritage Festival

The Rodeo Finals are a year-end event that teams have qualified for by competing and placing 1st or 2nd in one of the qualifier ranch rodeos held around the state of Florida. The 16 teams are each sponsored by Florida ranches or businesses. Each team will compete in 8 different events in the state finals, with each team in 4 events both Friday and Saturday nights. The rodeo will feature Saddle Bronc Riding, Colt Riding, Wild Cow Milking, Branding, Team Doctoring, Double Mugging, Cattle Sorting, Stampede Race and Boot Scramble for kids.

Stevens Land & Cattle St. Lucie County Cattlemen’s Champion Team Charles Robert Stevens III, Billy Adams, Marshall Godsey, Cody Storey, Christi Pryor

Prairie Creek Cattle Hardee County Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo Team Travis Manley, Kenny Raney, Ethan Walker, Kevin Yates, Brandi Gilbert

Christmas Creek Farm Service St. Lucie County Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo Chuck Mack, Charles “Corky” Paschal, Cory Carbajal, Jennifer Bolin

Grace Ag Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo Champions Brad Moss, Matt Davis, Bobby Lines, Clint Davis, Sage Adams

Coffee Cattle Company Hardee County Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo Champion Team Doug Bronson, Cole Fulford, Clay Howard, Ryan Howard, Teal Humphries

Beville’s Circle H Ranch Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo Clay Newcomb, Clayton Brown, Amanda Hayward, Hayden Grant, Logan Perry

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Harvey Ranch Chalo Nitka Ranch Rodeo Champions Jim W. Harvey, Jr. “Lil Jim”, Cab Butts, Marshall Davis, Shelby Carden, Leaton “The Muscle” Coker

Boney Ranch Chalo Nitka Ranch Rodeo Dalton Boney, Sam Pearce, Frankie Chesler, Clint Boney, Carl Langford Photo Courtsey of Kathy Gregg

Audubon Ranch Hendry County Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo Champions Jay Belflower, Dennis Carlton, Jr., Patrick Thomas, Peck Harris, Laci Whaley

September 2013

Markham Ranch Florida State Fair Ranch Rodeo Champions, Sponsored by Adena Springs Ranch Wesley Markham, Dalton Edwards, Auburn Hiers, Andy Morgan, Jessie Ramsburg (Filling in for Ashley Bellamy)

Sullivan Ranch Polk County Cattlemen’s Association Champions Hunter Holley Amie Facente, Jason Hayward, Ty Godsey, C.J. Carter

Cummings Cattle Company Manatee County Ranch Rodeo Team Champions Dusty Crosby, Charity Crosby, Rodney Crosby, Justin Peebles, Justin Yates

J3 Cattle Company Mid Florida Rancher’s Ranch Rodeo Champions Shane Perkins, Allen Lanier, Preston Stokes, Whitney Savoie, Buck Lee Photo Courtesy of Kathy Gregg

Rafter G Bar Livestock Osceola County Cattlemen’s Ranch Rodeo Champions Paul Grimaldi, Michael Grimaldi, Kaitlyn Grimaldi, Cliff Lightsey, Juan Alcazar

Newsome Cattle Williston Ranch Rodeo Team Champions Scott Newsome, Mark Newsome, Chris Kuharke, Austin “Cracker” Brown, Jessie Arnow

Brevard County Cattlemen Central Florida Fair Ranch Rodeo Champions David Yates, Keith Whaley, Matt Clemons, Heather Clemons, Beau Anastasio

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Cattlemen’s Livestock Market By Melissa Nichols

The story behind Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction Market, goes back to 1951, a day when society and ranching were much different from today. Mr. McCullum and Mr. Robinson, two local cattle ranchers, were tired of driving all the way to Kissimmee with a load of cattle to sell. At the time, Kissimmee was the nearest market. They decided that Polk County, being in the center of major cattle areas, needed a livestock auction, so in January of 1951, they opened Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction. It is still housed at the same location. The doors to the auction originally opened those 60 + years ago at 3305 US 92 E at the corner of Fish Hatchery and Hwy 92. The owners today are the sons of the Mr. Mike Tomkow who was the second owner in partnership with Mr. Hamilton. Dave and Mike Tomkow have been instrumental and involved with the auction since the 1970’s, although they didn’t purchase the business until 1992.

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This past year Dave and Mike celebrated their 20th year of being in business together. These brothers are a dynamic duo. They both also own and operate cow-calf operations together (Tomkow Brothers Cattle.) Over the years they have seen and witnessed first-hand what the average rancher is dealing with. They have experienced the ups and downs in the industry and dealt with every aspect involved in raising cattle. This experience makes them able to relate to the customers who come in to sell their cattle. It is important to both brothers that when you walk into Cattlemen’s Livestock, you feel welcomed. They like to know everyone’s names, and if you come and visit and they don’t know you, it is likely they will come up and shake your hand and find out a little about you.

Cattlemen’s is a unique auction. They offer many luxuries of the larger auctions such as having an air conditioned sale arena, and reclining lounge chairs. Over the years they have invested in a computer system that has expedited the process of selling livestock and getting paid. From the time your animals sell to the time that you can get a check from one of the skilled office staff is now less than 30 minutes on average. It is not uncommon for the girls who work the front desk to have your check ready September 2013

and hand it to you as you are leaving. Another awesome part of Cattlemen’s livestock is the food stand just outside the door of the auction ring. Kellie Noles serves the best burger & sweet tea you will find anywhere around. The Tomkow brothers are also representatives for Superior livestock. If you are selling off your whole herd and have 90-100 head of cattle (48k lbs.) they will come out and film your cattle and “rep” them to be sold via internet or TV sale with Superior Livestock. Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction also has a specialty all breed bull sale every year, it’s the first Friday in February. They also annually have a replacement heifer sale as heifers become available. Dave is looking towards having a specialty Angus only sale in the future. On an average week they have around 900 cattle come to the sale, about 80% of them are calves. Dave prides himself on being an auction that is there for the seller. He will assist you every step of the way with any questions or concerns that you may have. Their current market is mostly geared towards the beef cow-calf operations and beef feedlot cattle although they do have the occasional dairy cow. There is no limit on the number of animals that you must bring to be able to sell them at Cattlemen’s (no herd too large or small).

If you have any questions, give them a call. They will talk to you personally and be there every step of the way, just the way their dad raised them. You don’t get to be in business for 60 plus years by not investing time in the customer and Dave and Mike know this. Come out and visit the sale, it is every Tuesday and starts at 12:00 Noon. Cattle receiving hours are Mondays 8am-9pm (April to October) & 8am-8pm (November to March) and Tuesdays from 7 am to the end of the sale. You can also watch the sale online at

At Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction, you may come as a stranger, but you will leave as a friend. To contact them, call the office at (863) 665-5088, Dave’s cell (863) 5593266 or Mike’s cell (863) 559-5091.

The Tomkow Brothers are huge supporters of local youth agriculture programs and sponsor many events. Dave is actively involved with the Polk County Cattlemen’s Association. With the ever changing industry such as the cow calf operation, it is important that you place your livestock auction needs with trustworthy people, Dave and Mike Tomkow are just that, trustworthy people.

September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 77

Feeling Good in the Heartland

By Dr. D. Keatley Waldron, D. C. Contribution by Beckie Halaska Dr. D, Keatley Waldron, D.C. of Waldron Chiropractic Health Center-Sebring is board certified and committed to providing his patients with only the highest quality care. He has a heart and passion for this community that has been his home for most of his life. Dr. Waldron has been in practice for over 22 years and applies an educational approach to his natural healing techniques. His philosophy is, an ounce of prevention is worth...everything!

Every day is an adventure in the great outdoors! It is such a blessing to live here in the Heartland with the many opportunities we have to fish, hunt and camp. Whether you are fishing for a large-mouth bass on Istokpoga, chasing a 12’ alligator on the Kissimmee River or catching hogs with your dogs, you won’t enjoy it if you aren’t feeling well. Fall is coming quickly, football will be in full swing and soon we will be enjoying a bounty of outdoor activities.

There is a saying “in order to do good, you’ve got to feel good”. Young or old, how you feel determines the level of enjoyment you will gain from any activity.

One of the most common problems I see in our outdoorsmen (and women) is lower back pain. There is nothing worse than sitting in a deer stand, turkey blind or sleeping in a tent with pain and stiffness. Hoping to get better by taking medication, only to be disappointed is no substitute for

78 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

feeling good. If you haven’t had a time that you’ve missed the great outdoors because of a physical ailment, count your blessings, but also ask yourself what you are doing to try to prevent pain in the future.

Health doesn’t just happen, it takes effort every day to keep in shape and be good to yourself. What outdoorsman/ woman doesn’t dream of sharing their love of the outdoors with the next generation? There are things you can start right now to help the goal of enjoying the outdoors for years to come. Simple steps you can take each day to get your body primed helping you to be loose and feel better, therefore, gain more enjoyment from your day. Begin each morning by taking a few moments for yourself with a warm or hot shower. While in the shower, do simple stretches. Hold your hands behind your back, opening your chest, reach your arms out in front of you and hunch your back, stretching your spine, arms, reach for the ceiling, roll your head, stretching your shoulder and neck muscles; This simple exercise will get your blood flowing. September 2013

Once you have dressed, do a series of stretches that will only take 10 minutes of your time but will serve your body well, giving you an advantage of feeling good and to defend against injury and sickness. • Lie flat on your back. Draw both knees in toward your chest, and give them a squeeze. Hold it and repeat a couple of times.

• Stand straight with your feet equal to your shoulders, raise your arms above your head and slowly bend to touch your toes, hold the pose, and repeat. • Doing a few jumping jacks and push ups are also great for your morning routine.

We Want to Help

Grow Your Portfolio. Drought and cold weather may keep you from getting the best results from your crops. Inflation and other economic factors could keep you from getting the best results from your investments. While we can’t control the weather or the markets, we can review your investments and help you prepare for retirement.

Call today to schedule a complimentary portfolio review.

Allow yourself time every morning for a proper breakfast and take your vitamins. I cannot stress the value of this step enough.

Take time to get outdoors, but more importantly, take time for you so you can feel good, do good and be good! Give thanks for the many blessings that God has promised to us here in the Heartland…and remember… “An ounce of prevention is worth…everything!”

September 2013

Sharon A Covey

Financial Advisor .

107 Southwest 17th Street Suite J Okeechobee, FL 34974 863-357-4724


Member SIPC

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 79

Cattlemen’s Livestock Market 3305 Hwy 92 E • Lakeland, FL 33801

Weekly Beef Sale:

Tuesday 12:00 Noon Pairs and all Vet checked cattle will be sold at 3pm

Cattle Receiving Schedule:

Mondays: 8am-9pm April thru October 8am-8pm November thru March Tuesdays: 7am- End of Sale For Competitive Prices, Let Cattlemen’s Livestock Auction Market handle your Livestock Merchandising

Watch our sales online at

Special Sales:

Replacement Heifer Sales, Direct Sales, Video Sales, All Breed Bull Sales, On Site Dispersal Sales (Includes Dairy, Beef and Equipment)

Superior Livestock Representative

Dave or Mike Tomkow

Dave Cell (863) 559-3266 or Mike Cell (863) 559-5091 Office (863) 665-5088 or Home (352) 523-2081

P.O. BOX 3183 PLANT CITY, FL 33563

PH. (813)708.3661 OR (863)381.8014


FAX (813) 283-4978

COMPLETE AND MAIL THIS CARD Subscriber’s Agreement

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September 2013

AG CALENDAR September National Chicken Month

September 13th Florida Cattlewomen Fall Quarterly Meeting, Temple Terrace 407-846-6221

September 1st Snook Season Opens

September 13th National Peanut Day

September 1st – 27th Vintage Fishing Tackle on Exhibit, Palmetto Historical Park, Free 941-721-2034

September 14th Highlands County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting & Dinner, Sebring International Raceway Hall of Fame Building, RSVP to Jan 863-385-5141

September 2nd Labor Day September 2nd Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Assoc. & Fred Smith Rodeo Arena-Seminole Tribe’s Final Round, Okeechobee Cattlemen’s Rodeo Arena 863-634-0825 September 3rd-8th Tomato Conference, Ritz Carlton Golf Resort, Naples September 5th NRA Banquet, Turner AG Center, Arcadia, 863-993-4807 September 7th Fall Vegetable Gardening Workshop, Manatee AG Center, call Master Gardeners 941-722-4524

September 19th-20th FNGLA Landscape Show, Orlando

September 20TH-21ST OYLS Cattle Battle, Okeechobee Agri Center, Call Brad Lundy, 863-634-7315

September 30th FFA Hall of Fame Inductee Banquet, Leadership Training Center, Haines City

September 20th-22nd Sebring IV Thunder, Downtown Sebring

October 1st Cattle and Forage Field Day, UF/IFAS Range Cattle Research & Education Center

September 22nd-25th FFVA 70th Annual Convention, The Ritz Carlton, Amelia Island,

Sept. 12th Okeechobee Friends of NRA Annual Banquet, 6:00PM, KOA, Call Jeff 863-634-9474

September 28th 5th Annual Mason G. Smoak 5K Race and Family Fun Festival, Lake Placid

September 20TH 19th Annual Florida Cattlemen’s Association Quality Replacement Heifer Sale, Arcadia Stockyard

September 22nd National Ice Cream Cone Day

September 11th Patriot Day & National Day of Service

September 28th Mixon Farms Craft Show, 9:00am – 3:00pm

September 30th NAP-Non-insured Crop Disaster Assistance Program 2014 deadline (including grasses), Okeechobee County Cattlemen’s Assoc.

September 21st FSCA 1st Ride & Slide Wounded Warrior Event, Contact Ron Hill,

September 7th – 8th Florida Gun & Knife Sport Show, West Palm Beach 321-777-7455

September 27-28th 2013 Florida Ranch Rodeo Finals & Cowboy Heritage Festival, Silver Spurs Arena, Osceola Heritage Park, Kissimmee,

September 26th Annual DeSoto Charlotte Farm Bureau Banquet, 863-494-3636

October 4th-5th 1st Annual Hog Challenge, St. Lucie County Fairgrounds, FMI visit www. October 5th Dakin Dairy Farms Festival, Mac & Cheese Cook Off, 5K & Kids Fun Run, October 5th Manatee County Master Gardener Plant Sale, Manatee County Extension Service, 941-722-4524 October 5th Glades County Woman’s Club High Heel-A-Thon, 863-228-0907

September 12th-13th UF/IFAS Grazing Management School, Bartow

Submit your events for the ag calendar to

In the Field Magazine Your Monthly Agricultural Magazine Since 2004, Serving the Heartland Since 2008

September 2013

Heartland InTheFieldMagazine 81

Heartland’s Growing Businesses




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Benchrest Shooters Supply BC.indd 1

September 2013

12/16/11 9:55 AM

September 2013

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September 2013

Saluting Fallen Heroes and

Local Emergency Responders.

Phosphate Rock Mine & Beneficiation Plant 6209 County Road 663 • Wauchula, FL 33873 863.375.4321 •

We Will Never Forget. CFIndustries911Ad_02C.indd 3 86 Heartland InTheFieldMagazine

September 2013

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Heartland In The Field magazine  

Agriculture magazine covering Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Highlands, Okeechobee, Glades and Hendry counties in Florida.

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