Thanksgiving is approaching and instead of heading to the store to buy their turkeys, some Floridians are taking the matter into their own hands.
Some of these turkey hunters can be found at the Gator Skeet and Trap Club in Alachua County, practicing their shot.
Club employee Beau Pleasanton said bringing home a wild turkey for Thanksgiving is a family tradition. He said he grew up shooting and hunting, shooting his first deer when he was seven and his first turkey when he was 10 or 11.
Pleasanton said these family traditions taught him many life lessons.
“There is something about being ten years old and your dad giving you a rifle and telling you to go out into the woods, and obviously giving you guidance while doing it, but you definitely grow up with like a respect for nature and a little bit more … a different kind of maturity,” Pleasanton said.
Hunter James Multhrop said going out and shooting his own turkey is well worth the effort.
“The grocery store turkey is bred for light palettes, light flavors, and the wild turkey has obviously a little wilder flavor, more flavor,” Multhrop said, “and if you prefer that, then this is the only way you can get it. It’s very hard to get a fresh bird, a fresh turkey raised on the farm that has the flavor that you can get taking a wild bird.”
While one can’t shoot a bird within the city limits of Gainesville, people are able to practice their shots before taking their talents to a designated hunting area.
For more information on Florida’s hunting season dates and regulations, visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.