Carlos Lopez (right) is a pro-staff member for ThermaCELL insect repellant systems and is sponsored by Hornady, Nikon, and many other hunting companies. Dwayne Powell is a professional guide and owns and runs Kissimee River Hunt & Fish. If you comment on this article, “Like” it on Facebook, and tweet it, we can probably convince them to share their summer hunting experiences with us.
Carlos on the ranch with an early prototype of the Ambush 6.8 SPC hunting rifle. Daniel Defense has put an enormous amount of thought and thoughtfullness into designing a modern hunting rifle based on the AR-15 platform that is far more than just an AR with camo. The scope is a Vortex Viper.
by Paul Helinski
Dwayne Powell, Kissimee River Hunt & Fish
Calling all hunters! While most of the hunting world is off thinking about whitetails in the fall, varmint and predator hunters are gearing up for an exciting summer. I decided to write this article in collaboration with our regular hunting contributor ThermaCELL Pro-Staffer Carlos Lopez, and our newest discovery, Dwayne Powell, who runs Kissimmee River Hunt and Fish in Okeechobee, Florida, to see if you guys would like to see a summer full of hunting here at GunsAmerica Magazine & Blog. Carlos and Dwayne are passionate hunters and hunt all year, and if we all would like them to share some of their summer experiences with us, they have agreed to put it together. Some folks would argue that hunting goes away until after the kids go back to school, but we disagree. Varmint and predator hunting is all year round, and even if you can’t get out this summer, there is a great deal of merit to keeping your head in the game.
Please comment on this article, like it on Facebook, and tweet it on Twitter if you feel like you’d like to see the tactics, the guns and gear in action that you will use this fall, or during the summer yourself. We know that summer can be busy with kids out of school, vacations, seasonal camping, and competition shooting, but please let yourself be heard if your summer needs some hunting in it. These guys are going to hunt. And if we can convince them to carry cameras, both still and video, and slow down enough to document the stuff they are actual doing, I think it would be a lot of fun. These are some of activities already happening at Kissimmee River Hunt and Fish, and that we can expect to see:
- Spring and Summer Coyotes – Calling in coyotes when the woods are full of turkey poults, deer fawns, and every manner of other baby animal in the woods isn’t so easy, but the calves on the ranch are in serious danger, so hunt Dwayne and Carlos must, and kill Coyotes Dwayne and Carlos will.
- Gators – The real kind, not the John Deere kind (though Dwayne does drive around the ranch in the latter). It takes some doing to get a survey from the state biologist to hunt gators, but if you are willing pay for it, you’ll be frying gator tail in no time. At some point this summer Dwayne will have a client book a gator hunt, probably more than one.
- Hogs, hogs, hogs and more hogs – Dwayne is guiding on thousands of acres of private cattle ranch, plus tens of thousands of acres of public land. The hotter it gets the later the hogs come out, but night hunting is a blast. Dwayne also has three full-time feeders running, and the giant hog known as “Big Nasty” will meet his demise at the end of a rifle or bow this summer in the hands of one of Dwayne’s guests. Carlos also has a new Tenpoint Wicked Ridge Invader crossbow he is dying to try out on hogs. Fun stuff!
- Bowfishing – Believe it or not, Carlos has been working on an article called “Bowfishing for Fitness.” He is a completely insane nut when it comes to hunting, and the way his mind works, any excuse to polish hunting skills and keep your head in the game is a good excuse. Oh, and at Kissimmee River with Dwayne, 10 pound bass come out of the water with frequent regularity.
Summer hunting is also nothing short of a wildlife tactical nuke adventure when you put aside the worries of daily life and explore the woods and pastures of old world Central Florida. On Dwayne’s private ranches we’ll see not just the next generation of game animals, but also endangered species and rarities to Florida, and nationwide. Check out the pictures we got in one day on just one of the three private ranches on which Dwayne guides.
So it is really up to us, to you actually, if you want to see Carlos and Dwayne in action this summer. Ambush Rifles, a Daniel Defense brand, and several other hunting gear companies have expressed interest in sponsoring this series, and getting the expenses paid is a big deal of any project. You will definitely like articles. Carlos has written for us for some time, and he is a great storyteller. If you comment and “Like” this article, Carlos will put the effort into documenting his and Dwayne’s summer exploits. Please let us know in the comments, and/or Facebook comments, and hopefully we’ll convince these guys to light it up for us. There is no reason to take your head out of hunting for the summer, even if you can’t pull yourself out of the pool to actually plunder some critters yourself. And who knows, maybe we’ll get you to put life on hold and get into the game this summer. It’s a blast.