Hunter Accidentally Attracts Florida Panther With His Turkey Call

Jason Francis

There’s no doubt that hunting should be considered a sport, since there is always the rare chance that the hunter can be hunted when they are out in nature.

This Florida turkey hunter was doing his best to call in some toms during the brief spring season in the Sunshine State, and though he doesn’t consider himself a good caller, he must have been decent considering what happened.

Jason Francis spoke to Outdoor Life and talked about how the hunting expedition first got started that fateful day:

“I was hunting by myself, and I heard four or five different gobblers that morning, but nothing came in. I assumed that as soon as they hit the ground they stopped gobbling, so I just kept calling and making hen yelps every three to five minutes.”

Those hen calls he was sending out from his ground blind might not have been fooling the nearby turkeys, but it did get the attention of one of the state’s illusive Florida panthers.

Francis stopped making the calls once he saw the panther moving in, hoping that it would veer off and head a different direction. The turkey hunter’s wishes didn’t come true, as the big cat kept walking towards him:

“I heard a twig snap, so I turned around and see (the) panther coming toward me. It didn’t see me and just kept walking. I’m like, ‘He’s gonna walk into this blind.'”

The Florida man somehow had the wherewithal to pull his phone out and record the terrifying events that were unfolding right in front of him. Francis should give himself more credit as a turkey caller, because his hen yelps brought a Florida panther within 10 yards of his blind.

It’s cool to think about with hindsight, though it was next-level-scary in the moment:

“I just sat there for a while, and you can hear me breathing in the video. My adrenaline was going crazy. And you can tell in the video (that) he’s not looking at the camera. He’s looking right in my eyes.”

Luckily for the hunter, he never had to draw his weapon, and the panther eventually figured out that the hen it was looking for was not a hen at all. There’s no doubt the wild cat knew that Francis was there, but it likely wasn’t sure exactly what it was looking at, so it opted to retreat.

Not before the Florida man got this heart-pounding video though:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock