I never use a pickle fork, as it can damage the boots and the ball joints. I raise the car on jacks, take the wheels off, and with the A-arms unsupported I loosen the nuts a turn or two as described above and then hit the spindles with the BFH, right at the ball joint. It usually doesn't take more that two-three good whacks to pop them loose, as the spring pressure will help to push them out. If, for some reason, it doesn't work you can hold a second BFH behind the spindle as an anvil. It takes some practice and good aim, but it has always worked for me.
And as Jim Mac said, beer and spindle removal don't mix. It's a perfectly safe procedure if you do it right, but if you screw up while removing the spindle or while it's removed, you'll be in deep poo-poo. I ususally lower the car and let the A-arms rest on large wooden blocks while removing the spindles. Correctly placed jack stands will be ok, but I feel safer with the wooden blocks as there's no way for the car to slip off. It might be overkill, but I have had too many close calls to take any chances.