• February 2009 - Volume 11, Number 7


    The state’s lead turkey biologist tells readers what they can expect this spring.

    To learn spring-turkey season expectations, the area of the state holding the most turkeys, the best week to hunt during turkey season and the benefits of volunteering as a Mississippi turkey cooperator, Mississippi Sportsman talked with Dave Godwin of Starkville, wild turkey program coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks (MDWFP). Godwin has gathered research on Mississippi’s turkeys and has learned an astounding amount.

    Follow these tips, and you’ll rule your turkey woods.

    At first light, an old battle-worn tom belted out a voluminous gobble that served as a warning to all would-be suitors and a come-hither call for any available hens.

    These masked marauders liven up chilly Mississippi nights.

    “Load up, Music!”

    The old blue tick coon hound did as Buddy Lisk commanded, leaping excitedly onto the tailgate of the pickup and settling in next to his litter mate, Blaze, for the short ride to Christian Bottom.

    Now’s the time to get on over to eastern Mississippi’s top pre-spawn crappie lake.

    Joe Giles studied his LCR for a few minutes before pitching a couple of marker buoys out into the muddy waters of Okatibbee. Giles was scanning the bottom for the Gin Creek channel that cut through the Gin Creek Flats.

    These aren’t the birds of your college pranks. They’re a blast to hunt, and they’re plentiful now.

    Christmas has come and gone, and deer and duck seasons are coming to an end in Mississippi. Most of us have fattened up over the holidays, and the brutal, late-winter weather might have us spending a little too much time indoors munching on the candied pecans.

    Located on the Tenn-Tom waterway, this “sleeper” crappie lake is a great place to find early season pre-spawn slabs.

    “On any given day, there’s just no telling what you might see out here,” said crappie guide Brad Whitehead, “I’ve seen all kinds of wildlife from deer to ducks and eagles. Then one day a few years back I was sitting out here with a client, and this huge barge comes by with something that looked like part of the space shuttle loaded on it.”

    Deer season just ended, but we're already counting the days until the turkey opener. Learn what you can expect this year in Part II of our forecast.