• January 2012 - Volume 14, Number 6

    Features

    Water and food make Tallahatchie County ground zero for Mississippi ducks.

    It’s 31 degrees outside with a stiff northern breeze kicking up adding to the wind chill. There is a dusting of snow from last night covering the ice left over from the previous weekend.

    Try these locations on Jackson’s favorite lake this month to catch loads of crappie.

    Providing a list of the 12 hottest crappie locations in the state sounds easy in theory, but becomes difficult in practice. It’s not because they’re hard to find, but just the opposite: The Magnolia state is chock full of great crappie fishing waters. Putting them in a list is bound to hurt somebody’s feelings. Mississippi crappie anglers are extremely loyal to their local waters. Arguing which ones are “the best” would depend on the time of year and who you talk to.

    This underrated bird provides incredible sport and excellent meals this time of year.

    As duck season fades away and deer season wanes, most hunters begin to retire to their warm homes to recuperate after a long season. A few may go afield for late-season rabbit hunts and a February squirrel or two, but few have wingshooting on their minds this late in the year.

    Some hunters talk of 500-yard shots, but this Moselle hunter has the deer on his wall to prove his long-distance shooting skill.

    Joe Poole had been cooling his heels in his truck for much of the day last Jan. 13, watching a huge bean field that was literally full of deer. It was four days after a major snowfall, and the cold weather had deer up and moving.

    Scrape activity is high this time of year, particularly when deer pay visits to community scrapes.

    In search of vegetative foliage, five bucks ­— a mature 8-pointer, a 3½-year-old, two spunky spikes and a curious button buck — go single file along the forest edge, ascending a bluff. Occasionally the group stops to forage; yet one of the spikes and the button buck, by instinct, prefer to assertively test their status with bouts of mock sparring.

    Late-season bucks are smart and wary, but by changing tactics, you can beat them at their own game.

    Randy Pope climbed into his elevated tree stand well before dawn on a recent hunt and prepared for the morning. Pope has hunted big-game animals all over the world and is an expert at finding, hunting and harvesting trophy whitetail bucks.