If I've learned anything from visiting Mississippi hunting camps, it's that they - like all communities - are always in a state of change, sometimes major, sometimes minor, but always changing.

So from time to time I occasionally revisit a camp just to see what they might be doing differently now. Sometimes, I find they have changed their basic structure from, say, a dues camp to a stock ownership camp. Others may have changed from the state minimums to a higher self-imposed minimum-rack size in order to eventually harvest bigger racks.

This month's revisited camp is Free Run Hunting Club, located in the hills near Yazoo City.

The first thing I learned had changed at Free Run was that the camp had recently lost 300 acres of leased section rolling-hill land where I had hunted before, but then had also added a new 300-acre bottomland lease. Most of their former land had been on rolling hills, so this new bottomland lease now gave them some different terrain to work with.

To remind our readers, Free Run Hunting Club got its name from the Free Run Community where the camp is based that was in the rolling hills, where in prohibition days, it was widely known that the illegal alcohol ran free; thus the moniker "Free Run."

After several previous visits to Free Run, I would strongly suggest that the name could just as easily apply to the gracious Southern hospitality that runs free at this small camp. Free Run's affable hospitality starts with local landowner Albert Vandevere, his wife Christy and their sons Bert and Chris as well as with pharmacist Max Saunders and his son Brent, and extends through the other members Jack Williams, Will Riddick, Lynn Sprecher, Jarret Carman, Chad Lipscomb, Robert Vandevere, Joe Mohamed and Michael McCain.

I was blessed on this trip to be accompanied by my 11-year-old grandson Miles Thomas, who had recently accompanied me to Bruinsburg HC where his first-ever buck was a 170-class 10-pointer! Thus far, Miles' buck ranks around third overall in the state, and probably first in the Youth division, so needless to say, he was juiced and ready to accompany his Poppa again on another hunting trip this week.

Miles and I met up with Saunders in front of his Essco Pharmacy in Yazoo City, and caravanned north out to tiny Eden, where we turned right and headed up into the sprawling hills where Free Run is located. After meeting up at the old home place, which had been the Vandervere's family home many years ago, we then followed on the winding road behind Saunders' truck to turn inside an open gate where we parked.

From there, Saunders walked to his nearby stand after lending his Bad Boy Buggy to Miles and me, which was a special treat for Miles. We rode the electric cart in silence to our large two-man elevated shooting house atop a hill overlooking a flat drainage, where various corn, cabbage and green fields were splashed across a scenic bottom.

The temperature was moderate, but oscillating winds were destined to plague us for the whole day at this and another afternoon shooting house. My experience has been that deer will move in high winds, especially those heralding a coming front, but will stay bedded tight when the winds push back and forth, back and forth all day, apparently wary that their usually reliable sense of smell will be greatly diminished in such winds.

As much as we tried to bring a rutting buck into sight with grunt calls and the Primos Can call that had lured Miles' trophy buck into his sights the week before, nothing worked.

After hunting hard until nearly noon, we came down and went back to camp, where we discovered that no one had harvested a deer. The disappointing hunt, however, had done nothing to diminish our usual deer camp appetites, so we headed into Yazoo City, where I was told we were in for a treat at Clancy's Restaurant.

When we waddled out an hour later stuffed with the finest catfish I've ever eaten, Miles and I both said we couldn't have agreed more.

During the midday break, we all gathered in the den at the Vandevere's house, where we looked over the great deer heads displayed on the wall as well as reviewing some deer the camp's trail-cams had recently captured. Several young bucks on videos showed great promise for the future if allowed to live another season or two.

For the afternoon hunt, Miles and I were led to the "Kudzu Stand," a tall, elevated, two-man stand overlooking a former kudzu patch that the camp members had replaced with a scenic green field atop a knoll with surrounding timber. When Miles asked me what he could shoot that afternoon, I told him he had plenty of choices - he could harvest an 8-point buck with at least a 15-inch spread, a mature doe, a coyote, a bobcat or a fox, not realizing that the only thing we would see moving that entire afternoon in those see-sawing winds would be two blackbirds! And they were walking on the ground!

During the long afternoon, Miles and I whiled the time away by munching on snacks my wife Betty had put into our goodie bag for her guys, and Miles occasionally dozed off. When he peeked at Poppa through one cracked eye, I told him to go ahead and sleep and I would nudge him if anything walked out.

When we got down at dark and made our way back to our truck, Miles asked me a classic young lad's question: "What's for supper, Poppa?"

Grandkids! You gotta love 'em!

For autographed copies of Mississippi Hunting Camps ($81) or Tales of Old Rocky Hill ($18), mail check/money order to Bill R. Lea, P.O. Box 321023, Jackson, MS 39232

To schedule a visit to your camp, call 601-502-4720 or email billrlea@yahoo.com.