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    In this photo of the same mature buck, taken on Aug. 6, note the circumference of the bases and the overall general mass of the antlers, tell-tale signs of maturity.

    Try to educate your eyes

    In the world of Southeastern Conference football, they call the pregame education process “getting reps,” which over time builds experience and “muscle memory.” 

    11 hours ago
    Zac Carothers of Oxford took this rare, natural 14-point Sunday in Coahoma County. The buck gross scores over 180 inches, putting it close to the typical archery record in Mississippi.

    Carothers sticks 180-inch typical 14 point

    Here’s what you need to know statistically about the 180-inch (green, gross) buck Zac Carothers shot with a bow Sunday in Coahoma County.

    November 20 at 4:15pm
    Eddie Berthelot Jr. fishes a gold spoon with his rod tip down to keep the lure 6 to 8 inches under the surface of the water, and he recommends being patient on the hookset to reel in more redfish.

    The lovin’ spoonful

    Fall is prime time for redfish, and the venerable old spoon is still an effective, fun lure to throw in interior marshes for solid action.

    November 20 at 6:00am
    Anglers make three mistakes when fishing with ChatterBaits, but FLW Tour pro Brian Latimer provides tips to ensure you get the most out of the vibrating jigs.

    Top 3 ChatterBait mistakes

    ChatterBaits are lures fish love to smash. Whether you’re targeting bass on your local reservoir or snatching redfish from coastal marshes, these vibrating jigs force reaction bites that are vicious.

    November 16 at 9:00am
    Rat-L-Traps are not inherently snag-free, but bass pro Cliff Crochet said you can make one simple alteration to throw the lures around hard structure and catch more fish.

    Remove back hook from Rat-L-Trap to catch more fish

    Rat-L-Traps are absolute fish-catchers. There’s just something about the lipless crankbaits that bass and redfish love — or hate, whatever. They will just crunch them.

    November 16 at 6:00am
    A buzzbait is a very productive bait when bass are in the backs of creeks on visible cover.

    Pickwick Lake’s bass bonanza

    Catching 30 to 50 bass per day is what you can expect in November on Pickwick Lake, which corners Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee and should be one of the hottest lakes in all those states this month. One of the main reasons I’m choosing Pickwick is because the shad will be moving from deep to shallow water and will be schooling on the surface, and there’s a wide variety of ways to catch those bass. 

    November 15 at 9:00am
    Needle nose and split ring pliers are invaluable for hook change operations.

    Tools and tactics

    Swapping hooks is not a complicated process, but a little know-how facilitates the task. Invariably, the biggest challenge is flexing the split ring enough to remove and add a hook. Split ring pliers, made to separate the metal ring’s overlapping sections simplify the process, while providing a gripping device. However, in a pinch, your fingernail or a pocketknife blade will suffice.

    November 15 at 6:00am
    A feature on Google Earth allows anglers to go back in time to see features on Okhissa’s lake bottom before the lake was impounded to see potential bass-holding spots.

    Google Earth helps turn back time at Okhissa

    During the construction of Okhissa Lake, several humps were pushed up around the lake bottom, and several rock beds were created with railroad ties and loads of gravel.

    November 15 at 6:00am
    Sheepshead will hold this month around bridge pilings where US 90 crosses rivers close to Mississippi’s Gulf Coast.

    Bridge pilings present another option

    Guides Kenny Shiyou of Shore Thing Charters in Bay St. Louis and Robert Earl McDaniel of WhipaSnapa Charters in Biloxi welcome the fall transition and approaching cold weather.

    November 15 at 6:00am
    As the rut approaches, bucks will spend more and more of their travel time seeking out receptive does.

    Mapping Mississippi’s breeding period

    For more than 20 years, the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks has conducted deer health checks across the state to establish quite a database. 

    November 15 at 6:00am
    Rattling and calling are age-old deer hunting tricks, but knowing how to age a deer is key to taking him at his highest potential.

    Combining stealth, calling

    Hunters have at their disposal a number of tricks that can arouse the curiosity of rutting bucks and help get them into range. Rattling, calling, scents and decoys are among the more popular ones.

    November 15 at 6:00am
    Timing the release of corn or other baits from feeders may help keep deer, especially big bucks, from turning completely nocturnal in areas that are being baited.

    Trophy bucks are rarely killed over bait

    Mississippi hunting regulations still forbid killing any wild animal or wild bird with the aid of bait, but its allowance of and regulations regarding “supplemental deer feeding” opens the door to killing deer over bait. 

    November 15 at 6:00am
    Squirrels are not only a popular small-game animal, they can be a distant early warning system for hunters that deer are entering an area.

    Squirrels can be a deer hunter’s best friends

    Hunters invest countless hours in deer stands under a wide variety of conditions. After years of sitting motionless in the stand and watching the time tick by, they have practically earned a master’s degree in several outdoor disciplines, including interpreting nature’s signals, which can come in many forms, including wildlife alerts. 

    November 15 at 6:00am
    In many cases, wildlife enforcement agents have been observing a situation long before they actually approach you.

    Dos and don’ts when the warden arrives

    The words “game warden” often ring fear into the hearts of sportsmen, but they don’t need to if you’re obeying fish and game laws. Discussions with three wildlife officers who have 40 years experience resulted in these ideas about how to do the right thing when you’re approached in the woods or on the water. 

    November 15 at 5:00am
    At the conclusion of the Mississippi Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp, campers go to a public waterfowl hunting area and put into practice the skills they’ve learned at camp about hunting waterfowl.

    Mississippi’s Youth Waterfowl Camp

    Do you know a youngster who’s itching to go waterfowl hunting but needs to learn gun safety, how to identify ducks and geese and how to shoot accurately? If so, consider the Mississippi Youth Waterfowl Hunting and Education Camp. 

    November 14 at 6:00am
    The Tenn-Tom Waterway produces plenty of big blue and flathead catfish this month from deep holes. And eating-sized channel cats are around, too.

    Fishing through the fall

    Just because hunting dominates this issue of Mississippi Sportsman, don’t think for a minute that fishing opportunities just suddenly dry up and go away.

    No sir. No way.

    November 13 at 6:00am