• Hunting

    An interesting photo of a buck that appears to have been sheared by a dog groomer.

    Practical strategies for success

    In the last couple of installments of “Happy Trails” we have been peeling the onion back a few layers on the finer points of supplemental feeding. During the preseason period from late spring to early fall, consistent and properly done supplemental feeding accomplishes multiple things for your deer herd and potentially you as a deer hunter. First and foremost, the right type of supplemental feed during the right time period ensures that your resident bucks growing antlers have enough building blocks, and that does stay healthy as they provide milk for their summer offspring.

    September 20 at 9:00am
    1. Pierce the hide above the knee joint on both legs and hoist the hog to a comfortable height.

    Prepping a hog for the butcher

    As they say in hunting, once the shooting stops, the fun ends and the work begins. If you’ve ever field-dressed a deer, you’ll have a rough estimation of how to do a hog, but there are a few key differences in quartering a pig for the processor.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Scouting a few days prior to opening day can pay dividends.

    Early season essentials

    Hunting dove in early September can be brutally hot, especially when the Saturday opening time is high noon. During these late days of summer, when the latent heat of the dog days still lingers, you need to use caution and consider bringing the following:

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Using game cameras allows a hunter to keep track of movements, deer numbers and age and sex ratios without having to spend a lot of time in the woods.

    Your eyes in the woods

    Today’s technology allows deer hunters who are pressed for time, or who want to get out into the woods without hunting blind, to hit the ground running. 

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Permanent stands left up year-round need to be thoroughly inspected and repairs made as needed.

    Check conditions of stands

    If you deer hunt in areas where permanent stands are erected and have been left in place year round, now is the time to inspect those stands for safety. Ropes, chains, and straps used to secure the stands need to be checked and invariably, some burgeoning timber will need to be manicured so you can see the approach of deer around the stand.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    Food sources are generally thought to be the best indicator for stand placement. Try to locate the stand off the side of a trail leading to the food and don’t place the stand in the middle of the action.

    Find food, place stand

    Before bucks take a serious interest in does for breeding purposes, food sources are one of, if not the most important factor, in deciding where to place your deer stand. Even when the rut comes in, does will still primarily focus on food while bucks shift their focus to the females. 

    September 15 at 7:00am
    With a lot of carryover of bucks from a poor 2016-17 statewide harvest, many hunters could be as fortunate as Barrett Van Cleave of Woodville, who killed this buck two years ago.

    Here’s what’s new for deer in 2017-18

    According to MDWFP deer program coordinator William McKinley, the agency conducted a statewide hunter opinion survey via e-mail in April 2017. Hunters were asked numerous questions about topics including deer populations, hunting methods and season structure.

    September 15 at 7:00am
    This buck is shedding his velvet. What bowhunter wouldn’t welcome this scene in front of their stand?

    Tracking the rut

    No matter the deer population or the ratio of does-to-bucks, there “will be a rut,” said William McKinley, the deer program coordinator for the MDWFP. It is a staggered start, varying region by region and even property by property.

    September 15 at 7:00am

    Cover

    Deer season arrives in Mississippi this month. Learn what your chances are around the state, and which public lands are tops.Photo by Rick Small.

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Owen George used to be a deer hunter, but the year-round appeal of hogs has changed his outlook.

    High-tech hog whacking

    New-school hog hunting

    September 01 at 7:00am
    It's a good idea to take a day before the dove season starts and go scout and find out where the birds are.

    Mississippi Delta dove-tactics

    For generations upon generations as far back as the locals in little towns across the Deep South can remember, there has been a long-standing tradition of Labor Day weekend dove hunting. 

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Monitoring the health of your herd starts with balanced buck to doe ratios.

    Don’t let procrastination ruin deer season

    Outdoorsmen are not necessarily procrastinators by nature, and the main reason so many deer hunters find themselves behind when it comes to preparing for the coming deer season is that they’ve been busy. 

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Josh Clark killed this 18-point buck last December on Canemount WMA, proving that Mississippi has quality hunting opportunities on public land.

    2017 WMA Regional Forecast

    Josh Clark spotted the massive buck working his way toward his stand, and, more importantly, toward the business end of his cocked-and-ready .35 Whelen rifle.

    September 01 at 7:00am
    MDWFP deer coordinator William McKinley measures a buck  for the Magnolia Records Program at the Mississippi Wildlife Extravaganza. Fewer entries in the program could be due to many factors.

    2017-18 deer season forecast: After poor season, it looks good

    Mississippi is a deer-rich state. In spite of recent bag limit and regulatory changes hunters still have a long season and opportunities to harvest deer that are the envy of many hunters across the nation. A story on the new regulations can be found with this article.

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Natural cover from limbs on nearby trees provides a hunter the opportunity to draw unobserved from this ladder stand.

    Keys to bow stand selection

    Archery season is fast approaching and hopefully, most bowhunters have their archery equipment set up and dialed in. But what about the tree stands they will hunt from? 

    September 01 at 7:00am
    Dove hunters, like former Ole Miss quarterback Tim Ellis — who led the Rebels to a win over national champion Notre Dame in 1977 — can enjoy some September shooting.

    More than just mourning doves

    Mississippi dove hunters could find as many as four different species in their range of fire this season, and one of them — Eurasian collared dove — are not managed with a bag limit since they are not native to North America. These are larger birds, more like pigeons than other doves, and usually lighter in color except for a black collar around the neck.

    August 31 at 4:00pm