Deer Hunting

In Southeast Mississippi, deer hunters remain stuck in a rut

While most deer hunters have already put their guns and bows away for the season, or will after today’s final day in the Hill and Delta zones, those in the southeast corner of Mississippi remain in a rut.

Make that, The Rut.

“It’s true that down here in the southeasternmost part of the state the primary reproductive period for deer is much later than the rest of Mississippi,” said Justin Thayer, the region’s deer biologist for the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. “We have such a large geographical difference between north and south that we see a large variance in the rut. […]

Bass Fishing

The One-Two Punch

It’s great when that first cast meets with aggressive reception, but often, it takes some dialing in to determine the fish’s preference. Notwithstanding the oft-proven merits of junk fishing, a handful of examples show us that certain lure pairings hold particularly strategic benefit. […]


Rusty gun syndrome

We were swapping out units: I was getting a newer take-home unit from one of the other guys. He was getting another unit assigned to him by the chief in our small-town police department.

We had just been issued brand new riot guns, and I was pleased when I recommended to the chief we get Remington 870 12-gauge pumps, and he agreed.

They came to us brand-new in the box, black injection-molded stocks and pump forearms, extended magazine tubes, chambered for 2¾- or 3-inch shells.

They were “Parkerized” — a dark grey and coarse finish that is extremely wear resistant and used by the U.S. military for many decades. […]

Other Hunting

Nighttime Bandits

“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. […]

Freshwater Fishing

Prime Meridian

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.

After fishing only about 30 yards, he caught his first keeper crappie, and threw yet another marker buoy out to mark the spot. He quickly put the perch in the “supper well,” and pitched his jig-and-spinner combo. Another fat one nailed it.

“I like to use a jig-and-spinner combo when searching for pre-spawn crappie,” Giles said. “I usually tie on a jig first and then put a small Beetle Spin-type spinner on the rear of the rig to slow my retrieve down and give me more feel and sensitivity at the same time.” […]

Deer of the Year

Hunter takes rare weekday off, gets a 15-point

In mid-December, Burton Swoope of Belden had a gut feeling and a few days off remaining. He put those two together and drove south toward his deer camp near Columbus for a day he won’t soon forget.

“I knew the rut was on and I just decided to use a vacation day and hunt this particular Wednesday,” said Swoope, the plant manager of a concrete plant in Pontotoc.

The result: a 15-point buck that green-scored a gross of 167 5/8 and a net of 153 6/8. It is a thick and long but not particularly wide mainframe 11-point with four sticker points.

It is a brute, and the result of two decades of management on family property in the Golden Triangle area of the historically productive deer region known as the Black Belt Prairie.

“I killed him on family land outside of Columbus, where we’ve been under some type of management program for about 20 years,” Swoope said. “We started back in the early 90’s just trying to shoot 8-pointers or better. Now we try to only take fairly mature bucks, regardless of points, and a few does. It’s paid off with some really nice bucks over the years but as far as I know he’ll be the highest scoring ever killed on our land.” […]