Fall is harvest time in the Magnolia State

Brit Breland after a successful public land bow hunt at Theodore National Wildlife Refuge in Yazoo County on Oct. 2, 2021. The 9-point weighed 235 pounds and had 5.5-inch bases.

Woods and waters offer up fast action and food for the winter

As the leaves fall and October temperatures take a dip signaling the coming winter, I can still remember my first bow kill, though it happened almost 40 years ago. The revolutionary compound bow was primitive by today’s standards, but it allowed me to get into the woods before the gun season began. I bought the used bow from a local sale paper in the days before the internet, shot it a few times at a paper plate and went to the woods.

It only took one afternoon before a doe walked directly under my Baker Climbing stand and I centered my pin right between the deer’s shoulder blades and let the arrow fly.

“Thwack!” The arrow smacked the deer, and it ran out of sight toting my aluminum arrow and wasp broadhead with it.

First bow kill

A short time later I was standing over my first bow kill, and my adrenalin pulsed through my veins. When the temperature gets a bit chilly my mind always races back to that first bow kill, as well as early fall squirrel hunts, and fantastic crappie fishing.

Fall is truly harvest time in the Magnolia State and outdoor lovers have more things to do than time to do them. It was true back in my youth and it still rings true today. Whether you’re a diehard angler or hunter, you can pick your passion and renew your soul, while also filling your freezer.

In this issue

In “Crossbow Magic” I consulted with veteran hunter Allen Shortridge and marveled at the magical time he is having in the fall with his crossbow. Although he’s been a lifelong bow hunter, now in his late 70s, he’s not quite as strong as he once was, but the advent of the modern crossbows with self-cocking devices has lengthened his bow hunting career.

Phillip Gentry’s “Here Kitty, Kitty” is a timely feature on fishing for catfish. Gentry follows the catfish as they transition from their summer patterns through winter and gives us tips on how to locate them and shares successful strategies of angler success.

Airborne assault” by John Felsher is all about using high-flying scouts to lead you to fantastic fall fishing. If you’re looking to fill your freezer, then there’s no better way to do it than to locate active birds feeding on shad. Find the birds and you’ll find the shad and catch those trout.

Deer me; that’s weird!” So you think you’ve seen it all? Think again. David Moreland’s feature on whitetail deer abnormalities is sure to get every hunter’s attention. Looking at some of these unusual and unique animals will make you wonder how they turned out like that.

And lastly, in my “Small Game Preview,” we look at some of the fantastic small game hunting opportunities around the state. No matter whether you want to hunt close to home or travel to another region of the state you will learn which areas are best for squirrel and rabbit hunting.

Don’t delay, read along and experience some of the best hunting the country has to offer.

About Michael O. Giles 399 Articles
Mike Giles of Meridian has been hunting and fishing Mississippi since 1965. He is an award-winning wildlife photographer, writer, seminar speaker and guide.

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