The Community Scrape

In search of vegetative foliage, five bucks ­— a mature 8-pointer, a 3½-year-old, two spunky spikes and a curious button buck — go single file along the forest edge, ascending a bluff. Occasionally the group stops to forage; yet one of the spikes and the button buck, by instinct, prefer to assertively test their status with bouts of mock sparring. […]


Hype for Snipe

As duck season fades away and deer season wanes, most hunters begin to retire to their warm homes to recuperate after a long season. A few may go afield for late-season rabbit hunts and a February squirrel or two, but few have wingshooting on their minds this late in the year. […]


The Right Time

Randy Pope climbed into his elevated tree stand well before dawn on a recent hunt and prepared for the morning. Pope has hunted big-game animals all over the world and is an expert at finding, hunting and harvesting trophy whitetail bucks. […]

As Big As they Grow

Ross Barnett crappie

As I write this column, I’m listening to Elvis’ Christmas album. My favorite Elvis classic (and I sing along) is “Blue Christmas.” My “Blue Christmas” rendition varies in entertainment value based on the audience (my family has long endured my caroling, and they actually request “Blue Christmas”) and the amount of scotch missing from the Oban bottle. […]

Inshore Fishing

The secrets of Cat Island

Cat Island, only 7 miles from Long Beach Harbor, may have the best and most-dependable fishing year-round off the Mississippi Coast. One of the advantages that anglers have who go to Cat Island to fish during January is that they always can find protected waters there with speckled trout and redfish. […]

Waterfowl & Duck Hunting

The shotgun evolution

Duck guns used to be a big deal ­­— really. In the old days, it was not all that uncommon to run into a salty waterfowler toting a 12-pound 10-gauge double slung over one shoulder along with a huge bag of real wood decoys over the other. Back in the way back day, it was still possible to catch a goose hunter carrying an 8-gauge, but by the 1950s, those were mostly long gone with modern duck guns taking over the scene. […]


Midnight at the marina

It is midnight at the marina where your boat is moored, and water is slowly rising in its bilge. The float switch turns on your automatic bilge pump, but it can’t stay ahead of the leak and the water level creeps upward. By the time you return to the slip, your boat will be hanging by its mooring lines — if you’re lucky! […]