Today is Wednesday, December 7, 2016
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A screwy hunting season

We are about 70-plus days into our 2016/17 hunting season. For half of it, it was more like summer and a drought was building.

Hunting should have been slow. In some areas, I guess it was. Crazy Weather!

Is Al Gore to blame? What is it with the summer weather during bow season? But for that matter, what do I have to complain about?

The building season

Deer season is open. Of all the places I hunt and have hunted, by far, my favorite is an old, abandoned, decrepit homestead. That was the subject for the first magazine article I sold Bowhunter Magazine, over 30 years ago. Thanks to Chuck Denault for the idea, the pictures and superb paintings. JLS

Records, world records & stuff

Been some big deer killed this year. The one making a lot of news is the potential world record, non-typical buck, killed recently in Sumner County, during the muzzle loader season.

Young Stephen Tucker, killed the buck in outside Gallatin, with 47 points that is possibly a new world record. Big deer for sure, over 300 inches of antler.

Rifle season opens Saturday

Swap your smoke poles for your rifles. Our rifle season opens this Saturday, Nov. 19 and runs all the way through, until January 8.

Then, if you have access and permission to hunt private land, you get some more time to hunt does, Jan. 9-13. Remember, this year, for the first time, if a male deer has antlers that protrude above the hairline, you must check him in as a buck. The limit here, in Unit L, is two bucks for the entire year and three does per day.

A whizz in the woods

I can't think of another facet of whitetail deer hunting about which more pure recycled pasture has been written than the rut. (Maybe the horse hockey about rubber boots and scent control is close?) Every year, I see countless articles written that are just flat wrong.

Most, designed to sell you a product.

Time for the front-stuffers

Get the out your orange vests and hats, boys and girls, the best deer hunting of the year is about to open.
Our muzzleloading season opens this Saturday, Nov. 5 and runs through Friday, Nov. 18. This is the prime time to kill a mature buck. And by the way, this fall fishing is good now, too.
If the weather will cooperate, the bucks should be out during daylight hours, searching for that "special" doe.

My, how it has changed

The weather has been a big factor in our archery season, so far. By hunting the cold fronts, I have managed to kill three does but the hot weather that followed the cold fronts kept me from putting out a lot of effort.

BTW- I am a real fan of the Wasp Dueler broadheads. They are doing a great job out of the TenPoint crossbow.

Let's talk about our deer

Well the season has started. This column is not about what I or others are seeing or shooting. And it is important that you remember, this is just my personal opinion. This is about deer management in our unit, Unit L. And I am not PC. I do not harvest, I kill. Here is what I think.

Fellowship House catfish dinner

All you can eat Oct. 13.
I got three fat deer in the freezer, time to take a break for something important. Like a great meal after eating my own cooking while Jeanne and the family were in Gulf Shores.

Y'all like catfish and all the trimmins that go with a great catfish dinner? Shoot! Who doesn't? But just in case you are that un-American, you can eat some dead chicken. So tell whoever does the cookin at your place, they have tomorrow night off.

Misty Cove gets a facelift

It has taken well over two years. Tremendous hurdles had to be overcome. Three separate government agencies had to cooperate.
But finally, not in a small part, through the efforts of Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto, we have a new, state of the art, boat ramp at Misty Cove.
Formerly known as Bentley's Boat Dock, Misty Cove has been in deplorable condition for a long time.

A poor view of hunters

I don't watch much outdoor programming. I don't get most of the channels that show it. Before I start teeing off on this subject, let me first admit to some things.

Yes, I have been a professional hunter. I have been compensated to hunt. I have been a professional guide, compensated to put other hunters on game. I have been on television and I have made hunting videos and I have promoted products and been compensated for it.

No. 61 and counting

This Saturday, just three days from now, Lord willing and weather and health permitting, I shall enjoy my 61st opening day of deer season.

My great aunt Fannie! The changes I have seen in those years.

Lemme tell you about some of them and then, I'll bring you up to speed if need be on the changes here.

Jim Donnell Memorial Dove Shoot

It had been a while. I had not shot doves in several years.

To say my aim was rusty is an understatement.

More accurately, I could not hit a bull in the butt with bass fiddle.

The Caney revisited

It is hot and going to get hotter. You can bet on that. It is not daylight and it is 75-degrees.

So, I slip on the fleece jacket to my jogging suit. It will feel good. No matter what the temperature, until the sun gets up, it is cold on the Caney Fork.

Thursday they fly -- we shoot

Dove season opens at noon tomorrow (Sept. 1st). The limit is 15 and you can't have more than that in possession.
That is the easy part, remembering that.

Remember also, they are migratory birds; your shotgun must be plugged, no more than three shells. And of course, make sure you have the proper license, including a Tennessee migratory bird permit.

Ricin sunset

It was many years ago. I was very young and had a broken ankle.

A bucking horse had kicked me as I got off on the pickup man at a rodeo in St.Paul, MN. I won third.

I had a total of $230 in my pocket, no way to get back to Texas and no prospects.

Sunrises (and Ghosts/Haints)

I was a strange kid. I grew to be a strange man.

For example, as a kid, I was a morning person. I hated sleeping late. Hated the thought I might miss a sunrise.

Don't wait - go see Buddy now!

I don't know how much I will deer hunt this year. The burning desire is gone.

The days when I counted the hours until opening morning are over. And too, there is the inherent danger that comes with my age and physical condition.

When the fishing sucks ditchwater, go catfishing

I know there are folks who specialize in fishing for catfish. I am not one of them. By far, the bulk of the catfish I have caught, were caught on trotlines or by accident.

But here I was, on a lake I had never fished, using a bait that seems ridiculous, fishing 30-feet down for catfish. It was after all, the dog days of August and the fishing here sucked ditch water.

What to do this summer

The dog days are here way too early. The daytime fishing has slowed and is mostly a deep water bite.

It gets too hot too early in the morning and the storms bounce around late in the afternoon. Lake levels are up and down, some ramps almost unusable. Misty Cove is a mess but what's new about that?

Actually there is something new about the deplorable condition of the Misty Cove boat ramp.

Rabbit 'n them and an axe

I figured, if all you are going to catch are buffalo, I might as well tell some stories.

See, this is how it came about. I had some land leased in Hickman County 640 acres -- a section one mile square. It was rough, ridge and holler land, all hardwoods, no fields, one bad dirt road and a guy they called Rabbit. It was part of the land I leased for Buckhorn Guide Service.

Bored? Do a model

One of the great things about being the sort of outdoor writer I am, is that you never run out of things to write about.

See, I don't usually write about outdoor or sports shows or stuff like that.

That is what daily papers and television are for -- more reporting than writing.

NJHFR stampedes into the Ward Ag Center

I'll answer this question I hear asked a lot, lately.

Those oddly painted and decorated bulls you see outside area businesses are to promote and show support for the National Junior High Rodeo Finals, coming to the James E. Ward Ag. Center June 19-25.

It's a big deal. This is for national titles.

This, that and the other

By now, most of you deer hunters have heard about the change in the regulations concerning what is checked in as a buck. For many years, if the animal had antlers three-inches or more, it must be checked in as a buck. A deer with shorter antlers but still visible was classified as antlerless and checked in as something besides a buck.

From day one, I opposed that. My stance was and is, if it was a male animal, regardless of antler length, then it was a buck and should be checked in as one.

Kids + bream = fantastic weekend

"It is all about the kids and getting the kids interested and involved."

Robert Pitman was talking about the new fishing package White Oak Plantation is offering.

But that focus isn't really new. White Oak, located just outside Tuskegee, AL exactly 342-miles from my driveway, has long been family and youth oriented.

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