December 2007 - Volume 27, Number 12

Features

Taking a day to forget about hunting and simply scout for a well-worn trail will pay dividends. It’s a virtual guarantee.

Mid December and the temperature had “dropped” into the high-60s for the night.

Atchafalaya Delta WMA is primed for one of its best duck seasons in years.

I didn’t really know what I was getting myself into when I accepted retired LSU biologist Jerald Horst’s invitation to spend a couple days hunting the Atchafalaya Delta WMA with him. If there were ducks and there was hunting, I was there.

Will bass anglers — and the lakes they love — go down to Sheol if catch-and-release principles are abandoned?

Bass once made up much of my family’s diet from the 1960s until the mid-1980s. If you go back to the history of catch and release, you’ll see that Ray Scott, founder of B.A.S.S., originally initiated this program, since he’d received so much criticism in the early days of B.A.S.S about his tournament anglers catching and killing large numbers of big bass.

Sixth-grader Seth Kile has the hunting bug, and he came by it naturally.

During a poetry unit that my 8th grade English class at Boyet Jr. High in Slidell was dissecting, we came across a poem about legacies. My students easily identified the extended metaphor comparing a mother’s courage to a granite hill.

Louisiana has world-class fly fishing that is so good, veteran anglers move here to be close to the action.

The last time Louisiana saw so many outsiders moving in to the state to take advantage of an opportunity was after the Civil War when carpetbaggers headed south looking to take advantage of the economic and political situation. Those folks weren’t thought very highly of, and many Louisianaians wished they would return from whence they came.

Specks, reds and bass ply this Delacroix playground during fog season.

Down here in the Deep South, we don’t really get to enjoy four different seasons like folks do farther north. I always heard that each season — spring, summer, fall and winter — had its own unique characteristics, and up north, those folks actually get to experience them.

Giant yellowfin tuna are at this very minute heading to the Midnight Lump. Do you have the right gear to tangle with them?

Each December, anglers from near and far trek to the famed Midnight Lump, or Sackett Bank, located south of Venice to do battle with triple-digit yellowfin tuna, giant mako sharks and other trophy fish.

It’s very likely that very soon a conservation measure will close as much as 20 percent of Louisiana’s offshore waters — and perhaps inshore waters — to fishing.

A recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration discussion paper has brought home to Gulf of Mexico fishermen the momentum of the movement to create marine protected areas (MPAs) in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

Now’s a good time to call in sick and hit the creek channels in Lake D’Arbonne, where crappie will do their best to pull your rod from your hand.

My grandfather used to have a plaque at the end of his hall that read, “If fishing interferes with work, quit work!”

Take some of this gear along, and you’ll have a better time targeting that trophy buck.

You wouldn’t expect a serious golfer to hit the links with just any set of clubs. He has to have his clubs — the ones he uses to give him confidence in his drives, chips and putts.

There are still plenty of young geese to be had in Southwest Louisiana’s ultra-productive rice fields.

THE ROAD!” Anthony shouted as we nearly careened into a ditch along I-10.

Hunting preserves are surging in popularity in Louisiana because they attract young and old hunters for very different reasons.

It’s Friday night — sons are home from college for the weekend. At 1:30 a.m., the old man gets up to answer nature’s call. The light is on in two bedrooms down the hallway. The old man hears voices coming from both sons’ computers of other gamers.

Chasing deer in a swamp is no picnic, but these two hunters know that those sloppy, wet areas hold a lot of deer — and some of the bucks grow big.

Julio Basas had seen some big rubs, and knew there should be a big deer hanging around the area. The Morgan City hunter also had seen a faint trail the buck was using — when the water was low enough to reveal damp soil.

Kaplan resident Drew Gaspard, 13, dropped this beastly 10-point during youth weekend in Tensas Parish. It green-scored 159 7/8. The 2007 season has already delivered some incredible deer kills.