December 2010 - Volume 30, Number 12


You should never head to a deer stand without your weapon, but a close second to that vital piece of equipment is a grunt call.

Over the last few decades, technology has dramatically altered deer hunting. With an endless variety of camouflage clothing, scent-control products, game cameras, range finders, feeders, climbing stands, pop-up blinds, cough suppressors and the like, today’s deer hunters have as many gizmos available to them as bass fishermen.

Throw on your warmest camo, and head to the woods with the next cold front. Deer change their behavior when it’s cold, and that puts the odds in your favor.

Ever see those pictures on the bags of food-plot seed of fields of ankle-deep greenery, all lush and verdant?

It just doesn’t get any easier than catching trout at Venice this time of year.

It was early October, and the soft light of dawn revealed that the Venice Marina harbor held as many orange-vested oil clean-up crewmen as sportfishermen.

Yellow Cotton Bay still delivers the goods, but it’s just a shadow of its former self.

It was supposed to be a fishing trip, but it turned out to be more like a funeral. I guess I should be used to it by now, having lived and fished in much of the waters along our Southeast Louisiana coast most of my life.

This group has been hunting WMAs for four decades, and they’ve mastered the skills to put some really nice bucks on the wall. More importantly, they have an absolute blast while they’re doing it.

Did you ever hear of Wolf Creek, Duck Slough, Muddy Bayou, Pocosin, Whiskey Chitto creeks, Dugdemona River, Chaney and Choctaw Creek, Upper and Lower Sunk lakes? Or how about Hunter Creek, Ben’s Creek, Mississippi Bayou, Sally Miller Pond or Louisiana Cypress Canal?

Deer are more likely to use food plots and show up around established stands when the season opens. But what about when hunting pressure pushes them away from these easy hunting locations? Adjusting is the answer.

Tommy Milioto Jr. knew the deer was there. He had seen too many pictures of the fine buck. The problem was all the pictures were snapped at night.

Delacroix is known for its cold-weather fishing, and you’d be hard pressed to find better spots than these.

Capt. Jack Payne can see his own version of a winter wonderland from his front porch. The owner of Sweetwater Guide Service and Marina, Payne poured his pay-to-launch ramp right at the intersection of Bayous Terre Aux Boeufs and Gentilly.

How you set out your duck decoys will make a big difference in your success level this season.

My problem with the point I’m fishing is that the bass just have to be biting better on the one across the lake.

Pearl River WMA is loaded with wild pigs, and best of all, you get to actually HUNT them.

“Come see, Bwana!” Pelayo was squatting next to a slough and beckoning me over with a hand wave. “These tracks look super fresh, Bwana.”

Sitting back and waiting is not a good deer-killing strategy this month. The bucks are on to us, and successful hunters will do some mid-season scouting to regain the edge.