January 2014 - Volume 34, Number 1

Features

For hunters used to working dogs for a cottontail or two, a swamp rabbit shoot can be an eye-opening experience. Here’s what one out-of-stater learned on his first swamper hunt.

Brothers Matthew and Porter Watson McCollister are dog men. I got that the first time I met Matthew, when he loaned me a book to read written by J. Frank Dobbie titled The Legend of Ben Lilly.

Moving into the final days of the hunting season, deer hunters have to change their game plans if they want to fill their tags.

It is often necessary to adjust the game plan at halftime when the Saints — or any football team, for that matter ­— are engaged in an important game.

Most hunters dream of killing that one jaw-dropping buck, but the issue of exactly what defines a trophy deer is still very personal. Here are some thoughts on the matter.

Every year scores of hunters harvest whitetails throughout the state. Each buck, in the eyes of the beholder, is truly a trophy - hosting a set of antlers that are individually unique. Yet once comparisons of harvested bucks are made, the stigma of big verses small and scoring classifications can toy a hunter's perspective. Simply put: Competition and influence from the hunting media attempts to set a standard of what constitutes a trophy buck.

There’s plenty of squirrel-hunting action in the rolling hills of the Kisatchie National Forest — if you know where to look and how to get into position.

Squirrels!

Here?

Was I really going squirrel hunting? A squirrel would have to pack a lunch to make it here. It was nearly solid pine trees — tall straight pine trees. Maybe 1 in 5,000 trees was a scrub oak or a stunted, gnarly magnolia.

A willingness to leave those fixed blinds ­goes a long way to filling the duck strap — especially when birds start avoiding those regular setups.

This is the tale of three duck hunters: Edison, MacGyver and Fatso. 

The first two really liked to kill ducks and were determined to find a better way to do it.

Follow this hunting guide’s five steps to cash in on geese with massive rag spreads.

The tranquil predawn darkness was pierced with the command that echoed across the rice field.

The prespawn is the perfect time to be on the water, since bass are fattening up for the coming rigors of the spawn. Here are how the pros put big fish in the boat.

Childbirth is one of life’s most-amazing moments.

But if you’ve ever been around a lady who’s closing in on D-day, you know you can count on a couple of behavioral points: moodiness and accelerated appetite.

Umbrella rigs aren’t just for bass fishing anymore. Learn how you can use the multi-bait outfits to force crappie into feeding frenzies.

So I’m discussing bass-stocking strategies with a fish hatchery biologist and he explained that the concept of manipulating brood stock with light and temperature moderations can prompt the fish to spawn early and provide larger fingerling bass to stock in conjunction with the threadfin shad spawn.

If you’re looking to fill your boat with trout and reds, the Biloxi Marsh’s Stump Lagoon and its surrounding waters offer plenty of options.

If you leave out of my launching pad in Shell Beach you can enter the Biloxi Marsh by one of two general routes. Either you cross Lake Borgne and enter through one of the numerous bayous that wind snakelike into the heart of the marsh, or you head up Bayou LaLoutre and enter through Stump Lagoon.

Jon Black killed this 25-point buck a week after his son shot a 170-inch deer. Read about the hunt during which this amazing deer was killed on page 14.