January 2018 - Volume 38, Number 1


Targeting squirrels with an air rifle is a stealthy, challenging way to fill your game bag. Here’s what you need to know if you decide to leave your trusty rimfire rifle at home.

I had spent a good 30 minutes creeping up on three particularly vigilant cat squirrels. It was late in the season, and even though I was covered head to toe in a leafy Ghillie suit, it was slow going against the hyper-alert critters.

Even in tough wintertime conditions, Black River Lake in central Louisiana can deliver bass — if you crack the code.

I’ve got to admit I wasn’t expecting much.

Chad Wiley, a Bassmaster tournament pro from Pineville, asked me to meet him at Joe’s Horseshoe Lake Marina in Monterey.

Winter in Southeast Louisiana is unpredictable - and so are the fish. Keep these tips in mind when you’re targeting specks and reds now out of Venice.

Step outside and the chilly winter air stings your nose and ears. What do you do? You grab a jacket, gloves and maybe a neck gaiter. Pretty standard stuff, but fish have no such options. They gotta deal with whatever nature throws their way by being smart and seeking refuge in life-sustaining habitat.

Bucks have to venture out of their comfort zones to pursue hot does. Use these ‘big tips’ to score during the rut.

Behind my house five years ago at 5 p.m., I killed a buck that I captured on camera 4 miles down the road at 2 a.m. that very same morning.

|This cypress-filled gem on the Louisiana-Texas |border offers up some great waterfowl hunting — |but knowing some of its idiosyncrasies beforehand |will up your odds of bagging a limit.|

Dawn was hauntingly beautiful.

No flamboyant sunrise color; rather a suffusion of light through the fog-veiled cypress trees. Todd Hopkins’ and Brandon Garner’s duck calls echoed off the fog as effectively as off a steel wall.

You can’t stick with your early season tactics and continue killing ducks this month. Here’s how to adjust to track down waterfowl honey holes.

“Some honey hole!” Eddie wailed as he stomped onto the porch after tying up the boat. “We was watching ducks most of the morning! But NONE would come NEAR Doc’s blind!

Geese are famous for being finicky. For staying just out of range, chuckling as hunters grind their teeth in frustration. But these guides know small adjustments can result in birds on the ground.

Shot-wise things were slow. Way too slow.

The speckle bellies were down in good numbers, but for some reason acting real finicky  — just plain uppity at times.

Or at least barking dogs, spotlights, gunfire — and an angry raccoon up a tree — make it seem that way.

The late Jerry Clower may be the only person that coon hunting ever made famous, or vice versa. The “Mouth of Mississippi” won a bushel of country comedy awards and never recorded an album or put on a performance without telling a good coon hunting story.

When baitfish go deep in colder months, crappie follow them. Try these tips to load up on winter slabs.

Winter crappie fishermen are deep thinkers; but don’t be intimidated if your name doesn’t include a PhD, MBA or some other evidence of academic ascension. Truth be told, all you really need to know is this: Where’s the deep water?

After four long years of trail cam hide-and-seek, Logansport’s Donald Alexander finally caught up with a magnificent 199-inch DeSoto Parish buck he nicknamed Crab Claws. For the full story on how the big deer went down, go to page 20.