You’ve dreamed about it — a private sanctuary loaded with trophy deer, abundant food plots, all-weather stands, improved roads, a beautiful lodge and a great group of friends and family to share it with.
Catching a bunch of croakers and frying them up whole is a childhood memory many locals still cherish. Today, it’s pretty much gone because trout and redfish get all the attention. Croakers large enough to eat are sometimes difficult to find, and few anglers even try. But recently, some nice-sized croakers have begun to appear at Seabrook and other areas around South Louisiana — offering a chance to renew this old tradition.
Not getting a proper anchor set is one of the most frustrating parts of fishing in deep water, both for those attempting to anchor, as well as others in the surrounding boats who are disturbed by it.
The New Orleans metropolitan area is ranked in the Top 50 cities in the country, with a population of about 1.3 million people. And situated in the middle of Orleans Parish, the waters surrounding the Seabrook Bridge (recently named the Senator Ted Hickey Bridge) make it one of the top inshore saltwater fishing areas located within the city limits of any major metropolitan area in the United States.
A few seasons ago, I had a great opportunity during bow season. I was hunting in an area where I had seen several nice deer the previous season, so I set up a bow stand there. One evening, just as light was fading, a very nice (for the area) 8-point stepped out into the newly-planted food plot at 35 yards. I raised my crossbow and let the bolt fly. The deer jumped high and into a thicket. I was not sure if I had a hit, but later found my arrow and it was a clean miss. The other club members named the deer “Almost,” and my nickname became “Trophy.”
Kenny Meliet is a member of the deer hunting club that I am in, and has taken a deer on the opening day of bow season two of the last three years. The one taken last year was a 9-point buck taken on Oct. 1 at 9:28 a.m. I asked Meliet his secret for being successful on opening day. He said, “It’s really no secret, it just takes some work and preparation. I keep my cameras going year round and check them on a regular basis so that I can follow what the deer are doing throughout the off season. I also keep feed and mineral blocks out all year so that the deer get very used to coming to the area that I will hunt. I add some protein to the corn to keep the deer healthy and help with antler growth.”
While there are some dedicated bowhunters who have hung up their guns for good in exchange for sticks and a string, most deer hunters are eager to pick up their firearms as the early archery season comes to an end. They know the odds of scoring a good buck increase dramatically by using a firearm. Nevertheless, that doesn’t diminish their excitement and enjoyment of bowhunting. In fact, the simplicity of pursuing whitetails with a primitive weapon, and the serenity of being alone in the woods before the crowds show up, is the perfect start to a new deer season.
While science can provide many answers, there is no substitute for actual time spent in the woods observing deer.
So I turned to two hunters who have been chasing bucks most of their lives in Southeastern Louisiana and South Mississippi to get their perspective on hunting bucks during the rut.
I peered out my living room window only to see fog and a persistent rain. It was the day after Christmas, and I was anxious to get back to my deer stand after spending Christmas day with my family — but the weather was just not cooperating.
A lingering warm front was stuck in place, waiting for the next cold front to sweep it away and bring perfect deer-hunting weather during the peak of the breeding season.