Public Rambling: January a tough month for deer on Atchafalaya Delta WMA

Good news is gun season for rabbits and hogs is now underway

Well, as I told you guys on my last blog, January is a tough month to hunt deer on the Atchafalaya Delta WMA. And that turned out to be true for me and my buddies this year.

Deer sightings from our stands were almost non-existent. But we consistently got pictures on our game cameras of some very nice bucks. At least six different 8-points or better in one week at one location.

Great news, right?

Not exactly. While it was good to know of the possibility of us cashing in a on a trophy buck, our expectations were greatly lowered by the fact that every picture of every nice buck was taken during at night.

We hunted the stands anyway, just in case one of them slipped up. But no such luck — they didn’t.

Finally, on Jan. 28th, my buddy Randy Levingston did arrow a doe — his fifth deer of the season which we had not seen on a game cam. That was the first deer we even got to draw back on for the entire month.

On the last day of the season, during a late afternoon hunt, I saw a nice racked buck feeding at 80 yards for about 10 minutes. He closed to 60 yards, but got no closer. With one buck tag left, I really wanted to reach out and touch it, but 40 yards is my limit and I didn’t want to try a Hail Mary shot.

Talking with the game wardens the night we checked in the doe, we were told that the action had been extremely slow. But there was a nice 8-point, 145-pound buck turned in in mid-January. Major congrats to whoever got that one.

In better news, the hogs got a lot more active, and Randy and I each took one with our bows, plus we saw many more.

The gun season for rabbits and hogs started on Feb. 1st at the Delta. On the first day of that season — while ostensibly hog hunting — Randy, David Simoneaux and  I walked up and shot 19 rabbits. With the water still being so high and limiting us on stalking the hogs, we went with Plan B and it was very fun and successful.

As the high water recedes, we expect to really get on the hogs with our .22 Mag rifles. We had a blast doing that last season, and look forward to more of the same.

But while shooting those rabbits, we saw snakes everywhere. It was like spring started on Feb 1. We even saw a 6-foot gator on the ride home — crazy for this time of year.

As the temps have become milder, the fog chances have increased greatly, which creates super dangerous conditions at times. Please have a GPS with good tracks for both the inside and river routes going to and from the Delta.

The fog kept us home until 10 am on a recent trip,  and even then we needed GPS to navigate at certain points —in the middle of a sunny day. The river and fog are a a very bad mix and can get you in a lot of trouble really quickly, because after you are in a fog bank, even with GPS you cannot see other boat traffic, logs, sandbars, etc.

I hoped everyone enjoyed their deer season — I know we sure did. Like every year, this season taught us some lessons we intend to use next year. We found some new areas to hunt, and will explore those more as we go through the hog season and beyond.

Good hunting, God bless and be safe.