Mississippi hog and deer hunt
An Outdoorsman’s Journal
Hello friends, This week’s column could literally cover 20 times the space that I am allowed each week, so hold on and enjoy a unique experience as I traveled to the state of Mississippi with my 18-year-old daughter Selina, who is home on Christmas break from UW-Stevens Point, to visit family and hunt for deer and feral pigs.
Friday, Dec. 27 High 71, Low 52
First and most importantly, this trip is 100% a new experience for everyone involved. My brother Tom and his wife Laurie Waters just purchased a cabin on Lake Washington, which is located in western Mississippi in Washington County.
Tom and Laurie raised a family near Denham Springs, La. and, a year ago, Tom retired from Exxon corporation at the age of 59. Last June, Tom took a twoyear job as a safety inspector where a massive plastics factory is being built.
Tom works six 10-hour days and did this with the plan of buying a cabin somewhere. That is what he did. Up to this trip, Tom and Laurie had only seen their place twice and each time it was only for a day.
Selina and I arrived after a 965-mile straight-thru drive with a canoe on top of my truck and rifles and deer stands in the bed of it.
Our plan was to hunt deer and hogs in the Delta National Forest. To be perfectly honest, Tom didn’t even know how to get to it. That might give you an idea where we were at.
Today we met Tom’s neighbor, who is a white perch/ crappie guide who had helped some fishermen limit out the day before. Many of their white perch were over 2.5 pounds.
Also across the road from Tom and Laurie’s cabin, the field is white and it’s not snow. It’s covered with snow geese. Just south of us there is a February no-limit snow goose season.
So we load up Tom’s canoe next to mine and start the 32-mile drive to the Delta National Forest and new frontiers. Our plan is to hunt the Sunflower Wildlife Management Unit in a bucks-only hunt and hopefully put a hurting on some hogs.
The bucks have to have an inside antler spread of 15-inches or one of the main beams has to be at least 18-inches long. Each hunter can harvest three bucks, but only one a day.
REALITY! The Delta National Forest and outlying areas were covered with 6 feet of water from January of 2019 until late July. Four days before our arrival hard rains made the forestry roads “difficult” to travel.
Every tree has a water mark at 6 feet. We speak to hunters and a catfish farmer. We put many miles on the truck reading maps and a GPS. Everyone is in literal shock due to the flood. We met a catfish farmer who is going out of business due to the fact that he cannot get equipment in to feed or harvest his fish.
He tells us that the flood took out all the hogs and most of the deer. He also tells us that he killed seven hogs that were on the only high ground in the area, which was his front yard.
Another farmer tells us “they” came in with helicopters and killed 3,500 hogs including over 300 on his 250 acres.
There is stress on this day, but we keep our cool and go very remote. We take the canoes off the truck with Selina I going one way and Tom the other.
The trees in south, at least the hardwoods, are massive and everywhere that we paddle there are ducks.
On the last day of our hunt Tom discovers that for an additional $20 each of us could have hunted ducks.
Every sunrise and sunset lots of duck hunters can be heard getting more shooting, more often then I have ever witnessed.
We go as hard as we can each day, up at 4:15 and to bed very late. On the weekend my nephew Josh Walters, who is pushing 40, shows up with my great nephews Preston, Christian and Landon who are 4 to 11. These guys are into moto-cross big time. I had no idea how big time. They even have the family name on their bikes.
Josh fishes catfish off the dock that he is seeing for the first time. By the end of the weekend there are 20 cats on ice.
Out of space!