Marian's Hunting Stories, etc., etc., etc...

Marian's Hunting Stories, etc., etc., etc...
Stories of my hunting experiences with family, friends or whatever else I want to blog about.

A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter

Monday, October 05, 2015

MS Deer Seasons @ Delta Zone

Mississippi has three zones, Hill Zone, Southeast Zone and Delta Zone.  I hunt in the Delta Zone.  The Delta Zone is on private and open public lands west of Interstate 55 and north of Interstate 20 plus areas south of Interstate 20 west of U.S. 61.

A legal buck is defined as having either a minimum inside spread of 12 inches or a minimum main beam length of 15 inches.

Oct. 1 - Nov. 20
Legal Deer:  Either sex on private land and open public land.
Youth Gun - Nov. 7 - Jan. 31
Legal Deer:  Either sex on private land and authorized state and federal land.  (ages 15 and under).
Early primitive weapons hunt - Nov. 9-20
Legal Deer:  Anterless deer only on private and open public land.
Gun (With Dogs) - Nov. 21 - Dec. 1
Legal Deer:  Either sex on private land; Legal bucks only on open public land.
Primitive Weapon - Dec. 2-15
Either sex on private land and open public land.
Gun (Without Dogs) - Dec. 16-23
Either sex on private land and open public land.
Gun (With Dogs) - Dec. 24-Jan. 20
Legal Deer: Either sex on private land; Legal bucks only on open public land.
Archery/Primitive Weapon - Jan 21-31
Legal Deer:  Either sex on private land; Legal bucks only on open public land.

Bag Limits
Antlered Buck Deer:  The bag limit on antlered buck deer is one buck per day, not to exceed three per license year.  Legal bucks must meet the antler criteria within the appropriate deer management zone.  For youth hunters 15 years of age and younger, hunting on private land and authorized state and federal lands, all of the three buck bag limit may be any antlered deer.
Antlerless Deer:  The bag limit on antlerless deer is one per day, not to exceed five per license year on private land or three on U.S. Forest Service National Forest land.  Antlerless deer are defined as any female deer and any male deer without hardened antler above the hairline.  Spotted fawns are not to be killed or molested at any time.

Legal Weapons
Youth Gun:  Youth may carry and use any firearm with which they can safely hunt, and in compliance with other applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
Archery:  Longbows, re curves, compound bows, and crossbows.  There is no minimum or maximum draw weight.  There is no minimum arrow length.  Fixed or mechanical broad heads may be used.

Primitive Weapons:  For the purpose of hunting deer, "Primitive Firearms" are defined as all archery equipment single or double barreled muzzle-loading rifles of at least .28 caliber; or single shot, breech loading, metallic cartridge rifles (.35 caliber of larger) and replicas, reproductions, or reintroduction of those type rifles with an exposed hammer; or single or double-barreled muzzle loading shotguns, with single ball or slug.  All muzzle loading primitive firearms must use black powder or a black powder substitute with percussion caps, No. 209 shotgun primers, or flintlock ignition.  "Black powder substitute" is defined as a substance designed, manufactured and specifically intended to be used as a propellant in muzzle loading or other black powder firearms, excluding modern smokeless powder.  Metallic cartridges may be loaded with either black powder or modern smokeless powder (cartridges purchased at sporting goods stores).  Handguns or sidearms are not allowed for hunt deer during Primitive Weapons seasons.  Telescopic sights are allowed while hunting with any primitive firearm during the primitive weapon seasons.  A "telescopic sight" is defined as an optical sighting device with any magnification.
During any open season on deer with primitive weapons after Nov. 30, a person may use any legal weapon of choice on private lands only, if the person is the title owner of the land, the lessee of the hunting rights on the land, a member of a hunting club leasing the hunting rights on the land, or a guest of a person specified above.  If the person is required to have a hunting license, the person must have a primitive weapons license, Sportsman's License, or a Lifetime Sportsman's license. 

Guns:  There are no caliber or magazine capacity restrictions on firearms.  Primitive weapons (as defined above) and archery equipment may be used during gun seasons.

Contact Information
MDWFP Biologist:  David Graves  361-935-1069, or
MDWFP Biologist:  Kamen Campbell  601-757-0913 or

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Old Court House Fall Festival Pix

Today the Vicksburg Main Street presented the Downtown Fall Fest and was so much fun.  It started off with the 5th Annual Bricks and Spokes bike ride through Vicksburg! The ride started at 8:00 am downtown and continued over the Old Mississippi River Bridge and throughout Warren County. Participants could choose a 10-mile, 30-mile, 50-mile or 62-mile route. Shopping was at the Old Court House Flea Market with finds of great craft items until 5:00 pm. Fall Fest also featured the launch of the Fall Farmers Market, with live music, antique tractor displays and Percy King’s animal demonstrations.  Everyone enjoyed the day as much as the cooler weather that was a plus.

Billy Foster's Handmade Knives
610 Boy Scout Road, Vicksburg, MS  39183-8183
(601) 638-0404  (c) 601-415-4775

It was good to see Billy Foster and his wife, Peggy!

Looking west.

Crafts and treasures galore!

Heading south.

Looking through the spokes of a Civil War cannon on the grounds of the Old Court House Museum.

Looking to the left on the grounds of the Old Court House Museum.

Looking to the right on the grounds of the Old Court House Museum.

Ladies Bathroom

Men's Bathroom

The New Court House directly across from the Old Court House Museum.

Great Grandson, Ian, in orange shirt having a great time playing in the jumping house.

Ian heading up this huge slide.

Here he comes...having a blast!

These were all over town for the Fall Festival and really looked nice.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Hunting License Info For Mississippi

 Hunting License Regulations: All persons born on or after January 1, 1972, must satisfactorily complete a hunter education course approved by the Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks before purchasing a Mississippi hunting license.  If it is determined that the holder was not entitled to issuance or obtained the license or hunter education certificate by fraudulent means, the license will be revoked or canceled.  It is unlawful to issue a hunting license to any person in this age group without proof of completion of the hunter education course.

* Resident - Each resident of the State of Mississippi ages 16 through 64 must obtain a hunting license, except while hunting on lands titled in his or her name.  Any person 65 or older, or any person otherwise exempted from obtaining a hunting license, must have documentation with him/her at all times while hunting as described in "Exemptions" below.

* Non-Resident - All non-resident hunters, except minors under the age of 16, are required to obtain a hunting license while hunting in the State of Mississippi.

Exemptions: Residents who are blind, paraplegic, a multiple-amputee, adjudged totally disabled by the Social Security Administration or totally service connected disabled by the Veterans Administration are not required to purchase a hunting or fishing license.  (MS. Code 49-7-5 and 49-7-9).  Residents exempt based on this criteria are required to have proof of their age, residency, disability status or other physical impairment in their possession while engaged in hunting and fishing activities.  All exempt licenses previously issued for disabilities are null and void.

Proof Of Residency: Only persons domiciled within the state of Mississippi as defined in section 49-7-3 of the Mississippi code, as amended, are entitled to obtain a resident hunting/fishing license.

Under this section, a person's domicile is that person's principal or primary home or place of abode.  Provided, however, a person holding a current driver's license is deemed to be domiciled within the state that issued the driver's license.  Even if a person currently resides within the State of Mississippi, for purposes of obtaining a hunting license, he/she is considered to be domiciled in the state which issued the driver's license.

I.  If you hold a current driver's license:
     a.  If you hold a current Mississippi driver's license, you are entitled to purchase a resident hunting license.
     b.  If you hold a driver's license from any state other than Mississippi, you are required to purchase a non-resident hunting license.

II.  If you do not hold a current driver's license from any state:
You are entitled to purchase a resident hunting license if Mississippi is your principal or primary home or place of abode.  A current Mississippi resident income tax return or a homestead exemption receipt may be considered as evidence of domicile, but these are not necessarily determinative.  You may be denied a resident hunting license if you fail to provide adequate proof.

Exceptions: Even if you are domiciled in another state, you my purchase a resident hunting license if you provide either (1) a current identification card from a Mississippi college or university; or (2) a current military ID card showing that you are an active member of the Armed Forces (excluding Reserves and the National Guard) and proof that you are stationed on a military base in Mississippi. 
Proof of age may be shown by a valid driver's license; or a copy of a birth certificate.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Big Sucker For Alexander

Mom, Victoria Hertzler, is helping Alexander to reel in his big sucker on his little Spiderman rod.  He loves fishing until they stop hitting she said! 

What a happy little Alexander holding onto his prized sucker that he caught with his Spiderman reel in our great wild outdoors.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Twenty-Seven Pointer

A very huge CONGRATULATIONS to Kylie McCrea with Country Girls Outdoors on this very unique trophy!  A trophy of a lifetime in our great wild outdoors!  ‪#‎CountryGirlsOutdoors‬

Taken last Saturday morning September 26, 2015.  
Way to go girl!!!!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Bambi Vs. Bumper

Mississippi Among National Leaders In Deer Collisions

Deer are a part of life in Mississippi, as common as sweet tea and friendly neighbors.

And, like both of them, a recent study shows that it might just be a matter of time before the state's residents encounter them.

Mississippi ranks eight in the country for most collisions between drivers and deer, according to claims data released by State Farm Insurance.  There were 22,373 insurance claims submitted in the past year, down slightly from 2013-14 but still amounting to a 1 in 88 chance that a driver in the state will hit a deer.

Vicksburg State Farm agent Robyn Lea said it's not just rural areas that are the scene of collisions.

"Even in cities you'll see them.  We all know there are a lot of deer in the Military Park.  They don't just stay within those boundaries," Lea said. 

Deer can be unpredictable, darting out of the woods and across roads to cut in front of cars.  When collisions occur, damage to vehicles can be massive.  The national cost per claim average is $4,135, up to 6 percent from 2014.

"I've seen claims where the deer have gone through the windshield.  It doesn't take a big deer to do serious damage," lea said.

To avoid collisions, Lea said, the best methods are to slow down in know deer areas, use high beams when possible and be on high alert at night when deer are most active. 

If a collision does occur, there are several important steps to follow.  First, Lea said, is to call police immediately and record the incident with photos.  While doing that, she recommended staying away from the deer.  An injured and scared deer can be extremely dangerous.

"You should always call police any time you have an accident.  If the animal was injured, there might also be a need to called the Wildlife and Fisheries Department," Lea said.  "You should move your vehicle to a safe place, take photos and stay away from the animal.  Deer are strong.  They can hurt you with their hooves."

After those initial steps, Lea said, it's important to contact your insurance agent as soon as possible to begin a claim.  Just as important is checking your car for damage.  Even a collision with a smaller animal such as a raccoon or armadillo can damage the radiator.

"Double-check your car before you drive away, because you might have leaking fluids," Lea said.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Mississippi Monsters

Record-Breaker:  Megan Eaves, Craig Jones, Ramsey Jones, C.J. Jones, Denton Anderson, Brandon Anderson, Wesley Pevey, Brad McGuire and Chris Jones, all of Mendenhall, pose with the record-breaking 9 foot, 11-inch, 319-pound female alligator they caught in Eagle Lake on August 30.  It was a state record weight for a female alligator, and one of the longest female gators ever recorded in the world. 

Waterways near Vicksburg are home to some of the 
biggest, baddest alligators 

Deep in the murky waters of Mississippi swim prodigious creatures of the abyss.  These river monsters are found all over the state from Vicksburg to Brookhaven, and McComb to Natchez. 

The 2015 alligator hunting season saw record-breaking gators being caught in the Mississippi River.  A 9 foot, 11-inch female and an 826-pound male measuring just over 14 feet were both captured in the West Central and Southwest hunting zone of Mississippi's hunting region.  

Earlier this week, a 10-foot, 1/2 -inch gator harvest in Issaquena County was certified as a new state record for length.  It weighted 283 pounds, lighter than the shorter female taken a few weeks earlier.

The 14-foot male was harvested at Rosedale Hunting Club on Davis Island, located in the Mississippi River 16 miles south of Vicksburg.

Mississippi's Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks alligator program coordinator Ricky Flynt said the 10-foot female alligators were historic catches.

"That's a very significant regard in fact that females of that size - in the 10-foot range - are extremely rare all over the south.  Even though she didn't break the length record," Flynt said of the 9-foot-ll gator caught in Eagle lake.  

In total 978 alligators were harvested this season, the majority by rod or reel.  Of those 521 measured less than 7 feet long and 456 were greater than 7 feet.

"Technically there were three records that were broken, but two were broken twice," Flynt said.  "We now have a new all-time length and weight records on public waters for a male and another alligator that was taken on private lands."

Flynt said the reason for the abnormal size of the area's gators is due to the Mississippi River and the alluvial valley, which is one of the most highly fertile areas of the country and even the world.

The alligators are reaping the benefits of that, which results in abnormal specimens.  Flynt said the alluvial valley is gathering nutrients and is being funneled into the Mississippi River.  Vicksburg is at the bottom of it.

"If you know a little bit about the flood web and how nutrients are taken up by the smallest of organisms, those nutrients are taken up by fish and the nutrients are taken up by the alligator, which is the apex predator, Flynt said.  "All the wildlife in the alluvial valley is healthy and is not found in other pars of the state."

Clay Gibson from Natchez held the record for heaviest gator on public waters for a day on his first ever hunting experience.  He brought along three of his sons and two of his grandsons, Ashton and Aidan.

While on the water, he saw about 50 alligators and caught a couple of 10-foot gators, before he came across his record breaker.  He could tell the monster was bigger than the others he caught because his eyes were wider than the rest.

Reeling in the river monster was the hardest part as the gator put up a fight every step of the way.

"We finally got two lines on him and he startled us for a minute," Gibson said.  "We snared him around his neck and he started biting the boat and bit the splash rail.  We finally got him up to dispatch him and couldn't get him in the boat."

Gibson and his team caught an 822-pound, 13-1/2 foot gator, but that record lasted less than 24 hours.  The 826-pound, 14 foot, 1/4-inch gator was killed the next day.

Craig Jones caught a female gator weighing 319 pounds, setting a new record weight for a female.  She was an inch shy of being 10 feet and was missing part of her tail.  Jones had been on the water for 11 hours before coming across his record-breaker.

"It's was just a good sized gator and we didn't know she was female until we loaded her," Jones said.  "We fought with her for over an hour.  You had to get it up and put a snare on it and contain it.  It'll wear you out with a rod and reel."

The sex of an alligator can't be determined just by looking at them.  Once the gator is captured, hunters have to flip it on it back, look between the legs and press down on a fold - known as the alligator's vent - to find the sex organs.

Jones took the gator to B&B Meat Market in Mendenhall to get it weighed.  He, like Gibson, made this a family event and had his son with him.

Angela Rivers and her husband Ken had an experience similar to Gibson.  They set a record on the first day of the season only for it to be broken the next day.  The Rivers set the inaugural length record of the season with a gator measuring 13-feet-7 3/4 inches and weighing 694 pounds.  

Ken Rivers has guided hunts several times.  When he saw three set of eyes he knew they were nice sized gators.

"We got on the water late, around 10 p.m.  We did catch a 6-footer and decided we didn't want to keep it.  Then several hours later around 3 a.m., my husband spotted three sets of eyes," Angela Rivers said.  It took about 45 minutes to reel their gator in.

"He did not go down for a little while and was pulling us from side to side in the river, there wasn't much you could do," Angela Rivers said.  "Eventually he got tired and that's when he came up.  I was expecting a little more action than that,"

Danny Boler of B&L Processing in Vicksburg bought 220 gators this season.  The the past he has processed them but this season just purchased them.  He bought the first record-breaking gators caught by Gibson and the Rivers the day after they were caught.

On separate occasions Boler's coolers were filled to capacity this season.  He also saves the heads of gators if the customers want them.

"We store them for two or three days and a buyer picks them up.  We just got overran that opening day.  I didn't want any to ruin or go bad," Boler said. 
By Alexander Swatson ~The Vicksburg Post
 *  Longest male: 14 feet, 1/4 inch, caught Aug. 29 by Kennie Crechale and Ronnie Clifton near Davis Island
*  Heaviest male: 826 pounds, caught Aug. 29 by Kennie Crechale and Ronnie Clifton near Davis Island
*  Heaviest female:  319 pounds, caught Aug. 30 in Eagle lake by a group of 10 people led by Craig Jones of Mendenhall
*  Longest female: 10 feet, 1/3 inch, caught Sept. 19 in Issaquena County by the hunting party of Jonathon Kent.
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