A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter
Article by Fred Messina, editor of "On Target Outdoors" from The Vicksburg Evening Post on Friday, January 19, 1990. Photo by Bob Phillips.
Bob Phillips came up the other day with a photo of his wife Marian and a deer she got on Brown's Point New Years Eve. The deer was an 8-point with 16 inches of inside spread that weighed in at 190 pounds. A nice trophy in anyone's book. However, the tale Bob told is that this was Marian's fourth deer this year and he claimed that he would have done better than he did if he had not spent so much time hauling Marian's deer out of the woods. Come off it, Bob. We all know who the hunter was.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Alligator Poaching In MS
When Kathy Wilkinson of Eco-Tours of South Mississippi took a boat filled with guests on a recent tour this week, she saw something she said is becoming all too common - an alligator killed by poachers.
Upside down with its mouth taped closed, it wasn't exactly the wildlife encounter her clients wanted to see, either.
"It was horrifying," Wilkinson said. "My guests really wanted to see a gator, but that's not exactly what they had in mind."
Wilkinson said she has found other dead alligators in her years on the lower Pascagoula River, but the numbers have jumped.
"I've seen a few dead gators in past years, but nothing like I've seen in the last two years," Wilkinson said. "It's a lot more. We've seen at least four dead gators this year of varying sizes."
Last year, two of the alligators she found dead were missing tails, indicating to Wilkinson they were killed illegally for their meat.
When her guests see alligators that have fallen victim to poachers, Wilkinson said the situation becomes even more frustrating.
"We try to put Mississippi in an excellent light, so it's disheartening," Wilkinson said.
It's so disheartening, Eco-Tours of South Mississippi is offering a one-time, $500 reward to anyone who provides authorities with information leading to the conviction of someone illegally killing alligators on the Pascagoula River south of Cumbest Bluff, located in Jackson County.
"It's small, but maybe it will get people to talk," Wilkinson said.
Lynn McCoy of McCoy's River & Marsh Tours said he's making the same $500 offer on the Pascagoula River from Cumbest Bluff to the northern headwaters.
"We don't see a quarter of the alligators we were seeing," McCoy said. It's done got completely out of hand.
"If you spend a day on the river driving, you're going to find at least one dead alligator."
What concerns McCoy even more is that he feels the most important alligators are also the most vulnerable.
"Some of the large females that are taken are right in front of the nests," McCoy said. "They are reluctant to leave.
"We had four females with nest on our tour and all of them have been killed but one. We think she's going to get it any day. It's just a handful of people, but they're making a tremendous impact on this resource down here."
Steve Adcock, Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks law enforcement chief, confirmed that alligator poaching has been on the rise.
"We probably, close to a year ago, started catching more people," Adcock said. "We've pursued it pretty hard." ~ Jackson, MS