A Dixie Lady Deer Hunter

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Virginia Vacation

Will be leaving in the morning to fly to Virginia for a week and will see you in August.  Till then...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Changing of The Guard - Tomb of The Unknown Soldier

Wednesday my daughter, granddaughter and I be flying to Virginia to visit my youngest daughter and family for a week.  They have made plans for us to go into Washington, DC and possibly Arlington Cemetery while there.  I'm hoping that I will get to go to the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier again. It is a very impressive and a humbling experience.  My daughter and granddaughter have never flown before and will be a good experience for both of them.  This will be a great history lesson for my granddaughter who will be 15 years old in September.  While there our family will also celebrate my youngest granddaughter's 5th birthday, which is on the day we arrive.  She will have a big Barbie Doll birthday party at a local business this coming weekend.  We are all looking forward to having a great time and visiting with our family!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Unexpected Outage and Outing!

Yesterday afternoon about 2:45 our power went out in our home.  Today reading the paper, nearly 2,000 customers were affected for approximately 3 hours.  Then another power outage of 500 more customers.  We were in the first outage and decided to go for a drive to cool off in our truck. Grabbed my camera and rode over to the overlook to take pictures of the sandbar that is way out in the Mississippi River. Then we drove downtown to see what was going on at the waterfront.  Before we went to town drove by McDonald's to get some ice cream and the power was out and in the vicinity of McDonald's there's a super Wal-Mart.  A grand exit by everyone that was shopping there and a major traffic jam.  What a mess! Thank goodness we have more than one McDonald's in town and drove to the one by I-20.  It had power!  Below are some pix I took of our unexpected outing to try to stay cool on a Saturday afternoon going down

Sandbar way out into the MS River causing towboat woes.  This is Louisiana side you're looking at.

Looking toward to bend in the river at Vicksburg, MS.

Looks like some kind of towboat with a crane attached going under the bridges.

The American Queen steamboat cannot dock anymore for summer trips because the Yazoo Canal is too low.  Picture taken to the right of the waterfront that leads to the Port of Vicksburg.  Read about the towboat trying to come down this canal to pick up a tow to take north.  Could not meet no one!

To the left are a lot of boaters out fishing or just enjoying the day on the river.

In front is the Sweet Olive tour boat and another boat anchored at the dock.  

This building, Yazoo & Mississippi Valley RR Station, (Depot) was an icon when we had record flooding here in Vicksburg last May of the Mississippi River, north and south.  In the renovations, a new walkway with a nice iron railing was added.

Looks like it needs another coat of paint.

Side view of the depot where new bricks were laid and trees planted.  A work still in progress.

On top of the building was a very loud squawking crow who got my attention!

From the Depot you can see where the new Lower Mississippi Riverfront Museum and Interpretive Site is almost completed.  The Motor/Vessel Mississippi riverboat is located on dry-land next to it.  It will be a museum/art gallery.  The grand opening is scheduled for August 24, 2012.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fun Hunting Games To Play

I was contacted by Christian of his Hunting Games Fun site and asked if I would give him a shout-out and get you hunting bloggers to come by to play while waiting for hunting season to start.  The site has lots of flash games for kids and adults alike.  It includes hunting games for deer, bear, turkey, wild boar, rabbit, duck, pheasant and buffalo.  Also, skeet shooting and paintball!  It looks like loads of fun!  Go over and check out his site and his Facebook page.  You can also follow Fun Hunting Games on Twitter!  

Friday, July 20, 2012

River Navigation Woes & Unstable Sandbars

Captain Tim Miller steering the Melody Golding, flagship of Golding Barge Line, making its way towards the bridges at Vicksburg and wondering, how low can it go!

The pilots are stressed out with navigation woes with the Mississippi River now at 5 feet.  Flood stage is 43 feet.  With navigating the river at night is like driving with dim headlights on a dark, winding highway as the yellow and white caution lines are erased and repainted.  Add to that increasingly low water conditions and the river at night becomes a dangerous mix of unknown darkness for which the best maps and voyages plans can fully prepare. 

The Melody Golding made a stop in the Yazoo River Diversion Canal on a night last week to attach an empty barge to the northbound low, and it was with a determined concentration the type expected more during a moon landing than river navigation - that Miller pulled into the canal.

At the deepest in the mouth of the canal, the water below the boat measures 11.6 feet, leaving little room for error for the boat's 9-foot draft.

"The Yazoo is tight right now," Miller said.  "You can't meet anyone in here."

With a cargo of about 3 million gallons of gas, diesel and other petrochemicals in tow, extra caution was understandable.  He said, that one of those guys with grain, if he spills some, it's going to be fish food, but if I spill this, it's going to be my name on Headline New!

Also, adding to the woes is the sandbars.  It can be unpredictable and unstable.  The bank can look and feel solid and the next minute it can be dropping under your feet.   The river is down  27.7 from 32.7 feet this date last year and 52.1 feet below the historic high of 57.1 feet recorded on May 19, 2011, when flooding lapped the waterway of it banks in states north and south.  

We are lucky that we have had no incidents reported on the sandbars, which have been dotted with boaters and sunbathers on sunny days during the past few weeks, but still suggest people avoid them.  The sandbars are always dangerous, whether the water is low or not.  You have to be aware of the strength of the river at all times...the Mighty Mississippi!    

Some of the contents from The Vicksburg Post

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Step-Granddaughter Makes Front Page News!

Laura Phillips,15, a 10th grader at St. Aloysius, won the Warren Central Junior Championship at Clear Creek Wednesday. Laura is the daughter of Eleanor and Greg Phillips.

A Happy Birthday - Wednesday's Warren Central Junior Championship at Clear Creek had come down to one putt on No. 18.

St. Aloysius golfer Laura Phillips carefully glanced at the green at her potential tournament-winning putt, which was about 5 yards and downhill.  

Her glance was deep in concentration, as she needed the par putt to drop to beat partner Karley Whittington, who charged from five shots back at No. 10 to tie for the lead.

Laura easily knocked in the putt to win the title and celebrate her 15th birthday in grand style.

Was she thinking about the significance of the day?  Not really..

"When I was playing, I didn't even remember about it being my birthday," Laura said.  "I didn't say "Well, I won and it's my birthday."  But it's pretty neat birthday present."

It's been a great week for Laura, who has been playing golf seriously for two years after giving up her clubs as a youngster for gymnastics.

She was picked to play in the True South Classic Pro-am and she drew raves for her play from her professional playing partner, Senior Tour and Greenwood resident Jim Gallagher Jr. Tuesday at Annandale Golf Club in Madison.  Laura pared all six holes she played.

Laura's mother, Eleanor Phillips, could see a big confidence boost after her performance.  "I think it was really huge for her," Eleanor Phillips said.  "She really played well.  She was really nervous as the only girl, but I thought she held her own."

On the first day of the tournament, Laura and 12-year-old Karley battled shot for shot and ended the day tied with 85s.

On the front nine, Laura pulled away as her long drives gave her a big advantage and Karley struggled to keep pace.

But a couple of bad holes at the start of the back nine, coupled with some nice shot-making by Karley, set the stage for a magnificent finish.

Laura regained her composure and pared all but one hole the rest of the way.

"I got nervous," Laura said of her struggles on No. 10 and No. 11.  "I'm glad it was a short putt, it was down hill, but it was an easy putt."

Karley's work on the back nine was stellar, as she ground out pars and got a birdie on No. 15 to keep the pressure up.

"I tried to put pressure on her, but she held it," Karley said.  "I knew her score and I was keeping up with it, but I was focused on my game more than I've ever before.  Still, I'm pretty happy to be second in the 14- and 15-year-old girls (division), because I'm only 12.  I can't complain."  By Steve Wilson swilson@vicksburgpost.com

Laura won the Junior Warren County yesterday on her birthday.  It was a two day tournament. She shot 85 80 to win by one. They were tied going into 17. Laura made her putt on 18 for par to win the tournament.

Laura and Jim Gallagher in the Pro-Am at the True South Classic at Annandale. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Happy Birthday To The Golfer Girl!

Today, is Laura Phillips' (our golfer girl's) 15th Birthday!  A Happy Birthday to a very sweet Granddaughter!  

I took this picture of Laura (above) when she was about 4 or 5 years old on our back deck.  It's one of my favorites!  

Laura is playing in this week's Warren County Junior Golf Championship that began Monday at Clear Creek Golf Course in Vicksburg.

Laura shot an 85 to share the first-round lead with 12-year old, Karley Whittington, Monday. Yesterday, the tournament took a break and today back to golf as the Warren County tournament concludes with another 18 holes.  

UPDATE:  We just found out she shot a 39 on the front nine and was ahead by 4.  Now's she working on the back nine.  

Way to go Laura!  

What a great Birthday present!  

We love you and are so proud for you!  Gran Gran and Grandpa Bob

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Step-Granddaughter A Golfer

My step-granddaughter, Laura, on the left with Sarah on the right after they finished the golf tournament in Gulfport, MS, during the 4th of July holiday.  She placed third in the tournament.  Bob and I are so very proud of her.  We heard that she is headed for the Pro Am!  Congratulations Laura and keep putting those golf balls in hole!  .   

Monday, July 16, 2012

Hunting & Fishing

Cole Parker, above, killed his first deer in November 2011.  Cole is the grandson of Randy Crist.
My congrats to Cole on harvesting his very first deer in our great wild outdoors!

Kyle Killgore caught these catfish on the Mississippi River above Vicksburg.
Nice catch Kyle!  Congrats!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Grand Opening Today!

The Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot is reflected in Thursday's raindrops.

The grand opening is today at 2:00 p.m. in the former depot of the Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad, 1010 Levee Street. Admission is free.  For more information, call 601-638-6500. Regular admission hours and fees are:  Monday through Saturday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; adults, $5.50, seniors 55 and older; $4.50 and students to grade 12, $3.25. To join the Friends of the Old Depot Museum, donations may be mailed or hand-delivered:  Individuals, $25; family, $50; patron, $100-249; sustaining, $250-$499; benefactor, $500-$999; sponsor, $1,000-plus; and corporate, $500-plus.  

When Sue Roberts gave her husband, Lamar, an ultimatum in 1993 to get a home for his Civil War ship models and paintings or get a new one for her, she probably didn't envision his collection would end up in one of Vicksburg's signature historic buildings - The Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot.

Today, Lamar Roberts will celebrate the grand opening of his Old Depot Museum, the happy culmination of many years of effort by him, his family and city officials.

"It feels so good to finally be at this point," Roberts said, "I feel a sense of accomplishment that we made it this far and couldn't be more thankful to my wife and family who have been really supportive."

Roberts had called his collection "a hobby that got out of hand."

Over the years his treasures have been moved from his living room to a number of other sites, while he's worked to build support for turning the old railroad depot on Levee Street into a tourist-attracting downtown museum.

The Old Depot Museum opened to visitors June 15 but its official celebration gets under way today at 2 p.m.

In time for the grand opening, recent problems with the three-story building's elevator have been fixed and work to repair a couple of air conditioning issues is under way, said Victor Gray-Lewis, director of the city's Buildings and Inspection Department.

The festivities will include a welcome by Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield and remarks by officials with the MS Department of Transportation and Department of Archives and History.

The MS Sons of Confederate Veterans color guard also will be there in honor of the 150th anniversary of the Confederate ironclad Arkansas steaming down the Yazoo River into Vicksburg July 15, 1862.

The CSS Arkansas was built in Yazoo City, Roberts' hometown, and learning about it inspired him to begin collecting ship models and river battle paintings as he studied the war.

The museum houses models of 250 ships and boats, 175 cars dating to the early 1900s and six airplanes, plus model trains in N, O and HO scales and original oil paintings of Civil War ships and river battles.  Many of the items displayed are on loan from Roberts' personal collection - models crafted by friend Dave Benway and Louisianan Bill Atteridge and paintings by artist herb Mott.

The Civil War Room features a diorama of the Vicksburg battle and siege, with 2,300 tiny soldiers in blue and gray, plus horses, cannon and fortifications placed to depict Union and Confederate positions.

Upstairs, glass cases display seagoing vessels named for Mississippian, model cars depicting the history of the automobile and a research library available for use by appointment.

"We welcome the addition of the Old Depot Museum to our collection  of historic attractions," said Bill Seratt, executive director of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, who will also attend Sunday's opening.

The Yazoo & Mississippi Valley Railroad Depot was built in 1907 and renovated in 1977 and 2010-11. The museum comprises the first flood and about half the second, which it shares with the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau.  The Vicksburg Main Street Program offices are on the the floor.

The city purchased the depot and surrounding property in 2001 for about $295,000.  Renovations, funded through grants, pledged city monies and federal stimulus funds, totaled about $2 million until the 2011 Mississippi River Flood deposited 4 feet of water into the building, which became a centerpiece for national news coverage as the water rose to more than 14 feet over flood stage and nearly a foot higher than the flood of 1927.

Last year's water cost the city an additional $56,000 to repair the depot, and pushed the opening of the museum back about nine months.  (Pamela Hitchins - phitchins@vicksburgpost.com)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Announcing "Evie"

Evangeline Rose Preston
    Born: Friday, July 13, 2012 @2:28 pm
    6 lbs. 12.1 oz., 19 inches long. 

Evangeline "Evie" is being held by her big sister, Eilley.

Our family has really grown recently.  Between my family and Bob's family we now have four daughters, a step daughter and step son, eight grandchildren, 6 step grandchildren, two great grandsons and 5 step great grandchildren.  Jessica and Bradd Preston are the proud parents of Evie and Eilley and live in Santa Fe, NM.  What a blessing it is to have lived this long to be able to see our greats come into this world.  May God Bless our children and their children's children.

Friday, July 13, 2012

A Golfer's Woes

Woe is he, Rex, over at Deer Camp Blog that he cannot go out and play golf because of the rain!  It has been raining non stop here in Mississippi for the last few days and predicting more to come.  While waiting for the rain to stop, here are a few "goofy" golf facts that he many not know about.

1.  The first golf balls were stuffed with feathers.  The tighter packed the feathers, the further the ball would fly.  This type of ball was used until 1848.

2.  Golf was banned in Scotland from 1457 to 1502 to ensure citizens wouldn't waste time when preparing for the English invasion.

3.  There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball.  A dimpled golf ball can travel up to four times farther than smooth-surfaced golf balls.

4.  When golf was first played professionally there were only 13 rules.  Now there are 34.

The only problem with golf is that the slow people are always in front of you and the fast people are always behind you. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Alligator Captured and Killed On Coast

An 11-foot, 600-pound alligator in a pond in Biloxi's Hiller Park.

I thought this was noteworthy to post an article from The Vicksburg Post about an 11-foot alligator that lived in a pond at Hiller Park in Biloxi, MS, that was captured and killed.  

Sgt. Barry Delcambre, a state conservation officer, said the alligator weighed about 600 pounds and could have been as much as 50 years old.

Officers from the state Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks were forced to kill the alligator because it had become a hazard to people after it swam into a pond at the park.

"Think about it,"  Delcambre said.  "You always have Canada geese there, and I've never seen a place like Hiller Park where you have a nutria come out of the water in broad daylight and you almost have to kick it out of the way.  If you were an alligator, what better place would you want to be?"

Delcambre said people had been feeding the alligator, causing it to lose its fear of humans.  That made it more dangerous.

Feeding an alligator is illegal in Mississippi.

"It upset me to kill that alligator," Delcambre said.  "It had been out there near the park for eight years. The city had put up signs that alligators might be present, and we'd arrested as many as five people for feeding alligators in the area off Atkinson Road.  But the bottom line is that we live on the water. The water is their habitat."

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Space Tourist Trip

If you have always wanted to be a space tourist but could not afford the ticket of $25 million...this is the next best thing.  Sit back and enjoy a two minute ride of your life of incredible vistas and the beautiful planet we all live on called, Earth!  Watch for the high-voltage thunderclouds, the neon glow of the Aurora Borealis, and night-time lights of every continent.  Awesome!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Joe "Bubba" Gerache, Jr., Dies

Mr. Joseph A. "Bubba" Gerache, Jr.
Picture taken on September 26, 2011

Just found out that our good friend and druggist, Joe "Bubba" Gerache has passed away.  He had had a stroke the latter part of last year and spent time in ICU and rehab.  He was home yesterday when he had another brain hemorrhage.  He was the owner of, The Corner Drug Store, downtown Vicksburg. Service will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday at St. Alban's Espicopal Church.  Visitation 5-8 p.m., Wednesday at Riles Funeral Home.  He was such a nice man and will be sadly missed by everyone who knew him.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Panting & Coughing Deer, Plus A Nice Buck!

Dave said...Check out how much this buck is panting in the 100 degree plus temperatures...really tough on wildlife and everything else.  

Dave said...Watch this deer cough...in all the years I've been photographing and taking video of wildlife, I've never seen this before.

I'm sure Dave will have his eyes on this one!  GOODHUNTING Dave!

D. Robert (Dave) Quick

I want to Finish Well
I want to end this race
Still leaning on His Amazing Grace 
Member: Community Christian Church
Member: Pilots 4 Christ
Member: Christian Outdoor Fellowship of America

Sunday, July 08, 2012

M/V Dan Jaworski Passing Thru Vicksburg

M/V Dan Jaworski passing through Vicksburg this afternoon with a huge load of coal. 
(Note the people on the sand bar)

The Mississippi River at Vicksburg has been at 3.9 feet for the last couple of days.  Flood stage is 43 feet.  We do have a chance of rain today and tonight with a high of 88 and low of 71 degrees.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Site With Wonderful Images, Photos & Paintings

A friend of mine in Massachusetts sent me this site on Facebook of some wonderful images, great photos and paintings.  Megaphotos is the Facebook page that started them.  Below are four of the images to whet your appetite.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Let There Be Electricity!

Storm clouds roll in over Vicksburg from the west Thursday in a photo take from The Vicksburg.
Eli Baylis - The Vicksburg Post

An Entergy truck getting our electricity back on this morning which took most of an hour. Our neighbor across the street saw sparks from the transformer yesterday evening during the storm but everyone else in the neighborhood had electricity.  He had to work on the transformer, the line going to the house and the wires attached to our house.  I'm so thankful to have air conditioning!  It was a very hot night but glad we had ceiling fans that were still working in the kitchen and in the two back bedrooms.  The electrician told me that only four men are working the 620 customers's without power and the others were on vacation and/or helping out with the stricken in Ohio. 

A bolt of lightening destroyed a 20 year old wood and brick church but no one was inside at the time.  The storm downed trees south of Interstate 20 near downtown with some flooding on some streets. 

No break from the weather is in sight.  A forecast for more strong to severe thunderstorms this afternoon and evening, with the most potent capable of producing winds gust of up to 60 mph and quarter-size hail.  We have a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms that will continue daily until next Tuesday. 

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Sworn In On Independence Day!

Yesterday, on Independence Day at the Mississippi Braves Stadium, Pearl, MS, my grandson, Michael "Ethan" Kelly, had a public swearing in at the beginning of the games.  Approximately twenty young men participated.  Here he is shown with his Mother, Debra Ann.  He will deploy on October 2, to Lackland AFB in San Antonio, TX.  Wishing Ethan the best of luck and thanking him for wanting to serve our country.  God Speed!

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Happy Independence Day!

I took this picture on July 4, 2010 at the Old Court House Museum as I was leaving towards the end of the fireworks display in the Yazoo Canal.  If it's not too hot this evening and if Bob feels up to it, we may try to go and watch the fireworks again.  

Our city surrendered on this date back in 1863 which ended the Siege of Vicksburg in the American Civil War.  The  Fourth of July was never celebrated here until World War II, because of the surrender of the city on July 4.  

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Is The Mississippi River Drying Up?

Vicksburg, MS - Drought conditions are contributing to a Mississippi River level that may not be the lowest ever but still is cause for concern.
A sandbar can be seen from the Ameristar Casino here and the I-20 bridge, something not usually visible.
"We've had barges running aground, shoaling in a few places," Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Rebecca Walthour said. "We've had some groundings, but none have resulted in a major incident yet."
If the channel gets too narrow, barges hit bottom or they can't pass each other, the Coast Guard will have to institute one-way traffic, she said.
"It has potential to have some big issues," Walthour said. "I know industry folks aren't happy because they can't push as much up and down the river as they want to. But obviously we can't make it rain, and we can't put water in the river. We're getting to historical lows here."
At Natchez, Miss., about 60 miles downriver from Vicksburg, the Mississippi is at 12.72 feet, about 49 feet below what was the record high on May 19 of last year.
Mississippi's Emergency Management Agency director, Robert Latham, said drought conditions are a part of what's causing the low river level, but other factors also influence.
"When you look back at this past winter, one of the things that impacts us is the snow pack and the melt that causes the fluctuation in the river levels," he said. "We didn't have that snow pack that we had over a year ago."
That snow pack to the west and north often dictates river levels as it melts because the ground at its source is saturated.
"Usually, this is the beginning of low water season, and we're usually at about 20 (feet) right now," said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesman Kavanaugh Breazeale of the levels at Vicksburg.
As of Tuesday, the Mississippi at Vicksburg measured 4.79 feet; flood stage is 43 feet, according to the National Weather Service.
Rainfall in places such as the Ohio River valley also affects Mississippi River levels.
"Looking at it up there, it doesn't look like there's any significant imminent rain in the forecast," weather service meteorologist Alan Gerard said. "Overall, the weather pattern is going to stay pretty dry."
Tourism already is affected: The American Queen, a 418-foot-long paddle wheeler that its owners say is the largest steamboat ever built, cruises the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. At the moment, it can't get to Vicksburg's docks, said John Elfer, director of the Warren County Emergency Management Agency.
Director Stan Owens of the Adams County Emergency Management Agency said he thought the American Queen also had problems in St. Francisville, La., about halfway between New Orleans and Vicksburg, and had to lay over longer than expected in Natchez.
Drew Smith, a hydraulic engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, said the forecast looks like levels should be flattening out instead of continuing to drop, at least here.
"Basically, what we're looking at tells us that on the average, the river stage is higher than this 99 percent of the time," he said.
(Contributing: Gary Pettus, The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger)

Monday, July 02, 2012

"GOTCHA" for Wildlife

Pearl resident Jasper "Ram" Buford holds a jar of Gotcha deer and raccoon attractant, an invention of his, Friday afternoon in Vicksburg.  Buford is a Vicksburg native who been an avid outdoorsman most of is life.  Brenden Neville-The Vicksburg Post

Pearl resident and Vicksburg native Jasper Buford has spent most of 79 years in woods, hunting deer and hunting raccoons commercially.

He fished area waters and killed plenty of deer to feed his family and giving the rest to needy families. He knows every nook and cranny in the woods and swamps surrounding Eagle Lake, the Big Black and Yazoo Rivers.

He's hunted to feed his family when he was young.  He's slept on the banks of the Mississippi River with a blanket, a tarpaulin and a fire for warmth and woken up to ice in the switch willows to hunt at first light.  He and his fellow hunters converted 55-gallon oil drums into tree stands at the Tara Hunting Camp near Eagle Lake.

But one thing has bothered him.  An now he's come up with a solution - a substance called Gotcha - that he claims is better at any on the market at attracting deer and raccoons.

"It always bothered me that there are so many hunters who go out in the woods and not see one deer," Buford said, "I've killed my quota.  If I don't kill another deer for the rest of my life, I'm happy.  I just want to help the hunter.  I've sat on a deer stand from daylight until 11:30 and you're talking about cold.  I'll put this up against anything on the market.  Anything that's out there.  You don't have to stay out there in that freezing weather.  You put this up, put a trail camera on it.  You pick the time. Your time."

Buford, better known to his friends as "Ram," went to Culkin Academy, where he played football and had a chance to go to Ole Miss to play in college.  But he felt he'd get a better experience enlisting in the U. S. Air Force during the Korean War.

"I got an urge to see the world," Buford said.  "It would be places I could go, people I could meet.  I could learn about their lifestyles.  I'd been a little boy at home and it was about time for me to spread my wings.  I asked to go to Germany, because I always wanted to see Europe, but they sent me to the Philippines."

After he got out in 1955 and returned to Mississippi, he got back into the outdoors, trapping raccoons commercially and hunting deer.

Speaking of deer, he's tried every way to attract them

He used corn, which requires careful adherence to Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Parks rules, with unsatisfactory results considering the expense and work involved.  He's tried fake scrapes and other products.

None satisfied.  Buford thought he could to better.

He went to work to find a substance to attract deer and raccoons for hunters.  He spent long hours experimenting, combining ingredients and taking detailed notes, using the scientific method to find the best mix of ingredients.  He did test after test, using motion-sensor activated game cameras to record the results.

But after long hours of work, Buford finally developed Gotcha, a paste-like substance that come in a peanut butter-sized jar.  Buford claims the product, which uses nothing but ingredients easily obtainable in a store, works like no other.

"It's like lighting a fuse on a rocket," Buford said.  "I think hunters will use it because it works.  They won't be going in the woods without it.  If a hunter can get it to bring a deer in close enough for him to kill, that's great.  If a young person uses it to take a deer, that's even better, because a child will never forget that first deer they kill.  A deer is inquisitive by nature.  Curiosity will kill them.

In one of his tests, Buford applied Gotcha to a tree and his game camera snapped a picture of three raccoons licking up the product.  He also got a picture of a raccoon and a opossum snarling other the same tree.  Deer will get up on their hind legs to get a taste of it.

"Once they get a taste of it, they go crazy for it," Buford said.

He's waiting on a patent, which is due in August and will get the product in stores around mid-July.

Buford checked with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Parks to ensure his attractant was legal.  When he was told that his product was legal, he filed his patent paperwork and began shopping it around to outdoor stores regionally.

Buford is also hoping that he can license the product to a manufacturer, because he feels that once word gets out about Gotcha, he won't be able to keep up with demand making batches in his workshop.  It takes him around five or 10 minutes to whip up a batch at his workshop table.

"I think once word gets out, there are going to be so many dadgummed orders, I won't be able to keep up," Buford said.  By Steve Wilson - swilson@vicksburgpost.com

At top, a raccoon and an opossum fight over a jar of Gotcha deer and raccoon attractant nailed to a pole.  Above, three raccoons cluster in a tree marked with Gotcha.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Miss Mississippi 2012 ~ Marie Wicks

Miss Dixie Marie Wicks is crowned by Miss Mississippi 2011 Mary Margaret Roark Saturday.

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