Deer Camp Blog

Deer Camp Blog- the outdoor column of The Bodock Times- (a satirical periodical) Humor and Hunting at the famous Christmas Place Plantation Hunting Club on the edge of the Mississippi Delta


Friday, November 20, 2015

Deer Eve

Last week was the big Doe hunt and the camp got 11 deer. We hope to get a few more as the season goes on, but right now it is finally Deer Eve and the buck season starts tomorrow.
I can hear roars of gunfire in the distance as people sight in their rifles and every kind of 4-wheel drive truck you can imagine is prowling the streets of Water Valley with a 4-wheeler in the back.
It will be hard for the hunters to sleep tonight with thoughts of big bucks running through their heads but it is finally that time of year again and I wish the best and biggest bucks for all of you.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Doe Hunt

At the famous Christmas Place, we have 3 big guest-friendly events each year. The Hershel Howell Squirrel Camp, the Hog Hunt, and the big Doe Hunt.
This weekend we have guest coming to try and take out our allotted does so that we do not have to worry about it during the rut when we are concentrating on getting a big buck.
Of course, knowing the caliber of guests we have, I'm not sure that we will make much of a dent in the doe population ( most of them are from the Gulf Coast).
It should be a fun camp with lots of action. Will let you know how it goes.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's all About Stand Placement

Paul's Stand
src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>
Rex's Stand

Saturday, October 31, 2015

GraveYard Hoedown

It was October 31st (Halloween) when the 4 of us Trent, Paul, James and myself passed along the edge
of the Oxford Cemetery just after dark on our way to a Halloween party. As we passed it, we saw many people walking toward the center of the graveyard. An elegantly dressed man was leaning on a headstone and waved at us to stop and I felt compelled to pull over. I rolled the window down and he said “You're just in time to join the party. Come on!” Without thinking we all got out of the car and started across the cemetery with our new friend. He was 60ish with gray hair, a mustache and carrying a pipe in his hand. He looked vaguely familiar but I could not place him.
Less than 50 yards away, in a small fold of land, 8 or 10 men were gathered around a big headstone they were using as a bar and we bellied up to it as they served us a stiff drink. After a few minutes I looked down and read the name on the grave,it said William Faulkner.
A nice fire was burning in front of the grave and many people were already gathered around drinking and talking as a skeletal
Western Band started tuning up, and then the party really started. A real Grave Yard Hoedown! As the people danced, I began to notice their attire seemed from every era. They whirled and danced as the fire grew brighter was amazed to see that I could see through most of them. I, like my brothers realized we were in the middle of a real Ghost Party in the Cemetery but there was a calmness over me so that everything felt normal and I had no reason to be afraid. Several people slapped me my brothers and me on the back that I felt we should know or had known. It was a real ghostly Halloween Party and we were in the middle of it. Our host, whom I now knew was William Faulkner, thanked us for coming and kept the liquor flowing. James and Paul were dancing with a couple of Antebellum beauties, while Trent and I laughed, drank and discussed everything from how the War Between the States was going to what was Hoover going to do about this damned depression. We just toasted everyone and said “Don't worry it's all under control and there's going to be a chicken in every pot.”
We danced, we drank, we partied, I think we howled at the moon and then things started to blur.
All I know is that later, we woke in the car and everyone was gone. The cemetery was dark and there was no sign of our friend, Mr. Faulkner. No one spoke as I cranked the car and started off.
Not far down the road, we passed a young couple walking along the edge of the cemetery with their arms around each other. The man casually waved. It took a minute for it to register on us and for me to slam on the brakes. We all turned around to look again, but they were gone. We had seen many, many pictures of the young couple before. It was my Mom and Dad.


Thursday, October 29, 2015


Old Solomon is the biggest, fiercest, wildest, and most cunning wild hog you will ever see and all the members at the famous Christmas Place are deathly afraid of him ( and they're not scared of much)
He roams our property in the Delta and he has been trapped, speared, poisoned, electrocuted and shot about 100 times but he is still out there watching and lurking in the forest. All of our guest are warned what to do if they see him (which is run) but luckily for us he seems to disappear as the first volley of gunfire starts in the fall each year.
This hog is more than big, he is gigantic. At the top of his sharp razorback he is almost 6 feet high and 10 to 12 feet long. His big head looks like the front end of a Buick, his tusk are at least a foot long and I believe he would weigh 800 pounds. Not 800 pounds like you see in the magazines where someone shoots a big pig wandering through the woods with a pistol or whacks him with a rock. This hog is a lean and deadly killer.. A true predator to anything that gets in his way, and I know from first hand experience.
It was early squirrel season when I saw him. I was walking the old road at what is called the Crossover area when I heard a crash and saw him barreling through the woods at me at 50 yards.
I did not hesitate, I took off like a scalded dog and made it to the first tree with limbs. It was a small sweet gum but sprang up into it as fast as lightning, the shotgun went one way but I scampered up the tree like a squirrel just as Old Solomon hit my boot and shook the whole tree. To the top I went until  I could go no higher and the tree threatened to start leaning over. Unfortunately my feet were barely 10 feet off the ground and the mad giant circled around growling and ripping up the ground.
I was treed and then everything got slow as he stopped and looked at me, just studying me. I looked at my foot, the whole sole of my boot was sheared off, as if by a razor. Just then Solomon turned, rushed the tree and slammed into it, almost knocking me out. I felt the tree give and readjusted. I had to do something quick. I reached in my pocket. Shotgun shells- I threw them at him, he just kept staring up at me, Compass- I know where I am (deep s##t), Map- no, Knife- yeah, right,  Water bottle- he doesn't look thirsty, Snickers Bar- I don't think so, Flashlight- Oh Crap! Old Solomon made another rush and slammed into the sapling again. I held on for dear life but the tree was leaning now.
I reached in my pocket and grabbed the first thing my hand landed on, the Candy Bar. I opened it, and threw it down in front of the huge snout of the creature. He didn't move, we stared at each other. A second later his big head went down, he grabbed the candy bar, looked at me, then trotted off into the woods. I stayed there another hour, found my shotgun, then slunk back to my 4-wheeler and camp.
The moral is, if you run across him, a Candy Bar could save your life.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Hog and Dumplings

The ground here is extremely dry, in fact the whole state of Mississippi is under a burn ban, and there just aren't many squirrels this year. We had a great camp but for a while it looked like it was going to be hog and dumplings for dinner instead of squirrel and dumplings. Tim Crosby killed a nice hog Saturday morning when it wandered by him and he was able to slip some buckshot in his shotgun.
We ended up having just enough squirrels to make the stew.

It was good to see everyone there and excited about hunting. It is also bow season here and Crosby got a couple deer too. Terry Cutrair got a deer too and as usual our so-called best bow hunter Burney got zilch. Joe Newman handled the organization of the hunt and did a fantastic job. Thank You.
 I said I would mention Stewart Allen in my article. Hi Stewart!
We had another great weekend at the famous Christmas Place and looking forward to more as the main deer season rolls towards us.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Squirrel Camp Weekend

Squirrel Camp is now the Hershel Howell Memorial Squirrel camp.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Thoughts on Ole Miss vs Alabama

1. if possible do not drive on the expressway in Alabama for a couple of days. There are so many people jumping off the overpasses that traffic is backed up for 100 miles.
2. The forgotten thing in this is that the toughest place in the world to play football is Bryant-Denny Stadium and when you walk in you are automatically down at least 17 points.
3. Boo-Hoo all I've heard is how much luck we needed to win. When Alabama has luck it is just expected. I've seen it for 40 years.
4. Alabama didn't get the calls. TFB.  The first time in history.
5. The craziest play in college football? Usually that involves Alabama running for a touchdown, not the other way around.
6. All I've heard is Alabama had 503 yards and lost. No one has mentioned that Ole Miss has 430.
7. Hugh Freeze is the real deal
8. How'd that feel? 43-37
9. I do feel kind of sorry for the next team Alabama plays. They've been practicing since midnight Saturday.
10. Yes our girls are prettier than yours too.

Do you Remember this wonderful Ballad
The Night They Burned Tuscaloosa Down
(and all the Rebels were singing)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Moonshine and Sorghum

In the back hills of Arkansas it is not hard to be a moonshiner, but to reach the point where you become respectable and can be called a Whiskey Distiller takes some work.  My brother, James, is hard at it and is starting with Sorghum, Molasses, Honey and anything else he can think of to work out a living plus give him the secret ingredients to make a wonderful, full flavored bourbon whiskey.
Keep an eye on him as he makes the leap, but damn his sorghum is good!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fear The Walking Deer

Once again deer season is almost upon us and it is time to fortify our defenses at the famous Christmas Place. This coming weekend is a big WORK weekend for the members to get the camp ready to hold off the herds of Zombie Deer that plague us during the winter.
Wood has to be cut, trails cleared, fields cleared of debris, and bodies buried.
All members are requested to show up this weekend.

Friday, August 07, 2015

The Ghostly Reunion of the Class of 1975

Back when Dinosaurs roamed, my brother Satan, aka Paul graduated from Water Valley High School in the Class of 1975. Since he just bought the completely restored WV hospital as his home and it is the most haunted house in Mississippi, it was natural to make that the location of his 40th High School Reunion.
The reunion was set outside with a great band, festive lights and decorated tables plus all the food and drink you could ever want. The night was mild and everyone was in a great mood. The music started at 7PM and all his old pals were there.
Jim Hedges, Mark Larson, Al Reed, Spud Boydston, Steve Hill, Keith Marchbanks, Duck Holloway, Ronnie Snider and many more. It was great to see what good men they all had turned out to be.
The ladies were there too, and as beautiful as they were in High School. Nita Thompson, Beth McMillan, Malinda Hill, Dreeva Dickey, Rhonda Moore, Paula Hill, Vivian Snider and lots of others.
The old saying is that the whiskey flowed like water and it did. Did I mention that the band was great? Everyone danced and either made friendships or renewed them.
Upstairs in the attic weird lights moved with the music and we knew the ghosts were having a great time too! They hadn't had so much fun since the end of Prohibition!
Denise and I danced the night away and her daughter Sadie was the hit of the party dancing with everyone. God help us, but I saw Paul dancing with Wanda too. My brother Beelzebub, James, was there too. He circled the field and was a great guest talking and dancing and greeting the 1975 classmates like old friends.
The truth is this, it was one of the best parties I have been to in Water Valley, MS and if you missed it, then the fault is on you.
Paul is now thinking about a yearly reunion party at his house. I'm in.
I have pics, not great, but if you have better, send them and I will post.


Denise and James?

Sadie looking great!

even Brock had to Rock!

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

A Rowdy And Rousing Carnival 2015- Saturday

Friday night ended with a great fireworks display over the town. Unfortunately I had to get up early to be at the Carnival the next morning to give out our free samples to the crowds. I swept the beer cans and drunks off the porch and got ready to enjoy the spectacle.
The Carnival morning started in Grand style as "Barn Storming Billy Wenchell" circled the park in his WWI biplane and attempted to dive into a pickle barrel from 1500 ft. He din't make it and they hauled his drunk self to the curb for the ambulance to get him. Then Phil and his Prancing Pachyderms showed up to prance and preen for the public. 12 large elephants covered with oriental blankets and gold headdresses that stood on their back feet and did great tricks until my brother, James, offered one a little slice of watermelon. He ate it, gave a loud trumpet and headed for the largest trailer of watermelons belonging to the Pullen boys, with 11 other elephants right behind! They threw melons, they bashed them on trees, the sidewalks, on people. They threw them at each other's head and licked the juice off. It was pandemonium as the elephants demolished the melons and the Pullen boys scattered. In 15 minutes the Watermelon Carnival Committee purchased 143 watermelons and 1 used 1983 Chevy pickup. That was plenty of action for the morning.
Denise and Sadie showed up later and we strolled the park and did a few things, like rock climb, bought a few things, checked out the 138 lb melon that won the Grand Prize but I was worn out and wanted to rest before the BIG PARTY that night.

Monday, August 03, 2015

A Rowdy and Rousing Carnival 2015 -Friday Night

Friday was setup day and the park was busy as vendors set up their wares. Tourists and gawkers wandered the park looking for early deals and kids headed for the center of the park to congregate and hang out. We set chairs on the porch, stocked up on refreshments, and put the Tiki-lamps out to await the coming night and for the band and street dance to start.
As dark fell and the Blue Moon rose, the band started and the music drifted over the crowd that had been gathering in the streets. Great band, Great music and the foot-stomping began as people rushed to join in the dancing. Our torches lit up our little yard and people started drifting over to cool off and have a drink. The best part of the Carnival to me is people visiting us, enjoying the music and renewing old ties. Of course we did a little dancing ourselves.

Here are Denise and Rebecca dancing and laughing at my great dancing ability for some reason.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Watermelon Carnival 2015

The annual Watermelon Carnival is upon us and the weather couldn't be better. A balmy 105 degrees in the shade should cause most of the people visiting to melt right into the sidewalks.
Looks like a good carnival to be had by all as they are setting up booths right outside our office now and light music is beginning to play.
Please come enjoy the Carnival and don't forget to come by Howell Realty to cool off.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

She Will Always Be 39

Happy Birthday Denise!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Newest Fashion "The Trump Look"

see, you can get anything online.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I'm Being Punished

No, I am very proud that my daughter Erin has enrolled at Southern Miss and I wish her all the happiness in the world.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Erin's New Ride

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

The Howell Open 2015

July 4th is the time for family get-togethers, barbeques,  watermelon, fireworks and cold beer, but in Water Valley it is also time for the Howell Open.
The Howell Open is set up as a scramble among the family and a few close friends. Now most of our cousins either don't play golf or play once a year whether they need to or not.
This is not a quiet game. Catcalls and Intimidation are the fanfare of the day.
BUT ONCE AGAIN, using my superlative golf skills and mental focus, I led my team to ULTIMATE VICTORY over those losers we played against.
Here is a group photo for the Howell Open
 Here is a pic of the winning team of Rex Howell, Paul Howell, James Howell and Matt Bullion who captured the famous Howell Towel Trophy for 2015.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Tractor Races Cancelled

The annual tractor race at the famous Christmas Place has been cancelled by Trent (Lucifer) Howell. This race usually starts at the Rally Camp lodge, winds across the property into the Great Swamp above the lake, cuts up along Thorny Ridge then drops back off into the Misty Forest, up Heart Attack Hill and a steep descent into Quick Sand Flats and back to the Camp. This fun event usually ends with screaming, cursing, fisticuffs and burning tractors. A great time is had by all.
This year Lucifer has claimed Old Blue as his own and will not let anyone take it. He took the key and skedaddled for the Coast before we could beat him back to his senses and the race has been cancelled. Sorry (no refunds).

Thursday, June 04, 2015

The Neantherdal Club

In an unsurprising twist of fate, Paul Howell was named Male Chauvinist Viking of the Year by the Biloxi-Gulfport Neantherdal Club. This group of Men is well known throughout the Gulfcoast area and Paul Howell is especially known (he just has a way with women)
Voting was established by the Gulfport, Biloxi, and Harrison County Women's Garden Clubs, the Ladies Auxillary, Daughters of the Confederacy, the Biloxi Lady Seabees Assn.
and the Harrison County Humane Society. Paul said "It's a great honor to be acknowledged for my consistent attention to the gals" This is his 7th time winning.

Friday, May 29, 2015

GRADUATION 2015- Erin Howell

Yes, Graduation on the Mississippi Gulf Coast is this weekend. Erin Howell, who once penned the Jr. Bodock Times is now graduating from Gulfport High School and on the verge of stepping off into another life in college. Everyone is abuzz and Denise, Thunderhoof and I are heading that way to see the event. Congratulations to my wonderful, smart and warm daughter.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Correct Hog Dental Care

Dr. Barry "Pliers" Weeks was at the famous Christmas Place last weekend and effectively showed the correct dental care that wild hogs need, by blasting a big boar into smithereens at 175 yards on the Gamewarden Stand. This is the good dentists first hog and we hope that he will come down and do some more extractions soon.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Three Blind Hogs Find A Hog

This past weekend Trent Howell took two of his old classmates to the famous Christmas Place on a hog hunting expedition and miracle of miracles they actually scored. Robby Parsons aka Mossy Eyes and Van Hedges aka Hog Jumper. Yes, Water Valley boys, and they had a great hunt. They say even a stopped clock is right twice a day, and a bunch of old blind hogs can find a hog every now and then.

Monday, April 20, 2015

A Week Of Parties

Party,Party, Party! that's all I do. First there was the gigantic Boonswaggle at Snookys which is the social event of the year with all the elite making an appearance. I know, but somehow my name keeps appearing on the invite list. Thank you, Denise.
Another great party by Snooky and Mary Lou- thank you.
Next up was the JA Spring Fling at the Country Club. Denise and I made several bids at the silent auction, were told we won the Dance contest (since no one else was dancing), had a great dinner, visited with friends and walked off with a beautiful white glass bowl from the auction. I am worn out.
I hear the famous Christmas Place is lovely this time of year.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Appraising Rural Mississippi

I have been appraising land and homes in north Mississippi for right at 30 years and think that I know which end of a measuring tape to hold by now. The appraisal business is rapidly changing but the basics are still what you have to learn. I am looking into doing seminars or talking to student classes about what it takes to appraise real estate, what the future holds, and real life application to get the job done. If you think your school or class would be interested in me speaking to them, please email me at

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Easter With My 3 Favorite Ladies

Easter we all went to church here in Water Valley at the First Methodist Church. My lovely Denise and my daughters Sarah and Erin. They were beautiful, the service was great and the whole thing was really pleasant. Much to my surprise, the roof did not fall in and I think the message that I received helped my troubled soul. Here we are.

Saturday, April 04, 2015

The Hog Man to Leave Texas

WHAT?!!! The internet is abuzz with the news that the mythical gun-toting, hog-killing, debonair, romantic swash-buckler, Phillip is leaving Texas. In fact, he is leaving Texas as fast as he can. Why? you say, WHY? A little research from the Bodock Times has investigated and thoroughly researched his escapades and there is only one reason....

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thoughts For Spring

People have been emailing me and calling wanting to know why I have not been writing in my blog very much. "What's wrong?, Have you quit?, What's the problem?, Are you OK?, Hey, want to move to Texas? Thank you all for your concern.
It has been a long, hard, cold, bleak, never-ending winter that has left me totally drained and lost until now. Today finally feels like Spring is actually going to show up and left me with these thoughts on the beginning of Spring.
Am I actually going to get to play golf this year?
What the hell is Thunderhoof doing right now?
Does my dog have rabies?
Does my wife have rabies?
Is there a vacation in my future?
Why the heck am I paying taxes when I'm broke?
Is this the beginning of the Age of Aquarius?
How long can I avoid my evil brothers, Satan and Lucifer?
My God! Didn't I just mow my grass in October?
What are those purple trees?
I will be trying to get back up to speed with this change in the weather. Hope to see you at the Christmas Place.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Who Knew I Was Lady Madonna?