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

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Halloween Huntus Interruptus Blitzus

Looks like I am going to skip going to camp this weekend and will head down next week for the Youth Hunt. Everyone wants to go to the ballgame this weekend to try and pull a halloween trick on Auburn. That would be some trick. Deer season is right on top of us and next week we will finally get started.
The Ole Miss Rebels could use a ballroom blitz like this..

We need a Black Mamba as our mascot!

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Halloween Hunt

We usually spend most weekends during deer season hunting at our camp on the edge of the Mississippi Delta. These few weekends each year are totally committed to hunting and the camaraderie that goes with it. Every few years though, we make sure to cut our afternoon hunt short. The local people in the area had warned us to be careful at that time and none of them go into the woods on that day.
This is always a Friday or Saturday afternoon when it falls on Halloween. Late in the evening on that day as the sun falls behind the hills and shadows grow deep in the woods, you will hear a bone chilling howl and you will know that the Halloween Hunt has started.
The year we learned that it was real, I had set up at the head of a long wide hollow to hunt that afternoon and Dad was below me a few hundred yards in a big Hickory. Trent was hunting down near the end of it at the Pond Stand and just at dark that afternoon we learned first hand about the Halloween Hunt, the terrifying Hell Hounds and the Wicked Creatures that drove them.
The sun was falling, and the woods seemed empty and lifeless that afternoon and it was right at the time to get down from my stand when I heard the blood curdling howls start. not the baying of hounds but something filled with hate and longing that instantly froze me in my stand. It was so evil and terrifying that I was afraid to get down; and then I heard the cry of the dogs getting closer to me. I could tell it was a pack of dogs but their sound left me with my mouth dry and heart pounding as they poured over the ridge and down into the hollow in front of me.
One terrified deer came by so fast that I could not tell what it was in the fading light, but a few seconds later I could clearly see the enormous black hounds that came after it. They were large and rangy beast that seemed to shine with a greenish glow. Evil looking, gigantic wolf-like creatures with enormous fangs and red eyes caught the deer’s trail and moved as fast as the deer through the woods.
Seconds later a flicker of dark movement behind them and three mere shadows seemed to move purposefully through the woods behind them. Dark twisted shapes with large claws that held whips. I did not move or even dare to breathe. I thought I had been scared before but these shadowy shapes paralyzed me. They passed within 20 yards of my stand and I felt I had escaped death as they moved on. I waited till the howls had moved a mile down the hollow and ran out of the woods to the truck where I hoped Dad waited.
He was out of his stand and had seen the hellish hounds at a distance. He had felt the same overpowering fear as I did and had hurried back to the truck. Trent had heard the awful howling but they had turned before reaching him. Back at camp we talked about the horrible looking hounds but I never mentioned the dark shapes that followed them, but several of our neighbors talked of the rumor of demons that held a Halloween Hunt each year.
Some of the members and guest laugh about it but we don't. Halloween afternoons are for relaxing, drinking and listening to ballgames. We do not hunt on the Halloween afternoons of October 31st.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

We Are Fired Up Now !!!!!!



We found this deer head up by the lake. A nice 7-point with a seventeen inch spread.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Repairing Stands



Mark, Burney and I worked on repairing stands, replacing camo, and repairing gun rests in stands this past weekend. We got about half of them done and time is running out. Halloween is next weekend and then the Youth hunt. Here are some pics of us hard at work.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Before I Go

Denise, Camo and I are packing up to go to camp this afternoon. Mark is supposed to meet us and go shoot our rifles with Greg out at his property. I imagine that will take awhile.
Than you Michael Still. I stole your rebel bear pic. Hope you don't mind.
Our object this weekend is to beat the damn Razorbacks and to repair all the stands with new gun rests and camo. That will take awhile too.
Two weeks 'till the Youth Hunt! Then a big muzzle-load hunt for all our friends and finally gun season will be here. Matt says he can't make it.
Thank you Mr. Porter for reminding me that in my Mississippi Bears story I forgot to mention that that is where the expression loaded for Bear came from. as in "if you come down to Mississippi to mess with us, you better be loaded for Bear."
Another sidebar is that the unit also became known as the "Bloody Bears".
The article about the bears ran in the Daily Mississippian and we have had a tremendous amount of interest in it and our research. Once again the cracker jack research team at the Bodock Times is ahead of their competition.
Will give a deer report when I get back and remember "You can't change the spots on a bear."

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Mississippi Bears


The true story of the Rebel Bears.
In 1901 when President Roosevelt came to Misissippi on his famous hunt, the legend of the Teddy Bear was born, but the true story of the Mississippi Bears did not really start there. The real story started with General Grant and the seige of Vicksburg. During the Civil War the Mississippi Delta was still a tremendous and forbidding wilderness with few towns or roads and in the winter it was nearly impassible. This helped protect the city of Vicksburg during the assaults it undertook as the Union army tried to take control of the Mississippi River and complete the blockade of the South.
The famous ditch known as Grant’s Canal was started in an effort to cut a loop out of the river and bypass the ferocious shore batteries established at Vicksburg. The Confederate Army was heavily entrenched and no end was in sight as General Grant gave the go ahead to restart work on the project once he took command of the Federal forces.
A large contingent of pressed labor and 3000 soldiers restarted the excavation under General Grant that had ended in July and by January of 1863 they had dug a large canal 18 feet wide and 13 feet deep. The Union army believed that if they cut open the channel the Mississippi River would flow through the gap changing the route of the River and bypassing Vicksburg completely. As the Confederates watched the work from behind the city walls, it began to look as if it would succeed.
Finally a small detachment of volunteers under the command of Colonel James Pembroke was selected to try and disrupt the heavily guarded canal. Colonel Pembroke had been recently hired at the University of Mississippi before it closed and had been named a Colonel in the Mississippi Rifles made up of Ole Miss students and other young 17-20 year old men from across the state that had been unable to enroll at the University because of the War.
Under cover of night some 200 of these Confederates crossed the river five miles below the work area and made their way into position for an attack at sunrise. They were 200 hundred against 3000 but hoped that the shock of an attack could halt excavation until the Spring thaw would cause the River to rise and put and end to the digging for at least another year.
As the Confederates prepared to sound the charge something totally unexpected happened on the south end of the canal. Workers digging into the bank broke through a large underground chamber and as it was just breaking day, one of the workers threw a torch into the black opening to see what was inside. This elicited loud growls and roars from the hole and three large, enraged black bears that had been hibernating came boiling out into the bottom of the canal. Terrified soldiers and workers scattered in all directions and seeing the disruption taking place, Colonel Pembroke sounded the charge. The Confederate forces easily reached the trench and fell in behind the angry bears that were working their way up the canal scattering men and horses in every direction. In less than an hour of hard fighting, the Confederates had control of the area and the bloody bears had disappeared back through their lines apparently unharmed. The terrified Yankees were forced to retreat upriver and never returned to finish their work because of their fear of the Rebel Bears.
For their heroism,, this unit became known as the Mississippi Bears or Rebel Bears and were known for their Tough and Ferocious nature and refusal to quit even when pitted against overwhelming odds.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Dad 84, Squirrels 84

The mighty squirrel hunters at the Christmas Place managed to take 84 squirrels this weekend and Dad turned 84 last week. Coincidence? I think they also killed 84 bottles of booze too. Everyone had a great time and the squirrel and dumplings was once again wonderful.
Burney also got another deer and a hog. He is laying them low. Wish we could take out 84 hogs.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Bears? Bears?

After reading this I might have to take to my bed for the whole weekend
Rebel Bears

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Squirrel Camp Starts Now

I came to work this morning and where's Dad? Hell, he has already left for Squirrel Camp. Joe Newman, Sam Goodwin and Guy Dale have already left too!
They are going to have a day of fishing and just hanging out and enjoying camp before the shooting starts Saturday morning. Life is Good!
Anyone else out there have a tree rat fetish?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Squirrels On Their Mind

The Squirrel Camp is upon us and everyone in town keeps dropping by to see what they can bring or what they can do to help get everything ready to go to the famous Christmas Place. I just stare out my window and watch those ungrateful tree rats bombing my car with pecans. Dad and a bunch of the guys are going down in the morning to fish, hunt hogs and relax for a day; then everyone else is coming down on Friday. The squirrels are more than plentiful and everyone is excited to get in the woods and get after them.
Stay tuned as Dad's Wild Bunch takes to the woods in search of the furry varmints.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Nary A Drop

Remember all those beautiful food plots we planted? They are still sitting there bare because we have had no rain in about two months. You walk through the dusty fields and you can't even see the grain laying there. On the other hand we are seeing some really fat turkeys. It is hot, dusty and dry with no end in sight. Kind of like Africa during the wet season.

Monday, October 11, 2010

An 80% Effort

We had a good weekend at the famous Christmas Place. Everyone was there and we got almost all the wood we need for the winter split and stacked.
Mark and I also got two stands placed in fields where we have not had stands.
Greg Jones and his boys Tyler and Kyle came down, helped us and also hunted hogs. Paul brought the Professor and his son Robert to hunt hogs also. No deer, no hogs. It was extremely hot and they were just not moving.
An 80% effort is pretty good considering the way things work down there. Do I need to say more?

Friday, October 08, 2010

The Messenger

A lot of strange things happened the first couple of years that we moved onto the old Plantation in the Delta known as The Christmas Place.
One of these strange things persisted for a year before we found a way to stop it. Thankfully we were able to stop it before someone got hurt.
We took possession of the grounds and the caretakers house in the early fall and busied ourselves with learning the land, getting ready to deer hunt and remodeling the house so we could have a camp. Dad had even hired a bulldozer to clear all the old roads and fields.
It takes us almost two hours to drive there on weekends and on this particular weekend I was the first to arrive and Dad pulled in right behind me. It was easy to see that someone had left a note for us on the back door.
Grabbing my rifle and bag I headed to read the note and go inside with Dad. The note was hanging on a little nail and simply said “RESTORE THEM” in faded block letters. We read the note and took it inside to mull over. The paper was dirty notebook paper and there were no other markings front or back. We thought it was a joke or maybe the former owners were mad about us getting the property. So started what seemed a bizarre set of messages that we would find on our door most weekends. “FIND THEM” ”REPLACE ALL” and stranger ones that made us think that we might really have a serious problem. “DEATH” “REVENGE” “BLOOD SOON” All words that kept getting more sinister as time went on. The last message we received simply said“DIE".
The messages had steadily become more insistent and frightening until finally one weekend we found the back wall covered in blood. It was time to end the charade and find out who was behind it.
I set up in the barn that Wednesday evening and waited through the night with no messenger seen but that Thursday was a different story. It was misty and foggy that night and I would have missed it except for a slight swirl in the mist that revealed a dark figure standing in the backyard as I watched that night. I eased the shotgun up and moved silently from the barn toward the rear of the house. I was almost too late as the shrouded figure had left our door and headed toward the woods. It was hard to see in the swirling mist but in the open woods I could see him clearly as he headed up a narrow valley. I was scared but the shotgun gave me a sense that I could control the situation. The man made no sound as I followed him and I thought that he could surely hear me as I closed the gap between us.
He seemed to disappear as he reached a giant oak rearing out of the side of the hill and when I reached it I could see a large hole going down under the roots and knew that he had entered there. I shined my little flashlight then and could see boot tracks heading down into the dark hole. Maybe it was some hermit living under the ground. I was frightened, this was just too eerie. I wasn’t going to go in a cave in the middle of the night. I would explore the area in daylight and got out of there as quickly as I could.
The next morning I followed the little creek up to the hollow near the big tree. It was open and flat in the center except for a small mound that I thought could be an old Indian Mound. Fifteen feet away the huge oak grew out of the side of the hill but there was no opening under it as I poked my head under the roots to look. There was no evidence that any kind of opening had ever been there and no tracks except mine. I knew what I had seen the night before. I walked back and forth up the little sand ditch and saw no tracks except for deer. I went back and poked the area under the tree with a large stick but there was no give in the dirt and the opening was gone. I was totally confused and sat down on the little Indian Mound to think of what else to do. That is when I found it. I thought it was a piece of concrete jutting up but it had writing on it. I wiped it and realized that it was limestone and the writing was part of a date. I poked around in the leaves and soon realized I needed a shovel. Later I had dug up 16 broken and battered headstones that had been buried there for almost 70 years. The dates of death were from the late 1800’s and the newest was 1901. When the family plot was abandoned, some new owner had made sure the cemetery disappeared. Someone clearing the land had taken a dozer and pushed the headstones into a pile in the bottom of the hollow, covered them up and reset the land to pasture or crops all those years ago. I think the dozer we had clearing the roads might have reawakened some restless souls. It took us awhile but we reset the tombstones against oak trees on top of the ridge and I think we got it right. The messenger has never returned.

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Thursday, October 07, 2010

All Hands On Deck!

This weekend will start the big push to finish up everything for deer season and there is still a lot to do. We have to cut firewood and all the stands have to be repaired, camoed and shooting lanes cut.
We need all hands and the cook.
We will see how many of these big talkers will show up to help.
PS the Executive committee will also meet this weekend to discuss RULES.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Frost On The Pumpkin

The last two nights there has been a light frost on the ground and a taste of winter in the air. The thought comes of those big deerses throwing their noses up to smell, making scrapes for the ladies, and rubbing their big old horns on every tree they see. Deer season is coming if we can make it past this coming work weekend.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad

Saturday Dad drove to the leevee, then walked down the edge of the cottonfields checking on a place to squirrel hunt. He walked all the way to the elbow stand. It is about a 1/4 there and a quarter back. He could not have done that last year. His knee surgery has been miraculous and given him new hope to hunt this year.
His birthday was yesterday. He is 84. If he gets that other knee going he is going to be hard to handle.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Running Amok

They had a great time at camp this past weekend. Trent took an old friend Robby Parsons down to hunt hogs, Burney bowhunted and Dad chased Ms Dorothy.
They put Robby at the Point Stand (my stand)where he saw 39 deer with 9 of them bucks. One was massive. Burney had the opposite and saw one nice buck with no shot and got skunked Sat. afternoon. Dad had a chance to get two young hogs with his walking stick but I think he changed his mind as they got too close. He had his pistol but forgot he was wearing it when they appeared in the trail heading straight for him.
The deer are running amok!
Things are looking really, really good.