Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ghost Stories

Water Valley, MS> A lot of people ask me about my penchant to tell ghost stories. I love a dark and mysterious story of the supernatural and it all goes back to the house in Water Valley that we lived in for several years. It was known as the Bell Witch House on Wood Street and is supposed to be the home that the Bells moved into when they left Tennessee. I do not know if this is true but it is a creepy house and something was going on there that was beyond explanation.
My first encounter with a ghost was about 6 at night and the kids were playing downstairs. Playing chase, I headed up the hall, grabbed the bannister, swung around and headed up the staircase. Halfway up I froze.
A shrouded figure walked across the landing at the top of the stairs and disappeared into a bedroom. I could see no face, just the hooded figure.
Everyone in the house was downstairs.
There were lots of thumps and footsteps on the stairs at all hours, voices laughing during the night and a feeling of being watched at times.
This house and what happened there has left a deep impression on me (as you can see).
Some other strange things happened there that I will relate at a later time, but I enjoy a strange tale and have put a lot of work into my Spooky Campfire Stories category.
Does anybody know how to make the label categories hold more than 15 post?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A Big Kettle

I have recently added the Great White Hunter to my list of links. I have no idea if he can kill a deer, but he does take some great pictures. Like Matt and myself he is involved with getting his kids into hunting and is doing a great job. He also likes to hog hunt and I think that he and Phillip need to get together. He's from California too.
Two other links to visit are Jakes' Outdoors and Penns' Outdoors Penn is of course, Pennsylvania and he keeps a sharp eye out on legislation that affects his state. A very good site to stop and say hi.
Jake seems to cover all the Northeast with a focus on West Virginia. He and Denny would get along great.
Isn't it great that we can touch base with each other from all over the U.S.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Antlers To Faint By

So I am about 13 years old and the deer season is winding down. It is a beautiful winter day and Dad gets with a friend and decides to take all the kids out to a local piece of land to try some deer drives. The weather is absolutely great and all the kids climb in the back of Dad’s truck and off we go. To say we got sidetracked is a real understatement.
We are loaded up, head back through town and head out the Old Taylor Road. We are on the edge of town, not even out of the City Limits of Water Valley, when this gigantic buck hops out from between two houses, lopes across the street, hops a six foot fence into a pasture and trots over the hill.
All hell breaks loose.
The truck slides to the side of the road, every kid bails out and makes a break for the fence (we are all loading our rifles) in hopes of getting a shot at the biggest deer any one of us had ever seen. Trent being the biggest and fastest over the fence is in front, with Paul and I fanning out right behind him. Trent motions to us to hold back as he peeps over the top of the hill.
The gigantic deer is 40 yards away minding it’s own business. Trent pulls his rifle up, carefully aims and pulls the trigger. CLICK! In his haste, he had forgotten to load his gun. Trent falls over backwards to the ground as if he had been shot, realizing he had just let this mega-monster get away. Paul and I look over the hill, just as the big buck decides that it is getting a little crowded and leaves for the next county. We can’t get off a shot, thanks to Trent’s weird reaction. We trudge off to talk with Dad and leave Trent lying there glassy-eyed. Idiot!!
We spent the rest of the day making drives through that scope of woods adjacent to the pasture but never saw the buck again.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The Last Weekend

Barren Woods, MS> This weekend was the very last gasp to get a deer at the famous Christmas Place. Unfortunately no one got a deer as Paul and Michael had already killed all of them. It was rainy and wet and of course I am now sick as a dog, but all in all it was a fun and relaxing weekend. What do you do after the season to keep a blog about hunting going? Tell me your ideas. We will see...
Have enjoyed sharing our season with everyone and will post our harvest sheet soon.
See you later!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Praying Up a Buck

When we were still kids, we hunted near the small town of Abbeville in North Mississippi. As we reached our early teenage years, the deer herd had expanded and our hunting areas started to change. 20 miles toward home, my Dad had found the sign of a big buck along the Yocona River just south of Oxford. This area was pretty remote and undisturbed. This was a perfect place to hunt if you could just find the time. He built a stand, then started hunting near our camp and forgot about it. He forgot about it until he really needed it.
The season had wound down to the very last day and just about everyone had taken a deer. Everyone that is, except my brother Paul. Paul was moping around the camp crying and weeping that he had not taken a deer and the season was over. Dad talked to him and tried to reassure him that it didn’t matter, when the thought of the stand he had built popped into his mind. He told Paul that they would hunt that afternoon. They would stop on the way home and he could hunt on the River Stand and to not give up.
Later that afternoon they walked deep into the swamp and got Paul situated. Dad, then told Paul he would make a couple of big loops and hopefully a deer would move his way. He trudged off and started a big slow circle. Walking, watching and waiting, he found a big log, and sat down to wait a little while.
He thought about Paul and how much he wanted him to get a deer and whispered "Lord, please help that boy get a deer" He was answered by a loud gunshot "BLAM!", then "BLAM" again. He hurried to Paul and yelled "Did you get him?" "Yes sir"
"He's on the other side of the river!" The big buck had leaped into the river and just made it to the far side as it died. A big, big 9-point that took a trip wading the river to get out. A magnificent trophy prayed up for Paul.
As you can tell, another reason he is spoiled rotten.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Bears? Nahhhh

There are two things you do not see in Mississippi. The first is panthers and the second is bears. I got this link from my local newspaper, The North Mississippi Herald about someone that took a picture of a bear in Panola County, the next county to us.
No way, it must be Bigfoot.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I read my good friend Albert at The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles. He knows all about ballistics, muzzle velocity, calibers, etc., etc.
I just want to know what caliber rifle to use for this damn critter.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Excellent Blog Award

This award originated with Project Mommy and was bestowed on my friend Denny at Backwoods Drifter from an interesting blog called Drowsey Monkey.
He honored Marian and myself and the Outdoor Bloggers Summit.
The Excellent Blog Award is to recognize excellent blogs and their spreading of community spirit on the internet. Thank You, Denny!
You are supposed to pass this on to 10 others but I think I will just recognize a few.
1. The Hunters Wife- She's friendly, very funny and has rapidly gained the hearts of all the hunting bloggers I read. Surely an excellent blog and a good friend.
2. Tall Cool Drink of Water- A tough Texas girl with a no-nonsense manner until you dig enough to know that she has a heart of gold and a wicked sense of humor.
3. Dudleys' Diary- He is funny and loves meeting and sharing with everyone. Thanks for linking me, I check you several times a day!
4. Simply Outdoors- These guys are good! they leave lots of comments and enjoy sharing the good and bad parts of their hunts. They have cool pics and are a great place to visit.
5. Bright Idea Outdoors- Matt has had some doubts about continuing. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. Not a good blog, a great blog and he is also a true friend. His blog now has him on the speaking circuit, and he continues to write very good posts on every issue you can imagine in the hunting world. Link him, he is like... Excellent!
Everyone in my link list deserves this honor, so please visit them and get involved!

Monday, January 21, 2008

What's The Score?

23-20, Eli and the Giants go to SuperBowl. Oh, you mean Paul Browns' deer.
5 1/2 to 6 1/2 old
Inside spread: 18 inches
Total scorable points: 17 (13 typical points {6-R, 7-L}, 4 non-typical points {2-R, 2-L})
Main beam: Right - 24 2/8, Left 24 6/8
G1: Right - 6 5/8, Left- 5 6/8
G2: Right - 11 3/8, Left - 9 1/8
G3: Right - 9 6/8, Left - 10
G4: Right - 8 2/8, Left - 8
G5: Right - 2 6/8, Left - 5 1/8
G6: Left - 3 2/8
H1: Right - 4 4/8, Left - 4 3/8
H2: Right - 4 2/8, Left - 4 1/8
H3: Right - 5 3/8, Left - 5 6/8
H4: Right - 6 2/8, Left - 5 2/8

Total abnormal (non-typical) inches: 5 3/8
Gross score: 192 3/8
Net score: 170 3/8 typical

Paul Brown Brings Him Down

Even Thunderhoof said that this was one impressive damn deer!
My two brothers, Paul and Trent, are in mourning.

Friday, January 18, 2008

While We Wait

Just heard that our neighbor, Paul Brown managed to get the big buck we were all chasing this year. So while we are waiting on pictures, here are a few camp scenes.

Trent, John, Spencer, Sarah and me talking about where to hunt.

Dad and Bob after a wild ride to the Duck Blind in search of a deer. No Luck but I think they killed a bottle of Brandy.

Denise and Marian looking great as usual.

Dad and Paul Jones fixing up dinner and a drink in the kitchen.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Great Late Rut

Last weekend was the best hunting weekend of the season. The second rut had started and deer were running everywhere. We had two guest come down. I told you about Two-Gun Tony and his two deer, but our other guest was Burneys' friend named Larry Dunlap. He was a great addition to the camp too even if he snored like someone was choking him to death, and he managed to also take two deer.
He got a nice doe and then killed a nice buck off Pauls Stand in the Hole. HA-HA-HA. About damn time.
This was a fine 9-point that came right under him. Did I mention how much more pleasant camp was this weekend without Paul "Know-It-All" Howell being there? Anyway, we took five deer including two bucks and here is a pic. It is a little bloody, Sorry

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Hunting with Kids (the Disaster)

I had come in from hunting without a deer (again) and all the kids wanted to go that afternoon. I had been putting it off but the weather was beautiful and The Corner Stand was perfect to see some deer close up.
The Corner is a metal 2-man ladder stand on the edge of a large cornfield. You can see 400 yards across the field and I knew that we would at least see some deer if we went.
Now there are certain things you need to be aware of and to take care of if you take a herd of kids hunting. (in kids, a herd is more than one) A quick word of advice is not to take them all at one time or not on your first outing anyway.
The first thing is to make everyone go to the bathroom twice before you leave for your stand. Check! I am so smart that I instinctively knew how to handle this.
The second is that their attention span is very short, so you have to see deer quick or have something for them to do while you wait. It is also best to leave for your stand an hour later than you normally do. Nintendo, puzzles, pencil, paper. Check!
Third is that after 30 minutes they are going to be really hungry. Cookies, candy bars, water. Check!
Fourth, you have to go over this talking stuff and have hand signals if you spot a deer. You have to practice your whispering and they all need field glasses to look around and keep busy. Check!
I had everything under control. In fact, to make sure we did not get cold, I brought a sleeping bag that we could spread across the 4 of us and stay snug as a bug in a rug. Easy as pie!
We made it to the Corner Stand, climbed up and all got ready for the afternoon hunt.
I figured by 4PM we would start seeing deer.
Sarah, Spencer and Erin searched the field with their binoculars while I relaxed. Every bird got looked at, every cracking branch behind us got investigated and every noise had to be a big deer coming.
Thirty minutes later they were hungry, so cookies, water and candy bars were eaten. 15 minutes later they were bored so I tried to get them interested in the paper and puzzles. Erin had to go to the bathroom. They all wanted to hold the rifle and look through the scope. One set of field glasses dropped to the ground. They started tugging at the sleeping bag and rearranging themselves as the sun fell. Lots of whispering and "SHHHHH"s. A fight broke out, loud voices telling each other to move over, me whispering to be them to be quiet, they wanted to leave, there weren’t any deer and I always took them to a bad spot. Another set of field glasses falls, paper and pencils fall, Spencer has to go to the bathroom too. Another fight breaks out.
I get them quiet and relax while smoking a cigarette. (lots of comments on how i was scaring the deer away). Another round of food, another small squabble breaks out.
I break it up. A minute later I smell smoke! I look down and the damn sleeping bag is on fire! The water bottle falls to the ground. Flames were coming up as I tried to get it out and imagined us all burning to death in the top of a tree.
Screams, laughter and it’s your fault for smoking as I spit and beat at the fire to get it out. Whispers, then loud voices of indignation that I have ruined their hunt with my smoking.
Whuump, Whuump, Whuump, Crash!
A boot falls to the ground.
It is now five minutes to 4 and they all have to go to the bathroom. No, they can’t wait anymore and there are no deer anyway. We climb down and get on the 4-wheeler.
They like that but make sure to tell everyone at camp how I almost burned them up and ruined their hunt.
My first adventure with taking them all hunting is funny now. It has slowly improved and Spencer and Sarah have taken their deer. Erin is next.
This is for Matt at Bright Idea Outdoors with his Kids and Hunting Series. By the way, it is a true story.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Two-Gun Tony

Mark Stewart brought a friend from work to the famous Christmas Place this past weekend. His name is Tony Santiago and he also works for the Post Office so I am sure he knows all about guns. His hunting has been poor due to location and he was very excited to be hunting with us.
Saturday morning we got ready to leave and he put two guns on the 4-wheeler. His rifle and a shotgun. He said you can't be too careful. That morning at dawn he got a nice doe on the Persimmon Stand and that afternoon as I came down the lake I heard him shoot. Blam, Blam, Pow, Pow, Pow! He had shot at a doe, his gun jammed and he kept shooting with the shotgun. I stopped and asked if he needed more bullets and he just laughed. I then helped him get that deer back to camp. Tony got two deer this past weekend and I think he had a blast. He saw piles of deer and seemed really appreciative and a good sport all weekend. We will be looking forward to him coming back next year.
PS- that big doe weighed 135lbs.

Monday, January 14, 2008

The Lost 40 Buck

I was late to camp because of Sarahs Birthday. I had decided (for once) to take Pauls' advice. He said "to kill a deer, you are going to have to do something different" Damn! How right he was.
I had decided to go up the lake again like I did when I killed the big buck last year. I would take my climber with me and hunt the stand in the morning and if I had no luck, I would head to the Lost 40. Burney got the boat ready for me. Thank you. I left way before daylight, trolled up the lake and hunted. I saw 13 that morning and several small bucks. I wanted to hunt there again that afternoon but had promised myself that no matter what, I would go to the Lost 40. I went up the lake, loaded the stand and started the walk. I reached the mountain I had to climb and staggered up it and set up. No one had ever hunted this Lost 40 acres in the rear of our property. Pretty open woods, lots of buck sign around me and renewed hope I had done the right thing. At 5PM the buck showed up and trotted to within 20 yards. The .45/70 roared (bloodying my nose) and I finally got a nice buck. I won't hesitate next year to get to that spot again.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Sarah!

Today my daughter, Sarah, turns 14. She has changed a lot during the last year. Slowly she is changing from a tempetuous child into a young woman. I asked her what she wanted for her birthday. Did she answer "a new rifle" or "a camo hat, some face paint, insulated coveralls, bullets, or a hunting jacket"? NO.

This is the same little girl that got her first deer this year. She has been wanting a rifle forever but things change. I want to hold on to her and enjoy hunting together with her and the rest of the kids as long as I can. I hope that she will not give it up and we can hunt together without all the distractions that a young teenager faces.
What did she want?
She wanted cool clothes and Paris Hilton perfume.
Is it me?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Views From Camp

Joe Black, well known CPA, bad golfer and holder of useless facts came to the famous Christmas Place this weekend. He took a couple of pics from the Scenic Stand. I think that is a deer in the center.

The Royal Duck Blind stand that Dad and Bob like so much.

Michael at the pole, playing it for all it's worth.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Enjoy These New Links

With Christmas, New Years and the quest to try and kill a damn deer, I have neglected to let everyone know about the recent additions to my link list. The first link is EcoRover. This blog is run by a professor at Montana Tech named Pat Munday. He covers skiiing, lots of green stuff and environmental issues, has great articles on rifle calibers, hunting and life. He also adds lots of pics to enjoy and even cooking tips. Please go enjoy his hospitality. This is a pic of his beautiful daughter Emily.
The second link is to Michael Shimniok who runs a blog called Troubled Child: Off Road Adventures in a 1986 Jeep Grand Waggoneer. He calls the famous jeep TC, and let me tell you, that damn thing will go almost anywhere! Up and down lost trails, cross country, through snow, mud and herds of wild hogs. The old Jeep is amazing, the only problem is keeping her running. I wonder if that old Jeep could make it to Mississippi?
Another new and interesting link is called Hunting Pressure. Grizzly runs the site and has Outdoor Videos, Sportmens Commentary, Gear Reviews and a mix of humor and serious looks at the hunting world.
Please go by and visit all these hardworking Bloggers and say HI!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Meanwhile Back In The Valley

Old Scratch has 160 acres located about 7-8 miles east of Water Valley. It is a wonderful piece of property with rolling hills and a long winding creek bottom. He and his sons, Tyler and Kyle, have a great place to hunt and a bunch of big bucks too. Kyle took this really nice 10-point trophy this weekend. Congratulations, that's a hoss!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Michael Gets The Big One

Micheal has hunted hard this year when he has been at camp. He has not complained, hunted by himself most of the time and done a very good job proving that he is a seasoned hunter.
Sunday morning was his last chance to get a deer. Paul and Michael slipped in and set up against a log overlooking a winding creek and cane thicket that morning and it was not long till they saw the huge antlers easing through the young cane.
At 25 yards Michael made a perfect shot and laid this magnificent 10-point on the ground. The big buck weighed 210lbs. with a 16 inch spread. Congratulations on a perfect end to a long season!

Friday, January 04, 2008

A Real Deer

This picture was sent in by longtime viewer and old college friend Alan McLeod. He and his son have been visitors at the famous Christmas Place and we hope to get them back soon. This 13-point monster was shot in December. Glad someone can shoot a mature big buck unlike 2 certain underachieving, braggart lawyers.

A Low Key New Years Party

We all headed in to Kittrells restaurant in Lexington on Monday night for dinner and a New Years Eve Party. The food was great but truthfully everyone was exhausted. We left early and headed back to camp and not all of us were awake to meet the new year.
Dad, Josh, Paul, Michael, Denise, Rex, Marian, Bob

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Pauls Request

for someone that won't even read my blog, that damn Paul is pretty insistent about having his picture plastered everywhere when he kills a deer.

Bigger news than his deer this weekend was that his son Michael actually washed the dishes.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hunting Into 2008

Hells-Fiery-Depths, MS> First it started out awful, but I admit it got better quickly. When I got to the camp Thursday afternoon, I noticed something hanging on the pole. At first I thought it was a squirrel with antlers, but upon closer examination it was a young 8-point buck taken by Drew Stewart. This got everyone in
the woods quickly and just at dark a lone gunshot rang out of the Hole area. Oh hell, I thought and soon Paul came in with a damn 14-point. Another one?
A 14 point in a season is a rarity, but two in a camp in the same year?
Congratulations to the famous deer murderer, anyway. At least, he limited out and was through for the year. Maybe not. Marian and Bob were there and hunted hard for a couple of days with no deer.
Paul wandered out in the woods and blasted a doe for our management program and then told Marian to quit hunting with me if she wanted to kill a deer. She took his advice and BLAM! Marian got a deer at Eastgate.
And me, what did I do this weekend? Take a look. Pretty pitiful.