I'd like to welcome those moving over from the MDWFP user forum, which is being discontinued March 1. We understand that you folks will be looking to create a new home, and we hope you find a comfortable place to discuss the outdoors with us.
Big changes are coming to the site (including a full forum) in the near future, so I know you'll find everthing you are looking for.
Please let us know if you have any questions, concerns or suggestions.
Kevin VanDam put another notch on his rod with a third Bassmaster Classic title today.
Keep checking the front page for the wrap-up story.
With the final day of the Bassmaster Classi under way, Cliff Pace is fishless. He's still sitting in 15th, as today's fishing seems a lot slower than the past couple of days.
No one has caught a limit at this point, although Louisiana's Cliff Crochet is only one fish short of that accomplishment.
Right now, Kevin VanDam has moved into the lead with a 38-3 total, with Todd Faircloth also passing day 2 leader Jeff Kriet with 34-10.
Kriet has landed a single 2-pounder to bring his three-day total to 34-1.
Check back for regular updates, and feel free to add your own thoughts and updates.
The day started slow for day one leader Kevin VanDam, but he jumped back into the lead with a smooth 26 pounds a few minutes ago.
However, he's still one shy of a limit.
The only three limits of the day thus far have been landed by Louisiana's Cliff Crochet, Jeff Kriet and Pamela Martin-Wells.
The current leaderboard:
1. KVD 26-0
2. Jeff Kriet 25-15
3. Todd Faircloth 24-10
4. Takahiro Omori 22-2
5. Cliff Crochet 19-5
6. Billy McGaghren 18-11
7. James Niggemeyer 18-9
8. Matt Herren 18-3
9. Tommy Biffle 17-11
10. Steven Browning 16-15
Mississippi's Cliff Pace isn't far out of the top 10 with 16-3, but he hasn't boated a fish today.
Check back for ongoing updates.
The pros on Alabama's Lay Lake will probably struggle to catch limits when the 2010 Bassmaster Classic kicks off tomorrow. Read six of the anglers' thoughts on our front-page story.
Fishing on the final practice day for the Bassmaster Classic was anything but easy, with Lay Lake's cold water reportedly turning the bite off completely. Check out what one angler had to say on our front-page story.
Be sure and check out the story of how 13-year-old Will Foreman killed this 158-inch buck. It's hysterical.
Have you ever wondered if protein would make a difference on your deer herd? Check out the story on the front page to see how a Washington County club has reaped huge benefits from the supplemental feed.
Well, I wish I could report putting down one of the big deer on this Mississippi property, but I can't. Joey DeVeer killed a doe this morning, and Bassmaster's James Hall followed suit this morning.
I, on the other hand, brought my total number of missed up to three. After a morning hunt with only a single young 8-point seen, I put up a climber in a beautiful wooded area. No food plot anywhere, but lots of pecan trees that showed signs of regular deer feeding. About 4:30, I shanked an arrow over a 130- to 140-pound doe. I hurried the shot, and just missed.
I watched a procession of young bucks, and then had a smaller doe ease out to my right. I stood, turned and drew, and was dead solid to take a 20-yard shot. However, the doe only slowed up for a split second and was soon behind some bushes.
An hour later, a pair of nice does walked out to my rear left. I waited until the lead deer was 15 steps from my stand, and then I drew and gave a soft 'baaa.' The deer stopped in its track. I lined up the pin, aiming low as I've been told time and again to do to allow for the deer to drop as it attempts to evade the arrow.
I saw the arrow deflect off the small tree behind the doe, and the deer ran a half circle about 30 yards. Its tail was tucked, so I figured I had drilled her. The doe stopped and just stood there looking back in my direction, and I waited for her to get wobbly and drop. After about 30 seconds, she flagged and trotted away none the worse for wear. Looking back, I don't recall the deer ducking at all, so I can only assume I shot under her. I'm now down to three arrows.
I'm plannning to get in the stand tomorrow morning and hunt all day, or until I run out of arrows.
Greg Hackney said he'd pick me up at 9:30 a.m. Nice to have a comedian in the crew.
Well, I finally made it to the Washington County bowhunt, and the first sit this afternoon was non-stop action. I wasn't in the stand 15 minutes before deer started pouring out of the woods.
In all, I saw 10 or 11 bucks, including three or four that were 8s or better. I also saw a bunch of does.
The only problem is that every deer busted me in the stand. It was a lean-to, and was no more than 15 feet high. I guess that was it because supposedly it hasn't been hunted. But every single deer eased out and immediately looked up at me. I was completely camoed, including my face, so I don't think it was me.
That really bit me when I saw a wide-racked buck walking out of the slough into the thick cover in front of me. I could tell it was about a 20-inch buck and at least an 8-point, but I never got a really good look at the rack in the thicket. But the impression was that the tines were short.
Since I was restricted to one mature buck for the hunt, I soon discounted it and focused on the doe slipping across in front of me. When I turned the doe spooked and bounded off.
I saw movement and looked over to see the wide-rack deer trot off behind the doe - and it looked like the tines were a LOT taller than I first thought. It probably was a shooter, and my impatience cost me.
Later, I drew on a small doe (just to bloody my new bow), but couldn't make out the pins very well. It was blurry, and I should have let off but shot instead. Of course, I overshot the deer. As I watch the doe trot off, I looked at my peep sight, and the tubing that pulls it straight was dangling. At least that's my excuse for missing.
Oh well, I've got until Wednesday morning to bust a good one.
Greg Hackney's popped this 9-point this evening. It'll score in the mid 130s, but it's a doozie. You can hardly put your hand around the bases.
The younger guy is 11-year-old Matt Mariani, who shot this beautiful 8-pointer yesterday.
Almost everyone saw tons of deer today, and the bucks are still following does. So the next few days should be exciting.
I'll post more tomorrow.
Been sitting around Pine Bluff, Ark., after my Stuttgart duck hunt, but tomorrow mornign I head about two hours south to join Bassmaster Elite Series angler Greg Hackney and Bassmaster Editor James Hall for a Mississippi bowhunt.
Man, I'm pumped up. The property has already produced 12 bucks better than 140 inches this season, including two 160-class deer last weekend.
Hopefully, I'll be giving that new bow a workout over the next four days.
Cell reception is very spotty, and there's not Internet connection, so I'll give reports on the iPhone if I can find a place that allows me enough connection to hook up to the site.
Gonna be hard to sleep tonight.
Can't wait for Sunday, when I'll be meeting Bassmaster Elite Series pro Greg Hackney for a four-day bowhunt on his Washington County property.
His land was the subject of a Mississippi Sportsman feature last year on how Hackney and his buddies manage their deer herd (they fed upwards of 20 tons of protein through the summer), and Greg said the work has paid off big.
A guest apparently killed a 170-inch buck this weekend (I'll get the story up ASAP), and the weather for our hunt is going to be cold, cold, cold.
Getting antsy ....
A 158-inch 9-point was killed on Panther Swamp NWR on Dec. 10. The story, along with several photos, can be found on our front page.
Check it out and let us know what you think.
Pearl River WMA, right across the Louisiana state line from South Mississippi, is closing tomorrow because of flooding.
Check out the story on the front page for the full story. We'll let everyone know when it reopens.
Nine-year-old Drew Hackney (son of BASS pro Greg Hackney) knocked down this 140-class 8-point Saturday in Washington County. Greg said the buck was one of two big bucks they saw, and that Drew dropped the deer in its tracks with his .243 at 30 yards.
Pumps me up: I'm on for a hunt on the same property in January. Of course, I can only shoot a buck with a bow .... But if I score, it's likely to be the biggest deer I've ever killed with any weapon.
The New Orleans Boat Show was set to mark it's 40th anniversary this January, but instead has been canceled.
Go to the front page for the details.
Brian Burkely arrowed a massive buck Oct. 1 on the same property that produced a 160-class deer last year for first cousin Michael Burkley.
Check out the full story on our front page.
The state agency has invested a lot of money in programs to get youth involved in the outdoors. Go to our front page and check out the story, which includes a list of the organizations and program receiving funding.
You've got to see this buck, a 180-class 8-point killed in Minnesota. Unfortunately, state officials say the deer (possibly the largest 8-point ever measured) was killed illegally.
Check out the story on the front page.
The story of how Thad Greer killed this monster is on the front page. Be sure and check it out.