I got a cool video of a bear in the Big Lake WMA on Thanksgiving weekend. If you watch the video, the bear steps closer to my tree and a simple noise made him/her run away. They are curious animals, not aggressive ones, but after my hog attack last year I didn't care to get close up video. Good luck hunting and remember to enjoy the great outdoors! Sorry I have NO idea what the video Embed Code is or how to get it. If anyone could help me out, I would love to put the video up.
My group and I traveled to the Tensas NWR for the Thanksgiving Lotto hunt. We saw 8 deer, 5 bucks, 3 does, 6 hogs and a bear. My buddy killed a doe, I killed a 194lb 4 point, main frame 6 with the left side of the rack broken off, and my wife killed her first rack buck, 160lb 8 point, on public land and her first hog, 162lbs.
First and foremost I would like to thank everyone that had reached out to me and kept me in their thoughts and prayers. I took a big hit, which shut down my hunting season, but regaining my health is more important. If you're interested, here's my story.
I took some vacation time on January 29,30 and 31, and headed to Tensas for a last bow hunt. We did not see any deer, but plenty of sign. I just figured the deer were in a post rut lull. After cleaning the camp we headed out on February 1st.
I planned all along to head to the PRWMA on Sunday Feb. 2nd and make a squirrel, rabbit and hog hunt. As I got in bed that Saturday night I was tired and decided to sleep in on Sunday, however I knew I would regret not going and having to wait all week to chase the hogs and squirrels would not sit right with me, so I set my alarm. If I only knew the outcome I would have slept in....
I arrived at my usual spot at the crack of daylight. My plan was to slip around early and get a few squirrels and as the morning got later start to look for some hogs. My plan was going well, I had three squirrels down and saw a few more, missing two. The challenge this time of year to hunt PRWMA squirrels is like no other, slick little critters!! I also took advantage of a scouting opportunity, so I wondered around for a few hours. It was about 9:30 when I decided to turn back toward the truck near 10:00. I made my way out of some heavy cover and into a slough. I looked at my GPS and noticed the slough paralleled the road and was headed past my truck, so I decided to stay in the slough for a bit, then break out in the thick woods and make my way back out. The slough I was in traveled the opposite direction back toward an area I hunt often, that would be good news as I knew exactly where I was, something I would depend on later.
The slough had high banks and it began to get very thick with briar and cane on both sides. As I slipped through I was hoping to catch a hog bedded in the thick cover and place a well placed shot with my .22 mag behind the ear. On a hog of any size that is the only place to shoot it and make a recovery. Up ahead of me I could see the slough made a 90 degree turn to the left and the slough contained a lot of branches. Just by chance the left side of the slough opened up with a bunch of saplings, thick still but I was able to pick my way through. I got on the bank and walked 20 yards to a large log and sat down and had a granola bar. I had planned to begin making my way back to the truck. I stood up and began to parallel the slough, which was on my right. I was only about 10 yards off of the slough. I took a few steps and could hear a squirrel barking up ahead. I figured with the heavy understory I was in a good position to make a sneak on that slick critter. I focused my attention straight ahead and began to look for the path of least resistance. I'm now 15-20 yards away from the log I rested on. I placed my rifle in my right hand and stooped low to clear the limbs, what happened next, I still can not believe.
I heard that familiar noise, I've heard many times before, of a large animal, deer of hog, getting out of a bed and running. I've had many more hogs jump up near me than deer, however, over all the years I've been close to both of them. Its amazing how camouflage animals can be as long as they stay still. One thing tho, is not one of the hogs I've ever jumped close to me has ever come at me.
I looked over my right shoulder to see a good size hog coming right at me, he was laid up near the slough, which was on my right. My first thought was that I did not hear him cross the slough, never did I think I walked right passed him, but that squirrel had my attention else where. No sweat, I know that pigs have horrible eye sight and I believed this hog was just running in my direction, I planned that I would just side step him and shoot him as he passed at close range. He was 6 feet and closing as I planned my next move. The problem is, is that I did not have a plan B. I looked to my left and took a good size step to clear his path, as I turned to get my shot off, the hog was digging in and cutting in my direction, it was then I realized that this hog had his sights on me and was not interested in running away, but to fight. I began to back pedal and tried to get my gun around, but the tight saplings made that difficult, and down I went onto my back. SURVIVAL mode!!!!
I knew I had to fight and fight hard. I also knew that I had to keep that hog off of my thighs and my midsection, it was a matter of life or death for me. I know how those tusk rip dogs open, I could not afford to take a hit like that. I kicked hard at the hogs nose, figuring I would make him not want to advance on me, that was the only spot I could maybe get his attention, as most animals the nose is their sensative spot. He continued to rip at me with those tusk, which I could not tell how large they were. After a few seconds the hog acually bit my right calf, after he had already ripped it open, I just didnt realize that yet. I was totally relieved at that moment, because he stopped slinging those tusk around. I immedaitely grabbed his snout with my left hand and took the gun off of safety with my right hand and fired a point blank shot into the hog, he immediately took two steps back. I bolted the gun, at which time he ran off. I tried getting another shot one him, but I had a miss fire, I think I didn't close the bolt all the way.
I jumped to my feet and could see this hog cut my boot, I was mad because I just bought these boots at the beginning of the year. I went to the spot I last saw the hog, 20 yards or so from the attack. I heard sloshing in my boot, I took a peek down in my boot and I could see meat hanging and the blood was flowing, I could not continue my pursuit of the this wild mean hog. It was in my best interest to live to fight another day, so I made my way back to the slough I came in on. Taking the slough was a little farther to get out, but it was the faster way out, plus it would have been easier for help to locate me in a slough as opposed to the thick woods.
I contacted a friend immediately who knows the area I hunt and told him to contact me every few minutes just to make sure I was still on my feet, after all I had no idea how bad I was injured. I contacted my wife and had her ready to get me to the hospital as soon as I got home. I would have went straight to the hospital if I began having issues, but as long as I felt fine, I headed to my house.
I went into surgery at 520pm, just 10 minutes before the superbowl game, I came out of surgery just in time to realize I did not miss the game, as the Seahawks whipped up on Denver as this hog whipped up on me.
Another surgery two days later to repair mucscle tissue and close the wound.
Its been two weeks and a day since my incident, I'm starting to put some weight on my leg but still have a ways to go.
and to think I just wanted to make a quick hunt.....
I took a few days off of work and took the wife, dad and friend up to Big Lake WMA for the primitive weapon season. Total, we saw 8 deer, which was a little slow, but thats hunting. Sometimes we see more deer and sometimes less. My wife started hunting with me in 2010 and killed her first public land deer (Doe) in Januray 2013. On the second morning of the hunt I shot a 130lb doe out of one of my favorite trees to hunt. This tree was now 3 for 3. Its a long walk but my wife, Laura, wanted to hunt it. I let it rest a day then we walked the long haul on the 4th morning. She saw a doe, then shot what she thought was a doe but turned out to be a quarter inch spike, 115lbs. I was nearby, 250 yards, and let me tell you something, there is nothing like hearing her gun go off and getting pumped up that she just shot a public land deer. I know the challenge of public land hunting and she had just shot her 2nd public land deer. I get more excited when she shoots than I do when I shoot a good buck. The tree was now 4 for 4, not bad for public land, no feeders, not that I use them anyway or food plots, just raw hunting, learning the woods and hunting the deer. The last evening I put Laura in another 'Deer Tree' that has been successful in the past, bam!!! she shoots again and I'm super excited for her to kill two deer on public land in one week, AWESOME!! Another spike, 120lbs, aged at 2.5 years old. Both deer in my opinion were cull bucks. Laura was at the camp with three guys and she took the crown of 'Top Hunter.' I'm a proud husband, my wife rocks!! In time she is gonna get that monsta buck. Big Lake WMA and Tensas NWR are full of deer, no shortage to say the least. Get out and hunt Louisiana public land, the opportunities are there, you just have to go, good luck hunting.
HOG WILD!!!!! I took a trip out to the Pearl River WMA on December 26, 2013, to make a morning hunt. I set up in a spot that I have some good buck sign, hoping to get a look at him. At 8am I caught movement and shot the larger hog as she was walking on through my area at about 25 yards. At 830am I saw 8 smaller pigs feeding my way, then they turned and began to feed the other direction. I took a last second shot at the little black one as they all were getting out of sight right at 60 yards. With two pigs down I got out of my tree and took a quick walk to check some buck sign, I nearly got another shot at a large black hog, fortunate for him, he saw me first and took off. What a great hunt on a cool morning. No deer this time, but the hogs were a good prize. Public land, all the opportunity in the world, you just have to go. Good luck hunting!
Well, after a great weekend during the Thanksgiving lottery hunt where my hunting party of 5 saw 18 deer and killed five including 2 big bucks, the primitive weapons hunt this past weekend wasn't so deer friendly. My buddy did get a running shot at a really good buck, but his bullet appeared to hit a branch. I did not see a deer and the hot fresh deer sign that I saw a week before was old and not freshened up. There were 3 times as many hunters this weekend than last and I heard fewer shots. It seems that those deer were on lock down. I had a great time with temperatures holding at 30 degrees and the wind kicking making it feel well into the teens on Saturday. All in all, I guess I got some relaxation time. But hey that why its called hunting and not killing. Good Luck hunting and stay warm.
We saw this bear on Hwy 888 in Tensas Parish. I love seeing the bears, such a cool sight in Louisiana.
I went up to Tensas NWR for the Thanksgiving lottery hunt with my wife, dad and two buddies. The weather got cold a week prior and stayed cold throughout the week with another colder front on Thanksgiving day, which had me excited. The weather was 25 degrees on Friday morning with very little wind, which made it perfect, however my wife disagreed, she wanted it to be 65. With the weather being cold all week and with David Moreland's prediction of an early rut I was ready to get after those big Tensas bucks. My buddy Jeff killed a 223lb 8 point that scored 127' during the morning hunt. After a lengthy drag we finally got the deer out of the woods and back to camp. My buddy Todd saw a really good buck that morning but he wasn't able to get a shot. With Jeff at the camp, my dad, wife and Todd headed back out of an evening hunt. We decided to hunt close since we were getting back in late. After placing my wife in a tree I decided to track back to my area where I hunted the morning hunt. It wasn't close, but buck sign I saw in the morning made me head back to the same tree. At 4:18 p.m. there he appeared out of the palmetto thickets feeding in an oak flat. I knew he was a shooter when I saw him, although I couldn't tell how many points he had. I waited for a clear shot and as he stepped into a small opening I let him have a .270 bullet. He ran 40 yards and piled up. He sported 11 points, weighed 218 pounds and scored 134'. We finished the weekend with everyone seeing deer and Todd and I killing does the next day. Jeff Shot a Doe on Big Lake Sunday morning. Jeff also saw a bear and a hog. My dad saw a few does, but he could not get a shot. My wife saw a buck but could not get a shot. Over all it was a great weekend. Two Big Bucks Down on the same day was awesome. Total, we saw approximately 18 deer. No place to hunt? Louisiana Public Land is where its at! Good luck hunting! This public land experience gets an A+.
Just for the guys who don't have a place to go, I will report all my trips to WMA's in Louisiana this hunting season. I will report what I see, kill and my experience with my hunts.
I stayed home from the deer camp/lease in Mississippi this weekend due to the hot weather. I decided to take my 9 year old nephew, Jeffery, squirrel hunting. We were looking for Jeffery's very first squirrel kill. Jeffery has already killed a deer, which took place last year at the Mississippi lease.
We headed out to the Pearl River WMA on Saturday afternoon. We went to the area I know holds some squirrels. Jeffery had his 20 gauge youth model shotgun and I was hunting with my .22 mag. We saw squirrels almost immediately, but as Pearl River squirrels go, they are as slick as any squirrels I've ever hunted. You need to be on your game, and with a 9 year old in tow, my work was cut out for me. I decided to make it to a location where I killed squirrels before and sit on a log, with the hopes of a squirrel making its way to us. we were seated for several minutes when I saw a squirrel moving through the trees, we began to sneak on it and made it to another log where we sat and waited for a shot. That squirrel nearly gave us a shot, but got away.
As we sat waiting for that squirrel to come back our way, Jeffery heard some noise behind us. I saw him look back, then look back again. I was wondering what he was doing since the squirrel we were after was in front of us. All of a sudden, Jeffery tells me, 'I see a hog!!' I turned to look and did not see anything, so I asked him did you see one or hear one. Unknown to me the hog was within 25 yards, but behind a tree. I looked again and the hog appeared from behind the tree. I spun around on the log and leveled my .22 mag, but the wind was blowing to the hog. Before I could settle the crosshairs on his head he bolted. Jeffery just witnessed his first wild hog. Pretty cool stuff! We hunted until dark. We saw 8 squirrels, I shot one just so Jeffery could try out his new game vest.
The next morning we were back in the same area. We went to a big bottom that had some mature trees, where we saw most of the squirrels the evening before. We heard the squirrels barking most of the morning but could not locate any of them. I decided to push farther to a spot I know that has smaller trees and appears a little bushier. I knew if we saw squirrels they would be lower and closer to us. After just a few minutes...squirrel! We did a little sneak and froze, sure enough here he came, as he climbed though the lower branches Jeffery aimed and fired....BOOM, and the squirrel hit the ground. It was his very first squirrel, I was pumped and so was he. We then heard another squirrel barking and I could tell he was close by. we set up and waited, squirrel... BOOM....but a miss.
As we began to make our way out of the woods we saw another squirrel, we set up waited and there she was, Jeffery nailed it too. Now, he has two squirrels down, his new game vest was starting to get full. It was 10 o'clock by this time, we decided to head to the area where we saw the hog the day before. At 10:30 Jeffery and I saw a squirrel, it was high in a tree and far so I took a shot with the .22, missed, the squirrel headed off. We made our way to the tree it went to and waited, I told Jeffery to stay put, I walked around the back side of the tree and the squirrel took off towards Jeffery, BOOM, HE GOT ANOTHER ONE!!!! Three in one hunt!! This boy can shoot!!
All together in two hunts and while on the management area we saw 13 squirrels, 8 Saturday and 5 Sunday, one hog, two snakes, plenty of turtles and an alligator. We were hunting in the area of Hwy 11. We did not encounter any hunters, and basically had the area all to ourselves.
To give the experience this weekend a grade, it would be a A.
Not only was the hunting awesome, but the time Jeffery and I spent in the great outdoors was even better. Something I know he will never forget and neither will I. Good times!!!!
Louisiana has thousands of acres of public land to have incredible hunts like we did. Take a kid or just you, either way, success is out there, you just have to want it.
As I read through the post of numerous hunters looking for land to lease or wanting a place to hunt, I can't help but think of the UNLIMITED public land oportunities we have in the state of Louisiana. I have a lease in Mississippi with 1000 acres to hunt on and I'm more excited about making my Louisiana WMA (Pearl River, Big Lake and Tensas NWR) hunts. Every year I leave my lease behind during the rut to head to Louisiana and hunt a true wild deer. The fun of it is any deer killed on public land is a trophy. Since 1997 I've hunted Mississippi leases and Louisiana public lands. Louisiana public lands have out killed my Mississippi leases and I've killed bigger bucks in Louisiana. So, if you want to deer hunt and you don't have a lease, Louisiana WMA's is where you can score. Don't use the excuse of to many people, I'm successful, you can be too!!!
It's July, hot, humid and the last thing on your mind is hunting. But now is the time to start getting ready. Look over your gear, make sure your have what you need and if you need something start getting it now. The pro shops will get busy come August and even more busy in September. Get your orders in so you can try out any new equipment you might get. Waiting until the last minute will leave you at home opening day or weekend because you waited to long to get going. A great season starts with some good prep work, good luck hunting and remember bow hunters, pick a spot!
I grew up hunting the Pearl River WMA. Over the years I have witness the area close due to high water, only to open back up when the water level dropped below 16.5 feet. The area was closed twice this year, September then in January. Each time this high water occurs Oil Well Road usually remains closed after the reserve is opened. This is understandable as Oil Well Road washes out in a few spots. Once it is fixed Oil Well Road opens for vehicular traffic. Well, the water rose in January causing the area to be closed, only to open just prior to the February HOG season with dogs. Now I'm no hog dog hunter, but I'm a hunter who anticipates a season as do the hog dog hunters. With Oil Well Road remaining closed with no intentions of opening this road until next September, is deprieving the hog dog hunters of access to this part of the reserve, and others who hunt down that road, including me. I road my bike in to hunt and noticed a few areas where the road was washed out. These spots were not that washed out, I road my bike though them without a problem. What concerns me is why can't the roads get fixed in a timely manner, literally a few hours would have it passable. How about making Oil Well Road a 4-wheeler trail after the high water, if its gonna take that much time to fix it. We are in the last month to hunt the area and can't get to our favorite spots without making great efforts. I find that this is poor management by the DW&F. They have the machinery right there to take care of the road, but would rather do it later, after the season is over. They want the hogs to be killed but want to make it more difficult to kill them. I'm just asking to be reasonable with this issue, fixed the road in a timely manner or make it a 4-wheeler trail when the road is closed.
The deer season is once again coming upon us. I see some post on Louisiana Sportsman in reference to guys wanting advise on how to train a dog to track deer. Here is my opinion on this subject.
I have a male Lab that has been tracking deer for 8 seasons. We have a great recovery rate on locating downed deer. As a bow hunter I've always tracked my own deer, before I got my dog. I was always able to track a deer by blood, its when a deer did not bleed that I wished I had a dog. So when I got my dog and began to train him on tracking deer I had to understand the smell of a wounded deer as opposed to a live healthy deer.
I started out training my dog with a deer leg, just playing fetch. This was only done to associate a deer scent with play time. I also used the deer leg of a deer that had to run after it was shot, the reason for this is because when a deer is shot or alarmed it will put off a scent from the gland on the bottom of the foot. This is the scent I wanted my dog to track.
Just like any kind of training, it takes baby steps, one thing at a time, then graduate to a more advanced level.
After the dog is introduced to the scent, put the dog out of sight of a mock track. Use the leg that you used to play fetch, the dog's smell as well as the deer's small is on this leg, which will help a beginner dog track. Tie a rope to the leg and drag it 20 or 30 yards. bring the dog to the start of the drag and introduce your dog to that spot. I use the command, 'check here' as I point to the ground. Keep the dog on lead first to correct him if he goes off course. Do this many times in different locations, with short tracks. After a while make longer tracks with half circles, over logs across small pools of water, etc.
This should get your dog ready for his first real track, but remember the first track, or the first 10 tracks are still part of the training program. Track every deer you get a chance to track, the smell of the deer, blood, glands and disturbed brush will all become a scent association for your dog.
If a deer bleeds, great, but if not the dog is needed. Even though blood cannot be seen by a human doesn't mean its not there. A dog can smell the micro droplets of blood that we cant see.
If a deer is shot and runs off, wait if you think it was a bad shot, NEVER go stomping around to look for the deer if you plan on using the dog later, the reason why is because when a deer runs off he will break branches, blades of grass and just disturb the forrest floor. Again, the dog is associating the smell of a wounded deer with all of these other smells and he will follow the wounded deer if it's bleeding or not.
It's up to the dog handler if you want to track on lead or off, I prefer off lead. I use a whistle to control my dog, which is part of a more advanced training program. I have him outfitted with a collar and a bell so I can hear him.
When the deer is located let the dog bite or lick the deer as a reward, when you get to the cleaning shed cut the deers leg off and give it to the dog, most likely they will have blood and the scent gland will be activated and with raw meat for the dog to chew on, again this is all associated with a deer. Dogs are smart and it does not take long for them to pick this up.
If we always have a blood trial, then we would not need the dog, its only when no blood is present that we call upon our furry friend to help out. So hopefully this helps with the guys wanting to train a dog to track wounded deer.
This should get you started,
Does anyone know the water or HIGH WATER situation in or around the TENSAS NWR. I have a camp in Big Lake campground and was wondering if its gonna stay dry or be under water. If anyone has any info it would be greatly appreciated.
Well, the deer season is over for me. Me and a couple of friends headed to Tensas for the last four days of the season. We had OK weather with winds out of the west southwest. Deer were seen by my two friends the first two days, but neither were able to get a shot. Sunday it rained all day, but we managed to get out in the woods while they had a break in the rain. I saw a Doe, just out of bow range and what appeared to be a nice buck moving though the palmetto's in a distance. I did see a nice 10 point that was killed on Friday afternoon, but other than that it was mostly the same old story, seen deer but not in range. I did find some promising sign in one area, so next year I'll be back looking to score on a Tensas MONSTER!!!
I'm heading to Tensas for the last four days of the season. I went to Tensas/Big Lake on the 7th , 8th and 9th, but did not see a deer and very little sign. The woods were very dry and the leaves were fluffed up on the ground, so I couldn't see any tracks, dropping and the old scrapes were covered up. I did hear some deer chasing one afternoon in Tensas, they got within 75 yards, but never laid eyes on them. Anyone have any luck up there lately? This is the time of year to kill a good one with the bow, I have several on the wall to prove my theory, however this year these deer seem to have my number, maybe this weekend things will change.
*****Beginners LUCK******, here's how it goes. My girlfriend made a few hunts with me last year and during one of those hunts she spotted an 8 point, which I shot. This year she wanted to do the shooting so I bought her a H&R 243. She shot a good group at 100 yards, so on Thanksgiving weekend she met me at the camp and we hunted our food plot. The plot is 250 yards to the other end, so I told her that we would have to wait for a deer to come to the 100 yard range before she could shoot. A few deer came on the plot including a 7 pointer, being that she never killed a deer I advised she could shoot if he came within range (100) yards. Aftr an hour the buck stayed 200 yards away with other smaller deer. I decided to let her take a far shot as light was fallen fast. The deer stood at 182 yards, so I coached her to hold high shoulder and sqeeze the trigger, BAM!!!!!! the shot rang and the deer dropped in his tracks, a perfect shot!!!! The next evening, Sunday, she convinced me to stay and hunt, I placed her in a stand by herself at 3 o'clock. At 3:35, BAM!!!!!! she shot an 8 pointer. UNBELIEVABLE, I was so proud of my new hunting partner for making two great shots on two good deer. The 7 pointer and 8 pointer weighed 140lbs and 155lbs, respecfully. Not a bad way to start off a hunting career, lets just say she is hooked!!!!
Does anyone know how many applications Tensas took in this year for the hunts and does anyone know of anyone who put in for the lotto hunt and did not get picked?
Spotted this little fella after helping a buddy track a deer. It was crossing the road. I got a few pictures then he went on his way. It was the first Pygmy I had ever seen in the wild....pretty cool!!!
Well, the scouting paid off. Opening day brought in two nice bucks and this 8 point was the bigger one of the two. It weighed 170lbs had a 12.5 inch spread, 19 inch main beams and 4.5 inch bases. Not the biggest deer but a good deer to start the season. Good luck hunting!