The Mississippi Velvet Season has come and gone. I noticed quite a few good bucks hit the ground over the course of three days of hunting, and that’s fantastic for those lucky hunters. As for me, it’s still too dang hot to hunt.
I’d said that participating in the velvet season would be a fourth quarter decision for me. I think all along that I was more excited about the idea of the season, rather than actually participating in it. Sort of like going back to school in July, hunting whitetail deer in Mississippi during the brutal month of September just doesn’t seem right for me. On the other hand, had temperatures at the end of the week been what they were at the beginning of the week, I might have changed my tune. However, as Mississippi weather often goes, by the end of the week the temperatures were hovering around the 90-degree mark, thus making my decision fairly easy.
I’ve had friends give me plenty of grief for sitting the weekend out. They mostly say the same thing, “You call yourself a real hunter, but don’t even want to endure a little heat.” They are correct. While they poured sweat, and fought mosquitoes only to come up empty handed, I filled my cooler up with food for the family. And I did it without breaking a sweat or getting the first bite from a Mississippi vampire. While it’s still too hot for me to hunt, it’s not too hot for me to fish.
Some of you are probably thinking that it will still be hot in the early October archery season, and you’re right. Hunting when it’s hot in October isn’t much fun, but there’s something about the word “October” that makes it okay. Maybe it’s knowing that cooler days are just around the corner? Maybe I’m just weird like that? Either way, my weekend wasn’t totally devoid of deer hunting activity. Doing a little fishing this weekend was just the reward for doing a little work earlier. Successful October hunting doesn’t just happen without putting in a little time beforehand, hence my trip to the woods.
I awoke Saturday morning to pictures of friends sitting in trees, bows on hangers, and a look of early heat exhaustion. I quickly sent back photos from inside my bedroom in the comfort of air conditioning and a ceiling fan circulating the cool air. The moment was short lived, though, as work needed to be done. I loaded up my four-wheeler, some feed, and headed toward a piece of private property that I’ve been given permission to hunt. I’ve already got a few cameras up and needed to check them and refresh the food source. When I got out of the truck, the heat burned my face immediately, reassuring me that I’d made the right call not to participate in the velvet hunt.
After fixing a feeder, checking cameras, and doing a little exploring, it was time to fish. A small pond sits on the property and word has it that it is chock full of catfish. For once, the word was right. It didn’t take long to get my first bite, creating an excitement that my hunting counterparts certainly weren’t experiencing at the time. By the end of the afternoon, I’d caught enough fish to take back home to fry up for a Sunday evening dinner.
While sitting around the pond, a gentle breeze blew straight into my face. The temperature wasn’t so bad, especially with a small stand of trees providing shade to go with the wind. As I kicked back pulling in fish, I thought to myself, “I’ve absolutely got it made.” There are so many people in the world that don’t get to experience the great things we have in Mississippi. Our state may take a beating in the press, but it’s the best kept secret in America. There’s no point in trying to argue this with me. I’ll just agree with you and let you keep living without realizing the joys of being here. But in all of that admiration for the outdoor greatness that Mississippi provides, my thoughts wandered even more.
With all of Mississippi’s fantastic outdoor activities, that’s not even the best thing about living here. The best thing about the Magnolia State is the people. People like Toler Robinson, who just recently recorded a podcast with us. Toler is a member of Southern Outdoors Unlimited and is preparing to put on one of the best annual events in Mississippi. Super Hunt 2022 will take place at the end of October and is an event that even PETA wouldn’t protest. If you haven’t heard of this, let me enlighten you. Super Hunt is an opportunity for people with disabilities to take in the Mississippi outdoors on a weekend long deer hunt.
Landowners, and volunteers, from all over the state offer up their services to make this event possible each year. The event usually averages around 100 participants each year, and everything is provided to ensure that each person has a great time. From a kickoff luncheon on Friday to a grand finale banquet on Sunday, the weekend is packed with love, laughter, and even a few tears. The one thing that Toler needs, at the moment, is a few more volunteers. Knowing my state like I do, I know that getting the extra help he needs won’t be an issue. Mississippi didn’t earn the name the “Hospitality State” for nothing.
If you want to get involved in a weekend that you, nor those participating in, won’t soon forget, visit southernoutdoorsunlimited.org. You can also listen to Toler on the Pinstripes to Camo podcast to give you an idea of what volunteering would be like. Either way, it’s a great event, put on by some great people, in the greatest state in America.