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Prepare now for upcoming hunting season

By MARK WALLACE/Outdoors Writer
Saturday, July 10, 2004 5:55 PM CDT

It may not seem like it, but we only have a few weeks before school starts, and only a few weeks after that, fall will be rolling in. I know you know what I am saying, hunting season is just around the corner.

Are you ready?

There are several things you can do now to ensure your hunting success for next year. The first is begin now to purchase your ammunition, guns, clothes and other necessary toys needed to complete the hunt.

It never fails that when season starts and we begin hunting again, we remember all the things we said we were going to purchase for this year. Now is the time to find the deals and ease the sticker shock of having to spend the lump sum at one time.

Buying licenses, clothes, shells, caps, boots, gun cleaning items, camping items, maps, GPS, scents, climbing stands, dog leashes, dog boxes, socks, thermal underwear, headlights, games calls, decoys and so on gets tough in one month - get my drift?

I know I am not the only one that finds myself with too much month at the end of the money during hunting season. Oh yeah, Don't for get about gas and food for the hunting trips to the camp or even out of town.

Do yourself a favor and start stocking up now. You will love yourself in January when it is 30 degrees and wet and you have those new waterproof boots with self-wicking socks and waterproof camo clothes on.

Speaking of stocking up, a unique event is happening this month to help you squirrel hunters get ready. The Mississippi Cur and Feist Hunters Association will be holding the annual Picnic\Trade Days.

The picnic is open to the public and will be held on Saturday, July 24 at Walkiah Bluff Water Park. The event will kick off around 10 a.m. and run until everybody leaves.

Host Owen Brayson invites all his squirrel hunting buddies and anyone that loves hunting the bushy tails with or without dogs to attend. Bring your favorite dish of food and enjoy the fellowship and plan a few trips for the upcoming season. This pot luck dinner style trade day is going to be a lot of fun, so plan to come.

The picnic is the time to bring any squirrel dog puppies or hunting dogs you have for sale, along with any other hunting toys you need to sell. If it relates to hunting - whether it be a dog box, gun, dog leads, vest or cages - this is the place to be. For more information, call Owen Brayson at 799-1703.

Big Bass Contest Finals

The Main Street Gun and Pawn annual Big Bass Contest has come and gone for another year. This year the bass were all close, but Eric Penton wrapped up the first place spot with a fine lunker largemouth weighing 9.35 pounds.

Besides winning the top prize of a new rod and reel combo, Penton gets to take the Southern Sportsman fishing any time he wants for free. This is a prize I am proud to offer the contest winners in each placement. Congratulations Eric, and I will wait for your call.

Second place was taken by Tim Hargrove of Lumberton with a 7.96-pound football lunker. Tim also gets to select the time for us to go fishing, along with his new combo. Congratulations, Tim.

Eric Penton also took the third place spot with another lunker that weighed 7.93 pounds. The fourth place winner was Steve Olsen with a fine 7.83-pound largemouth and fifth place, weighing just below 7.73 pounds, was caught by Eric Harges.

Congratulations to all the winners and a huge thank-you goes out to all the folks at Main Street Gun and Pawn in Poplarville and Wiggins for hosting the contest each year.

Even with the thunderstorms rolling in and out, the fish are still biting and this goes for saltwater and freshwater. In a moment of "dumbness," I asked my father if he thought the fish were going to bite when we were planning a trip to Old River, and the weather called for rain. Crawford looked at me a stated, "Son, I don't think the fish will mind getting wet."

With this, I will say as always, get outdoors and enjoy what God has given us.

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