Harvest Data Received

Unfortunately the directors were tied up and couldn’t make the Big Black Club meeting where biologist Stan Priest was presenting data, but we received our data in the mail this week. For the full report, click here, 2018 Deer data color

2018 DMAP report

The data is interesting, at least to me it is, in that the club “reorganization” known as “Ragsdale 2.0” can readily be seen in the data.   The first year of reorganization was a tumultuous year in that the membership was reduced by half or more, dog hunting was ended, rules were stringently enforced and our Deer Quality minimums were raised to 1 inch higher than the ATCO minimums.   The effect of those changes jumps off the page in the single, beige colored bars of the first two years compared to the multiple bars of previous years.  Those single colors mean that for the first two years all bucks taken were 4 years or older and even last year, after we eased our DQ standard slightly, only one deer was less than 4+ and it was a 3.5+ deer. All of the 2016 bucks were 5.5 years

2018 buck age graph

To explain the numbers, I think that more careful, accomplished hunters were observing deer before taking them.  Some of that is partially due to eliminating dog hunting and shooting at running deer but most of it is simply more careful, accomplished hunters, that were probably somewhat more concerned about the consequences of rules being enforced.    Good job, Ragsdale hunters!

One thing that seems out of whack is the doe lactation chart, which shows a steep drop-off in lactating does.  I am not sure how that might be explained or if it is even something that we might need to be concerned about.

2018 doe lactation

I examined the data cards and the does are mostly large, mature does .  Four of the non-lactating does are over 5.5 with one that’s 7.5 years old and one 6.5 years old.  All of the other non-lactating does are 3.5.  Of the two lactating does,  one is 2.5 and one is 1.5.   From the  high ages, one could argue that mostly large and mature does that were past reproduction were taken, which is exactly what we should be doing.   But I am no biologist, if that’s not the reason, then something’s not right because in all my years at Ragsdale I’ve never seen such a high number of non-lactating does.  I have to think it is the former, that Ragsdale 2.0 members are taking the right does.  I think in the history of Ragsdale, 2018 may be the first year the “right does” were taken. So until someone says otherwise – good job again Ragsdale 2.0 members!

Dues Reminder, Lease Progress, Waiver and Gun Range info

Members,
We have received the credentialing for the online processing of the lease.  We have added the members, created and electronically signed our camp agreement with the new property owner/lessor. Mark has an email copy and a hard copy of the invoice to be paid. We are moving quickly this year and we must have the lease paid by July 1, there is no leeway in receiving dues so if you haven’t gotten them off to the treasurer please do so now.  Also we have to pay the insurance by August 1.

In the lease agreement there is an Exhibit C which is a guest waiver form.  We got a heads up on this in the Vicksburg kickoff meeting. The waiver must be signed and witnessed before anyone can hunt, visit, recreate, or simply be on the camp premises. These will be filed and must be available to show upon request at any time. This is something the new owner/lessor is adamant about. We will print some of these and leave them at the camp for emergencies but I thought I would pass the document on and I will also put it in our files on the web page so you can download it if you lose it. Ideally you would print it, sign it and have it on your person when you enter the camp with a guest. Better yet, fill one out and scan, fax, email or message it to a director. Your immediate family, spouse and/or minor children do not require it. In a world full of blended families I’m not sure what situations might come up so WHEN IN DOUBT, fill one out and sign it. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have filled one out if you don’t need it and it doesn’t cost anything but the paper. Most importantly, you must put the filled out and signed/witnessed form in the hands of a director for filing.

EXHIBIT C guest waiver

Also, guests cannot just drive in on their own. You must meet your guest at the gate and have them come in with you. Again, strict compliance was the word from the new owner’s representatives regarding guests.

When the lease is paid we will have an executed copy of the lease for everyone to review and be familiar with.

Also, ANY maintenance activity in the camp must have a form filled out and turned in for review. NO ad hoc tree cutting, building, digging, etc. No demolition without a maintenance request either. NO sighting in or recreational shooting of guns except in a designated range area. In other words, no going down to the bridge to shoot your gun to see if its sighted in.  NO RAPID FIRE SHOOTING WHATSOEVER. The designated range is something we will have to address, so please, just hold your ammo until we have that nailed down.

Thanks,

Ragsdale Board

May 25th is the Re-scheduled Annual Meeting

The votes are in and May 25th won out for the re-scheduling of the annual meeting, this Saturdays planned meeting being cancelled due to the bad weather. Only Jeff and I voted for the 18th.  It’s pretty well guaranteed to be a pretty day because I wanted to go fishing that day and it will be the last good tide until October.  😦

So, May 25th for meeting.  Work morning, meet at noon, and crawfish boil afterwards.
Should be fun, looking forward to it. Just a reminder, I know what the crawfish boil afterwards means, some beer soda’s in the coolers,  but no alcohol consumption is allowed before or during the meeting.  Check the bylaws, it’s in there.

Dues will remain the same $1,625 plus $100 if you have a cabin/camper. Due to the Big Black River Holdings acquisition we need to have the money IN the treasury by June 15. Please make a note, it is very important there’s no hiccups with our lease’s new owner.  We don’t have much time due to the move-up of the lease signing and check delivery date.

Thanks,
Glen

Attention! Cancelling this weekend’s mtg, moving annual meeting to 18th or 25th

Well another big storm is coming in this weekend which ruins our current plans for work day, meeting and crawfish boil this Saturday. The board has agreed to cancel this weekend’s meeting and give members a choice of the 18th or the 25th. Please respond to me (Glen) or Brian with your choice of meeting date ASAP and we’ll email and publish as soon as we know which date works. Sorry, for the inconvenience, the weather is just not cooperating.

By the way, the dues will remain the same $1,625 plus $100 if you have a cabin/camper. Due to ATCO and the Big Black River Holdings acquisition we need to have the money in the treasury by June 15. Please make a note, very important, we don’t have much time due to the move-up of the lease signing and check delivery date.
Thanks,
Glen

MDWFP: Flood Areas closed to Hunting

January 10, 2019

Hunting season closures due to flooding

JACKSON – Heavy rainfall and rising river levels have caused extensive flooding along the Mississippi River. As a result, all hunting except for waterfowl will close at the end of legal shooting hours Thursday, January 10, 2019 based on these parameters:

  • Zone 1: When the Greenville, MS gauge reaches 48 feet and shall remain so until the Mississippi River level falls to or below 46 feet on the Greenville gauge. (Lands in Washington and Issaquena Counties which lie south of Highway 82, west of Highway 1 and North of Highway 14)
  • Zone 2A: When the Vicksburg, MS gauge reaches 43 feet and shall remain so until the Mississippi River level falls to or below 41 feet on the Vicksburg gauge. (Lands in Issaquena, Sharkey and Warren Counties which lie south of Highway 14, west of Highway 61 and north of the Big Black River)

Effective immediately the below areas are closed to all hunting except waterfowl.

  • Zone 2B: When the Steel Bayou gauge reaches 90 feet and shall remain so until the Mississippi River level falls to or below 88 feet on the Steel Bayou gauge. (Lands in Sharkey, Humphreys, Yazoo, Issaquena, Warren counties which lie south of Highway 14, west of Highway 149, south of Highway 16 / 149, west of Highway 3, and east of Highway 61)
  • The following Wildlife Management Areas (WMA): Lake George, Twin Oaks, and Sunflower.
  • In addition, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed Panther Swamp National Wildlife Refuge located in Zone 2B consistent with state regulations. Brown Tract in Zone 2B on the northeast side of Delta National Forest is closed to all hunting until flood waters recede.  Waterfowl hunting is not permitted in the Brown Tract.

Shipland and Mahannah are currently closed to all activities except waterfowl hunting until further notice. U.S. Forest Service has closed all roads on Sunflower WMA to motor vehicle access.

MDWFP will continue its increased law enforcement presence in the affected areas to patrol the levees, promote public safety for residents affected by the rising waters, and enforce the wildlife laws that protect animals affected by flooding. MDWFP reminds hunters that high water has also affected areas along the Pascagoula and Pearl rivers and it is unlawful to hunt, trap, take, frighten, or kill game or fur-bearing animals forced out of their natural habitat by high water. For more information regarding this closure and other WMAs in Mississippi, visit our website at www.mdwfp.com or call us at (601) 432-2199.

flood-closure-2019

Gran Macho Amarillo Ciervos del Pantano

Many of you who know me may also know that I have been wanting to harvest a big swamp buck with my bow.  I also have wanted to bag one of the light colored or what I call “yellow” coats that I have seen and admired from a distance.  The color phase I am talking about is not vastly different from the typical deer color but it’s lighter and sometimes the top of the head is as blonde as any bleached blonde you might see on the beach.  I have only seen the color phase in swamp bucks of the Delta.  Some may say it’s not a real thing, this light or “yellow” color phase, but I see it clearly.

Now,  in Texas, due to the Spanish influence, they often refer to a big whitetail buck as “El Muy Grande”.   The Spanish word for yellow is “Amarillo”.   I wasn’t sure how to put it all together so I went to an English to Spanish translation site to determine what “large yellow swamp buck” would translate to in Spanish.   If the translator is right,  this weekend I finally managed to be a part of taking a “gran macho amarillo ciervos del pantano” or big yellow swamp buck.  Let’s just call him “Amarillo” for short.

amarillo2

Before I go any further I have to state that the taking of this buck unfortunately wasn’t a img_0623true fair chase like I had always envisioned.  The young son of a friend of mine and I were hunting and we had just cleaned a big boar I had killed earlier.   My friend, Albert, had left to go to work, after killing and dressing a sow pig.  His son, Cullen (inset), stayed with me to hunt the rest of the day.  We were in the process of toting out meat, bows and stands (my friend wanted the boar meat, not me!)   Well my friend’s son got ahead of me and made a wrong turn in the thick palmettos and was walking away from where we had been hunting.  Suddenly I heard his excited shouts.  I was at first concerned because I thought he was lost or hurt or something, but when I caught up to him he told me a big buck had jumped up in front of him and ran off and appeared to be hurt.  We dropped everything except our bows and began trying to find the buck.   Something took off through the palmettos and ran and then appeared to stop.  We couldn’t see the buck but occasionally would see the tips of antlers.  After several repetitions of the cycle of the buck running and then us stalking, the buck finally appeared to become exhausted, giving us the opportunity to slip up on him.  My friend’s son shot him first and I followed up with another shot.   I then eased up as quietly as I could in the heavy cover and delivered the “coup de grace”.   I have a video of the buck before delivering the final arrow.

Oh my gosh, what a buck!    One of the G2’s is over sixteen inches!  The inside spread is 20 and 3/4″.   The buck was green scored at 166.  An incredible buck.   Looking over the buck we found that he had a broken front leg, broken at the shoulder.   The break was high enough that a projectile would have injured the body, but no such injury to the body was present.    Though no gunshot or bow wound was present, the evidence of a fight with another buck was.  We studied the wound carefully but just couldn’t see where the broken skin could have been caused by anything other than just the broken bone.  It is hard to imagine this buck losing a fight considering his headgear, but that is the conclusion we reached.  Other signs of fighting were present, including some antler horn in the skull.  The buck had lost a lot of body weight and the end was not far off.   At the very least we saved the buck from a fate worse than death, being eaten alive by coyotes and hogs.   The weight was 175, but should have been more as you can see by the buck’s ribs showing.  Of course bucks are often lean and worn down this time of year so it’s hard to know how long the buck had been wounded and how much weight loss had occurred from the broken leg.

I know this was not a fair chase adventure, but the fact that I got to experience a huge, and live “yellow” swamp buck and share in putting him out of his misery was fulfilling.  The great buck deserved a better ending than what coyotes and hogs would have given him. Maybe I’ll just stick to the invasive and destructive hogs from now on and let the smaller bucks become great bucks.  Of course we’ll have to see if I still feel that way next year.

amarillo1

amarillofull

The boar I had taken earlier was a nice trophy too, but considering the buck, hardly worth mentioning: