Sometimes it’s all about being at the right place at the right time

Enjoying a cup of coffee while sittin' in my chair one cool morning last week, a fine doe pranced across an opening some 75 yards out in front of me. She'd stop every few yards and look back nervously.

Enjoying a cup of coffee while sittin' in my chair one cool morning last week, a fine doe pranced across an opening some 75 yards out in front of me. She'd stop every few yards and look back nervously.

Immediately, I figured a buck – a boy deer with hopes of making baby deer – would be following in her hoof steps – and there was. Within seconds he trotted into the opening and stopped.

Most of the fresh-out-of-the-percolator coffee landed in my lap when I jumped out of my lounge chair and sprinted toward the window.

Fortunately, the scalding coffee on “delicate parts” didn't phase me. But it hurt my bad knee like heck when I tripped over the coffee table.

I gathered my wits and knew I'd have only a split second to get off a shot. I prayed the TV wasn't turned up so loud that he'd run before I regained my feet.

He stuck around, but sadly, after stumbling to the window for a better look, I realized the buck wasn't even a shooter.

He was a mediocre six-point at best - not even close. Besides, I'd forgotten that my Canon was tucked safely away in the hall closet, and there was zero chance of getting off a shot.


Fresh out-of-the-percolator coffee? Lounge chair? Coffee table? TV? Canon? Hall closet? “What kind of shooting house was this idiot in?” I suppose you're asking yourself. “And who shoots deer with a Canon?”

If you're confused, don't feel like the Lone Ranger … because I stay confused. Still, I guess I oughta explain to both my readers that I was sitting in my living room in rural Lamar County when this event happened.

And no, I really wouldn't have shot the buck, even though it would have been perfectly legal to do so.

For one thing, my neighbor Matthew Bilbo, up the hill about 250 yards, wouldn't have taken too kindly to me firing in his direction, even though the hill would have served as backstop.

There is such a thing as a ricochet, you know, and he's bigger'n me, way bigger.

Secondly, this past summer I vowed to start shooting my “yard deer.”

But I just can't make myself do it. Y

es, the critters are beautiful and a sight for sore eyes, and the darn things did destroy my garden despite all my efforts to keep 'em out. “If they're gonna eat my garden, I'm gonna eat them,” I pledged. But I can't...

Granted, if I were in the woods somewhere else, I would have no problem touching off a shot with a bow or rifle, even with my Canon, camera, that is!

Now folks, I said all that to say just this: Your chances of touching off a shot, just as are my chances, are greatly enhanced this time of year in Mississippi's Southeast Deer Zone.

The season will stay open until Feb. 15. Wildlife biologists say that the rut is winding down, which it is, but it's STILL hot and heavy in The PineBelt NEWS reading area.

So, get out and take advantage of it if you're a deer hunter.

Don't give up. SUPER BOWL LIV is in the past, but SUPER HUNTING is still around. Oh, and when you go, try to take a kid with you... every time you can.


Have you ever awakened and wondered if you'd ever be able to hunt effectively again, if at all, or even go fishing? Well, I have!

And that's the reason, one of many, for this week's shout-out. I'd like to send a special thanks to my dear friend at Southern Eye Center, Dr. Cameron Griffith.

You see (pun intended), several years ago I walked into Dr. Griffith's office at Southern Eye, under the tender guidance of my wife Regina. I couldn't even see the ENTRANCE sign, but when I left, the EXIT sign was glowing like a diamond in a goat's, well, you know, a goat's posterior.

When Doc Griffith got through working on my shooting eye that I'd driven a nail a quarter-inch into, I could actually see better than before.

For his expertise, I am truly thankful. As for the good doctor, I will be eternally grateful.

On top of saving my eye, Doc regularly contributes to this, my Weekly Mistake. He recently sent me a picture of a big redfish he caught at Delacroix, La. (spelled and pronounced “Dellacrow” in Missisippi).

The big red weighed an estimated 32 pounds.

Most of his time this time of year is spent fixing eyes, deer hunting and shooting ducks.

It's good to see he hasn't forgotten the fishermen.

Thanks, Doc Griffith.

Phil DiFatta is The PineBelt NEWS outdoor writer. Reach him at (601) 596-4475, email  to: and be sure to include contact info.