If there's a silver lining to all this coronavirus crap … don't ask ME what it is!
Then again, you could say that, finally, Americans are beginning to come together, though not too close, I hope. Many conservatives, liberals and in-betweeners are beginning to talk in a civilized manner to one another. And that's a good thing. Let's pray that it continues.
What does the coronavirus have to do with America's great outdoors? Well, in my humble opinion, a lot. You see, with “social distancing” being the order of the day, how could any turkey hunter do any better than sitting against a stately oak or a tall pine, all by his or her lonesome, in the middle of the woods?
Or, what about the lone fisherman wading a creek, sitting on a pond dam or fishing the salty waters of the Gulf? Heck, it wouldn't even hurt to have family fairly close by.
For now, though, this “Dr. Phil” (pun intended, naturally) will strip off the scrubs, remove the stethoscope and get down to the “operations” at hand.
This old turkey hunter is confused, but that's old news. For instance, my son, Daniel, and I aren't hearing many gobbling birds, while other hinters are finding great success, including many youngsters who hunted during Mississippi's youth turkey week.
One of my hunting partners, Patrick Hankins, took his son, Hunter, 13, during the youth season and called in a nice tom for the kid in Lamar County. Hunter's turkey sported a whopping 10-inch beard and wore 1-inch spurs. Congrats to Hunter.
My advice to those who are having the same rotten luck that Daniel and I are having is to hang in there. Things will only get better as the season progresses. Naturally, hens will begin nesting and leaving the toms all alone. And that's where you come in. When the gobblers can't find any available females, they'll be more likely to respond to your calls. If you're a seasoned turkey hunter, you already knew that. Just keep trying. If you don't go, you won't know.
If turkey hunting is not in your repertoire, never fear … because fishing season is here. According to reports from the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries & Parks, the place to catch lunker bass is not far away. Lake Bill Waller, near Columbia, has already produced some 10-pounders.
Though farther away, the Pascagoula marsh most always gives up limits of bass, bream and crappie. An added advantage, depending on how close you get to the
Gulf, is that you can mix freshwater fishing with saltwater.
Due to my propensity for putting things off, this column is late getting in a photo of Gunner Lott, 8, of Purvis, with his 9-point buck from this past season. My sincere apologies go out to Gunner.
It's time now for “Dr. Phil” to exit the operating room and head on out to the woods and waters. There is one more piece of advice I'd like to share, however, about coronavirus. And that is: hunting and fishing not only provide an enjoyable way of “social distancing,” but both often put meat on the table.
So, with grocery store shopping being limited and some restaurants shutting down completely, hunting or fishing just might be one prescription that'll help get us through this pandemic. That being the case, get out where you safely and legally can, then enjoy and cherish what this great country has to offer. Oh, and when you go, take a kid with you … every time you can.
The PineBelt News outdoor writer Phil DiFatta may be reached by text at (601) 596-4475, or by email at email@example.com.