Posted 6/8/22

AN OUTDOORSMAN’S Journal PROUDLY SPONSORED BY STANLEY TIRE BY MARK WALTERS The Mississippi Gang comes to Wisconsin! Hello friends Late last December I took part in a camping, canoeing, and hunting …

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The Mississippi Gang comes to Wisconsin!

Hello friends Late last December I took part in a camping, canoeing, and hunting trip with my daughter Selina in the Delta National Forest which is located in west central Mississippi. One morning I was 1.5 miles away from camp by canoe and on foot when a group of hunters came through that were using beagles to run deer as it was also the dog/deer season in Mississippi.

It was very hard for me to tell how they did this type of hunt so after it appeared that they had completed what was a push of a large area I introduced myself to them. My new friends included a couple of young boys that were about 6 years old, three high schoolers and the parents, elders who were Joel Stewart and Dustin Hariel of Poplarville, Mississippi.

Within minutes it appeared to me that I had made good friends and was told that I was welcome at their hunting camp anytime that I wanted which is located in Delta and like all the other camps in the area off the ground due to flooding. A part of our conversation that I did not forget was that they asked a lot of questions about turkey hunting in Wisconsin and that is what this week’s column is about. Dustin Hariel is 37 the happily married father of two boys, has a land service business (excavating) and is the associate pastor at Olive Baptist Church in Lumberton MS. Dustin would be my contact person this winter and we exchanged dozens of photos about our lives and on May 1st when Selina shot a very large gobbler, I sent him a picture. Dustin replied with a calendar text of a 7-day hunt he was coming my way with and there would be 7 hunters. This was an impactful text, reply, and my brain started working hard on lodging and where they could hunt.

Wednesday, May 25th High 64, low 41 My buddies were staying at a motel near Necedah and the Wilderness Inn in, Sprague. It was kind of neat when I saw them for the second time in my life today and the first was in a such a unique way, they had driven 1065 miles. So in reality on this day I am giving Scott Hariel, Dustin’s dad, recently retired launch pad builder, maintainer for NASA and Dustin a 50-mile tour of The Meadow Valley Wildlife Area, Necedah National Wildlife Refuge and some state land in Jackson County. I also showed these guys a bear bait that I have out, yep, I have a bear tag for this season and they really got into that. The other members of this group Shane Smith and his 30-yearold son Maverick and 26-year-old son Stetson were exploring on their own as was Joel Stewart and his 17-yearold son Kade. Today was truly a great day to be alive! Friday, May 27th High 78, low 48 My first day of hunting, I made a key mistake and thought I would be fine walking in the woods at 5:00 am. It was too light, and I was busted by two toms from their roosts.

Yesterday, Maverick, Stetson, and Shane all harvested turkey and I realized that these guys are hunting machines. This morning I received a text from Dustin saying that he had whacked a turkey and we met at my house, and everyone was happy, meanwhile the Stewart boys teamed up on gobbler number four and the next thing you know everyone is at my house and we are having a turkey feast.

I am going to be perfectly honest, I felt like these guys were family/ friends since we met and today really solidified that. As the days went by, I realized what incredible hunters and gentlemen they are.

One of the gobblers that Steson and Maverick whacked was a twoday chase and in the end Maverick crawled and Stetson did the calling. In one situation they witnessed a wolf on the close heals of a deer, they also witnessed a doe giving birth to a fawn and they frequently spoke about what a great trip this was.

Kade and his father Joel did not harvest any turkey the first few days, but Kade scored on Saturday and Sunday and in the end the group called in and harvested ten turkey which for big forest country and first time hunters in the state is incredible.

I heard talk of an alligator hunt with fishing poles in the coming weeks and was given options of a host of different type of trips I could join them on over a years’ time.

My guess is that my pals from Mississippi shall return.