When Nature Shows Off Her Little Ones

Being an outdoors-oriented person brings with it a number of satisfying things. You get to sneak out in the woods during hunting season and try to outsmart whichever wild game species you’re hunting. Our lakes, ponds and streams are laden with bluegills and bass and catfish and goggle-eyes just waiting to come home with you for a swim in Lake Crisco. The catching is exciting; the eating divine.

There are times, though, when we’re out and about without gun or rod and nature’s youngsters enthrall us as they go about doing what little wild critters do. Last Sunday as Kay and I were approaching our driveway after church, something caught our eye in the pasture across the road. A doe was standing there with a tiny fawn nursing her not
15 yards from the pasture fence. We were mesmerized as we watched the doe prance away, the fawn in shaky pursuit, apparently not having finished lunch. Movement under the fence caught our eye and there on unsteady legs stood a second fawn that instinctively dropped to the ground to hide in the sparse grass.

Kay took my cell phone and approached to within three feet of the day old fawn and was able to snap a photo before the little fellow, scarcely larger than an house cat, stood and wobbled as best it could toward mama who slowed down to wait for her baby. You could pay good money to be entertained at a concert but it wouldn’t have even come close to matching the thrill we got from observing that scene.

Once while raking pine straw from my yard, I noticed a small burrow with a little lump showing in the straw at my feet. Thinking it could have been a snake making the hole and lump, I carefully moved the straw a bit and observed a tiny bundle of fur. A newborn cottontail rabbit no larger than a tennis ball crouched motionless. I picked up the tiny rabbit for a moment to show it to my wife before carefully placing it back in its burrow. I got my yard raked but there was one particular foot square patch of straw with a burrow and lump that remained untouched.COON

I was turkey hunting in Texas several years ago on a ranch that had lots of turkeys. Having built a crude blind from mesquite logs and branches alongside a dim ranch road, I settled in to try and call in a gobbler. After nearly an hour of hearing nothing, I crawled from my blind on all fours to sneak a peek down the road to see if I could spot a gobbler. Having seen none, I turned to crawl back to my blind ten yards away when I heard a loud “PUTT”. Turning slowly, my gaze met that of eight juvenile gobblers – “jakes” – standing with necks outstretched trying to identify what that
crawling lump of camouflage was. As I slowly made my way back to the blind, I turned and to my surprise, the jakes were following me! Curiosity lured them to within a few yards of my blind before suspicion prevailed as they walked back the way they came, putting loudly as they left.

For years, I have fed birds in my yard and I really enjoy the relaxation and enjoyment I get from identifying those visiting the feeders. One night several years ago, I stepped to the porch and saw movement under one of my feeders. It was a young raccoon getting his fill of the free buffet. I began walking slowly toward him, talking softly as I went and I was able to approach to within a couple of yards of the ‘coon before it slowly turned and left. For weeks, I’d see the
‘coon and we had this little “meet and greet” every night until he eventually left for good.

Baby deer, rabbits, turkeys and ‘coons – it’s absolutely amazing the show nature’s little ones can provide if we slow down and let it happen.

FISHING REPORT

CANEY LAKE – Bass fishing has been fair with best catches made fishing the deeper drops with drop-shot rigs, Shaky heads and jigs. Crappie are still around the deeper tops with shiners or jigs working best. Catfishing is fair fishing a variety of baits around the piers and boat docks. Some bream are still around the beds and hitting crickets and worms. For info contact Hooks Marina at 249-2347, Terzia Tackle at 278-4498 or the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
OUACHITA RIVER – Bass have been best on Baby Brush Hogs, lizards and Wobbleheads around the mouth of the cuts. Crappie are fair fishing the edges of the sloughs and creeks on shiners or jigs. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE D’ARBONNE – Bass fishing has been best in the deeper sloughs with Rat-L-Traps and soft plastics picking up a few. Crappie are still on the flats with some caught on jigs or shiners fished 6-12 feet deep in 15-18 foot water. Bream fishing is still fair to good around the beds on worms and crickets while channel cats are biting cold worms off the banks. For latest reports, call Anderson’s Sport Center at 368-9669 or Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
LAKE CLAIBORNE – The bream are still biting fairly well on crickets and worms around bedding areas. Bass fishing has been best in deeper water with some caught on jigs. Look for stripers schooling and hitting topwater lures when they’re on top and trolling white bucktails when they’re down. Crappie have been better at night around the lights in 20 foot deep water. Catfishing has been fair on cold worms fished beneath jugs or noodles. For latest information,
call Kel’s Cove at 927-2264 or Terzia Tackle at 278-4498.
BUSSEY BRAKE – Bream fishing continues to be good on worms and crickets. Crappie and bass are slow to fair this week. No report on catfish. For latest information, contact the Honey Hole Tackle Shop at 323-8707.
BLACK BAYOU – Bream fishing has been good on worms and crickets. Bass have been fair around the grass and brush on Wobbleheads, jigs and spinners. Crappie are scattered and fair on shiners or jigs. Contact Honey Hole Tackle Shop 323-8707 for latest information.
LAKE POVERTY POINT – Catfishing has been good, a few bass to around 5 pounds have been caught while crappie and bream are slow. For latest reports, call Poverty Point Marina at 318/878-0101.
LAKE ST. JOHN – Catfishing has been fair while other species are slow. For information, call Ken Mahoney at 318-201-3821.
LAKE YUCATAN – The water is on a rise that has shut down the fishing this week. For information, call Surplus City Landing at 318/467-2259.


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