MS Outdoors S30 E11 – Copiah County Veterans Turkey Hunt, Floating State River Tributaries


(southern rock music) ♪ Riding through the bayou
headed for the sky blue ♪ ♪ Back out on the
trail again and again ♪ ♪ Hiking and hunting
and fishing the land ♪ ♪ Time is time well spent ♪ ♪ We’ll take it to the Delta ♪ ♪ To the great white shores ♪ ♪ There’s so much
to see and do ♪ ♪ Mississippi Outdoors ♪ ♪ The great outdoors ♪ ♪ Mississippi Outdoors ♪ ♪ The great outdoors ♪ ♪ Mississippi Outdoors ♪ ♪ The great outdoors ♪ ♪ Mississippi Outdoors ♪ – Welcome to Mississippi
Outdoors, I’m Pamela Weaver. – And I’m Kevin Meacham,
thanks for joining us. And out first story we
head to Copiah County. The Outdoors crew
is turkey hunting with a group of
wounded veterans. – Let’s go. (gentle music) (southern rock music) – I’m the President
of our non-profit, Jeep Sullivan Outdoor Adventures and we’re based out
of Bonifay, Florida and we’ve been blessed to be
able to be in Copiah County for the last five years to be
able to do this turkey hunt with some great people
around this area and then, also our wonderful
warriors, military guys. Personnel from all
over the United States get to come here and
visit and make friends, and turkey hunt with some
of the best turkey hunters on some of the best turkey
land in the South, I believe. The Wings & Warriors event
that it’s been called, and named now, is
probably one of the best events that we
get to do each year. We’ll take about 50 guys this
year in eight different states and we have World
War II veteran, and his son, which
is a Vietnam veteran, hunting with us this year and then, 15 other guys from, they’ve been, you know,
in all different conflicts from Dessert Storm to
Iraq and Afghanistan. Good food every
time we come here. I tell the guys to be
ready to go on a diet when they leave Slay. We’ve got so many people
around that give their time and their money and just,
you know, so much effort put into this hunt
every year, it makes a, it’s a blessing to a lot of guys that just need a
little bit of down time to really enjoy God’s
creation and that’s, that’s definitely here. – We’re here in Copiah County on the Wings & Warrior
veteran turkey hunt. I have with me today
Charles Harris. Is this your fist time
ever be in Mississippi? – Yep, never been here. Really looking forward
to the opportunity to hunt turkeys with you. – That’s good. Well, I come in here
this morning and listen, heard four birds. We’re gonna try to split the
difference between two of, we’re gonna ride
down this fire lane. We also have with us today,
Gunner Palmer, my son, he’s driving the golf cart, with Ganon Whittington,
a buddy of his, he’s gonna be along helping us. If we don’t do anything here, we’re gonna go to Ganon
and Jamie Whittington, and his property, see
what we can do there, too. (gentle music) (turkey call) – We thought when we first
got out of the bad boy buggy, we thought he was gonna
just come roaring in and we made one call, and he
just called right back at us and thought we was gonna be hot, but ended up being with hens, so we scooted on
down to another place and setup on another bird and he was just raring to go, and we got to a creek
and went across it and we had Med and
Gunner, his son, out there calling up a storm and I mean, that
bird was fired up. You could have thrown
anything at him and he would have gobbled. It was a pretty incredible
experience, last night. (turkey call) – We just got off a bird,
down close to Pearl River. He was hen-ed up, so
we decided to back out and leave him alone. We didn’t want to push
him with those hens, but I was trying
to take him away, so we may get back on
him sometime tomorrow. (birds chirping) – In World War II, I spent about three and
a half years at the Navy and after the Navy, I was in the Army and decided that was a pretty good career, so I finished out my career
in the National Guards and I ended up a
retired Army Major after 21 years of service. This is unbelievable. The people are so gracious. I can’t believe
the amount of help, you would think that
I’m a complete invalid, the amount of help that I
got while I was down here. Everything was fantastic, the organization and the people, meeting the veterans, and being able to celebrate
this with my son was one of the greatest things that have ever happened to me. (gentle music) – I was in the United
States Navy Seabees out of Gulfport, Mississippi and I went to Vietnam. I was honored and privileged
to be able to be asked to hunt this particular
event this year. All I wanted to do
was bring my dad down for the flag ceremony and the next thing I know, I got a phone call
from Deanne and Jeep, for both of us to be
able to participate and hunt in this event, so what a privilege,
what a blessing it was. But, we had gobblers
all around us. It was an enjoyable hunt. The weather was
absolutely gorgeous and couldn’t have
been any better. I couldn’t have asked
for a better time, so. It’d been nice to got a gobbler, but that’s part of hunting. It’s turkey hunting,
not turkey killing. – We’re here this
morning on the second day of the Wings &
Warrior turkey hunt, originated out of Copiah County, but we’re right on the
edge of Claiborne County, this morning. We’ve got Charles back with us, we got on this bird yesterday
and it was hen-ed up bad, Copiah County. And we’ve got Steven Macklemore, he hunts this property
a lot, knows it well. He’s gonna be keeping
guide this morning and Gunner’s with us
this morning, too, so we gonna get on some
birds, see what we can do. (turkey call)
– So, I joined the military in 2010, went to Afghanistan and served over there, on May 30th, 2012 I
stepped on an IED, on dismounted patrol and lost my right
leg below the knee, my left leg above the knee, and also have severe arm injury. Being conscious
through all of it, I remember going up in the air, coming down, hitting the ground, and looking over to my right, and seeing one of my buddies
sitting there and not moving, and you know, trying
to get up to help him and then, realizing that you’re kind of in
the same predicament. I ended up looking
over to my left and seeing my team leaders
coming to my rescue and they got bandages put on me and my tourniquets,
and everything, and I owe those guys to my life, you know, they did
exactly what they needed to do to save me, so, you know, I’m indebted to
them for the rest of my life. (turkey call) So, this morning, we walked in and we bumped a
hen off the roost and birds was just gobbling. We didn’t really
have much choice, as where we wanted to go, so we just kind of sat down and birds ended up
working away from us. (gentle music) We made another spot
and same kind of deal, a bird gobbled real hot on us and we setup on a ditch and thought we was kind of
setup in the right spot, bird just ended up not coming
out where we wanted him to. – That was a good
bird, did you see that big old beard?
– Yeah it was, yeah, yeah. – That was an old bird. – Yeah. – That was a good one. – [Charles] The third
set we made this morning, we’re just driving and
trying to get a bird fired up and happened to see these birds
in the middle of the road, and back into the woods, and
hopped off the bad boy buggy and headed into the
woods, maybe 15, 20 yards and pulled the
buggy down behind us and then, the birds ended up
coming back out into the road, so we made a move on ’em and
these jakes come in there and they just
gobbling up a storm. I was excited when
the jakes come in. You know, we originally
thought that, you know, there might have been a long
beard in with those jakes and I started getting my
heart pumping and shaking and the you know, the intensity and everything starts
going up when you get that, and holding that gun
there for so long, you know, you just get so
excited and pumped up, you know. (turkey call) (gentle music) He came out and ran
them jakes odd there and he was all excited
to come find his hen. He come out originally
about six yards. We couldn’t see him and he started getting
closer and closer. (turkey call) (gunshot) Yeah. – Double beard
boys, double beard. Oh, my God. Good deal. Good deal. Oh, my God. Bingo.
– Yeah. – You stuck with it.
(laugh) Good job, you ever
killed a double beard? – I haven’t. – Well, you killed your first – Yeah.
– in Mississippi. I’m guessing probably a
nine and a half inch beard and he’s got a double beard. And Charles said that’s
his first double beard, so he got to kill
it in Mississippi. – [Charles] Yes, Sir. – [Med] And it’s probably
four inches long. We got one spur and no
spur on the other side, which that’s fairly common. (gentle music) This side here, doesn’t
even have any indication of where it ever was a four spur and a lot of that’s genetic, you’ll see that you know,
in turkey (mumbles). – This is awesome. I just appreciate the
opportunity to come out here and hunt with ya’ll and
man this is incredible. It was a incredible hunt. – You got the card I
gave you yesterday? We need to do the game
check before we move him. That way if we get to the
truck and the officer’s there, he checks us. (upbeat music) – The hunting aside, you know, that’s the icing on the cake, it’s really the comradery
of being back around guys that have been there
and done that, you know, and just being able to
bounce things off of them and talk like, you
know, it’s a family, the military community
is just a big family, so it’s awesome to be
around all these guys. (southern rock music) – [Announcer] Did
you know money spent on Mississippi hunting
and fishing license is just like an investment. The Mississippi Department
of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks, uses money
from license sales to enhance hunting and fishing, like providing public
hunting opportunities on wildlife management areas, advising private landowners on
deer and habitat management, providing public fishing
opportunities on state lakes, and operating fish hatcheries for stocking public
lakes and streams. So, make an investment
in the great outdoors. Buy your Mississippi hunting
and fishing license, today. – In our next story we
visit four river tributaries around the state. – The Outdoors crew is
floating on the Big Sunflower, the Black Creek, the
Pelahatchie Creek, and the Yockanookany River. (southern rock) (gentle music) – Mississippi is blessed to
have over 70 different rivers flowing throughout the state, eventually leading to
the Gulf of Mexico. Today, we’re gonna float several
of those major tributaries starting with the
Big Sunflower River. The Sunflower River is
home to an abundance of wetlands, fish, and wildlife. It’s begins in Coahoma County
and flows nearly 250 miles until reaching the Yazoo River. Come with us and experience
some of its beauty and splendor. – [Jack] A lot of my work
is on the Mississippi River and tributaries. The Big Sunflower, while
you’re floating down or working on the Big Sunflower, it’s very pretty because
for the most part, you do have some
riparian vegetation. If you look on the other
side of the bank, of course, it’s acres and
acres of ag fields. But, the Big
Sunflower does have, does retain some of it’s
natural characteristics. We still have to deal
with the sedimentation of these streams maybe even
go in there and remove it with a drag line or a dredge. And we also need to deal
with the environmental flows ’cause during the
summer and the fall, during the typical
low water season, most of these rivers,
including the Big Sunflower, seize flowing and
that’s because they have lost their connection
with the ground water and believe me, that
is being addressed by multiple agencies, right now. And we feel that
eventually we’ll be able to provide environmental
flows for the Big Sunflower and other tributaries through
various different means and that’s another major
goal that we have here, is to try to restore
the flow regime during the low flow period. Well, I mean certainly the
invasive carp, the silver carp, the bighead carp, the grass
carp, now, the black carp are a major environmental issue.
(scream) I don’t see us being
able to really control the populations, at this point. We have to learn
to live with them and it really, the number one thing I wish
that Americans would do, would, have an appetite for ’em and then we could have
commercial fisherman go in there and harvest, you know,
tons of these fish, and then, they would end
up on someone’s plate or they would end up as
other kind of food product, so that’s and important part
and we need more attention paid to the exploitation of these
fish for commercial purposes. (gentle music) – [Pamela] Our next
adventure takes us down one of the oldest river
tributaries in Mississippi, the Yockanookany River,
which was channeled in 1914. As the river flows through the Yockanookany Wildlife
Management Area near Kosciusko, it offers some beautiful scenery with large overhanging trees. (gentle music) – [Billy] The Yockanookany
was very unique in the fact that there’s nobody around. It’s quiet. There are no houses and the
very few bridges you encounter, don’t have lots of
traffic over ’em. It’s a lost as though you’re
stepping way back in time, you know, to an earlier
an era without a lot of large population around. So, it’s kinda interesting, the fact that you can be
that close to civilization and not see anybody. In the summertime,
it can be nothing much more than a trickle and then, once some rain falls, it definitely rises very fast and changes dynamics
when it raises, and it changes its course. It’ll actually go one
way when the water’s down and another way
when the water’s up. As far as what you
think is the main river may not necessarily have
water in it year round. But, the scenery
along it is beautiful, I mean, big cypress trees, which is in some of
the brackish areas where water kind of stays
after the flood waters go down, some of those
little small lakes, not any real large lakes, but there are some
lakes along it and those, like I said,
have cypress trees in ’em, and it’s beautiful scenery. It’s just, I think if
you go back in time, the river is probably unchanged from let’s just say,
50 to 100 years ago. Along that river,
it’s not developed, not a lot of houses
anywhere close to the river because of the
flooding, I think, but it just, you know, it’s
like stepping back in time. It hasn’t changed
unlike a lot of areas that have a lots of, I guess,
you’d say, recreational use that the river
does seem to change as the amount of traffic on it, but, I dare say there’s
very, very little traffic along some sections of it
just because it’s real remote, but, it’s beautiful scenery. (river flowing) – Pelahatchie Bay is located
in the Ross Barnett Reservoir and fed by the beautiful
Pelahatchie Creek. A world class spot for
canoeing and kayaking among cypress trees
and backwater swamps, with easy access from
several locations, paddlers can enjoy the
sincerity of the water, as well as a
wilderness experience. (gentle music) – [Camille] It really is
amazing how people don’t realize how many waterways we
have in Mississippi. Pelahatchie Creek
is in my backyard. The Bay is a great
place to explore. We have a pretty large
paddling group, here in town. Actually, it’s all of
Central Mississippi, called the Central
Mississippi Paddling Mafia. We plan trips all the time. We’re going out, a lot of
times, sunrise, sunset, some beautiful sunsets out here. The Bay is a perfect area
to view sunsets and sunrises just because there’s
very little distraction, very little light pollution. We get out here all the time and on the creeks,
that we can go back on, you could go for miles and miles
and not see another person. And on these trips,
it doesn’t matter what time of the
year you go out, it always changes a little bit. You might go through the
same five mile paddle, every single month, and it’s change every
single day you’re there and that’s what we
really love about it. I think we’re very
fortunate to live in a state with as many
waterways as we have and that are friendly
and accessible and I’d love it to get more
people out there and enjoy ’em. (gentle music) – Our finally journey takes
us down the Leaf River into the beautiful
Pascagoula River, which eventually leads
to the Mississippi Sound. Also known as the singing river, the Pascagoula is the
largest un-damned river in the upper 48 states and is home to over 300
different species of birds with fantastic fishing
opportunities, too. (bluegrass music) – [Steve] People like this
river ’cause it’s beautiful, it’s you know, it’s wild and
there’s actually no roads to it unless you own private property, you got to get to it by boat. What I’ve heard is it’s the
last un-damned tributary in the lower 48. (sound cuts out) Grew up hunting and
fishing in this swamp. (bluegrass music) Fish on (laugh). I almost yanked him up out
of the water, he’s so big. Well, it’s a largemouth bass. They actually have
spotted bass here, too. But, on this river, the
gotta be 12 inches to keep, so we’re gonna let this one go. We’ll be nice to him, too. Right down this
straightaway, here, we’re fixing to enter
into the Pascagoula River, where Black Creek
meets the Pascagoula and then, we’ll go south
from there to a launch, Wade Vancleave Road. (bluegrass music) – [Molly] The scenery
here, is fantastic, you don’t see, especially when you
get into the sections that are less used, you know,
the ones that are more remote, then you don’t see all the
liter and all of that stuff, you get to see a
lot more wildlife ’cause people haven’t come
through and scared it away. It’s just, you know, it’s a Mississippi
National Wild Scenic River, so I’d assume that any, (sound cuts out) you know, the trees and the
wildlife, it’s beautiful, sandbars, everything you
know, that you’d ever need and want from a great trip. It’s just beautiful here. (bluegrass music) – [Steve] This is a real
pretty part of the river. Actually there’s
a lot of cypress and gum trees grow
right next to each other and sometimes, I can’t tell
the difference (laugh). But, they’re all over, you
got a lot of wild trees and they’re, I mean,
mature trees, too, lot of acorns drop here. This is a good part of the year. A lot of people hunting up here. You see these house boats? They basically, they hunting
camps and fishing camps, is what they are. (bluegrass music) This is Barry Lake, this drain actually can
come off of Black Creek when the river gets high
enough and also that dead lake that we were in feds
off of this, also, so pretty good fishing. You can see that guy up
there trying to find fish. So, a lot of fish in here. Two boat launches on it. It’s kind of, you
know typical of what the Pascagoula River looks like. There’s a lot of what some
people call oxbows down here, I think the term is
mostly dead river because on maps it’s
says steam dead river, things like that, so instead of calling
them oxbows, down here, a lot of people call
’em dead rivers. It’s beautiful, you
can see all the cypress and these all the way around it and like I said, some of them
are probably gum trees, too. – [Molly] I’m real proud
that we have a river that hasn’t been damned. I think that’s a big deal and want to keep it that way. – Hey, that’s all the time
we have for this week. Hope you enjoyed the show. – Join us again next time
for more exciting adventures. Until then, I’m Pamela Weaver. – And I’m Kevin Meacham,
see ya outdoors. (southern rock music) ♪ Riding though the bayou
heading for the sky blue ♪ ♪ Back out on the
trail again and again ♪ ♪ Hiking and hunting
and fishing the land ♪ ♪ Time is time well spent ♪ ♪ We’ll take it to the Delta ♪ ♪ To the great white shore ♪ ♪ There’s so much
to see and do ♪ ♪ Mississippi Outdoors ♪ ♪ The great outdoors ♪ ♪ Mississippi Outdoors ♪ ♪ The great outdoors ♪ ♪ Mississippi Outdoors ♪ ♪ The great outdoors ♪ ♪ Mississippi Outdoors ♪

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