Hunting

One Saturday in December continued a tradition so strong in hundreds of south Louisiana families that the celebration surrounding the first day of "dog" season rivals the Fourth of July and Mardi Gras. "It started with my grandpa, Louis, and it's remained strong for lots of us," Jeff Dinino said days before their pack of deer dogs were turned loose in the swamps in St. James Parish.

Ryan Flaming loves to hunt — he's gone out of state for an archery elk hunt and for pronghorn. He loves playing what he calls a game of chess while hunting whitetail deer and plans on trying mule deer season this fall. He's hunted all kinds of birds and water fowl, and tried coyote hunting as well.

In the mind of a young hunter making the transition from observer to participant, these opportunities to hunt deer, elk, furbearers, small game and waterfowl are milestones never to be forgotten. As such, adult mentors know it falls on their shoulders to deliver a safe and enjoyable experience that leaves their young companion wanting to return to the field another day. It can be a lot of pressure.

Scouting is the most essential factor in deer hunting success. It doesn’t matter what time of the season it is. Early-season, pre-rut, rut and late-season hunting all require scouting to be successful.