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Landowners get buck tips at convention

LAUREN WOOD \ THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Bronson Strickland with Mississippi State University Extension Service speaks to hunters gathered Saturday at the Convention Center for the Plum Creek landowners conference.

NATCHEZ — Buck-hunting enthusiasts from all over Southwest Mississippi and Eastern Louisiana gathered at the Natchez Convention Center Saturday for lunch and educational presentations on how to better manage their land for deer harvests.

Each guest at the convention leases land from Plum Creek, which is Mississippi’s largest private landowner.

Plum Creek Recreational Lease Manager Paul Durfield said the meeting was designed to meet face-to-face with its landowners.

“It’s an opportunity to interact with our hunting clubs and customers to give presentations about wildlife management.”

Centreville’s Leo Saucier has leased hunting land from Plum Creek for approximately 12 years, and he said he learned a lot from the presentations.

“This is the first (presentation) I’ve ever been to, and I wanted to come see what it was all about,” he said. “I heard several different points of view on (how to manage land).”

Bronson Strickland of the Mississippi State Extension service gave a presentation to the landowners on deer management strategies.

“I’m a hunter myself,” Strickland said. “I love deer management and deer biology, and I love going out and helping hunters.”

Strickland said he hoped the hunters took away strategies to maintain bigger bucks on their land.

Charles Magee of McCall Creek said he learned from Strickland’s presentation that most hunters tend to harvest deer too early.

“It was quite interesting to see the study on harvesting deer at 3 1/2 years old. You need to let that age and take it at around 5 or 6.”

Mark Lee made the two-hour trip from Loranger, La., to learn more about Plum Creek, he said.

“I came because I was interested in leasing land from Plum Creek, and I wanted to learn about the program,” he said.