Fields: A chance of some good Will hunting

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2004

As if things hadn’t already been dreary enough on the local hunting scene, the weather has now turned against us to boot.

We have now suffered through the most unseasonably warm week of weather for this time of year that I can recall in recent memory.

And guess what? I took the entire week off from work to hunt. And people ask me, how can you hunt when it’s 70 degrees? My standard reply is that I cannot control the weather and I have to hunt when I can, regardless of the weather.

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The season will be over with all too soon, and you won’t be able to hunt &045; good weather or not.

I hear that many hunters have given up on the season and headed back to the golf course early this year.

Golf season will come soon enough. But for now &045; weather cooperating or not &045; it is still hunting season. And as the old saying goes: &uot;a hunter has got to hunt.&uot;

A good example of how dismal the season has been is the mere fact that I have not received a single call this week about a deer being harvested or even missed.

It’s OK that I haven’t received any calls this week because I’ve had some things I wanted to share with you for a while, but I haven’t been able to squeeze them in on weeks when I’ve had plenty of calls.

I rendezvoused with former Natchez resident Greg Spring and college fraternity brother Greg Smith, who both now live in Madison.

The guys had several youngsters in tow, in addition to their own sons.

My hunting partner was 11 year old, or &045; as he put it &045; &uot;almost 12 year old&uot; Will Bryan. When I heard why young Will’s father was not there to take him hunting I immediately knew that I wanted to share a hunt with the youngster.

Will’s father, William Bryan, died tragically on Oct.1 at the terribly young-to-me age of 50. What began as being bitten by a spider on the arm, while sleeping at the hunting camp, evolved into William Bryan’s tragic death, while hospitalized, some five days or so later.

Young Will and I shared a lot of thoughts while spending several hours together on two different hunts. Though I never mentioned his father (having not known William Bryan) young Will mentioned him to me several times.

So we shared some thoughts about his father and how much he will be missed. The optimism of youth is very encouraging to an old coot like me.

Though it was one of those days when the deer weren’t moving and we didn’t see anything, it was certainly one of the highlights of my hunting season. If Will enjoyed it only half as much as me, the trip was a great success.

And although it might not be this season, I hope that Will Bryan would not mind sharing another hunt, and some more of that youthful optimism, with me some day.

As of this writing, I can congratulate USM for reaching the Liberty Bowl. Congratulate Ole Miss, for their exciting Cotton Bowl victory. And scream out a rousing GEAUX TIGERS, for tonight’s Sugar Bowl game.

I’ll call that a wrap for this week.

Chuck Fields writes a weekly hunting column for The Natchez Democrat. You can reach him at (601) 446-7859 or by e-mail at