Meridian Star

November 9, 2012

Opening day passion

By Mike Giles
The Meridian Star

MERIDIAN — The sweet aroma of white oak leaves and acorns filled the air and awakened my senses to the wonderful sights, sounds and smells of the Mississippi outdoors one brisk fall morning many years ago. I’d hardly slept a wink the night before opening day of deer season. I imagine none of my buddies had slept much either thinking about the big buck that was sure to come our way.

    In those days if you killed a buck it was big news, and if it had a rack it was time for celebration. My first buck came on one such day while hunting with my grandfather, J. P. Nolen as he carried me hunting deep in a swamp bottom in Webster County.

    I had never been in the swamp bottom that was split by a creek right down the middle but I was brimming with anticipation at what might happen, although I had no knowledge of where to start or how to kill a deer. Directing me to the creek bend in one area of the bottom, Pawpaw told me to take a stand next to an old tree on the banks of the creek and watch the oak flat.

    “If a pack of dogs comes through, squeeze off your safety as soon as you hear one bark, because the deer will be well out in front of the dogs.”

    No sooner had I arrived at the tree when I heard the faint bark of a hound. As I squeezed off the safety of my Remington 742 a doe suddenly burst out of a thicket, circled in front and passed within five yards of me as she jumped the creek. As soon as she disappeared I saw something red streaking through the woods. Once my eyes focused properly I realized the red object was a set of antlers worn by a rutting buck. As he followed the doe’s path to a T, I squeezed off a shot and my first rack buck was history!

    My passion for the outdoors was born in the woods and on the waters of Kemper, Lauderdale and Webster counties with my dad, Jack Giles, and continued throughout my youth on fishing and deer hunting trips with my grandfather, J. P. Nolen. My passion for the outdoors and life in the wild has never wavered since they lit a flame of desire in my young life.

    Imagine the possibilities and make a difference in the life of a child this year by carrying them hunting whenever you can and you might just light a spark that turns into a flaming desire of passion for the outdoors that will last a lifetime and make a difference for years to come!

    Contact  Mike Giles at

601-917-3898 or e-mail him at