Editor’s Note: Parrish Elliott of Fairview, Tennessee, is the regional manager for the members of the Mossy Oak ProStaff for Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia and Alabama. The ProStaff goes to consumer shows, participates in hunts for disabled veterans, conservation organization banquets, QDMA meetings, spring turkey seminars, deer shows and other outdoor functions where they represent Mossy Oak, meet the public and help the consumers any way they can. These people are the Mossy Oak family’s boots on the ground. Mossy Oak ProStaff members are scattered across the nation. These ProStaffers also help the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) with its events for the Jakes Program (young turkey hunters), Kids Hunting For a Cure, and other events and charities for young people.
Last year at the beginning of bow season, I saw a nice 13-point buck that had walked up a hill out of bow range from me. I thought I had my stand in the perfect spot to take a buck. Later in the day when I assumed most of the bucks were in their bedding areas, I came out of my tree stand and walked over to the place where I’d seen the buck. I followed the trail the buck had walked to see where he went. On the top of the hill, I saw a little flat area that we’d never hunted before, and I couldn’t take a step on that spot without crunching acorns under my feet. I also found a big thicket on the other side of that acorn flat with deer trails going into it. I knew immediately that was where the big buck I’d seen was bedding. After hunting the stand two or three times in both the mornings and the evenings, I saw more deer in the mornings than I did in the evenings. That season I took two bucks from that stand - one with my PSE DNA bow that scored 133 inches and a second buck that was a 12 pointer and scored 121 inches.
Besides minerals, I think the abundance of white oak acorns and red oak acorns and keeping hunting pressure to a minimum were the reasons we attracted and held older-age-class bucks on this 220 acres. The other advantage we have is we know the wind direction we’ll have on each stand before we hunt there. We won’t hunt from a stand when the wind is wrong. We have certain bedding areas on this property that we never go into so that we can hold, as well as attract, older-age deer throughout deer season. The only place we harvest our bucks is when they come out to feed on our acorns. Last year we had a bumper acorn crop, and we noticed that the deer fed on those acorns almost the entire hunting season. I have other places to hunt besides these 220 acres, but I really enjoy hunting this spot because I’ve hunted it all my life. We manage the deer on this property and keep up with the deer movement patterns all year. I guess my familiarity with the land and the deer on it over many years has caused me to love this property the most.
I started hunting with Mossy Oak camo when the company came out with Bottomland. I especially like Bottomland when I’m hunting turkeys or hunting from the ground. During deer season, I wear Mossy Oak Treestand. These two patterns just fit perfectly in the places I hunt. I’ll bet my last dollar that Bottomland still is one of the best patterns that Toxey Haas and Mossy Oak ever introduced. Treestand is the second best pattern that Mossy Oak ever has produced for the type of hunting I like and that I prefer.