Jim Bowie’s sandbar duel in Vidalia made him and his fighting knife national legends, and at the private Giles Island Hunting Club, a 9,400-acre hunting and fishing retreat, Boone and Crockett scores over 170 earn a reproduction of Bowie’s famous weapon. Of course, most of the trophies sportsmen bring home from Concordia are of a different species—a variety of species, in fact—taken from the spectacular hunting and fishing grounds of public lands and private clubs.
While the public lands are havens of preservation where endangered species such as bald eagles and black bears find refuge, hunting and fishing are also allowed, and excellent, in Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, Bayou Cocodrie National Wildlife Refuge, the Red River and Three Rivers Wildlife Management Areas and thousands of acres of lakes.
Approximately 11,000 acres bottomland hardwood, situated on the Cocodrie Bayou, a state-designated scenic river. Established in 1992, the Refuge contains some of the last remaining, least disturbed timber in the Mississippi River Delta. Hunting (gun, muzzleloader and bow) and fishing are allowed, and primary game include woodcocks, rabbits, squirrel and deer.
Together, these two areas spread over 67,000 acres of mixed bottomland forest and former agricultural land. Flooded annually by the Mississippi and Red Rivers and the Cocodrie Bayou, the Areas’ swampy ecosystem are home to a rich diversity of waterfowl and game—deer, turkey rabbit, squirrel, snipe, dove. Hunting and trapping are also allowed for mink, nutria, raccoon, bobcat, fox, otter, beaver and coyote. Major fish species include bass, bluegill, crappie and catfish. Crawfishing and frog-gigging are popular, and recently, a public lottery has allowed alligator hunting for winning participants, with a 5 gator limit.
Top fishing spots include Cocodrie Bayou, the massive oxbows Lake Concordia and Lake St. John, Black River Lake, Horseshoe Lake and Atchafalaya Basin.