Dusty McGehee: Thank You from The Camp

Currently, I’m in the middle of nowhere in Yazoo County Mississippi with my two boys.  It’s a 12×32 little tin can of a camp; it’s a glorified metal building equipped with a single bedroom, living area (with futon and couch), tiny kitchen, and the smallest bathroom any of you readers have ever seen.  It’s equipped with a window unit for the hot days, and I drilled a hole through the floor and have a 2-burner propane heater for the cold ones.  My kids think it’s a mansion, but I just call it heaven.

We are on a mission out here.  There is some unfinished business between a big buck and us.  While most of you want a great story, I hate to disappoint you.  I’m a tad busy and will be lucky with these kids running around and my phone propped up in the window to try and get a hotspot signal for this to even get out to you.  Just know the buck is big.  Real big.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all of you.  The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and to tell you the truth, a bit surprising.  I’m still not even sure how I am writing these things.  I still question why anyone asked me to write articles for the LPJ, but it’s been an honor.  I haven’t written a word since my 300 level Technical Writing English class at Louisiana Tech, but someone out there thought this redneck would be a good fit.

When I was asked to do this, I was a bit shocked.  I hesitated for a while and almost decided to opt out.  I have a wife, three kids and a full-time job.  The free time I do have, I didn’t want to sacrifice for writing articles but heck I’m always up for a challenge.  I figured I would write one and see how it went.  If I didn’t like it, I could quit, and nobody would even bat an eye.

Now it has snowballed into something I never thought possible.  While I’m relatively new to this, I’ve heard from many of you on “you won’t ever be able to top this story”.  For my wife, it’s the story of Ridge and his first deer.  Anders’ favorite is about Stoney and his dog Maggie tracking deer.  Ridge didn’t know I was doing this and informed me we never even read “his story” to him … whoops.  And Mae, well she couldn’t give a rip.  For many of you out there, it’s my most recent “The Dougie Buck”.

I don’t necessarily have a favorite to this point.  To be honest, when I hit send, I think all my stories stink.  Therefore, I depend on you, the reader, to give me feedback.  Sure, it’s great to hear the positive things and I appreciate it, but I’m just as concerned with hearing the negative feedback you may have.  If you don’t think my article is good, let me know why and what you’d like to read about.  Constructive criticism is just as important, if not more, than the positive.

So, here’s to the New Year!  I hope 2022 is amazing for each and every one of you.  I’m racking my brain on how I’m going to come up with 52 stories for next year.  Like I said, I’m up for a challenge.  Thank you all, once again, for making me feel like I’m a half decent writer.  I hope I can entertain you for many more weeks and maybe years.  Your feedback is what keeps me going so keep it coming.  Inevitably, I’m going to write a dud. Maybe this is my first.  Just let me know.

Happy New Year!

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Dusty McGehee is a native of Downsville and a 2006 graduate of Louisiana Tech University with a bachelors in wildlife conservation. He is currently employed by WestRock and serves as an environmental engineer at the Hodge Mill. Dusty is an avid hunter and crappie fisherman, fishing crappie tournaments with his son when he is not in the woods. He and his wife Rachel have three young outdoorsmen/women: Anders (9), Ridge (7) and Mae (5). If you have a story idea or question about the great outdoors, you can reach Dusty at dusty.mcgehee@westrock.com.


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