I knew Stephen Williams before he was cool… and by cool, I mean before he got elected as the Sheriff of Lincoln Parish. When you grow up in Downsville, pretty much everyone is your neighbor, and the Williams family was no exception. We hunt the same deer, fish the same farm ponds, and help each other out when in need. Stephen obviously has a passion for serving and protecting the Lincoln Parish community, but what does he do in his spare time? He eats, sleeps, and breathes chasing whitetail deer. So I sat down with him for a question-and-answer session.
How did you get into hunting and fishing?
One of my uncles took me under his wing and took me hunting in Downsville when I was a kid. I have been hooked ever since.
What is your favorite animal to hunt and why?
Whitetail deer just because they are so difficult. It is a substantial challenge and a beautiful animal. They have tremendous senses: they can see you, hear you, smell you. They live in the woods 24/7 365; you are the intruder when you go into their home, and they recognize when things are out of place.
Why did you pull me over when I was 17?
Laughing… you were disturbing the peace by revving up the pipes on that truck and were a menace to society.
What is the craziest thing you’ve seen in the woods?
Your uncle, Big Buck Bob McGehee had a tree stand accident and was hanging by his feet in the top of a tree. Fortunately, his cell phone was in his shirt pocket and didn’t fall out. He was able to call your dad, and he called the sheriffs office. Luckily, I was off of work and heard the call and was familiar with the area, so I was able to be on the scene and help assist in getting him out of the tree. He was purple as a turnip when I climbed up there, so he didn’t have much time left.
If you had a million dollars to spend on a hunting tract, where would you buy it and why?
I would purchase a place in the Midwest, probably Kansas, just because of the quality of deer they have. It’s a beautiful area and they seem to have mastered the art of growing big deer.
How many guns do you own and is that enough?
I only own about 10-12 guns and that is plenty for me.
Why did you choose law enforcement as a career?
I always wanted to be able to help people and I enjoy doing it. I felt like that would be an exciting career while accomplishing those things.
Is your favorite TV show COPS?
No… got any more hard-hitting questions?!
Favorite wild game dish?
Grilled bacon wrapped deer steaks with jalapeno and cream cheese
Favorite outdoor writer?
Well, I was thinking on a professional level. You’re still semi pro. I like his writing because I am into the management aspect of it, just as much as I am the hunting part of it.
Favorite thing about Lincoln Parish?
I think the area we live in is very good. The people are top notch. Even though we are growing, it still has a small town feel to it. We are very blessed to live in the community we have here.
How many donuts does the sheriff’s department eat per day?
Not many, however I saw the K9 units training yesterday morning, so I went through the drive through and bought them donuts to reward them for their hard work.
If you could change one hunting regulation in our state, what would it be?
I’d like a little more emphasis on letting the young bucks reach maturity. There should be no restrictions for youth or new hunters, but I’d like to let the bucks to at least live to see 2.5 years of age.
What is your #1 hunting tip for a newcomer to the sport?
Find a good mentor that will take you out and show them the ropes. If you watch what is on TV or YouTube and try to go emulate that in Lincoln Parish, you will be sadly disappointed.
Who is the person, you look up to the most?
My dad. He is a good guy. Very intelligent, very patient and has lived a long and good life.
If you could only have one gun what would it be?
This a tough one… how am I going to explain to my wife why I have the other 10 or 11? I have an old 30-30 that I killed my first deer with, so If I could only have one if that is what I would choose.
How come you missed that big 9-point last year?
I had the wrong gun with me and had the shakes. I rushed it. I’d been hunting hard for two weeks and just rushed it.
Have you ever passed up a buck that you regretted not shooting?
There are two that come to mind. I passed up a really big 8 point a few years ago and then he was killed by my neighbor. Also, I went hunting at your place in Mississippi and passed up another big 8 point and your son killed him the next weekend. I’m kidding; I was happy Anders got to kill him, but I still like to give him a hard time about it.
Is there any message you’d like to send out to the people of Lincoln Parish?
I’d like to encourage everyone to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. It is the great escape to get out there and hit the reset button. We have a great parish and an incredible place to hunt and fish.
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, Ridge, and Mae. If you have a story idea or question about the great outdoors, you can reach Dusty at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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