Profile of an outdoorsman
Dec. 28, 2001
There he is in the 1953 Meridian High School Reverie, the class yearbook. William Rainer, known by friends as Buddy, was already hooked on the outdoors by the time we graduated high school together back in the middle of last century. He, like a number of our classmates who daydreamed of big bucks, full creels and days afield in a quest for adventure, embraced the outdoor life back then and never got over it.
Today the Meridianite spends much of this time in the woodlands and on the waters in this part of the world hunting and fishing.
A deer hunt near Scooba some 20 years ago is one that lingers as a fond memory for this hunter. "Doug Bracken and I slept in an old abandoned house north of Scooba on the Hudnall property," he recalled. "Frost on the ground the next morning looked like snow. Wally Hudnall came up and hunted there that day. I took my .45-70 lever action Marlin along and dropped an 8-point buck."
Rainer remembers well the days when a standing shot at a buck was an opportunity that rarely happened and such a shot would have been talked about for days at the deer camp. His biggest buck came from a Kemper County cutover. His autoloading rifle was well suited for the fast shooting required there.
As for suggestions on making things better for the deer hunter, Rainer had this to say. "I think the Mississippi deer season should be like in Alabama; dog or stalk hunting for the whole time with no separate seasons. A hunter could hunt however he chooses." He was referring to Alabama's traditional deer season bracketed between early and late archery seasons and a late muzzle-loader season that fall outside the dates of the "dog or stalk" hunting dates.
A favorite fish of Rainer's is the crappie. He is well known among the local crappie fishing clan – those who pursue this tasty fish seriously and have learned how to catch them. His boat partners have been such crappie anglers as Edgar Harper, Richard Chisolm and Ashley Brown. His skills at catching crappie have led him to tournament fishing for the fine game fish.
The secret to Rainer's success boating "slabs" is his use of jigs and a float during the early spring spawn. He drops the jig and float near stickups and other structure. He uses the jigs with a tight line when the fish are deep during other seasons of the year. He prefers the hair jigs, often called bucktails, and he presents them with a jig pole. Rainer, unlike some successful white perch anglers, prefers to use just one pole and he moves the jig often in the spring shallows. He uses a landing net for the big fish.
How does he like to prepare crappie, arguably the finest tasting fish in these parts, for the table? "I fillet them, meal them and deep fry them," he replies.
Rainer has squirrel hunting, bass fishing and many dove shoots in his outdoor past. It is clear he has found the recreation he enjoys and his successes have established Buddy Rainer as an envied outdoorsman.