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Mississippi’s Lenoir Plantation – Ghosts, Deer, Hogs, War-Between-the-States History, Thoroughbreds and Quarter-Horse Training and Much More

The Wildlife at the Lenoir Plantation

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: I was fortunate enough to attend the first outdoor writer hunt ever held on Lenoir Plantation in Prairie, Mississippi, during December, 2009. This privately-held land never has been opened to the public, but it will be open in the fall of 2010 to a limited number of guests and offer hunting for deer, hogs, coons and ducks as well as fishing. But the story of Lenoir Plantation is as interesting as the game that abounds there. At this lovely antebellum home, two-different families lived and worked – the white side and the African-American side of the Lenoir family. Even today, descendants from both sides still live in the area. The Patterson family recently has purchased Lenoir Plantation, and this week, Beau Patterson will tell us about Lenoir Plantation’s history and what it will offer guests when it opens to the public in the fall of 2010.Click to enlarge

Lenoir Plantation has rich, fertile soil, and often during the fall, much of the cropland floods, giving this property the potential to grow heavy-weighted, heavy-racked bucks. This part of the South always has been known as a top deer-hunting region. From the trail-camera records that Beau Patterson and the other owners of Lenoir Plantation have kept, there are some really-big bucks on the property. Patterson also has told me that 8-10 coveys of wild quail still remain on the property. He believes that with proper management, and by improving the quail’s habitat and reintroducing row cropping, especially corn and soybeans, the numbers of wild quail are sure to rebound. Mrs. Betty Lenoir, who spoke to the group of outdoor writers during a hunt at the plantation in December, 2009, said that her husband, Whitman Lenoir, the last of the Lenoirs to own and live in the plantation house, loved the place so much because of the duck hunting it provided. The many creeks, lakes and ponds on the property provide ideal habitat for ducks, and much of the wetlands on the property will be managed for ducks and offer duck-hunting opportunities. Too, the lakes are being managed to produce trophy bass and bluegills. However, there are also many crappie-fishing opportunities in the area, which will make the plantation a year-round sportsman’s paradise.

Hogs at the Lenoir Plantation – Where They’ve Come From: Click to enlarge

The hogs on the Lenoir Plantation have almost as rich a history as the old house itself. The South traditionally has been blessed (or cursed, depending on who you ask) with hogs. Hernado deSoto, an early explorer from Spain, traveled through Florida, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana during the 1540s on his expedition to explore the New World. He discovered the Father of Waters – the mighty Mississippi River. The early explorers of this country had to eat, and pork from the pigs they brought with them was a staple of their diet. Since hogs are almost as prolific as rabbits, you can start off with a few hogs and have a lot of hogs in a hurry. Hogs can breed twice a year and can produce up to 12 piglets at each breeding. Because deSoto’s men were on the move and weren’t sure where their next meal was coming from, they brought hogs with them from Spain. These hogs weren’t kept in any type of pen and were free-ranging. So, many of those hogs escaped from de-Soto’s men and expeditions that followed them later. Click to enlarge

Keep in mind that until Mississippi’s fence laws were enacted in the 1930s, neither hogs nor cattle were kept in pens. These animals were rounded-up when they were to be slaughtered or sold. But the farmers and landowners never could round-up every single hog. The smarter hogs hid in thickets and along river-bottom swamps. This is why there are still wild hogs today on the Lenoir Plantation, many of which have a heritage that goes back to the earliest European explorers and certainly to the days of the plantation before the Civil War, when all hogs were free-ranging. Therefore, if you take a hog at the Lenoir Plantation, you’re also taking a piece of history that goes back to the age of the Conquistadors.

Lenoir Plantation will be open to guests in the fall of 2010. For more information about the hunting, the fishing, the house and the old plantation, contact Beau Patterson at or (662) 202-4888.

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Tomorrow: Lenoir Plantation Today – Contrast in History

Check back each day this week for more about "Mississippi’s Lenoir Plantation – Ghosts, Deer, Hogs, War-Between-the-States History, Thoroughbreds and Quarter-Horse Training and Much More"

Day 1: The Haunting
Day 2: After the Civil War
Day 3: Why the Pattersons Bought the Plantation and the Land
Day 4: The Wildlife at the Lenoir Plantation
Day 5: Lenoir Plantation Today – Contrast in History


Entry 540, Day 4