John's Journal...

Hunting on Ellislie Plantation in Mississippi with Bad Boy Buggies

Directing Deer Traffic Around Out Stand

Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: In December, 2007, I hunted with Bad Boy Buggies and the company’s founder, Jim Willard of Natchez, Mississippi. Hunters all across the United States use these electric buggies to go off-road and carry tree stands and hunters to their stands. Bad Boy Buggies are extremely quiet, have plenty of torque to power up hills and pull or tow equipment and can run for 20 to 22 miles on one overnight charge of its eight, 6-volt batteries. We hunted on land belonging to J.H. James, the operator of the 2,000-acre Ellislie Plantation, located about 10-miles south of Natchez, Mississippi, on the Homochitto River. His family owns over 3,000 acres in Mississippi and has owned this property for approximately 100 years. His great-great grandfather, George W. Armstrong, originally from Ft. Worth, Texas, was the first to settle here. He came to Natchez to find farm land. Ellislie Plantation is also used as a hunting operation.

The first afternoon I hunted Ellislie Plantation, I sat over a green field with six bucks in it. One was a 7-point mature buck that weighed over 200 pounds. Another big buck came in just after good shooting light. Although we could see he had good antlers, we couldn’t tell the number of points or how his antlers would score. There was also a real pretty 3-1/2-year-old, 9-point buck in the field and a few 6 and 7 pointers. But my guide, Jim Willard, general manager of Bad Boy Buggies, explained that we didn’t want to take any of these bucks at this time. The next morning, we got up before daylight and Click to enlargeentered the woods just at daylight. The place where we hunted was where two or three creeks joined. We saw about 20 bucks there and a lot of does. We almost had to get down and direct traffic there were so many deer around our stand. 

When we returned to camp, I asked J.H. James, the lodge manager, “Why were there so many bucks and does at that stand site?”  He replied, “This time of the year we’re getting into the rut,  and that section acts like a vacuum for rutting bucks. It seems to pull bucks from all the surrounding properties. I honestly don’t know why that particular spot seems to draw so many deer, other than the creeks running together and there’s good cover there, creating a good hiding spot. It’s probably the strongest rutting area in the entire 10,000 acres that surrounds it. The area has historically held a lot of does. In these types of places, bucks go to meet does. Perhaps this region is like a McDonald’s or a mall that attracts all the teenager boys and girls - but primarily girls. We all know that where the girls are, so are the boys.” 

Question: J.H., part of your property butts up against a high fence area, right?
James: Yes, that property has been high fenced for about 2 months.

Question: What affect has that high fence had on your land? Click to enlarge
James: The high fence seems to be funneling more deer, especially bucks, onto my property. Many deer that normally will be going to the high-fence land are being funneled onto my property. So, it’s had a positive effect on my hunting lands.

Question: You personally only take one to two deer each season off your property. Just before we arrived, you took a really-nice buck. Tell me about that buck.
James: The 6-year-old buck’s live weight was 260 pounds, and he had 41 inches of mass, which was an exceptional amount of mass for this section of the South. Very rarely would you see more than 40 inches of mass on a deer’s antlers around herer. This buck had 15-inches wide antlers with relatively-short beams. He had a 20-inch main beam and a 21-inch main beam. Some of his points were 5-inches long. This year is the first time I’ve ever seen this deer. I saw him once during bow season. When I saw him yesterday, I took him. 

Question: How predictable are your bucks?
James: In the early season, they’re fairly predictable. At this time of year, they’re not predictable at all because they’re in the rut. 

Question: Why do you think you’re harvesting so many trophy bucks off this property?Click to enlarge
James: We have sanctuaries on our land we don’t violate, unless we think an injured deer has gone into them.  These areas are never hunted. Therefore, older-age-class bucks have places where they can hold and dodge hunting pressure. We only hunt our stands when we have a favorable wind, and we use Bad Boy Buggies to get around in the woods. I’ve really noticed a difference in how spooky our deer are since we’ve been using the Bad Boy Buggies. These vehicles don’t give off any odor and don’t make any noise because they’re powered by batteries. Because the Bad Boy Buggies are camouflaged, they’re very inconspicuous. The deer aren’t spooked by the Buggies. 

Question: What’s the biggest buck taken off your property?
James: The biggest one was a 156-inch, 10-point buck, and that’s been within the last 5 years.  The 139-point buck’s mounted at my house (the picture of the buck mount where I’m standing on the ladder beside it). He was taken with a bow by one of my customers in November, 2005.

For more information about hunting Ellislie Plantation, write J.H. James at P.O. Box 470338, Ft. Worth, TX, 71647, call him at (817) 271-2025, email him at, or check out To learn more about Bad Boy Buggies, call (601) 807-9051, email, or visit

Tomorrow: Jim Willard’s Story

Check back each day this week for more about "Hunting on Ellislie Plantation in Mississippi with Bad Boy Buggies"

Day 1: The Deer You Can Expect to See at Ellislie Plantation
Day 2: Directing Deer Traffic Around Our Stand
Day 3: Jim Willard’s Story
Day 4: John’s Story
Day 5: The Rapture?


Entry 437, Day 2