• January 2008 - Volume 3, Number 1


    Deer hunting has become so popular that chasing bushytails is almost an afterthought, but adding a dog to the chase is helping revitalize the sport.

    Bouncing down the fire line between some planted loblolly pines and a hardwood bottom, I listened as the occupants of the dog box in the back of the pickup started the bark excitedly.

    This James Island hunter will have a hard time beating the second deer of his short hunting career.

    Progressing from a beginning hunter to the buck of a lifetime in just two years, Nick Christ has proven techniques and a little bit of luck to thank for the headlines he’s getting for a huge Beaufort County buck he killed earlier this season.

    A Leesville teen harvested an absolute trophy on a draw hunt.

    Cody Whittle of Leesville had little idea what was in store for him on his draw hunt at the Webb Wildlife Center.

    This Rock Hill guide has made catching big Santee Cooper blues and flatheads his business. Follow his techniques to put some tasty fillets in your boat.

    There was a time when Rock Hill’s Darryl Smith was a true sportsman and guide for all seasons. He guided deer and turkey hunters, bass and striper fishermen, and he was about as versatile a guide as you could find.

    That was before catfish craziness laid hold of his sporting soul and his “all seasons” became dealing with Mr. Whiskers throughout the year.

    It’s a rare experience to hunt tundra swans and ducks during the same trip, but down east hunters can enjoy just such a thrill this month.

    While a graying dawn held the promise of warmth, an arthritic sun took its sweet time creeping over the horizon last January.

    Offshore bottomfishing can be enjoyed one of two ways, and each provides a cure for winter cabin fever.

    Fishing offshore during the winter is different.

    It’s a lot of fun, but it requires more preparation than other times of the year. Certainly all equipment needs to be in prime working order, but anglers also need to be in good condition.

    York County 10th grader scores on two trophies in two weeks.

    Sometimes, in hunting as in life, youth will be served.

    That was the case during the peak of this year’s whitetail deer rut in populous York County. Increasingly a bedroom community for nearby Charlotte, N.C. — and accordingly an area where it has become ever more difficult to find a place to hunt —York County still has pockets of private land that produce fine deer.

    For a successful approach to late-season duck hunting try some bass angler tips.

    Hunting and fishing parallel one another on a number of levels. People who enjoy fishing often times enjoy the shooting sports as well and vice versa. The thrill of the pursuit, the unpredictable events that occur during a trip, and the beautiful environs in which these sports take place are what attract people to them.

    Hunters don’t have to travel far, lease an expensive blind, battle crowded game lands or own a private impoundment to hunt January Canada geese.

    The goose calls came from the east, directly behind five hunters hidden at a fence line that bordered a stand of hardwood trees in Orange County.

    “Honk, honk, honk, a-honka, honk.”

    Once deer season ends, it’s a good time to take mountain curs and feists to game lands and hunt squirrels.

    When leaves on the trees are as scarce as deer hunters in the woods, a new year must have turned, and that’s just fine with Dave Inman and Wally McAnulty because there’s no better time of the year for nearly limitless squirrel hunting opportunities.

    Bulls Bay offers excellent wintertime action on schooling redfish.

    Capt. Todd Stamps had just returned from a trip to Brazil for peacock bass and black piranha, armed with a pocketful of TBS jigs manufactured by a fishing buddy of his in Florida.

    Where could he go? Stamps didn’t have to travel far from his home base at the Isle of Palms Marina to test the leadheads on schools of winter redfish.

    The last seconds of daylight produce a monster Lee County buck for a Lugoff dentist.

    Another fine trophy buck has made a terrible mistake — stepping out in front of Trey Fitts of Lugoff late in the afternoon of Nov. 2.

    W. Kerr Scott Lake’s unique combination of sportfish offers year-round appeal.

    The sky was gray during a mild January day last year, as Tracy Adams launched his bass boat at W. Kerr Scott Lake near Wilkesboro.

    This month Palmetto State hunters can bushwhack wily woodcock whether they have dogs or not.

    A hunter finally works his way through a briar tangle, only to have his feet mire to the ankles or wedge between the gnarled knees of an ancient cypress.

    At the precise moment he is trying to extract his feet and unravel his shotgun from the greenbrier web, a twittering bird takes flight, dodging between saplings and showing an orange streak along the trailing edges of its wings.

    East Tennessee’s Melton Hill Lake awaits anglers who want to mine for some of the biggest water wolves in the region.

    Daylight was breaking, and a thin blanket of fog hovered above the waters of Melton Hill Lake as guide Steve West launched his 18-foot boat at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency ramp upstream from the Pellissippi Parkway bridge.

    Once a new calendar rolls around, hunting opportunities wane, but some new hunts have been added to stretch your season.

    Even though I am a duck hunter, I get a little bummed once New Year’s Day passes.

    I like to hunt deer, too, but I prefer it during colder weather. I would much rather be in a tree stand bundled in camouflage that weighs more than a Kleenex. Unfortunately, the cold weather usually arrives about the time the deer season closes.

    An ex-football coach has a delicious recipe for catching Hilton Head’s winter speckled trout.

    Trading Friday night lights for Saturday morning bites seems to have agreed with Dan Utley.

    After 29 years as the head football coach at Hilton Head High School, Utley decided it was time to work on some new plays. Five years ago, he stepped off the football field and out of the classroom and began pursuing his other passion, fishing the inshore waters around his home.

    Some observers believe a new year class of tuna portends better angling for the future.

    Large bluefin tuna are being depleted, but they’re not being over-fished.

    Anglers should take with a grain of salt the wailing and whining of people who make their living wailing and whining.

    With changing weather patterns, finding ocean linesiders may take some work, but small-boat anglers who put in the time can have success.

    Gary Dubiel of Spec Fever Guide Service has been featured by PBS, ESPN and Discovery Europe television channels.

    That means when it comes to fishing for striped bass at the N.C. coast, he knows his business.

    You can troll your way to a healthy haul of speckled trout this month.