• November 2013 - Volume 20, Number 11


    Grunting and rattling should be part of every North Carolina deer hunter’s arsenal.

    For two months, hunters armed with arrow-slinging devices, blackpowder cannons and assorted other modern weapons have searched forests, fields and riverbottoms in search of a trophy buck. Even though a few bucks may have already begun their annual mating ritual — rubbing trees, pawing the ground and sniffing their future mates’ backsides — the glory days of the deer season in the Tarheel State have arrived. And there is never a more perfect time to pull out the stops and shift to a more active strategy with a grunt call and a pair of antler sheds. 

    Dream season hunter’s advice: play the wind and control your scent.

    The 2012 deer season didn’t start well for James Diesfeld of Sanford, but when it finally got going, it quickly became one he will never forget.  

    Concentrate on grass to keep up with bass at Shearon Harris Lake.

    Bass fishing in November is usually an afterthought for most sportsmen, who are focused on whitetail deer.

    A small boat and a small bag of decoys is all you need to access great duck hunting on Holly Shelter’s three impoundments

    Lodge Road is usually a quiet stretch, cut straight as an arrow through thick, Pender County pocosin habitat. Pickup trucks make the dust rise on the days when Holly Shelter Game Land is open for big- and small-game hunting. On days when waterfowl hunting is allowed, the reach along the northern edge of Lodge Road Impoundment rarely had traffic as heavy.

    A small decoy spread, good camo and crafty calling can make a small body of water into a duck factory.

    Ethan Amerson of  Timmonsville trudged through knee-deep water, protected by a pair of waders but still feeling enough of the chill to keep him fully in touch with his surroundings. Guided by the faint light of the early morning sky through flooded cypress knees that gave way to a long, narrow clearing of thigh-deep water, Amerson pitched a pair of mallard decoys out and made his way to the spot he wanted to stand, watching his brother, Chuck, toss out two wood duck decoys to his right and friend Scott Rollins of Bishopville putting two teal decoys in the drink to his left.

    Calling, rattling, setting up closer to bedding areas may put that buck in your sights.

    For three years, I hunted this same buck with only fleeting sightings of him — usually in the opening week and during the rut. Not once did I ever have even a remote opportunity to draw my bow. I knew something would have to change or he would die of old age or at the hands of a hunter on an adjacent property.

    Fall surf-fishing run is reason plenty to head back to basics on North Carolna’s Cape Lookout barrier islands.

    “No phone, no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury

    Like Robinson Crusoe, it’s primitive as can be.”

    Big migration out of inshore waters puts plenty of trout, plenty of fishermen around Cape Lookout rock jetty.

    Most North Carolina residents know that in 1996, divers discovered Blackbeard’s ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, in Beaufort Inlet, where it had run aground in 1718.

    Look for spots on deep flats around brush; they’ll hit live minnows or artificials.

    In the elite world of bass fishing, where sparkling, tricked-out bass boats and NASCAR-jerseyed athletes reign supreme, the largemouth bass is king of the castle. 

    Real or plastic, shrimp are the ticket to catching speckled trout in the North Edisto in November.

    On a steel-gray, November afternoon, Rob Bennett of Lowcountry Inshore Charters cruised the lower section of the North Edisto River, checking areas where he’d been catching speckled trout to see which one best fit the level of the rising tide.

    Murrells Inlet gives excellent access to Georgetown Hole and other bluewater hot spots.

    By November, the tourist action has slowed down in Murrells Inlet and the surrounding Grand Strand, but the offshore fishing action is fast and furious.

    There’s often no rhyme or reason why and where whiting show up in the fall, but you’d better be there.

    “The whiting are biting,” said the voice on the telephone. “Want to come along?”

    Week-long season in November helps control deer population on 7-mile-long barrier island.

    Imagine spending six days on a jungle island; deer-hunting when you have a hankerin’, fishing when you feel like it, and sitting by a campfire at night eating and drinking like some banana republic royalty.

    Big deer are already hitting the ground, so learn how to tag your buck -- even after the rut.