During the past three decades, the tactics used to hunt whitetail deer have evolved greatly, but hunting mature bucks is still a tough challenge. Mistakes are still being made, and for some hunters, these mistakes become habit — and they wonder why some hunters seem to kill big bucks and they don’t.
Preparing for a pleasant day of fishing on a gorgeous fall day, Patrick Kelly warmed the engine of his boat at Cricket Cove Marina near Little River, S.C., just a short run from great fishing on either side of the North Carolina-South Carolina state line.
Every year, hunters spend countless hours preparing food plots, planning and finding ways to improve their chances to get a wall-hanger downrange and in range. If a mature buck falls into the trap, hunters must tread lightly to close the deal.
If habitat is the key for their survival, there’s less room for wild creatures in the Tarheel State each year. Forests and fields are yielding to chain saws, bulldozers, housing developments, city and town expansion, more roads and parking lots.
Of all the pages on the calendar, September might be the best for chasing redfish, because of cooling water and more stable weather — as long as the tropics behave. With fishing in inland lakes still below average, a bass fisherman might find that an early fall trip to the coast might just scratch his fishing itch.
Every bass fisherman worth his salt knows that September is the month of the big move. As summer begins to give way to fall, baitfish head back into creeks that feed reservoirs, and it doesn’t take long for bass to follow.
With deer season cranking up, hunters are preparing food plots, erecting stands and making plans for a productive season: plenty of venison for the freezer and high hopes of something to send to the taxidermist.
South Carolina has a significant amount of public hunting opportunists on Wildlife Management Areas across the state, and some have ample habitat diversity to provide good hunting opportunities for several game species.
The Carolinas offer public-land hunters plenty of opportunities for deer and other game species. Photo by Rick Small.