Tim Goodman is a member of the LandTrust for Central North Carolina and has had some successful hunting trips as a member. He recounts his experience with the program’s Sportsman Access Program below.
I first learned of The LandTrust for Central North Carolina while volunteering at a handicap deer hunt in December 2016. The LandTrust’s Associate Director, Mrs. Mikey Nye, was there with a tent set-up for information about the Trust and their new Sportsman Access Program, a permit draw lottery program created so hunters from across the region can support local conservation efforts while obtaining the opportunity to hunt on 3,000 acres of conserved land across the Piedmont.
In the spring of 2017, I was drawn for a week of turkey hunting at the Low Water Bridge property in Montgomery County. I saw a lot of turkey sign, heard birds gobbling, but didn’t bring any in close enough for a shot. However, I carried my GPS and walked over the block of land marking road beds, open oak hillsides, thickets, creeks and other landmarks. The block of land, which bordered the Uwharrie River, was around 450 acres.
Seeing this property was full of holly thickets and open hillsides with large oak trees (perfect deer habitat) while turkey hunting, I was already dreaming and hoping that I would be drawn for a deer hunt here. I finished my week of turkey hunting with a GPS full of waypoints just waiting to be explored that fall.
I was fortunate to be selected again (via lottery) for 3 more weeks at the same Low Water Bridge property for deer season. So, opening day of muzzle loading season, I hunted on the ground the first morning and only saw a few hundred squirrels and about a dozen turkeys. I began another trek through the property.
At the close of week one, I placed my stand on a hillside where two draws came together and a small creek formed which ran to the Uwharrie River about 250 yards down the hill. It had all the makings of a great deer stand, but it was about a mile walk in each morning. I began week two with confidence in the new location, and even though the first couple of days were slow, the scrapes were being worked daily.
Wednesday morning, right at daylight, I caught the glimpse of a big deer working a scrape about 50 yards down the hill. He began walking directly up the hill toward me. Finally, at 30 yards, he offered me a good neck shot. The 225-grain .45 cal bullet did the trick. I knew that he was a good buck, but wasn’t sure just how big.
I have experienced “ground shrinkage” many times before, but this buck had “ground growth.” The more I looked at him, the bigger he got. He was a 5 ½ year old monster 11-point, which scored 145 3/8 gross.). The next week, I harvested another mature, heavy-horned 8-point from the same stand. I haven’t scored the second buck, but would estimate 125-130 gross. Needless to say, this was a challenging, but very rewarding hunt.
The Sportsman Access Program is an excellent program which may grant you access to some prime hunting land. But, most of all, through my experience with The LandTrust for Central NC, I have gained new friends. I have always heard that great employees make for a great company/agency. Thes is why The LandTrust has continued to grow and expand. I have come to respect the folks working for The LandTrust and their passion for its mission is glaringly obvious. Being a lifelong residence of central NC (and an avid outdoorsman) I am thrilled to support The LandTrust for Central North Carolina’s mission to conserve these large natural areas.
The LandTrust for Central North Carolina is a land conservation non-profit based out of Salisbury with a mission to conserve wildlife habitat, rural landscapes and family farms in North Carolina’s Central Piedmont. The Sportsman Access Program is our way to enable sportsmen and women to continue North Carolina’s rich hunting legacy while simultaneously helping to conserve the land and game species that they cherish.
“Hunters and anglers were among the first to crusade for wildlife protection and today are some of the world’s top conservation leaders. Recognizing the importance of North Carolina’s hunting heritage, The LandTrust for Central North Carolina has developed the Sportsman Access Program (SAP).
Since its conception, the mission of this initiative has been to connect sportsmen and women to local conservation. While The LandTrust has actively engaged hikers, paddlers, and other outdoor enthusiasts in seeing the benefits in protecting our natural resources, The SAP gives sportsmen and women the same opportunity to see their conservation dollars at work. We are proud to be the leader in engaging all conservation-minded individuals in local conservation,” said Mrs. Michael Nye, Associate Director of the LandTrust.
Tim Goodman’s success story is one of many that have come from The LandTrust’s Sportsman Access Program. For more Information about The LandTrust for Central North Carolina and The Sportsman Access Program, please contact us at 704-647-0302 or visit our website http://landtrustcnc.org/.