’s top 10 stories of 2018

What were the most-read stories of 2018?

The outdoor scene in the Carolinas was certianly not lacking in newsworthy stories throughout 2018. It seemed like a month didn’t pass without something of great interest to hunters and fishermen taking place — some good, some not so good, some just interesting.

We looked at the view counts on and came up with the 10 most-read stories of 2018.

Hope you enjoy looking back at them, reading them a second time, or maybe for the first time. The following are excerpts of the stories, with links to each full story.

We’ll start with the 10th most-read story and work our way down to the number one most-read story of 2018.

10. 67 coyotes killed during Carolina Coyote Classic (Feb. 13)

The fifth annual Carolina Coyote Classic, presented by 704 Outdoors, saw a record number of coyotes brought to the scales this past weekend at the Albemarle, N.C. American Legion Post 76, which served as the headquarters and weigh-in site of the tournament.

Sixty-seven coyotes were killed in the 2018 Carolina Coyote Classic.

A total of 67 coyotes were killed during the Classic, which included 88 hunters from both North and South Carolina. And while the biggest winners from this tournament were deer and small game across the Carolinas, the first place trophy, along with $1500 cash, a Bob’s Custom Calls distress call, and a collection of Southernized shirts went to Stephen Davis, who killed 14 coyotes during the contest.

Click here for the rest of the story. 

9. Wilkesboro bowhunter kills trophy, split-tine buck in full velvet (Sept. 13)

Jacob Shepherd of Wilkesboro, N.C., had never seen the big buck that stepped out on him on Monday, Sept. 10, the third day of bow season, but it didn’t take him more than a second to recognize it as a shooter.

And it didn’t take too many more seconds before he sent an arrow through the buck, and not too much longer before he was kneeling astride a great buck: a 4×4 main-frame with one split drop tine that measured 141 1/8 inches in full velvet.

This full velvet buck was killed in Wilkes County in 2018.

Click here for the full story.

8. Florence County huntress kills massive 11-point buck (Sept. 14)

Madison Parker of Florence, S.C. began sitting in the deer stand with her dad when she was just a baby, so it was fitting that the two were sitting together on Sept. 6 when the 19-year-old killed the biggest deer of her life, an 11-point buck that weighed 195 pounds and had a massive rack that has been rough scored at 140 inches.

Madison Parker killed this 11-point buck in September of 2018.

But Parker and her dad had to endure a tortuous hunt just a day earlier when her dad, Chad Parker, received photos of that same buck from a trail camera at a different stand than they were hunting on their Florence County property.

Click here for the rest of the story.

7. Lone Star tick bite infects Rock Hill man with Alpha Gal disease (Aug. 8)

Darren Nichols of Rock Hill, SC contracted the Alpha Gal disease after being bitten by a Lone Star tick while on a hunting trip to Texas in May 2017. It’s changed his life — and his family’s life — drastically, and they would like other hunters to know about it, especially since the Lone Star tick has been found in both Carolinas, as well as many other states.

While on his Texas hunting trip, Nichols felt something on his back. When his hunting buddy took a look, he saw a tick embedded in Nichols’ back and removed it. He didn’t think much of it, until months later, when he became gravely ill, and had multiple medical tests that couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong. Then he remembered the tick bite, told his doctor, was diagnosed with Lyme disease, and was prescribed antibiotics to help treat the disease.

Click here for the full story.

6. Midlands hunters kill giant Santee gator (Sept. 12)

Jeremy Shealy of Pomaria and Chapin’s Hunter Neeley killed a giant alligator in the swamps of Santee on South Carolina’s opening day of 2018. The gator measured 13 feet, 2 inches in length, and weighed 1012 pounds.

This Santee gator weighed over 1000 pounds.

After Shealy drew his first ever alligator tag, he knew Neeley was the man to call about putting a plan together. So on Sept. 8, Shealy and his girlfriend Stacy Clark joined Neeley aboard his airboat for an evening trip to Lake Moultrie with confidence that they’d bag a trophy. But none of them fully expected they’d kill one this size, or that they’d get the first hook in the big gator before dark.

Click here for the rest of the story.

5. Deer hunting temporarily halted in portions of Pee Dee, Waccamaw areas (Sept. 17)

Due to the extreme high river level and widespread flooding following Hurricane Florence, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) has declared a temporary closure for hunting within the Pee Dee and Waccamaw River drainage systems on all game species except for alligator, doves, hogs and coyotes. 

The Department has received contacts from numerous concerned sportsmen.  The flooding has created potential for exploitation of game species that are deprived of their normal escape routes and confined to small areas of high ground.

For the full story, click here.

4. Manns Harbor man faces multiple charges for incidents involving harassment of duck hunters (Jan. 30)

A Manns Harbor, N.C., man will be in court in Swan Quarter, N.C., on Wednesday morning, facing two felony charges and almost a dozen misdemeanors stemming to two December incidents in which duck hunters were allegedly harassed and in one instance, physically assaulted.

Jarrod Umphlett, who works at OBX Marina in Wanchese, N.C., faces two felony charges of assault and 11 more misdemeanors.

Click here for the full story.

Umphlett was sentenced to seven days in jail and fined $2530. Click here for his sentencing details.

3. Charter captain tags great Bamberg County, S.C. buck (Sept. 3)

Charter captain Chip Veach of Key West, Fla., has hunted all over for trophy bucks over the past decade or so, including multiple trips to Montana and Canada.

Charter Captain Chip Veach killed this South Carolina brute on Aug. 23, 2018.

The last place he expected to kill the biggest buck of his life was on a lease in Bamberg County, S.C., but that’s just where it happened.

On Aug. 23, Veach dropped a huge, 11-point buck with a single shot to the neck at 75 yards. The buck weighed 242 pounds and carried a heavy rack in full velvet with 7-inch bases and a 21 3/8-inch spread.

The full story is here.

2. Stoneville, N.C. hunter kills 20-point buck in Rockingham County (Sept. 10)

On the first day of North Carolina’s archery season, Dylan Martin of Stoneville killed a possible new state record buck with his Ravin R10 crossbow. During the last few minutes of daylight, Martin arrowed a 171 5/8-inch non-typical giant at only 16 yards from his stand.

Dyland Martin killed this trophy with his crossbow.

James Thompson’s 163 1/8-inch Moore County deer currently holds the state record for the largest non-typical buck every killed with a crossbow in the Tarheel state. But, Martins’s Rockingham County buck may overtake the top spot after the required drying time.

Click here for the full story.

1. N.C. changes deer, bear zones and seasons for 2018-19 (Feb. 28)

Deer and bear hunters in North Carolina will need to pay attention to their regulations guides this fall as the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, at its meeting in Raleigh this morning, voted to restructure deer hunting zones, move around either-sex days in the western third of the state, set a two-buck limit in the eastern half of the state — as well as establish an alligator season and protect trophy blue catfish in a handful of lakes.

The Commission voted to add to the current management regions a fifth, dividing the Eastern deer section into Northeastern and Southeastern sections, while moving a handful of counties from the Western deer section to the Northwestern section.

Click here for full story.