It was Veterans Day and I had a day off so drove the 3 hours to the club and settled into a stand that afternoon about 2:00pm. I began my hunt in a 2 man ladder overlooking the corner of an unharvested bean field. I kept looking at those woods adjoining the bean field and decided after about 30 minutes that man.....I want to hunt those woods.
I got down from the stand, walked the edge of the field until there was an opening and then entered into the cover. Boy, let me tell you, it was nice in there. There was a mixture of hardwoods and large pine along with some undergrowth but not to thick. I started looking for a stump to sit on that would allow me a shot of 50 yards or so when lo and behold....,I spied an old metal ladder stand with a red boat seat attached that stood about 12 feet high.
I gave it a good shake and it seemed sturdy. I climbed up to the seat and saw it full of leaves and debris so I cleaned it up best I could. Those leaves were dry and made noise so I took care to remove them all from the foot platform as well.
I settled into that little boat seat and I will tell you...I had died and gone to heaven. The wind was blowing from my right shoulder sending my scent towards the bean field which was perfect. I can not tell you how happy I was sitting in that little stand. I was thinking about how bucks stage in the cover prior to stepping out in the fields late of an evening. I knew the rut was on and I began to congratulate myself for being in the woods instead of on the field.
Once things quieted down from my intrusion, the squirrels started coming out. Them suckers will keep you on the edge of your seat and I will say, not to boast, that I have almost figured out the difference between a squirrel rustling and a deer walking.
Anyhow, after a short while, I heard something coming up behind me so the juices starting flowing and I readied my rifle. It was a red fox. I watched that fox chase after some squirrels for a good 10 minutes before he moved on. I had several people at the club that night tell me I should have shot it but for me....I'm hunting a buck...I don't give two hoots for killing a fox. It was the shizzle to watch that fox trying to catch his supper.
At just about 5:15pm, when right now you only have another 10 minutes or so of shooting light, I heard deer coming.
I am a right handed shooter and they were coming from my left side which is a much more competent position to be in if you know what I mean. There was a lead doe, 20 yards or so and she looked to be young, maybe last years crop. Behind her, in tow, were two youngsters. I watched them for several minutes. She knew something was up as she kept putting her head in the air and stomped her foot a few times. She knew something was out of whack but eventually, she moseyed on down the trail and went out of sight.
I sat there and waited, as I always do, for the light in the woods to reach a darkness where I know I can not differentiate between a doe or a spike. Thats when I call it a day and that has served me well over the years.
That was the best day in the field I have had this year. For all my hunting brethern out there, both dog and still hunters....get off those fields and treat yourself to the solitude of hunting a stand in the woods. Just get in them woods and slow your ass down to a snails crawl. Look around you at all that life that exists in those woods and try to be a part of it. I learned late in life that you don't have to kill it. The best part of hunting is being able to watch it.
By Lee Tolliver
© November 2, 2008
Hunters in North Carolina don't have to worry about any state rules concerning the use of dogs to hunt deer.
North Carolina game officials had been looking at adopting rules concerning dog licensing and fines for dogs and hunters going on posted land.
'We're tabling any of that for right now,' game commission chairman Wes Seegar said. 'We hear complaints from landowners all the time -
e-mails, letters and calls. I keep a file on everything.
'But there are already trespassing rules on the books, and people just need to be courteous to other hunters and landowners.'
Seegar warned, however, that there are movements to change laws. In Pasquatank County, for instance, landowners have several county commissioners on their side in a fight for privacy.
'County commissioners can get their state legislators to introduce county-specific bills... and they usually pass,' Seegar said. 'And we usually don't find out about it until after it's a done deal.'
Seegar said members of his commission had meetings with several houndsman organizations in the state.
'Everyone knows that several states, like Florida and Georgia, have enacted some strict laws for hound hunters,' Seegar said. 'We've just decided that there aren't any good solutions right now.'
Friday, December 07, 2007
Petition: Owner should give permission to be on land
By BOB MONTGOMERY
Nature photographer Doug Lane owns 50 acres of mostly wooded land on Okisko Road in southern Pasquotank County.
Most of the time its peaceful and quiet where he lives, and Lane is able to capture images of colorful birds, turtles and insects.
But this time of year, Lanes livelihood can be interrupted at any moment by the cracking sounds of high-powered rifles and the yelps of deer-chasing hunting dogs echoing through the trees.
Currently, there are no local laws prohibiting hunting dogs from running across private property, even if the land is posted for no hunting. Lane wants to change that.
Hunters with their $20 hunting license are able to take control of my land because they have no land available to them, he says. I can see a hunters point of view. But when you on purpose dump your dogs on my driveway, thats not fair.
Lane, who has lodged complaints with the Pasquotank Board of Commissioners about hunting dogs running loose on private property before, is ratcheting up his protest a notch. Hes circulating a petition seeking support for a local law that would make it illegal to both hunt on posted land and allow hunting dogs to trespass on private property without the owners written permission.
Lane says his research shows that deer hunting with dogs is banned in 41 states as well as most of the western half of North Carolina. Hed like Pasquotank officials to consider a similar ban.
I recognize that most hunters are law-abiding and ethical, Lane says. I also recognize that most deer-dog hunters are not sportsmen nor are they ethical. If they were, I would not have this problem.
Several county commissioners met with hunters recently to discuss Lanes concerns, in hopes of resolving the issue without having to pass a new law.
We recognize ones right to maintain his property, Board of Commissioners Chairman Cecil Perry said. I think everyone should respect his position. He doesnt want to prevent anyone from hunting. Hopefully, well be able to work out a resolution.
Brock Lamb, a deer hunter who lives about 2 miles from Lane, says his neighbors quest for a ban on deer hunting with dogs is an overreaction.
I think hes making it hard on everybody, Lamb said. We really dont bother anybody. Were really cautious about it. Its a tradition. We dont ever turn dogs loose on property (where) we dont have permission.
The dispute between Lane and deer hunters who use dogs is in part being fueled by Pasquotank Countys growth. Among the fastest-growing counties in the state, more people live in Pasquotank per square mile than ever before. Growth is one reason why commissioners passed an ordinance two years ago aimed at protecting residents from vicious and dangerous dogs.
That law was prompted by a number of residents who expressed fear of taking a walk in their neighborhood without being approached by a loud and potentially dangerous dog.
The ordinance requires dogs be leashed or fenced in, and gives the sheriff the authority to impound a dog and fine the owner up to $500.
Lane says his biggest fear isnt being bit by a deer hunting dog; its getting shot by a bullet fired from a high-powered rifle.
If someone wanted to operate a rifle range, theyd be subject to all kinds of regulations, Lane says.
But there are none in the middle of a field for a hunter with a rifle with killing power for over a mile, he said.