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Deer farm oversight moves to Dept. of Agriculture after reversal of legislature

The state legislature made a 180-degree turnaround early this week and handed over management of deer farms in North Carolina to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, taking authority from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the N.C. House had dropped a section of the Agriculture Bill of 2015-16 that turned over management of penned-in whitetail deer from the Commission to the Ag agency and passed the bill by an 86-13 margin. Another vote on Monday, Sept. 28, was 90-11 for the bill that kept the Commission in control. That same day, however, a seven-person conference committee of Republican members of the Senate and House rewrote the bill and put back in the section that had been dropped. The bill was quickly approved 70-44 on Tuesday, Sept. 29, in the House and 42-4 in the Senate and needed only Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature to become law.

October 02 at 6:45 am

Top 4 tips to stay scent-free while deer hunting

It’s a common practice for deer hunters to make themselves as scent-free as possible before heading to their stand, and over the past couple of decades, a whole category of gear has sprouted up to help with that task.

The top four tips for staying scent-free in the woods include using some of those products, along with some common sense.

October 01 at 4:00 pm

U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament postponed due to weather

The 2015 U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament Board of Directors announced after much consideration and consultation about weather concerns due to Hurricane Joaquin, have postponed the tournament to October 30th & 31st.  The new tournament schedule will be as follows: registration on Thursday, October 29th from 10am-12midnight at the Southport Marina and fishing on Friday, October 30th from 7am-5pm and Saturday, October 31st from 7am-4pm.  

October 01 at 3:48 pm

Pittsboro hunter kills big trophy, despite an unfavorable wind

Jonathan Phillips of Pittsboro killed a trophy buck that he didn’t know was on his property until just before the season started. After doing a little scouting one day in a field on his 30-acre farm, he saw two really big deer than got his blood flowing, but it was the last he saw of those deer.

“One was a gigantic 6-point that had an odd rack. I couldn’t see the rack on the other deer real well, but the deer was huge,” said Phillips, who put out a corn pile and set up a trail-cam that day, but those two deer never showed up on it. 

October 01 at 12:00 pm

Shotguns just as useful in tree stands as on the ground

Anyone who has ever been on a dog-drive or a man-drive for deer knows the advantages of using a shotgun for this type of hunting, but shotgunning for deer isn’t just for those on the ground. Some hunters prefer shotguns even when perched in a tree stand.

Ernest McLeod of Sumter is one of those hunters. He has killed his share of deer with rifles, but about ten years ago, he decided that for him, a shotgun was the way to go.

October 01 at 6:45 am

Thomasville hunter kills 160-inch, 11-point, full velvet deer

On Sept. 13, the second day of archery season, Calvin McCaskill of Thomasville killed his first-ever buck with a bow, and boy, what a start. The Moore County buck was a massive 11-point main-frame buck with two sticker points that scored better than 160 inches – still in full velvet.

McCaskill credits his success to the quality deer management practices he and his neighbors use on the farm they hunt. The huge velvet buck wasn’t the first trophy to come from the property; in 2014, McCaskill killed a 152-inch, 10 pointer with his muzzleloader. 

September 30 at 12:00 pm

Moriah hunter bags trophy 12-point buck

When a man turns his passion for deer hunting into a family affair, he reserves the right to drop a nice one every once in a while himself. After his wife, Jennifer, killed a 158 6/8-inch buck on opening day, and his son, Brayden, took another big buck a few days later, Kevin Morris of Moriah bagged a 12-pointer for himself on Sept. 24 that scored 146 ˝ inches.

“I’d rather see them shoot,” said Morris, “but I picked this one out this year and said he’s gonna be mine.

September 30 at 6:45 am

Rules to be aware of while carrying afield

North Carolina continues to see a climb in the number of concealed carry holders. Hunters and fishermen are among them, but even with a concealed carry class under their belt, they might not know all the rules for carrying a concealed handgun afield.

Mike Goodwin of First Strike Defense (336-468-0475) teaches concealed carry classes across the state, with many of his students being sportsmen and women. He tells his students there are several considerations they need to be aware of when carrying outdoors.

September 29 at 3:16 pm

Use smartphone apps to improve your hunting

Trail-cameras are great tools for hunters, and it’s almost unheard of today for anyone to hunt deer without the use of trail-cameras. They’ve been around for well over a decade, but advances have made them much better, both in terms of picture quality and extra features. With the huge growth in smart phones in the past several years, trail-cameras can be even more effective. 

Jonathan Phillips of Pittsboro, NC said one of his favorite tools he uses in conjunction with his trail-cameras is an app for his phone called ScoutLook Weather. “It’s a free app for smartphones, and I really think every hunter should use it. Without it, your trail-cams are certainly helpful, and have helped many a hunter beyond what many ever expected, but with this app, your trail-cams become even more powerful. Much more powerful,” said Phillips.

September 29 at 2:18 pm

Lumberton 12-year-old kills 168-inch buck on North Carolina's first youth deer hunting day

For 12-year-old Dalton Currie of Lumberton, North Carolina’s first-ever Youth Deer Hunting Day this past Saturday couldn’t have come at a better time. That evening, a few minutes after 7 o’clock, Currie downed a massive, 11-point Montgomery County buck that appears to be the biggest ever taken in North Carolina by a hunter under age 16.

Hunting with his father, Kevin Currie, at his side, Dalton Currie killed the buck with one shot from his .243. With a 21-inch inside spread and 27-inch main beams, the buck received a green score of 171 3/8 inches; with a few minor deductions, its net  green score is 168.

September 29 at 7:00 am

Ellerbe teen bowhunter bags big buck

Garret Richardson, a 14-year old Richmond County bowhunter, almost didn’t go hunting on Sept. 20, but he’s glad his dad encouraged him to give it a try. The teenager killed a big buck he’s been after for over three years.

“It was hot out and I didn’t really feel good about hunting that evening. I told my dad I might just go check the camera card, but he reminded me that it would be the last day I could hunt for a while because baseball practice was starting the next day,” said Richardson.

September 28 at 11:00 am

Kansas youth kills 230-inch monster buck

Sixteen-year-old Clayton Brummer did what few adult hunters would have the self-contol to do: He passed on taking a shot at a huge non-typical that stuck its head out of a milo field milo early in the Kansas hunting season.

“Dad told me not to shoot, that we needed to wait for another day because we couldn’t see much of the buck,” Brummer said. “I’m not sure that’s what I wanted to do, but it was the right thing to do. My dad was right.”

September 28 at 10:20 am

Goldston bowhunter sticks 140-inch buck

Chad Gaines of Goldston had a familiar buck under surveillance for four years, even giving it a unique nickname, but their relationship ended this past Monday when Gaines slipped a razor-sharp Rage broadhead through the ribcage of the buck, which had an 18 ˝-inch inside spread and measured 140 inches.

Gaines, who called his trophy “Brows” because its brow tines were as long as its other tines and a good 4 to 5 inches from the base of its antlers, estimated the buck at 6 ˝ years old.

September 28 at 7:00 am

Fall bass fishing tips from a North Carolina pro angler

How many times have you got a bite as soon as you pulled a lure off the bank or as soon as it touched down? Knowing when to go super shallow can maximize your time and enable you to catch more fish.

Water clarity is key to making fish feel safe at depths less than one foot. Muddy or murky water should be the first thing that will tip an angler off to casting ultra shallow. Some bass will spawn in inches of water, even in clear water. This pattern can be used year round with success.

September 27 at 10:01 am

Catch largemouth, smallmouth, and spotted bass at W. Kerr Scott Reservoir

Good things often happen in threes at many sporting events.

Ice hockey has hat tricks celebrating the player who scores three goals in one game; basketball has its 3-pointer for long-range shots, and baseball designates the Triple Crown for the ballplayer who ranks first in his league in batting average, runs batted in, and home runs — all in the same season.

Good things also happen in threes in the sport of black bass fishing at W. Kerr Scott Reservoir.

September 26 at 7:01 am

Deer farm oversight stays with NCWRC thanks to last minute farm bill change

A huge outpouring of opposition from North Carolina hunters and other sportsmen led to a section of the N.C. Farm Bill of 2015-16 that would have shifted oversight of deer farms from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services being stripped from the bill on Thursday.

After a preliminary vote count, the Republican Caucus realized the House overwhelmingly opposed taking away oversite of deer farms from the Commission, then rewrote that portion of the bill. The House then voted 86-13 to approve the rewrite.


September 25 at 5:04 pm