New public fishing spot opens on South Fork New River McLeansville hunter kills big buck with borrowed bow NCWRC has closed some game lands due to flooding Catch autumn's Neuse River bass with these tips

Turn squirrel tails into fishing lures

Squirrel hunting season starts next week, giving North Carolina hunters a challenging game animal to hunt that is every bit as fun as (if not more fun than) deer hunting to most hunters who give squirrel hunting a chance.

Especially when using a .22 or .17 rife, shooting a squirrel high up in a tree is challenging, and training yourself to take only headshots will improve your rifle skills and preserve the meat which makes a tasty meal. And the action is much faster than deer hunting, because squirrels are plentiful, and much more likely to show themselves in daylight hours than deer normally do.

October 05 at 8:56 am

Catch more Cape Fear spotted bass with these tips

The Cape Fear is one of the longest and most diverse rivers in North Carolina. Beginning at the tailrace below B. Everett Jordan Dam, it flows 202 miles before reaching the ocean near the town of Southport.

Along its rout, it has been known as a great fishery for catfish, striped bass and redfish. More recently, it’s become known for another species — the spotted bass.

Most anglers associate the term spotted bass with other regions — and they aren’t wrong. The Alabama spotted bass is prevalent across the south; however, it is that fish’s cousin, the “northern spotted bass,” that has taken hold in the Cape Fear. Also known as the Kentucky spotted bass or simply a “spot” Micropterus punctulatus is the spotted bass species prevalent in the river, as well as in Lake Norman and other parts of the Catawba River system.

October 04 at 8:45 am

Catfish set to move shallow this month at Mountain Island

Kevin Custer of Statesville knows where he’d go if he had to choose a favorite catfish lake today. “If I was gonna go somewhere to catch (blue) catfish, I’d go to MountainIsland or LakeNorman,” said Custer, the vice-president of NC-CATS, a North Carolina catfish tournament trail.

Mountain Island, a Duke Energy impoundement of 3,281 acres with 61 miles of shoreline, lies northwest of Charlotte, downstream from Lake Norman’s 32,475 acres on the Catawba River, separated by Cowan’s Ford Dam.

October 03 at 6:45 am

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 ½ 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 ½-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 ½ years old.

September 28 at 7:00 am