• Volume 17 Number 12 - December 2010


    Using dogs to hunt squirrels is a southern tradition that’s good for the heart and provides a good learning manual for young hunters.

    Champ and Curly bounced excitedly around in their pen behind Randy Dunkley’s cozy log cabin on a wooded hillside in the Hurdle Mills community of Person County.

    Sight unseen, hunters in curtain blinds can give ducks and brant a steel-shot sandwich.

    The distant flock of ducks pulsed in the early morning light, swinging wide towards Hatteras. They made the turn and let the hunters know they had seen the spread of decoys in the shallow water several miles out in Pamlico Sound. The flock’s shape changed from wide to long as the ducks fell into a loose group headed across the edge of the sound and toward the waiting hunters.

    The trees have been battered and the ground torn apart. Now the ritual intensifies as antler clashing echoes and the chasing of does heightens. Finally the dominant breeders tend their mates as the whitetail rut peaks.

    Once bucks are in the height of pursuing does, their instincts for survival are somewhat diminished. Their eyes, ears and noses are focused on estrus does, and although they can still respond to threats, most of the time it takes them a few seconds longer to put two and two together. This stupor of hesitation on a rutting buck’s part offers a grand opportunity to bring him down.

    When the weather cools, the fishing action heats up for striped bass on Jordan Lake.

    Troy Roberson, a fishing guide on Jordan Lake who specializes in striped bass, loves deer season.

    The ‘Fish Doc’ diagnoses ways to consistently catch winter crappie on Kerr Lake.

    Keith Wray of Eden — the “Fish Doc” — rarely needs any treatment for cabin fever throughout the winter. The veteran crappie stalker is accustomed to fishing in cold weather at John H. Kerr Reservoir, also known as Buggs Island.

    Winter migrations of striped bass can make for some of the best coastal fishing of the season, both inshore and offshore.

    For the past five years, North Carolina fishermen have wondered if this could be the season when everything falls into place, when the striper fishing that marked the winter of 2004-2005 makes a repeat visit.

    Deer hunters in eastern North Carolina should take advantage of a “trickle” of buck activity in December.

    Beginning the last week of October and lasting through mid-November, the breeding season for whitetail deer in eastern North Carolina descends upon the land.