By the first of December, with a month left in North Carolinas deer season, careless behavior by the deer population is long gone, except in the extreme western mountains where the rut is in full swing.
Fishermen who are so affected by their habit that they cant stand to put their rods away know that December and January are just about the worst months of the year. Theres little relief in sight until the crocuses start to peep through Februarys snows.
The predawn cold rattled my bones as I pulled my neoprene waders up over many layers of insulation. Sunrise was still a couple of hours away, and the anticipation of big ducks swooping into our decoys helped me stave off the cold as I pulled the waders up as far as they would reach. The dirt ramp was longer than normal; we had to drag the boat out a hundred yards to deeper water before climbing in and heading upstream.
Ben Chewning has run bird dogs over most of the 5,000 acres on the Buchanan Shoals Sportsmans Preserve in Anson County, so hes got a good idea of what kind of wild quail live on the property even though he mostly runs guided hunts for released birds.
By the first of December and the last month of the Palmetto States deer season, crisping leaves and frost-covered fields become common visions just after daybreak. But sightings of trophy bucks trampling across wide-open places chasing mates should not be expected with any confidence. Even though some rutting activity will continue, careless behavior is over, but the remaining days of the season can prove successful for the hunter willing to alter his strategy.
Gary Dubiel hunkered down behind his boats windshield to avoid a biting facial assault on the Trent River one cold winters day last year. At daylight, the mercury hovered around 25 degrees at Lawson Creek Park in New Bern.
Whoever said, Todays young people just dont get it, hasnt spent any time with some of North Carolinas best young bass anglers. Some of them are already making inroads in tournaments and scholastic fishing, and they get it.
Being a sportsman in South Carolina is not an either/or situation. You can be a hunter or fisherman or both. So its no surprise that Lowcountry sportsmen have discovered a way to combine their two loves on the Broad River, casting and blasting the day away.
Guy Kessler's Barnwell County 12-pointer may measure better the 170 inches and rank among south Carolina's top 20 bucks all-time.