One of the biggest problems with public duck hunting in the Carolinas is an overabundance of people who want to hunt and a limited amount of public water. Tales of getting to the best spots at 2 a.m. and sleeping in the boat until legal shooting light make the prospect of public duck hunting even less palatable.
According to Lee Thomas of Leesville, S.C., he’s more of a fisherman than a hunter, but it’s easy to think otherwise when looking at the massive 11-point buck he killed in Orangeburg County on the evening of Nov. 25.
When Travis Barnes of Clayton, N.C. realized he wasn’t getting any trail camera photos of good bucks on his corn piles, he did a little scouting and found a nice rub in an area that was completely natural. He set up a camera there, and got two photos that night of a trophy deer.
After waiting out a late day rainstorm, Bryan Barnhill of Ketchuptown, S.C. killed a massive 15-point buck that is his biggest ever in the back of an Horry County soybean field. And not only is the buck his personal best, the 164 1/8-inch brute is expected to topple the current Horry County non-typical record by more than 10 inches. Michael Johnson currently holds the county non-typical record with a 153 3/8-inch buck he killed in 2009.
Zack Laws and the guys in his hunt club in the mountains of Avery County, N.C., took on a management plan a couple of years ago that included letting young bucks walk, hoping to have more trophies on their ridges and in their hollers.
Deer and other wildlife demand rich nutrient sources throughout the year to fuel their daily requirements. For most of the Carolinas, Mother Nature provides adequate groceries in areas where wildlife populations are balanced.