Hunting News and Information

Stokesdale teen drops monster drop-tine buck in Rockingham County

Joe Willard, a 16-year-old Stokesdale man finally got his chance to arrow his biggest bow buck ever right after changing up his stand to a new wind direction and managing soggy conditions. And his trophy wasn’t just any buck. It was a 155-inch monster he and his father had been watching for over four years on film.  

“My father saw him running with another buck four years ago and he was a big buck then too,” said Willard. “We think the buck is somewhere in the ballpark of 8 ½ years old.” 

October 16 at 6:44 am

Be prepared to trail

Every time a hunter leaves home to go after some venison, freezer, he or she should always expect that the hunt is going to be successful, and they had better be prepared to track their quarry under any conditions.

October 15 at 7:00 am

October deer tactics

Deer hunters across North Carolina carry a variety of weapons into the woods in October. Archery season is the ticket in the northwestern corner of the state and throughout the Piedmont. Muzzleloader season arrives in the eastern part of the state on Oct. 3 for 12 days, followed by gun season. And in the western part of the state, muzzleloader season runs Sept. 28-Oct. 10, followed by the second half of archery season.

October 15 at 7:00 am

Specialized planting equipment equals more-productive stands

Deer hunters looking for a way to increase the availability of food on their land without spending enormous amounts of time and money on corn and sweet potatoes can start a food- plot program, and it doesn’t have to be real expensive, either. But spending money in the right places will improve productivity of plots. 

October 15 at 7:00 am

Wear a harness!

Even with the market flooded with easy-to-wear safety harnesses and many models from which to choose, only 40 percent of hunters wear one when hunting from an elevated stand.

October 15 at 7:00 am

You’re in the clear

Clearing access to your tree stand is an often-overlooked details that can make a difference when it’s time to hunt.

October 15 at 7:00 am

Spring Lake hunter wins September Bag-A-Buck contest

James Griffin of Spring Lake spent most of the 2014 deer season thinking, “What if?” because he had missed a beautiful 8-point buck the opening morning of bow season, rushing his shot and shooting under the buck’s belly.

But in mid-July, he noticed that the same buck was back in his trail-camera photos, now a 9-pointer with a much bigger body. When he had his chance on Sept. 19, the seccond Saturday of archery season, he didn’t miss, dropping the 191-pound buck.

October 09 at 6:45 am

Cool-season planting time is now

While a rich fall planting may establish overwintering benefits for wildlife, the real reason most hunters plant cool-season food plots is to provide a hot food source in hopes of a shot at Bullwinkle during deer season. A lasting source of food to feed the wildlife over the winter is just a bonus. By October, the majority of the deer seasons are well under way, but it is still not too late to plant a cool-season food plot and have success without shelling out your life savings. 

October 08 at 9:00 am

McLeansville hunter takes down 164 1/2 buck

When McLeansville’s Jeremy Pickard looked at the trail-camera he had recently mounted, he saw a deer that made his heart pound. It was bigger than any deer he’d ever seen, and he knew  he was going to hunt only that one deer until he killed it. He had enough chances at other decent-sized deer that he was tempted a few times to forego his plan, but he ultimately stuck to it, and it paid off.

Pickard killed his dream buck a few evenings after his trail-camera first spied the deer. Between that first sighting on his trail-camera and the time Pickard arrowed it with his Whisper Creek bow, the deer had broken both his brow tines. The 8-point mainframe had three stickers, and measured a whopping 164 1/2 when green scored. The hunt was not without drama.

October 08 at 6:45 am

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 8:47 am

Deer farm authority passes to N.C. Dept of Agriculture after legislature reverses decision

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

Pittsboro hunter goes against instincts on wind, kills big buck

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 10:00 am


There will be plenty of chances for hunters to put their eyes on deer this month, if they pick the right stand locations, have their weapons shooting straight, and know what to do before and after the shot.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Get on track and find bucks after the shot

It takes hours, days, sometimes years to figure out the daily travel patterns of a trophy buck. These grown-ups are scholars in the wilderness, living long enough to sense trouble from most of the average hunter’s tricks. Those that make it to 4 ½ years or older have outlived more than 80 percent of their brethren. 

October 01 at 7:00 am

How the Green Mountain monster meet its doom

Western North Carolina’s mountains can’t carry a large number of whitetail deer because the habitat just doesn’t match the rest of the state, so trophy bucks from the high country aren’t too common.

October 01 at 7:00 am

Don’t bark up the wrong tree; put your deer stand in the right one

As hunters prepare for the peak of deer season or the changes in deer behavior, many are looking at hanging or moving tree stands into just the right locations. Part of the puzzle we try and solve with mature bucks is getting into their core or travel areas and putting ourselves in just the right tree, especially when hunting with archery equipment, a muzzleloader or a shotgun. 

October 01 at 7:00 am