When Jeff Pierce of Grantham, NC passed up a long-range shot at the biggest buck he had ever seen, he was afraid he had missed his opportunity — but he made the right call. The next day, Oct. 30, he closed the distance and dropped the 133 6/8-inch Wayne County 10-point that had 2 drop tines.
Brian French lives in the center of Rockingham County, and for the past several years, that’s been one of the hottest spots in the Carolinas for trophy bucks. French killed one on Nov. 14 that won’t make it to the North Carolina whitetail record book, but it’s as much a trophy as any of the bucks that are listed there.
Trail cameras are about as important to today’s hunter as his or her weapon of choice or tree stand, and they’re not the same as they were 10 or even five years ago. They are great tools for hunters and land managers to use to capture deer movement. They can be used in a variety of different ways, and while most are used in the preseason to learn about the local deer herd, the rut can be one of the most-important times to survey the population and to see what kind of deer are around.
Hunters invest countless hours in a deer stand under a wide variety of conditions. And after years of sitting motionless in the stand and watching the time tick by, they have practically earned a master’s degree in several outdoor disciplines, including interpreting nature’s signals, which can come in many forms, including wildlife alerts.
Cherokee Run Hunting Lodge is in Chesterfield County, S.C., near the town of Chesterfield, in a triangle bounded by I-95, I-77 and I-85. The lodge encompasses almost 3,500 acres on 15 different properties across the county. Most are in the Great Pee Dee River basin, none on the river but many on creeks that feed it. Some properties are mixture of pine plantations and hardwood forests that border swamps.
Occoneechee Hunting Lodge is near Jackson, N.C., in Northampton County, N.C., just a few miles east of I-95, which makes it very accessible by road. The property also has a grass airstrip near the lodge.
Travis Smith of Bethany, N.C. was pleasantly surprised on the afternoon of Nov. 9 from his ground blind when the biggest deer of his life showed up unexpectedly less than 50 yards from his feet. A 146-inch, 8-pointer appeared with very little warning. But, Smith made it count when he perforated the deer’s chest cavity with the massive projectile from his .50-caliber CVA Optima muzzleloader.