Saturday, December 10, 2011

December 10, 2011 Miss!

150 grains of lead traveled a little over 2900 fps (feet per second) when it left the barrel of my 30-06.  Sixty yards from the ground blind in which my buddy, Keith, and I kept vigil, a plump Wilkes County doe stood munching browse.  Piece of cake! Um, wrong.  She did a 180 and bounded into the woods, unscathed.  My pride however was mortally wounded.  
Any miss, especially one with a modern centerfire rifle, is hard to take. So rather than focusing on my whiff and the remaining void on the shelves of the family freezer, I'm going to think about what an enjoyable time in the woods it was.  Any time you can be in the beautiful Carolina mountains, hunting adjacent to a running stream, hanging out with a dear friend and all along your phone says No Service is a good day.  Let the ribbing and goodnatured hazing begin.  I missed but I had a great time doing so.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

November 23, 2011

RALEIGH, N.C. (Nov. 22, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has approved proposed changes to the state’s hunting, fishing and trapping regulations for 2012-13.
Following a process of reviewing public comments received online, by letter and at public hearings across the state, the Commission voted on the proposed regulation changes at its Nov. 10 meeting.  
Changes include lengthening the bear hunting season in Greene, Halifax, Lenoir, Martin, Northampton and Pitt counties and opening a bear hunting season in Edgecombe, Harnett, Johnston, Nash, Stokes, Vance, Warren, Wayne and Wilson counties. Bear seasons in Yadkin, Iredell, Alexander and Catawba counties have changed, and portions of Cleveland, Burke and Surry counties that are currently closed to bear hunting will be opened.  
The Commission also has increased the general statewide minimum size limit for smallmouth and spotted bass, and increased the minimum size limit for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in Public Mountain Trout Waters and waters in and west of Madison, Buncombe, Henderson and Polk counties. These changes establish a general statewide minimum size limit of 14 inches for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. The remaining proposals presented at the public hearings in September were adopted by the Commission with a few minor changes, which included:
  • Modifying the downstream boundary on Cane Creek in Mitchell County at the request of the landowner, therefore  retaining an additional 0.3 mile as Public Mountain Trout Waters
  • Withdrawing a proposal to increase the minimum size limit for striped bass and their hybrids in B. Everett Jordan Reservoir and maintaining the current 20-inch minimum size limit and 4-fish daily creel limit.
  • Withdrawing a proposal for grass carp in Lake Tillery. Protection is not currently warranted given the level of invasive aquatic vegetation control and potential negative impacts to native vegetation
  • Postponing action on proposed primary nursery areas for further evaluation of the process for designating primary nursery areas in inland waters
  • Postponing a vote on captive cervid proposals until the Commission can determine the financial impact of those proposals.
For a complete list of the 2012-13 proposals as presented at the public hearings, download the “Public Hearings Booklet.” For more information on the Commission’s rulemaking process, see “From Proposal to Regulation.”

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November 14, 2011 Byrd Hunt

Last week our friend, Rodney Byrd, graciously invited me and my buddy, Keith, over for a Carolina muzzleloader hunt.  Zane had the least amount of homework so he tagged along as well.  Below are some photos from the hunt.
The leaves are still changing but they won't hold out much longer.

A couple of twins.

Our host leading us to the stand.

A great view for the evening.

A couple happy hunters.

A successful hunt.  Rodney dresses a beautiful buck in the headlamps.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

November 10, 2011 NCWRC Update

Hunters May Notice Hemorrhagic Disease in Deer This Season
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Asks Hunters to Report Sightings
RALEIGH, N.C. (11-07-2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is alerting hunters that they may encounter sick or diseased deer afflicted with hemorrhagic disease. Two closely related viruses — epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) virus and bluetongue virus — cause hemorrhagic disease and both are spread by biting flies, called midges.   
The Commission is asking hunters to report any sightings of the disease, which has no human health implications but is one of the most significant infectious diseases of white-tailed deer in North Carolina. Hemorrhagic disease should not be confused with Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD), which is a distinctly different disease that occurs in members of the deer family.  Extensive monitoring since 1999 has yielded no evidence of CWD in North Carolina and strict regulations are in place to prevent the introduction of this disease.
Symptoms of hemorrhagic disease in deer vary widely. Some diseased animals will exhibit no symptoms. Some may appear bloated, very thin and weak, while others suffering from the disease for longer duration may drastically lose weight. They also may have foot, mouth and internal lesions. High fever associated with the disease can make deer thirsty, so dead and dying deer are often found near water.  Hunters may observe cracked or sloughing hooves on harvested deer, which is another classic symptom of the disease.
Outbreaks of this deer disease are seen almost every year somewhere within the state and across the Southeast. The last major outbreak in North Carolina was in 2007, and other notable outbreaks occurred in 1939, 1955, 1961, 1971, 1976, 1988, 1994, 1999, 2000 and 2002. In years with severe hemorrhagic disease outbreaks, deer mortality in some localized areas can be as high as 30 percent.  However, in most instances mortality is much lower.
This year, extremely dry conditions during the summer followed by heavy rainfall from Hurricane Irene created ideal conditions for the proliferation of midges, possibly causing the spread of the disease.
To report sightings of symptomatic deer, or dead and dying deer, contact the Division of Wildlife Management at (919) 707-0050 or
When people report sightings, it allows Commission biologists to determine what areas of the state are experiencing outbreaks and the extent of those outbreaks. It also gives biologists opportunities to obtain tissue and blood samples for virus isolation by veterinarians at the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) in Athens, Ga. Reported occurrences are summarized annually and sent to SCWDS where the occurrence and outbreak extent is monitored collectively for all states.
Commission biologists have observed outbreaks of the disease this year in deer across North Carolina — the most prevalent in the northeastern part of the state in and around Halifax, Edgecombe, Northampton, Bertie and Gates counties.  Evidence of the disease also was documented in the western part of the state in Cherokee and Yancey counties. 
Because the disease cannot spread to humans, hunters should not worry about dressing deer or eating venison. Deer that recover from an episode of hemorrhagic disease develop immunity to future outbreaks.
Learn more about hemorrhagic disease at

Friday, November 4, 2011

Western NC Fly Fishing Expo

This weekend is the Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Expo.  Visit the event website for details. 

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October 29, 2011 Finally

After two years of waiting, working and wishing I finally connected with a deer last night.  This beautiful six point buck was the first deer to walk within range of my Mission Venture since we've been back in the States.  I'm so proud of this deer and so were all the kids. 
There are so many to thank.  First, I praise God for the ability to get in the woods and for the gift of this deer.  To Marie for letting me hunt on her place, Mark for putting together my Mission, Rusty for his part in that whole deal, and my wife for making me get out the house and go hunting.  What a great memory. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

October 21, 2011 Small Spots, Little Treasures

I dream of owning a large piece of property to hunt and fish on one day.  Until that happens I'm content to hunt on small, urban parcels that other folks graciously give me permission to use.  Most of these spots other sportsmen would turn their noses up at but beggars can't be choosers, at least that's what I've always been told.
Last night I bow hunted one such place.  I'd love to say I connected with a deer but the simple truth is I didn't even see one.  That doesn't mean that I had a bad time, in fact quite the opposite is true.  For the better part of three hours I watched squirrels prepare their winter stores, a couple pileated woodpeckers work over a rotting beech tree and, near sunset, saw and heard two flocks of Canada geese fly over, headed for their evening resting spots.  Witnessing these things made this a successful hunt. and transformed this small location into a favorite spot.  Maybe the next time a deer will be involved. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

October 7, 2011 Calibers Indoor Range

There are just some days when you need to burn some gun powder.  Last week I had one of those days and my friend, Keith, had just the solution;  a trip to Calibers Gun Range.  Although I'd heard about Calibers quite a bit I'd never gone. That was a mistake. What a great place!  
Since this was my first visit I had to watch a brief safety video. After the video we paid for a couple lanes, $15 for unlimited range time, and bought a couple targets.  Calibers has guns for rent and ammo for sale but we were covered in those areas.  Ear plugs were plugged and eye protection was donned and the shooting commenced.  With each trigger pull the stress of the day lessened and after a box of bullets all was right with the world!  Having a tough day?  Head on over to Calibers. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October 5, 2011 NC Wildlife's New Site

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission's new website is now up and running.  At first glance it's a great improvement.  Check it out for yourself by clicking here

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

September 28, 2011 Outdoor Stores

Visited a couple outdoor stores in Greensboro this week.  
The first was Get: Outdoors.  Primarily a canoe and kayak retailer, it was a pretty cool place with some drool-causing boats, fishing tackle, clothing, footwear and a good supply of books and videos.  The staff was friendly and seemed knowledgeable.  This weekend they've having a demo boat sale and have a ton of inventory to get rid of.  If you're looking for a good deal on a kayak or canoe head over and check them out.
The second stop was at outdoor super store Gander Mountain.  I've been there several times but not since their recent remodel.  The store looked great. 
The staff was very helpful and polite and they had a little bit of everything.  A couple negatives:  Since the renovation, the guns are now behind a counter so you have to ask for assistance before putting your hands all over a new Benelli or Winchester.   Second, I was interested in a climbing stand they were advertising in a flyer however they had none in stock and don't issue rain checks.   I wouldn't let these two things keep me from shopping at Gander Mountain though.  It's still better than Bed, Bath and Beyond

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011 Burning Powder

I spent some time at the range with my good friend, Mark, yesterday.  It's hard to beat the smell of gunpowder! 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

September 20, 2011 Palmetto State Deer Chase

The sign said "Smiling Faces, Beautiful Places" as I crossed into the Palmetto State there was already a smile on my face.  Having taken the scenic route thus far on the trip to SC it wouldn't take much to persuade me regarding the beautiful places part.  I'd seen more southern fried scenery in the last hour than I had in years and it was wonderful.  There were fields full of corn and soybeans and sorghum and peanuts and cotton.  Lots and lots of cotton.  Seeing so much agriculture in action was therapeutic.  
My buddy, Rusty, had sent a message saying, "Let's meet in South Carolina in a couple days.  Rifle season is open and the weather should be right."  My better half encouraged me to go but it didn't take much convincing.  I borrowed my uncle's Ford Ranger, stuffed a bunch of gear, snacks and camo clothes into a Rubbermaid container, grabbed the A-bolt and some ammo and took off.
We arrived near Bishopville around lunch time and headed over to his farm to check things out.  All the stands were in good shape.  Some of the shooting lanes needed work but the telescoping pruner, one of the best hunting tools ever, made short work of it.  The corn field we were going to be hunting had been cut a couple days prior and there was grain strewn all over the place.  To top it off, adjacent to the stand I was going to be hunting a persimmon tree was full of fruit.  It was going to be a good hunt
We headed back to the hotel, cleaned up and donned some camouflage.  It'd been 3 years since I had my Natural Gear on and it felt good....real good.
Rusty put the truck in park and we starting packing accouterments into pockets and backpacks.  Binoculars...check, facemask and gloves...check, thermacell...check, camera...check.  I needed bigger pockets.
After a quick prayer we headed toward our stands.  I scurried up the rungs of my ladder and quickly settled in for the afternoon. Surely I was going to see some critters during my sit!  My intuition proved correct and it didn't take long to do so.  A doe and two fawns appeared out of nowhere and began feeding on corn.  Fifteen minutes later another doe and fawn came in.  And so it continued.  Deer after deer after deer.  At one point there were seventeen of them, all does and fawns, feeding in the field at once.  Add three hen turkeys and a nice mature, gobbler to the mix and it easily became one of the best evenings I've ever experienced in the woods.  I was so busy watching animals and taking pictures that I didn't even consider shooting.  I might as well had left the A-bolt at the house.

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011 Waiting Room

I had a dentist appointment today but for once didn't mind waiting in the lobby.  Read this issue of North Carolina Game & Fish from cover to cover. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 15, 2011 Shooting with Mama

Me and mama with our certificates
Last weekend I got to do something that I've been wanting to do for a long time, attend a carry-conceal class.  As an added bonus I got to go with one of the finest people on earth, my Mama.
During a recent visit to the Gun Vault I noticed a flyer from Lewis Creek Shooting School describing an upcoming class.  So I called the instructor, Dick Jones, and boy am I glad I did.
The class was great.  Dick and his wife, Cherie, did a wonderful job of making the sometimes drab material fun and exciting.  The technical, or shooting, portion of the class was on their property, using their firearms and ammunition (we could have brought our own if desired).  Lunch, pheasant creole with rice, salad, bread and peach cobbler were all homemade, and nearly worth the cost of the class alone. 
Mom and I both passed the written test and shooting competency portions of the class.  I was so proud of her considering she'd never fired a gun before.  As you can tell from the photo above we had a blast....literally!
To find out more information about Lewis Creek Shooting School or to register for future classes visit the Jones' website, Off the Porch Media

Monday, September 12, 2011

September 12, 2011 New Bow, Zero Balance

Mark finishing up The Mission
While we were still living overseas my wife, knowing I was going through outdoors withdrawals, gave me a new bow, or at least some money to put one on layway. So after a bit of internet research I contacted Mark Brady at Adrenaline Outdoors in Sanford, NC.  I'm not sure how many bows Mark has sold to guys in the Middle East but he acted like it was no big deal, going way out of his way to accommodate my request.  I couldn't wait to get down to Sanford to pick it up.  
Well last week the stars aligned and we headed down to pick it up.  When we walked in the shop Mark was putting the finishing touches on it. Here's what I ended up with:
Mission Venture
Fuse Axium stab
Extreme Challenger site
Mission 5-arrow quiver
Beeman Hunter 400 arrows
G5 Montecs
Nockturnals (bought 3 to try 'em out) 
Adrenaline Outdoors
He finished everything, double checked it and said "You're all set."  So we walked up to the counter to pay the final installment.  My better half asked if I wanted her to write a check but I said maybe we should put it on my credit card so we could get the points.  Mark said, "You can just stop right there.  You can't pay anything else on this bow."  "What?" I said, completely confused.  "Rusty has taken care of it so you have a zero balance," he said.  Stunned, the only words I could think of was, "That jerk!"  One of my best friends, who just happened to be the one that talked me into buying my first bow, the one I was replacing, nearly 15 years ago had called down to the shop and paid the remaining balance on my bow.  I love doing stuff like that for folks but am not use to it happening to me.  He got me good.  On the way home I called Rusty and told him I was putting a new truck on layaway!  We both laughed like little boys.
This bow buying experience is something I will remember the rest of my life and treasure as long as I draw breath.  Not only because of the going-beyond-the-call-of-duty service I received from a complete stranger and the completely selfless blessing from a dear friend but because of the wonderful feeling it brought to walk up to the counter and be told my balance was zero.  
It brings to mind another event, nearly 2000 years ago, when Someone out of selfless love for me (and you) paid a debt I was unable to pay.  All I had to do was accept the gift and my balance was brought to zero.  Nothing beats that.  Not even a brand new, killer bow. 
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 ESV

Friday, September 9, 2011

September 9, 2011 Pellet Guns & Spinning Targets

Got a chance to do some target practice with my two eldest boys this week.  It's hard to beat pellet guns and spinning targets!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

September 1, 2011 National Hunting & Fishing Day

From the NCWRC website
On Sept. 24, 2011, attend one of seven free*, family-oriented events hosted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and learn about fishing, hunting and wildlife conservation in North Carolina.
Through interactive activities and demonstrations, participants can connect with nature and test their outdoor skills. Some of the activities, which vary for each event, include:
      • Fishing;
      • Shooting a bow and arrow and BB gun;
      • Seeing live animals, such as reptiles, amphibians and raptors;
      • Outdoors cooking;
      • Tracking and game recovery;
      • Learning more about North Carolina’s hunting heritage.
The events are held in conjunction with National Hunting and Fishing Day, an annual celebration that promotes outdoors sports and recognizes hunters and anglers for their leadership in fish and wildlife conservation.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011 Greensboro Gun Show

Mr. Keith took me and the 2 oldest boys to the Greensboro Gun Show yesterday.  Oh boy!  Talk about a bunch of stuff.  From the latest in firearms to military surplus to cowboy action shooting gear to beef jerky and even a guy from some show called Lizard Lick Towing, they had it all.  After a couple hours of walking the isles our eyes were glazed over from all the blued-steel goodness.  We walked out with a couple boxes of ammo and an even longer wish list. 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

August 27, 2011 Training

"Train up a child in the way he should go, 
Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Me and the boys have been practicing with their bow the last couple weeks.  When we left the States neither could pull back their Browning Micro Midas.  Now, following a couple years of anticipation, they're ready.  It has been a lot of fun, showing them how to shoot.  And they're getting pretty good at it.  
Grip and stance, breathing and mental process are all things I've gone over with them but the thing I keep stressing over and over again is safety.  It's important for them to know from the get go that safety is important.  I am hopeful this will imprint on their rapidly growing brains and they will carry it with the rest of their lives.  
It's the same way with their faith.  Every night, well, maybe not "every" night but certainly most nights, we have Family Time where we read the Word, sing a praise song or two and pray together.  As parents, we''re constantly trying to approach issues or situations through a Biblical perspective and model a Godly walk by the way we live.  It's a daily thing but its so important and we're hopeful that these things will stick, impacting the kids' all the days of their lives.  
The other day I read a great Proverb about this very thing.  Chapter 22 verse 6 states, "Train up a child in the way he should go.  Even when he is old he will not depart from it."  Clark's Commentary on the Bible explains it like this:
When he comes to the opening of the way of life, being able to walk alone, and to choose; stop at this entrance, and begin a series of instructions, how he is to conduct himself in every step he takes. Show him the duties, the dangers, and the blessings of the path; give him directions how to perform the duties, how to escape the dangers, and how to secure the blessings, which all lie before him. Fix these on his mind by daily inculcation, till their impression is become indelible; then lead him to practice by slow and almost imperceptible degrees, till each indelible impression becomes a strongly radicated habit. Beg incessantly the blessing of God on all this teaching and discipline; and then you have obeyed the injunction of the wisest of men. Nor is there any likelihood that such impressions shall ever be effaced, or that such habits shall ever be destroyed. 
We're clinging to this promise.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 24, 2011 God's Country Outdoors, Albemarle

As you can probably tell I'm a sucker for an outdoors store.  Today I was having lunch with a buddy down near Albemarle, NC.  We passed by a huge outdoors store, God's Country Outdoors and had to stop.  We were not disappointed.  They had tons of gear, their prices were pretty good and their staff was helpful.  I walked about with a Columbia angling shirt, they were 50% off, and a turkey call, 50% off also, and Greg picked up a couple bass lures, one of which was a sweet looking Lucky Craft.  If you're ever in the area I suggest a stop at God's Country Outdoors.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 21, 2011 Worm Dippers

Is there really anything better than taking your kids fishing?  Last night Mark & Bailey took me and the four hooligans down to their neighbors' pond for some angling action.  To say my kids were excited would be the understatement of the year.  Even the 3-year old, who has lived the majority of his life in a desert and never held a fishing rod, was tore up.
3 Zebcos, a bunch of hooks, some bobbers and a box of nightcrawlers were our gear.  I had enough sense not to bring any of my equipment.  This wasn't my first dance, I knew that being on a small dock with 4 kids, 10 years-old and under, was less about self and more about self preservation.  Actually they did a great job.  There were tense moments at times; fish flopping on the deck, lines and hooks flying all around, a little girl, jumping up and down screeching "I did it!  I caught one, I caught one!" at the top of her lungs.  But boy was it worth it.  So grateful for the chance to fish with my family and for people, like Mark & Bailey that were kind enough to invite us.  It's good to be home!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 10, 2011 Getting my gear fix on.

Nothing screams "Welcome to America" like outdoor stores.  This week, in celebration of our return to the States, we visited a couple of them, polar opposites on the grandiose scale. 
The first one was Bass Pro Shops in Concord.  It was our first pilgrimage to the holy land of outdoordom.  Unfortunately it was the first weekend of the Fall Hunting Classic, their annual hunting sale.  I'm not sure if it was the huge crowd or the dizzying amount of inventory but I was completely overwhelmed.  Call it redneck culture shock.  There was stuff and people everywhere.  The highlight of our time there was seeing all the new products, the bass, bream and catfish stocked aquarium and bass boats & ATVs for the kids to climb on.  After 30 minutes of this we'd had enough.
Yesterday's visit to the Gun Vault in High Point was a lesson is contrasts.  Less of a carnival, more of a home town feel.  They had a ton of gear considering the size of the store.  Hunting supplies, archery equipment and of course, a lot of firearms, both new and used. The staff was very polite and helpful and even allowed my boys to fondle some firearms, something their father appreciated, their mother....not so much.  I picked out a couple new things to add to my wishlist and will be taking a rifle up to be bore sighted and scope installed by their onsite gunsmith, Mark, next week.
We are so spoiled to have places like this to go to.  I can't wait to check out Gander Mountain in Greensboro and a couple new, local tackle shops. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

August 3, 2011 '11-'12 Waterfowl Regs

Ducks, coots, and mergansers: Saturday nearest September 24th (September 24th) – Last Sunday in January (January 29th), 60
days, no more than 3 splits. 

Special Sea Duck: In special sea duck area only, September 15th - January 31st, 107 days. 
Brant: Saturday nearest September 24th (Saturday 24th) - January 31st, 50 days, no more than 2 splits.
Dark Geese (Canada geese & White-fronted geese): 

Resident Population Zone: October 1st – March 10th, 80 days (no more than 3 splits); 
Southern James Bay Zone: October 1st - December 31st, 70 days (no more than 2 splits); 
NE Hunt Zone: Saturday prior to December 25th (December 24th) – January 31st, 7 days (Note: Refer to NE Hunt Zone Canada goose below).
Light Geese (snow & blue geese & Ross’ geese): October 1st - March 10th, 107 days, 3 splits. Note: Refer to expanded hunting methods for light geese below.
Tundra Swan: October 1st - January 31st, 90 days, no splits, permit only (5,000 permits).
Compensatory days are allowed for Sundays.

a) Conventional bag: 6 ducks with no more than 4 mallards with no more than 2 hen mallards, 4 scoters, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 2 scaup, 2 pintails, 1 canvasback, 1 black duck, 1 mottled duck and 1 fulvous whistling duck. The season on harlequin ducks is closed.
b) Other bag limits:
•    25 light geese (includes snow & blue geese and Ross’ geese), no possession limit •    

2 brant •    
15 coots •    
Canada geese and White-fronted geese (in aggregate)
September (Statewide):    15 
Resident Zone (regular season – after September 30th):   5 
SJBP Zone (regular season – after September 30th):    5 
NE Hunt Zone (regular season – after September 30th):    1
•    5 mergansers (2 hooded mergansers) 

•    7 sea ducks (In special sea duck area only). In other areas, sea ducks are part of the regular duck bag limit. No
more than 4 scoters per day may be taken in either season. 

POSSESSION LIMIT: Twice the daily bag limit, unless otherwise noted.
YOUTH WATERFOWL DAY: Two Youth Waterfowl Days may be chosen. They may occur on non-consecutive, non-school days outside of an established open duck season. Youth must be 15 years of age or younger and accompanied by a properly licensed adult at least 21 years of age. Species include ducks, geese, tundra swans, mergansers, and coots. The youth must hold a valid permit for tundra swan. Youth must also hold a valid permit for Canada geese in the Northeast Hunt Zone, pending approval by the Wildlife Commission. The adult may not duck hunt, but may participate in other open seasons on the special youth day.
SHOOTING HOURS: One half hour before sunrise to sunset.

To comment about these visit this site

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22, 2011 NC Regs Book Available

Check out the new Carolina regulations on a snappy online viewer here

Sunday, July 17, 2011

July 17, 2011 Venture Sportsman's Banquet 8/13

This looks like a fun event.  Hope to get down to Dallas for this one

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Big Buck Expo coming to Greensboro this month.

July 22-24 at the Greensboro Coliseum.  For more info visit this website.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011 Randleman Reservoir Creel Study

RANDLEMAN, N.C. (June 28, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, in collaboration with the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority, will conduct a 5-month long creel survey on Randleman Regional Reservoir from July 1 through Nov. 30.
Boat and bank anglers will be interviewed at Randleman Regional Reservoir Marina and at Southwest Park at the end of their fishing trips to estimate angling effort, catch and harvest.  Interviewers will ask anglers about the length of their fishing trips, the species of fish targeted, the number and species of fish caught, as well as the number and species of fish harvested. They also will ask to take length measurements from harvested fish. 
“Since this is a new and already popular fishery, information on the intensity and patterns of angler use will help us refine and prioritize fisheries management objectives at Randleman Reservoir,” said Corey Oakley, a Commission fisheries biologist who is leading the creel survey.  “For example, this survey will help in evaluating the effectiveness of current and potential future size and creel limits of largemouth bass and crappie.”
For more information on the creel survey, contact Corey Oakley at 919-304-0653.
For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 Proposed Changes for NC Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Regs.

H1. Add Currituck National Wildlife Refuge to the same deer season framework currently applied to nearby Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge — the Saturday on or nearest to September 10 to January 1.
H2.    Create a new rule to define the following trap terms: breakaway device, CollarumTM-type trap, leghold, foothold, loop stop, power-activated, relaxing lock, snare and steel-jaw. These terms would only apply to rules within subchapter 10B.
H3. Define the physical characteristics and placement of a CollarumTM-type trap.
Game Lands
H4. Create a class of roads on game lands that are open only from 6 am to 9 pm. These roads shall be posted with the opening and closing times.
H5. Remove hunting and trapping restrictions at Cowan’s Ford Waterfowl Refuge. The property within the refuge will be regulated the same as any other public waters and private property in those counties.
H6. Reduce the number of days when permits are required to dove hunt the posted dove areas at Croatan Game Land from the first seven open days of the dove season to the first two days only.
H7. Remove the permit requirement to hunt turkey on the Camden County portion of the North River Game Land.
H8. Require a permit in order to hunt deer and bear at Pond Mountain Game Land.
Emergency Powers
H9. Adopt a rule to describe and implement the Executive Director’s emergency powers as authorized by statute. G.S. 113-306 (f) states, “The Wildlife Resources Commission may adopt rules governing the exercise of emergency powers by the Executive Director when the Commission determines that such powers are necessary to respond to a wildlife disease that threatens irreparable injury to wildlife or the public.”
Game Fish
F1.    Buckeye Creek (Watauga County) – Classify 0.5 miles as Hatchery Supported Trout Waters. F2.    Spring Creek (Madison County) – Classify 1.7 miles as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters. F3.    Ararat River (Surry County) – Classify 2.0 miles as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters. F4.    Elk Creek (Wilkes County) – Classify 1.0 miles as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters.
F5.    Pond Creek (Watauga County) – Classify 1.5 miles as Catch and Release/Artificial Lures Only Trout Waters.
F6.    Coffee Lake (Watauga County) – Reclassify this 2.0-acre lake from Hatchery Supported to Delayed Harvest Trout Waters.
F7.    Tuckasegee River (Jackson County) – Identify the downstream boundary of Delayed Harvest Trout Waters as US 23-441 bridge and upstream boundary as the downstream NC 107 bridge.
F8.    Ellijay Creek (Macon County) – Remove the Public Mountain Trout Waters designation. F9.    Elk Hollow Branch (Avery County) – Remove the Public Mountain Trout Waters
F10. Dugger Creek (Watauga and Wilkes counties) and Laurel Creek (Watauga County) – (Administrative change) Identify Reynolds Blue Ridge development as the property owner allowing public fishing access.
Black Bass
F11. Black bass (Alleghany County) – Establish a 14-20 inch protective slot limit for black bass in the New River and allow only one fish in the five fish per day creel limit to exceed 20 inches.
Sea Trout (spotted or speckled)
F12. Sea trout (spotted or speckled) – Establish a 14-inch minimum size limit with a 10 fish daily creel limit in inland fishing waters.
Nongame Fish 
F13. Gray trout (weakfish) – Establish a 12-inch minimum size limit with a one fish daily creel limit
in inland fishing waters.
F14. Prohibit the possession of quagga mussels and red claw crayfish.


Friday, June 10, 2011

June 10, 2011 The right idea

On a trip this week to a seaside town I took the photo above.  Now I don't know these 2 gentlemen or if their efforts were rewarded but I certainly can appreciate their resourcefulness.  They definitely got the right idea! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011 Ratified and Pending Bills

Below is a list of North Carolina's outdoors-related ratified and pending bills (from NC Camo Coalition):

Ratified Bills :

Retrieval of big game. 2011-22. This bill allows a hunter to use a portable light and a dog on a leash to retrieve any species of big game wounded during a legal attempt to take the animal, provided that no motorized vehicle is used.  The hunter may use a legal pistol or bow and arrow weapon to dispatch the wounded animal and the search may extend into the time period between dusk and dawn.
Prohibit reclassification of Boylston Creek in Transylvania County to trout waters.  2011-24. This bill disapproved the Rule of the Environmental Management Commission jointly developed with the Wildlife Resources Commission to upgrade the classification of Boylston Creek to trout waters.  NC Camo sent out an alert opposing the bill and pointing out the dangerous precedent set by legislating trout water classifications. 
Repeal crossbow purchase permit requirement.  SL 2011-56.  This bill repeals the requirement to obtain a special permit before purchasing a crossbow.  Removing this impediment to crossbow hunters is a positive change.


Pending Bills:

Exempt speckled sea trout from the 2010 law to improve Fishery Management Plans.  HB 136.  This bill would disregard the law requiring Fishery Management Plans to end over fishing within two years of adoption of the Plan with regard to speckled sea trout.  This is a very bad idea that NC Camo sent out an earlier alert on.  It appears that the strong response against this bill has killed it in the House Agriculture Committee.
Classify striped bass, speckled sea trout, and red drum as coastal game fish.  HB 353.  This bill would make these fish game fish in coastal waters, just as they are now classified in inland waters; would prohibit their taking except with hook and line; and would outlaw sale of these fish.  These fish are struggling for sustainability under current management as commercial fish and need the protection of game fish status.  NC Camo sent out an earlier alert supporting this bill.  The bill is in the House Commerce Committee.
Landowner protection act.  HB 762 / SB 374.  This bill was requested by the Wildlife Resources Commission to improve public safety on the highways and to help     landowners control trespass.  The original bill would have prohibited     hunting on private lands without written permission; discharging a firearm     or bow and arrow from the highway statewide while taking wildlife; and possession     of a loaded firearm while taking wildlife outside the passenger area of a     vehicle on the roadway, unless the person is the owner or lessee of the property on one side of the road.      It would have also repealed over 100 local laws pertaining to hunting from the road and trespass.  The bill became very     controversial with landowners and hunters alike opposing sections of the     bill that repealed local laws, prohibited hunting from the roadway and trespass, except on posted land.      The end result is a bill that allows Wildlife Enforcement Officers     to enforce the posted trespass law for the first time and establishes a    new option for posting private land by using a stripe of purple paint on the boundary at 100 yard intervals.
Hunting protection act.  HB 569 / SB 429.  This bill would have given an exception to the posted trespass law for hunters to enter posted land adjacent to their hunting ground if the land is not fenced and provided no weapon or motor vehicle is used to retrieve hunting dogs that have strayed onto that posted land.  The bill would have further     required written permission from the owner or lease of unposted lands before entering for the purpose of hunting or before willfully releasing     dogs on the property.  As expected and predicted, this bill ran into     a storm of protest from landowners resulting in it being shelved without    action.
Randleman Reservoir Fishing.  HB 519.  This bill would give the authority to     regulate the size and number of fish that can be taken from Randleman Reservoir to the Piedmont Triad Water Authority.  This is a very bad precedent in that it takes regulatory authority away from the Wildlife     Resources Commission and places it in the hands of unqualified, local administrators of the reservoir.  It seems that the bill is dead and that some accommodation with the Water Authority has been reached.
Amend Fox Laws.  HB 755.  This bill was requested by the Wildlife Resources Commission and introduced by the House Agriculture Committee.  The     bill would have placed management and regulation of the fox and coyote with the WRC the same as any other game or fur bearing animal.  Also the bill would have repealed over 100 local fox laws to give consistency     and understanding to the rules controlling the harvest of foxes.  This change would have placed the setting of seasons and bag limits for fox and coyote under authority of the WRC.  The bill also would have allowed the WRC to regulate the use of pistols in taking small game.  This would have been a monumental change to the game law and would have resulted     in much improvement over the management and taking of foxes and    coyotes.  NC Camo strongly supported this bill; however, strong opposition by fox hunters resulted in the bill being pulled and rewritten     to become a Study Bill.  The WRC is charged with conducting a study on the biology and management of foxes and coyotes to be concluded by April 1, 2012.      The results and any legislative changes recommended to implement     the findings of the study will be submitted to the General Assembly for consideration in the Short Session of 2012.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5, 2011 Fly or Spinning

The first of June is a great month to be waist dip in one of my favorite places, the New River.  The toughest part is deciding whether to fly fish or use spinning gear.  As a buddy of mine use to say, "That's a first class headache!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

May 12, 2011 Passing Along Another Good Deal, Site

Here's another site for discounted outdoor gear.  Check out

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

NC SB374 Is moving through the Legislature!

Check out the legislation here.

AN ACT to protect landowner rights and increase public safety by requiring written permission to hunt on the land of another Statewide and by prohibiting hunting from the right‑of‑way statewide.
The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
(a)  It is unlawful to take wildlife, or to attempt to take wildlife, by discharging a firearm, bow and arrow, or crossbow from, on, across, or over the right‑of‑way of any State‑maintained public road or highway, except as allowed on State game lands as prescribed by rules established by the Wildlife Resources Commission. For purposes of this section, the term "to take" has the same meaning as in G.S. 113‑130.
(b)  It is unlawful to possess a loaded firearm outside the passenger compartment of a vehicle while on the roadway or highway right‑of‑way while in the act of taking or attempting to take wildlife, unless the person is the owner or lessee of the land abutting the right‑of‑way or has on his or her person the written permission of the owner or lessee of the land abutting the right‑of‑way to hunt on the land, dated within the last 12 months. Nothing in this section prohibits a person from carrying a concealed weapon authorized by a concealed handgun permit issued in accordance with Article 54B of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes or considered valid under G.S. 14-415.24.
(c)  It is unlawful to take wildlife or attempt to take wildlife on the land of another without having on one's person the written permission, dated within the last 12 months, of the landowner or lessee or the landowner's or lessee's designee. The written permission shall be displayed upon request of any law enforcement officer of the Wildlife Resources Commission, sheriff or deputy sheriff, or other law enforcement officer with general subject matter jurisdiction. A person shall have written permission to hunt for purposes of this section if a landowner or lessee has granted permission to a hunting club to hunt on the person's land and the person is carrying both a current membership card demonstrating the person's membership in the hunting club and a copy of valid written permission granted to the hunting club that complies with the requirements of this section.
(d)  Violation of this section is a Class 3 misdemeanor. Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 15A‑1340.23, a second or subsequent violation of this section within three years is a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of at least two hundred fifty dollars ($250.00) and the loss of hunting privileges for a period of 12 months from the date of the conviction.
(e)  This section is enforceable by law enforcement officers of the Wildlife Resources Commission, by sheriffs and deputy sheriffs, and by law enforcement officers with general subject matter jurisdiction.
(f)  To the extent that this section conflicts with any provision of any local act, this section prevails. The fact that a local act in conflict with this section has not been specifically repealed does not indicate an intent for the local act to prevail."

Saturday, May 7, 2011

May 7, 2011 Passing Along a Good Deal

I like outdoor gear and I really like a good deal. helps with both.  Check it out!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

April 27, 2011 Some Favorite Spring Pictures 8

In-shore fishing, targeting reds and specks is becoming one of my favorites.  Choppers, or bluefish, aren't too shabby either!

Monday, April 25, 2011

April 25, 2011 Some Favorite Spring Pictures 7

I keep coming back to the monarchs of Spring.  Gobbler season should be a national holiday!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

April 20, 2011 Some Favorite Spring Pictures 6

Get out there and catch something!

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011 Some Favorite Spring Pictures 5

It's no secret that the Roanoke River has some of the finest striped bass fishing anywhere.  If you want to fish there use caution.  Some of the locals, like these two scallywags (two of my boys, Josiah and Zane), are a little rough around the edges!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April 14, 2011 Some Favorite Spring Pictures 4

Looks at the hooks on this bird.  My son, Zane, and I went across the western border and hunted this bird down near Chattanooga.  Check out the story here.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

April 13, 2011 Girls, girls, girls

On July 11-15 N.C. Wildlife is hosting an interesting new event called Becoming an Outdoor Diva targeting girls 12 to 17 years of age .  I'm not certain "diva" has positive connotations but if it gets more young women involved in outdoor activities I am for it.  Here are some of the scheduled activities:
  • An outdoors diva style show
  • Building a shelter in the woods
  • Learning to use a map and compass1
  • Identifying animal tracks and signs
  • Trapping and releasing small mammals
  • Knot tying
  • Nature journals
For more information and to register go here.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 10, 2011 Some Favorite Spring Pictures 3

With hatches of all sorts happening this time of year, spring is a great time to wade in your favorite trout stream.  One of my favorites is Davidson River!