Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Tall Ship Windy and Chicago Architectural Tour

Check back soon for the story and photos.....

Thursday, October 20, 2016

2016 Split Vote - To Hunt or to Fish?

Wildlife enthusiasts understand that nature is dialed in deeper to the changing of the seasons, far more than a few extra degrees of temperature will dictate. The live oak acorns are dropping right on cue and the white tail bucks are rutting, while the mullet run is underway and the redfish are chewing. A Presidential decision comes every four years in November, but the decision to Hunt or to Fish is upon us each October.
It's a Split Vote for Lowcountry Outdoors - Hunt or Fish?
With the ability to fish all year long for redfish, it seems prudent to take advantage of each legal day of hunting season in fall. However, the intangible factors derived from fishing for redfish in October may be compelling enough to veto that logic. Whether standing on a beach and casting into the surf zone, or riding in a skiff probing creeks mouths and structure, fall can yield some of the most productive redfishing of the year. Anglers can access redfish in the summer, but they also break a healthy sweat on many days, and October can offer a fresher take on the salt air.

On the other hand, the biggest and best bucks of the year begin to show up at the venison processors of the Lowcountry in October. Mature bucks that are rarely seen during daylight begins to chase does and they can keep up a pace that dictates they cover lots of ground. Serious deer hunters would rather be in a deer stand during the heart of the rut over any other part of the deer season. Other deer will be on the move in response to mature buck activity, and this can truly be a revealing time to observe the woodlands. Attempting to hunt and fish on the same day takes a commitment of time for sure, but it also stretches your license dollars, and might create a memorable day of sport that lasts a lifetime.

To view this feature article in the newspaper click on Charleston Mercury.

To view past blog entries click on Right to Hunt and Fish in SC  - 2013 Good Weather Toss Up

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Hurricane Matthew Yields 10-Point Buck for Persistent Hunter

Rayburn Mulkey and his trophy buck
Deer hunting took a back seat to preparations for Hurricane Matthew during the first week of October, the same time of the year when bucks begin to rut. The brunt of the Hurricane brought a tidal surge to the barrier islands, with plenty of wind and rain throughout the coastal plain. Hunter Rayburn Mulkey spent Sunday October 9 cutting trees blocking roads on John’s Island before getting into his tree stand and harvesting his personal best trophy 10-point buck.

“I knew that it had been extremely windy for 36-hours or more, and I had a hunch that some deer might move on Sunday evening,” said Mulkey. He is employed by The Tree Clinic and they were working on that Sunday doing some emergency clearing of trees that were dangerously close to houses, and across roads. “I got off work and grabbed my camo and got into the deer stand about 6:30 p.m. overlooking a 30-acre hay field. At 7:13 there was only a slight breeze, and a doe came out to my corn pile, and the sun began to set.”
Game Camera photo of same buck from 9/10/16
“The pine trees began to cast a shadow over a corner of the field and I noticed a large, dark-colored deer step out,” said Mulkey. “He approached the doe but would not stop moving so I gave him a grunt call and he stopped broadside at 60-yards from me.” His Remington 30 / .06 – caliber rifle barked one time and the buck jumped up before running out into the field and flopping over. Mulkey took a few moments before going down to find his buck, and was elated to verify that this was the same buck that he had on camera.

To view the entire feature story in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

2016 S.C. Waterfowl Lottery Hunt Program

Waterfowl season is almost here!
Getting drawn for a waterfowl lottery hunt is not a guarantee for success, but that’s hunting! It does create an opportunity to utilize a property that is above average, and so the hunter is certainly allowed to dream about the potential for an epic duck hunt. As a waterfowl lottery hunt veteran I can tell you that a whole range of other experiences are also possible, that have nothing to do with shooting ducks, but everything to do with lasting hunt memories. Applications are due to SCDNR by October 31.

For instance, I won’t forget that time when I was unsure of were a ditch was at Bear Island when I was retrieving a downed duck. One moment I was standing tall, and the next I was watching my hat float, which is duck hunting lingo for going swimming. I reversed course, dumped a river of water out of my shotgun, collected my hat and left the duck behind. I remember being embarrassed, but I also remember the SCDNR hunt administrator telling me that it happens all the time.

Last year’s harvest results for the waterfowl lottery hunts shows that 782 duck hunters harvested over 2500 ducks and a few geese too. The data also reveals a 3.4 duck per hunter average ratio with almost 13,000 total shotgun shells fired. Gadwall, ring-necks, Northern shovelers and green-winged teal made up the bulk of the ducks harvested but many other species of waterfowl were also picked up. The  legal limit is six ducks per hunter per day, but any duck shot during a waterfowl lottery hunt ends up feeling like a bonus bird for any lucky hunter out there.

To read this feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about waterfowl lottery hunts click 2014 - 2012 - 2009

To view past articles on the ACE Basin click on Trapping - 2015 Duck Finale - 25th Anniversary - 2012 Update / John  Frampton - 2013 Waterfowl Warrior Hunt - ACE Basin QDMA - Friends of Nemours - Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt - Colleton Plantation Tour - Mottled Duck Study - Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers.