Thursday, August 16, 2018

Brooks Koepka Wins 100th PGA Championship

The PGA Championship is no longer the Final Major
The PGA Championship celebrates 100 years of history in 2018, and fittingly a scoring duel materialized pitting the past versus the present. Brooks Koepka wins the 2018 tournament by two strokes over Tiger Woods, but the scoring does not fully relate the bigger picture. The professional golf season and its four major golf tournaments were set up so that the PGA Championship was always the last best chance for a golfer to win a major. Starting in 2019 the PGA Championship will be moving to a new date in Spring, forever retiring their slogan of being Glory’s Last Shot.
The PGA Championship was also here in 1992 
Part of the reason the PGA Championship is moving underscores how the PGA Tour has morphed over time. The PGA Championship was built to comprise one of the best fields in golf each year, with hungry golfers looking to scratch out golfing glory. While the PGA Tour season officially ends after the Wyndham Championship in North Carolina this week, the Fed Ex Cup competition for 2018 will begin right after with a series of playoff tournaments. Literally only the highest ranking players are able to play the first event, which is a better formula for creating a field with the best players annually.

Brooks Koepka is 28-years old and played collegiate golf at Florida State. His first win on the PGA Tour came in 2015, then no other wins until the summer of 2017. If you were not paying attention to the game of golf over the last 14 months you likely missed Koepka’s major tournament uprising. He wins the U.S. Open in 2017, and then backs that up by defending his title and winning the 2018 U.S. Open. Two majors and one regular tournament win for Koepka at this point. Now at the Bellerive Club in St. Louis, Koepka out-duels fan favorite Tiger Woods to win the 2018 PGA Championship, and the exposure from battling Tiger is likely to make Koepka the next household name in golf.

The PGA Championship returns to Kiawah in 2012
To view the entire feature story in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries from the PGA Championship click on Quail Hollow at Charlotte 2017 - Ocean Course at Kiawah 2012 

 To view past blog entries about the RBC Heritage click 20182017 - 2016 20152014 - 2013

To view past blog entries from the BMW Charity click on 20182016 - 2015 - 2014
Tiger finished 2nd to Brooks Koepka at 2018 PGA Championship

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

August 11 is New Early Season Youth Deer Hunt Date

Photo By Drake Non-Typical Hunting Gear
The South Carolina General Assembly passed legislation in 2018 establishing a brand new deer hunting opportunity for youth. The drumbeat of hunter recruitment strategies from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources is loud and clear, and this pre-season deer hunt is their latest innovation. Other important dates regarding deer season include lottery hunt application deadlines and procurement of personal deer tags. The youth hunt on Saturday August 11 is only allowed on private lands, with one antlered deer per allowed per hunter.
The new law specifies that this youth deer hunting date will be held on the Saturday before deer season begins. In the past several years, a youth deer hunting date following the close of deer season has been very popular. The new hunt date might serve to get youths involved during the regular deer season, and the after season hunt is still on the calendar too. To make things easier for these special youth deer hunts, the requirements for hunting licenses and deer tags are waived. There are no weapons restrictions so the youth can hunt with centerfire rifles, shotguns or primitive weapons like archery equipment.

This hunt is for youth 17 years old and younger, who have completed the SCDNR hunter education program. Any youth that have not completed the program can hunt, but an adult must accompany them who is at least 21 years old. While adults may serve as guide on these hunts, only the youth may take or attempt to take a deer. Early season hunts in the Lowcountry almost always include hot weather, so plan to bring water for the youths during these hunts. Special arrangements with your local deer processor will be prudent, since they may not be open until August 15, but are likely willing to accept any early season customers.

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

For past blog entries about Opening Days Deer Success Stories click on 2014 Lady Hunter - 2014- 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Talkin’ Turkey with Grand National Champ in Turkey Men, Volume Two

Volume Two continues to interview exceptional hunters
For turkey hunters, the new normal of turkey season starting five days later and two tags lighter, is still a painful reality to grasp. The decreased opportunity to hunt turkeys does not diminish the passion that hunters carry for the sport. Reading about the men who dedicate their time, travel and technical expertise in pursuit of turkeys elsewhere is a good medicine. The hunting calendar places the Lowcountry on the cusp of another long deer season, creating new hunt memories, just like the full camo adventures told in Turkey Men, Volume Two.
A turkey calling CD comes with Volume Two
Colletonian readers may recall that the Turkey Men Volume One hardcover coffee table book published prior to Spring of 2017.  The book publisher was set to duplicate that schedule in 2018 but when the author had an unexpected health issue affecting his vision, volume two was delayed until after turkey hunting season ended. Of course sometimes things happen for a reason, and this delay allowed for a CD of turkey talk with Dave Owens to be included inside the book, right after Owens was crowned Grand National Turkey-Calling Champion. 

Dave Owens is from Acworth, Georgia and he won the calling contest at the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention in the Spring of 2018. Competing against 45 other pro turkey callers, Owens laid down the best renditions of tree calls, yelps, clucking and fighting purrs for the expert judges to digest. Owens has completed the U.S. Super Slam of turkey hunting. How difficult is it to tag a wild turkey in 49 states? The book states that 235 times as many mountain climbers have reached the top of Mt. Everest.

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

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Field Notes and Photos - July 2018

A secretive Yellow-billed cuckoo in birdbath
Field Notes is a column I began fourteen years ago in the Charleston Mercury newspaper, but as the amount of newsprint space in the 'salmon sheets' has become more and more in demand, there was less space for my nature photography. Now when I have a fresh batch of observations I share them via Lowcountry Outdoors.

To view past Field Notes and Photo click February 2018 December 2017 - September 2017 - January 2017December 2016 - June 2016 - February 2016December 2015 - October 2015 - September 2015 - August 2015 - July 2015 - June 2015 - February 2105 - October 2014  September 2014 - August 2014 - June 2014 - March 2012 - February 2012 - October 2011 - September 2011     

Kit Fox in Colleton County

Black wasp eating a grasshopper

Pileated woodpecker playing hide and seek

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

2018 Edisto Billfish - Anticipation Delivers Blue Marlin

Crew of Anticipation with blue marlin
The Marina at Edisto Beach is home to the final event in the S.C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series. The marina has hosted other fishing tournaments throughout the summer, and the 35 sportfishing boats have been competing at various other locations, meaning that all parties are ready to be at their best. Mister Pete released five sailfish on Saturday to win the Edisto event, but they also clinched the Best Billfish Boat title for the entire Governor’s Cup series.

Savannah rolled up to Edisto with tuna and wahoo
But the final day of fishing also brought high drama with the boat named Anticipation battling a blue marlin for five hours at sea, before making an exhilarating full-throttle run back to port. Fishing fans on the docks were pushed into a frenzy with the frantic arrival of Anticipation just five minutes before the 7 p.m. weigh-in cutoff. Officials from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources measured the blue marlin onboard as 111-inches. The blue marlin weighed-in at 484.4-pounds, and the crew of the Anticipation became the focus of attention on the docks, and all across Edisto Island.

Shirts for Sale in the Marina Ship's Store Year Round
While many of the boats fishing from South Carolina are considered to be local, other states like Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia were present too. The Anticipation is a 61-foot Spencer Yacht rom Virginia Beach, Virginia owned by Paul Coury. Captain Harvey Shiflet and mate Frank Riganto keep the boat ready for tournament day and angler Drew Wilkinson of Virginia used the Shimano 80W reel to fight the blue marlin. He was hooked up at 11:20 a.m. after the blue marlin approached the teaser baits, and Wilkinson fed it a Spanish mackerel pitch bait. He fought the blue marlin for four hours, at which time the fish sounded deep and died. Wilkinson pushed the drag setting tight and cranked the blue marlin straight up, boating the fish at 4:35.

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

To view past blog entries from Edisto Billfish click on 201720162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009
Angler Brian Clark and Julia Gressette
with a mahi from Man Cave Fishing

To view past blog entries from 2018 at Edisto click on Thirsty Whale Tours - I Love Edisto Auction - Jim Bost Memorial - Dolphin Slam - Coastal Geology - Grits Cook Off

To view past blog entries from 2017 at Edisto click on Holiday Business After Hours - EIOLT Oyster Roast - Billfish Tourney - Bingo - Tomato OpenI Love Edisto Auction - Jim Bost Memorial - Shark Tourney

To view past blog entries from 2016 at Edisto click on Serpentarium - Jim Bost Memorial - Dolphin Slam - Cobia Tourney - Spring Shorebird Synergy - Bovine Bones on Beach - Edisto River book