Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sept. / Oct. Birding Observations

Despite a lapse in the reporting of birding observations over the summer, the reporting will now resume with these September '10 and October '10 observations. With fall and winter greeting the Lowcountry Outdoors in November and December it is with high hopes that migratory waterfowl sightings will be a big part of the next birding report at the end of the year.

Bird sighted are hairy woodpecker, cardinal, carolina chickadee, red-bellied woodpecker, great egret, tufted titmouse, downy woodpecker, pileated woodpecker, ruby-throated hummingbird, mockingbird, carolina wren, white-breasted nuthatch and yellow-bellied sapsucker.

To view the May - June '10 birding blog entry click here.

PhotoByJeffDennis: This mount of a wild turkey in flight is but a reminder that wild turkey sightings are year-round, and their image is forever tied to Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Men's Wild Game Banquet report

The Eight Annual Men's Wild Game Banquet was held on 10/28 in the Lowcountry Outdoors stronghold of Varnville! The old Embler Door Plant opened its doors to a horde of sportsman who came to dine on fried gator tail, venison, turkey, fried frog legs, wild hog, shrimp and quail - and it was ALL for FREE. Donations from local outdoorsmen account for the bounty of food that feeds the gathered crowd of 200 menfolk. Caterers are brought in to cook and serve the food and other community partners come together for this once-a-year special occasion. The "Wildife Supper for men with a Spiritual Flavor" including inspirational speaker Dr. Tommy Young, a graduate from nearby Wade Hampton High School who has had an exceptional career in the field of surgical medicine. A prayer service was held after the meal and a 'call' was made to those outdoor men folk who might want to rededicate their lives to the Lord. The list of sponsors and donors are too many to name, but two organizers to recognize are Wade Freeman and Wise Batten.

PhotosByJeffDennis: It's safe to say that the diners at the Wild Game Banquet in Varnville went Hog Wild with anticipation

Monday, October 25, 2010

2010 Red*Trout Celebrity Classic w/Video

Congratulations are in order for Team D.O.A. led by Captain Reed Simmons for capturing the Team Grand Champion award at the 2010 event. Lady angler Amy Bennett and her 17-year old son Jack Bennett Jr. racked up a two-day total of 88 fish to easily take the team title. The Red*Trout benefits the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the live auction and banquet on Friday at the Cottage on Shem Creek raised $100,000 dollars for the ninth annual Lowcountry Red*Trout.

To see my blog photos from the 2010 Red*Trout Kick-Off click here

Special Thanks to CCA Board Member Joe Shuford for serving as fishing guide as Lowcountry Live and Lowcountry Outdoors teamed up to cover the 2010 Red*Trout event.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Captain Graham Hegamyer guided angler James McIntosh to be Grand Champion of the Flyrod Division; Celebrity angler Mark Davis and Capt. Jamie Hough on 10/24; Three guides that know tournament fishing are Fred Bricketto, John Ward and Patrick Crawford; Jennifer Bennett and Artist Amanda McLenon display one of the Red*Trout awards

To view interview on Good Morning Charleston with Dave and Jeff click TV clip.

VideoByJeffDennis: Dave Williams of WCIV catches a redfish

Sunday, October 24, 2010

2010 Southern Side X Side Classic

The 3rd annual Fall Classic for vintage double-gun competition was held at Backwoods Quail Club near Andrews. Shooting sports enthusiast from around the country gathered for a three-day celebration of the double-barreled shotgun, including a serious competition for Top Gun. Organizer Rick Hemingway said, "This event is growing and we already have two large tents of gun and outdoor lifestyle exhibitors that come here to support the Side X Side Classic." There is also a sister event in the Spring that is run by Bill Kempffer at his Deep River facility in Sanford, North Carolina. Beautiful weather over the weekend aided the shooting competition as well as the sporting banquet on Saturday night. It's great to see classic American-made double guns like Fox, Ithaca, Lefever, Parker, L.C. Smith, Remington and Winchester being held up as standards among sportsmen.

To view past blog entries from Back Woods quail club click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Ben Moise of Charleston and Carol Lueder of Virginia team up to vend books and antiques; The L.C. Smith Collector's club displays a bevy of beautiful double guns; Shooting shirts by Braeval were on display by Scotland's Gregor McCluskey; Breakdown shotgun cases are made for double guns and the J.W. Hulme Company makes them with a lifetime warranty; David Cruz of Holland & Holland flew in from NYC to display this gorgeous brand new double gun and he also visits the Palmetto State to hog hunt in the splendor of the Lowcountry Outdoors

Saturday, October 23, 2010

SEWE / Ducks Unlimited 2010 Fall Soiree

The oysters almost seems to shuck themselves as Ducks Unlimited really put on a spread for SEWE patrons during the 2010 Fall Soiree at the Visitor Center Bus Shed in downtown Charleston. Main course food included barbecue, meatballs, catfish and hushpuppies - and even a Moon Pie station! The live music and the live auction kept the lively crowd entertained and the warm weather had some patrons referencing the great snow storm that hit the Soiree back in February, with sideways snow making its way into the Bus Shed area. Alaska Adventures was present to publicize their sea duck hunting in the wilds of the far north, and DU members from places like Louisiana and Houston were on hand to help celebrate raising money for DU's conservation initiatives.

To view a past blog entry for the 2009 Fall SEWE Soiree click here.

To view my blog entry on the unveiling of the 2011 SEWE featured artist click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Tom and Candy Palmer live in the Lowcountry and are with Shawna and Mark Van Ness visiting from DU Houston; Lorrie Dixson and Sidney Wagner with Libby Perry at the DU/SEWE Fall Soiree; Things like a quality gun raffle keep the East Cooper Chapter of Ducks Unlimited among the best fund-raising chapters in the country; DU Sponsors James Meadows, Beau Kern, Steve Johnson and William Clyburn work the front door;

Friday, October 22, 2010

SEWE Unveils 2011 Featured Artist

The Southeastern Wildlife Expo kicked off it annual Fall Soiree weekend with a reception for Featured Artist Eldridge Hardie, and the unveiling of the 2011 SEWE print. Friday's night's Soiree partners with the East Cooper Chapter of Ducks Unlimited to bring SEWE patrons food, fun and auctions at the Visitor Center Bus Shed.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Even a flower arrangement can be 'Sporting' when designed by the SEWE team; Sharon Shealy and daughter Lindy welcome Eldridge Hastie to Charleston; Reception hosts Mike and Amy Bennett pause next to the 2011 SEWE featured print; Vereen and Dick Coen celebrate wildlife with friend Vickey Boyd at the reception above Rue de Jean; Carol and Robert Clement know the outdoors lifestyle well and are glad to support SEWE.

To view blog entries from the 2010 SEWE click here.

VideoByJeffDennis: Apologies for the LOW lighting conditions, but listen to the message of Eldridge Hastie about the positive journey that he enjoys via the outdoors.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2010 Lowcountry Redfish Cup - Charleston

Round Four of the Lowcountry Redfish Cup was fished in Charleston on Oct. 16 when 31 two-man teams competed for the heaviest aggregate-weight for two redfish. The Lowcountry Redfish Cup allows only two fish to come to the scale and they must be slot-limit redfish which will be measured using a pinched tail system. Team Flats Broke busted out their system for total domination when they came out on top with a 9.65-pound total weight to take home the first place cash. Organizer Fred Bricketto will now conduct a Championship event for the top ten teams of the year, and that event will be fished in Beaufort on Nov. 13. Stay tuned for the exciting finish about which team gets bragging rights for the 2010 Lowcountry Redfish Cup. To view past blog entries about the 2010 LRC click here.

PhotoByRonniePitts: One-half of Team Grand Slam Charters, Captain Jamie Hough holds a redfish on tournament day

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

IGFA Tripletail world record from HHI

Captain Brain Vaughn of Off The Hook Charters was fishing on July 10th and spotted a free-floating tripletail or 3T underneath a floating horseshoe crab. Picking up his fly rod and casting a Lefty's deciever with a 20-pound tippet attached, he brought in a fish that landed him a record with the hallowed International Game Fish Association.

PhotoByEmmettTowey: The recrod tripletail and Brian Vaughn

To view past blog entries on state record fish click here.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Buchanan Shoals, N.C. - Quail Hunt

Thanking Paul Kiker after a superb quail hunt
Driving directions from Charleston are go up I-95 three hours and then hang a left onto Highway 52. Pushing across the N.C. state line in southern Anson County, you reach the town of McFarlan. Making a right hand turn by the brick tobacco barn on Old Sneedsboro Road you will soon arrive at the gates of the Buchanan Shoals Sportsman's Preserve.

The short trip from McFarlan to the bluff overlooking the PeeDee River is the same route that the hunting lodge followed seven years ago, when the old train station was purchased and brought to Buchanan Shoals. The heart pine wood floors are 2.5-inches thick and the structure just oozes of nostaglia, not to mention the spectacular view of the hardwoods lining the PeeDee River corridor below and the fall foliage that now graces that expanse. Whether hunting quail over English Setters is the rolling Piedmont terrain, catfishing from a boat in the PeeDee River or shooting clay pigeons - there is something for every sportsman to enjoy.

To view past blog entries about quail hunting click on Shenandoah Plantation, AlabamaBarnsley Gardens, Georgia - 2015 Quail Season Finale - Airy Hall Plantation, S.C.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Baitcasters spooled up with braided line are ready to duel with PeeDee River catfish; English Setters spy a quail in the road and they lock up in the morning fog; Nothing says We Got 'Em like a pile of birds to be cleaned

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Velux 5 Oceans Yacht Race - BEGINS

Today it's officially BON VOYAGE from La Rochelle, France for the sailing elite that are competing in the newest Around-the-World-Alone sailboat race. Charleston's own BRAD VAN LIEW is crossing the start line today in his sailboat LE PINGOUIN and will represent the UNITED STATES in the exciting endeavor. Lowcountry Outdoors will expand coverage to a GLOBAL level to bring you the consolidated updates on this race as OCEAN FATE warrants. Considering that Charleston will be a PORT OF CALL for the Velux 5 Oceans race route in early 2011, the patrons of the Lowcountry will want to be in the know of how we can support the event: Just as we did during the former BOC CHALLENGE and the AROUND ALONE races. Just before the start of the race Van Liew's LAZARUS PROJECT picked up an important corporate sponsor from CAPE WIND, a green wind-power company. To read more about the endorsement and to stay in touch with Van Liew's campaign visit or

PhotoByJeffDennis: Brad Van Liew stands with Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

For prior Velux 5 Oceans blog entries click here.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sea Merchant fish t-shirt club

Original artwork on a fishing t-shirt can be yours each month of the calendar year when you join the Sea Merchants shirt club. If you can't make all the fishing trips you'd like to, you know the ones down to the Bahamas or maybe up to Hatteras, but you want to look the part then the Sea Merchants deal is for you. Artist Elliott Smith uses his intuitive talents to depict gamefish and then marry's those images with fishing tournaments t-shirts and classic southern lifestyle settings. It's easy to get signed up by visiting and you can become a Facebook fan too.

PhotosByJeffDennis: The September t-shirt was from Florida CCA with a dolphin depicted on it; Captain Pete Loy pilots the Lil Bit in the Atlantic Ocean wearing his FishSmith shirt from the Abacos; Attorney Craig Jones says that a Sea Merchants membership makes you want to flex your muscles!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Heroes on the Water Kayak Tournament

Tournament Organizer Ken Bergmann wrote a complete report for this event that he organizes, so to read their story and see lots of photos click here.

PhotoByKenBergmann: Staff Sgt. Phil Lowery (left) won the first place TFO rod for his 29.5-inch redifsh, and he is a maintenance tach with the 1st combat squadron based in Charleston

PhotoByJeffDennis: All tournaments should have a 'Trash Can' award for those who strike out!

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 Sailfish Slam - Results & VIDEO

The fourth annual Sailfish Slam began with a festive Captain's meeting at Salty Mike's on Oct. 6, and tournament teams enjoyed some fellowship. Stopping by Atlantic Tackle the following day to get some top-secret sailfish tips from Jeremy Burnham for my sailfish trip on Lil Bit, I was told that Burnham was fishing on the Tournament on Rock'N'Reel and that we were now 'at war' until the Sailfish Slam was decided - nothing like some friendly competition. The ocean was flat and warm for all three tournament days and twelve boats released 21 sailfish and 2 blue marlin during that time. An oyster roast and awards event was held at the City Marina on Saturday evening.

To view the 2009 Lowcountry Outdoors Sailfish Slam blog click here.

PhotosByJefDennis: The crew of Daymaker breaks out the bubbly to celebrate their win; A Black Bart lure goes along for the ride as the morning sun makes the salt spray glisten; the crew of the Lil Bit accept the wahoo award; Robbie Freeman and McKenzie Hutaff are the hosts of the Salifish Slam

VideoByJeffDennis: The final seconds of a sailfish tag and release from 10/8 on Lil Bit

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Charleston Angler - Second annual Essay Contest

Compete for prizes from The Charleston Angler tackle shop, while spreading the good word about your adventures on the water - and hopefully while catching a fish! Entrants may also submit one, two or three photos if they can help to relate parts of your story. To view the winning entries from 2009 click this link. The 2010 contest runs the entire month of October, and Lowcountry Outdoors suggests that a spooky story might do well. Send your fishing essays to
To view the Lowcountry Outdoors Charleston Angler essay contest blog entry from 2009 click here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Get the Lowdown on

Lowcountry Outdoors is pleased to work with Scott Leysath, the Sporting Chef, to bring the 'Lowcountry Lowdown' to patrons of To get started click here. The Post and Courier newspaper said of Leysath, "He's practically a crusader when it comes to teaching fellow hunters and fishermen how to make tasty use of what they catch." An avid waterfowler in his home state of Cailfornia, Leysath is also the cooking editor for Ducks Unlimited Magazine, and a supporter of the S.C. Waterfowl Association. Leysath is a blog follower and a frequent visitor to the Lowcountry.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Pelagic Gear at Sailfish Slam

The 4th annual Sailfish Slam out of the MegaDock Marina runs Oct. 6 - 9 with offshore enthusiasts competing for prize money based on which team releases the most sailfish. Fishing on Mt. Pleasant-based Lil' Bit on Friday October 8th with Captain Pete Loy, the crew managed to tag and release one sailfish, and had several other knock-downs. A cool start to the morning on the ocean gave way to a comfortable day of fishing with tournament rules calling for lines in at 8 a.m. and lines out at 3. Pelagic, the company that celebrates the offshore lifestyle, was well-represented among the crew, and their gear is designed for being out on the ocean and fishing, no matter what the conditions. For more info visit the Internet at, and to read their online publication visit

PhotosByJeffDennis: Checking the drag when lines are first deployed in the cool morning air is part of the sailfishing routine and can be made more comfortable by wearing high performance offshore gear like Pelagic's Hurricane Jacket; fighting gloves that are well-worn can be found on the Lil Bit; Mate Coy Myers readies the dredge rig and sports Pelagic's fish camo visor; the Grander Sandals by Pelagic are as comfortable as they are fashionable

Thursday, October 7, 2010

J.B. McCarty harvests 10-point buck

Avid outdoorsman J.B. McCarty was hunting East of the Cooper the evening of October 6. He felt good about his chances of seeing some deer activity beside a large cutdown, and his instincts were true. When the rifle report sounded, a fine 10-point buck was harvested in the Lowcountry Outdoors.
To view a past blog entry about fisherman tagging nice bucks click here.

J.B. McCarty displays his fine Wando River buck

Vincent Sheheen visits Silk Hope Plantation

What role will conservation play in 2010 and beyond under the leadership of a new Governor? Assuming economic recovery empowers developers to renew various building projects, how would the S.C. Governor guide future growth? Prepare to be pleasantly surprised by what this democratic candidate from a mostly rural district (Chesterfield, Kershaw and Lancaster Counties) has to offer on the subject of conservation.

Senator Sheheen is 38 years old and is a graduate of Clemson University, where he met Amy, his wife of eighteen years. After graduating from the University of South Carolina Law School he began to practice law in his hometown of Camden. He has three children, twins Austin and Joseph and youngest son Anthony, and they attend the same Kershaw County public schools that their father attended.

Sheheen began his service in the S.C. General Assembly in 2001 as a state Representative before becoming a state senator in 2004. He has faced issues such as government accountability and education funding disputes, but it his love for the outdoors that called him to be the chairman of the senate sportsman’s caucus – a group that strives to demonstrate to fellow legislators the inherent good in South Carolina’s outdoor traditions.

Question: Readers want to know if you would support the conservation land bank in the future?

Sheheen: Yes, I would support the conservation bank and I am also in favor to increase its funding. I have a long history of support for the land bank and as the Democratic Floor Leader for the House of Representatives I worked with Republican Chip Campsen to create the bank. Fast forward to 2009 and I was one of the strongest supporters for the two million dollar budget. We have a narrow window of opportunity in South Carolina, maybe over the next 5 to 10 years where we can preserve special places, and I’ll push to increase funding if elected Governor. In my home district the state purchased land for what is now the Cooper-Black Field Trial Facility, an example where conservation has led to economic stimulus when people come from other areas to use this facility. Another example from my district is the Battle of Camden site where a few hundred acres were protected by the land bank to honor the Revolutionary War soldiers that are buried there.

Question: What aggressive measures would you envision as Governor to stop rampant development in the Palmetto State that may damage the $30 billion in yearly revenue that is derived from the use of our natural resources?

Sheheen: The state has to be assertive about land conservation whether it be fee simple acquisitions or easement purchases. Representing several small towns I can tell you that we need to empower our existing cities to foster growth in their central areas and to shun outward sprawl. State government and city government often butt heads about what is best and this is an area that I see the need for improved communications. Economic potential exists for rural areas when you marry the idea of conservation of the ‘countryside’ with the small town serving as the hub for that area.

Question: Anything else you would like to share with blog followers today?

Sheheen: People need to understand that the biggest priority in my life is my family and I spend a lot of time with my kids and with my wife. It may be indicative of who I am, but thankfully we spend a lot of time in the outdoors. We like to hike, go to the mountains, canoe down a river, or go camping and fishing.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Berkeley County was the setting for the Sheheen fundraising event; Betsy Shuford, Vincent Sheheen and Molly Griffin; Ambassador Robert Royall and Rep. Ted Vick; John Williams and fiancee Melissa Hughes are with Gene Williams