Monday, October 31, 2011

2011 Birds of Prey Center 20th celebration

Roasted butternut squash bisque

Eurasian Screech Owl

Diane Rosin, Jack Hanna and Emily Stewart

Columbus Zoo official with Cloud Leopard
The Center for the Birds of Prey made it a night to remember with its WILD at Wingswood event on October 29 in celebration of their 20th year of existence. Their nature center in Awendaw is at the cutting edge of avian research and rehabilitation, and also provides appropriate housing for the birds that now only assist with educational purposes. Executive director Jim Elliott dialed up the star power with Jack Hanna and his Columbus Zoo animals, The Lee brothers of Charleston, and nine of his favorite downtown restaurants joined in with culinary fare. Of course, the party has a worthy cause as a fundraiser for the continued work of the Avian Conservation Center and the attendees gave generously at the silent and live auction. Birds of Prey gave flight displays and were available for some photos, while Jungle Jack showed off some big cats, an armadillo and even a penguin. The grounds of the facility are now under a conservation easement, which further demonstrated their commitment to conservation and Lowcountry Outdoors wishes them well as they soar into their third decade of work.

To view past blog entries about the Center for Birds of Prey click here.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011 Red October Surf Fishing tourney

Danny Leitner caught a bunch of big redfish in the surf

Johnny Saboe shows determination in the surf zone 
Saboe gets some assistance to release the winning fish

High and Dry - and waiting for Sea Tow
On Saturday October 29 a great tradition of the Lowocuntry continued with the annual Red Drum surf fishing tourney. The usual suspects headed up to Bull's Bay and other secret locations to try their luck for big bull reds caught in the surf zone. A cold front combined with a wide-swinging tide made for challenging conditions but the redfish were biting despite the elements! First place went to 9-year old youth angler Johnny Saboe for his 46-inch monster red drum - congrats!! Saboe was a member of Team Durant who along with Danny (big head) Leitner was able to 'colt the game' by taking home all the prizes. Leitner took second place with his 45-inch red drum, and he also scored the aggregate with redifsh measuring 45-inches, 44-inches, 43-inches and 42-inches respectively. A hard luck award went to Soc Durant who had to wait for the tide to come back in when his boat became stranded high and dry that day. Anthony Noury at Sea Tow told me that a record number of boats became stranded this day due to the front and the tides working together!

To view past blog enttries about surf fishing click here.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2011 SCWA Charleston Chapter at Shem Creek

SCWA is 25 years old!
The celebration of the 25th anniversary of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association continued with the Charleston chapter's dinner and banquet at the Lighthouse on Shem Creek. A dynamite crowd gathered to  look over the tidal waters of the creek from the back deck during a social hour, all while keeping conservation of waterfowl in their minds. Life members and new members crossed paths and smiles and stories were shared. A Beaufort stew served for dinner before the silent, live auction and raffles served to generate funds for Camp Woodie and Camp Leopold at the SCWA's Rimini education facilities. In just one month waterfowl season will arrive and the SCWA hub will begin hosting hunters eager to get a look at the Pole Barn impoundment and the ringnecks that like to over-winter there. Auction items included guns from Atlantic Game and fishing trip from Capt. Graham Hegameyer as well as prints, knives and hunting accessories.

Charleston Chapter Committee members stand tall

Christina, Graham, Addie and Rico Suave were at the Lighthouse
To view past blog entries from the Charleston SCWA banquet click here.
This SCWA crew prefers drinks by the creek!

William and Julia Dotterer collect raffle tickets with Charlie Aimar
To view past blog entries about SCWA click here.

Friday, October 28, 2011

2011 SCI Wheelchair Hunt - More Photos

Lynwood Kearse and TOMO hunter Matthew Breeden

Skinning the cape of a buck for mounting

Oregon Plantation hunt party

A patriotic flair filled the gift bags
The Lowcountry Chapter of Safari Club International also invites youths from the SCDNR Take One Make One program to participate in the hunt as well as disabled hunters from the S.C. Department Of Disabilities and Special Needs.

To view past blog entries for the SCI Hunt click here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

2011 SCI Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt

Marine Band plays during lunch on Monday 
Heath McClung proudly wears blood on his cheek

Daryl Wallace and Ryan Wheeler had some luck!

The hunting party at Oak Lawn Plantation
The 7th annual Lowcountry Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) Wounded Warrior Hunt took place on October 24 and 25 based out of Nemours Wildlife Foundation. Hunt coordinator Mark Peterson works with Nemours director Ernie Wiggers to line up private landowners each year that allow access to their plantations of the ACE Basin. General Reynolds from Parris Island Marine Base oversees the Marine color guard, Marine band, and cadre of Wounded Warriors that report to hunt on Monday night and Tuesday morning. It can not be over-stated how glad the members of the local SCI chapter are when they can provide hunting opportunities for our brave veterans. Heath McClung from St. Louis, Missouri was injured by an Improvised Explosive Device in Afghanistan and is recovering in Augusta, Georgia at the Active Duty Rehab Unit. McClung scored his first ever deer, a fine 8-point buck while hunting at Buckfield Plantation - and this result was multiplied by all the Wounded Warriors that found hunting success. McClung was also lucky in that Gus Congemi with Dead Down Wind television had made the trip from New York in order to video his hunt - and the hunt is recorded now on HD and will be aired in the future on the Sportsman Channel. "My daughter is in the military and we were gald to be invited to this quality event," said Congemi. Any of the wounded Warriors that requested a mount of their deer had it granted to them at NO Cost, and Pernell's Taxidermy was on hand to supervise the skinning of the capes. Bill Snow of SCI issued venison rations to each Wounded Warrior that came to the hunt, and venison generated during the hunt goes to help feed the hungry. Thirty wounded Warriors attended the hunt and all of them enjoyed the fellowship of being in the Lowcountry Outdoors.

To view my blog entry from the 2010 SCI Wounded Warrior hunt click here.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

2011 Williams Wheelin' Whitetail Weekend

Daryl Gillam With his trophy buck and Raymond Bostic

Robbie Hopkins and his trophy 8 point

Group photo from October 15

Larry Rahn And Raymond Bostic with his trophy 8 point
The 6th annual Wheelin' Whitetail Weekend in Williams was conducted by Disabled Outfitter, Inc. They have a mission of helping to make outdoor recreation accessible to those with disabilities. Founded by Julian Ohmer, who hunts from a wheelchair because of spina bifida, and his father Jeff Ohmer - Disabled Outfitters is hoping to hold three deer hunts and a turkey hunt in 2012. The photos from the October hunt tell a story of great fellowship in western Colleton County.

To view past blog entries about disabled hunters click here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lady hunter scores 218-pound buck in ACE Basin

A large-bodied ten-point buck harvested by Teresa Stringfield of Green Pond, was brought to Breland's Deer processing near Walterboro in early October. Stringfield was hunting in her shorts from the ground (wearing snake boots) when she encountered the buck, which Breland's reports is the heaviest animal that they have processed to date. Pernell's Taxidermy is handling the mount for Stringfield.

Photo by Michael Breland at Breland Deer Processing
To view past blog entries about lady hunters click here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Wrecking Crew caller tags 8-point buck

Goose caller tags nice 8-point buck

Rutting bucks visit green patches regularly

Competition calling in North Carolina
The teen-aged lead goose caller for the Wrecking Crew Guide Service in Lancaster had quite a week! Hunting after school on a rainy Tuesday, he endured two hours of rain and saw no deer. Back at it on Wednesday afternoon October 19 he climbed into his stand over a green food plot at 4:57 and just three minutes later at 5 p.m. sharp his Ruger 7mm bellowed and a fine 8-point buck was harvested. Blake Hodge and father Daryl report that goose scouting is going very well and they are taking advantage of deer hunting during the rut while they have some free time before waterfowl season kicks in. Over this past weekend Blake Hodge competed in calling contests in Albemarle, N.C. at God's Country Outfitters and won two trophies and some cash prizes in the Jr. Goose calling competition and the Jr. Meat duck competition. Well Done on both accounts Blake Hodge!

To view past blog entries about the Wrecking Crew click here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Jeff Rosser arrows 211-pound buck with heavy 6-point rack

Rosser displays his 10/21 bowkill - Mr. BIG

Rosser shows off the big-bodied heavy-rack buck and a doe

Trailcam from 2009 of Mr. BIG

Rosser and Peter Loy harvest game in the spring too!
Jeff Rosser is a Lowcountry outdoorsman from Mount Pleasant who is an accomplished offshore fisherman, releasing his first sailfish aboard Lil' Bit in 2009. When deer season rolls around Rosser is a dedicated hunter who will stay after his quarry often until there is a tale of success. The 6-point buck with a heavy, almost midwestern-style rack, that Rosser harvested suffered a similar fate as some of the others. Rosser began hunting this buck in 2009 when after showing up in the trail camera picture, he earned the nickname 'Empire' due to his high rack. One October afternoon in 2009 Rosser watched the buck chase does back and forth in heavy cover that offered him no shot with his bow. The buck showed up again on camera that year but never again in person. The entire 2010 season the buck was never seen in person, although a trail camera image verified that he was still in the woods. No sightings during the early 2011 season made Rosser believe that the buck had perhaps moved on, and then three weeks ago he appeared again. On Friday morning October 21, Rosser got into his bow stand on an oak flat and grunted in a small doe about 7:20 a.m. and two young bucks that looked like they were going to spar. Then the mega-six-point that looked huge came close to the stand chasing some does. After almost having a heart attack associated with buck fever, Rosser came to full draw and arrowed the Orangeburg County buck at 15-yards. With the big buck on the ground, and a feeling of a milestone bowhunting accomplishment, the ever-opportunistic Rosser was able to harvest a doe just 20-minutes later with a 35-yard 'William Tell' shot that made the memorable morning hunt feel something akin to fate. "I love this time of year," said Rosser. No wonder!!

To view past blog entries about fishermen tagging nice bucks click here.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 Fall SEWE Soiree by Ducks Unlimited

It's Duck-thirty and time to GET UP 
Mark Hartley and Sponsor Doug McElven make time for the silent auction

Blackwell and Alison Johnson at the SEWE / DU Fall Soiree

The fall flight of fun folks was on display at the Bus Shed
Celeste Wall and Chris Greenhill came from Summerville
The annual half-way to SEWE party took place in the Bus Shed in downtown Charleston, with the East Cooper Chapter of Ducks Unlimited hosting the festivities. The Southeastern Wildlife Expo print for 2012 depicting two bison was unveiled and the the new SEWE executive director was on hand to greet friends. The music of Palmetto Soul and the oysters and barbecue from Sticky Fingers added to the silent auction and raffles that DU was providing. The McElveen truck team sponsors the five gun winner take all gun raffle that lots of DU members come to take part in, and the silent auction offered prints galore and unique DU items. The East Cooper Chapter is consistently one of the top chapters in the country and it won't be long until this group of outdoor leaders will be hosting another event to raise money for the ducks.

To view past SEWE / DU Fall soiree blog entries click here.

For past blog entries about Ducks Unlimited in S.C. click here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lowcountry Fishing Report 10/21/11

Here's my latest Fishing Report for the Coastal Lowcountry of South Carolina in the Charleston Mercury.

Offshore fishing for sailfish has produced 'hero or zero' mixed results, but bottom bumping remains steady. Bulls reds are still in the nearshore fishery and they don't call this RED october for nothing. The 8th annual red October surf fishing tourney is coming up on Oct. 29!

Check out the new Class V gear bag from Wright and McGill - which kept my gear dry recently on a wet weather trip. The water-tight zippers gave me the confidence to pack my SLR camera inside and the adjustable compartments allows anglers to bring along extra gear likes Costas, a Bogagrip, extra spools and sun protection accessories. Several extra pockets on the outside allowed for my pliers and leaders to be kept within easy reach and the bag and strap each have a handsome fish logo.

Daniel Nussbaum of Z-Man fishing products and a bull drum

Wright&McGill Gear Bag holds up well on a wet day

The Class V is bigger than a standard tackle box
To view past fishing reports click here.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

2011 McGladrey Classic wrap up

The Oak Avenue once belonged to Retreat Plantation

Ben Crane is the 2011 McGladrey winner

Live oak on the chip and putt practice green

McGladrey sign in water alongside 18th green

The 2011 McGladrey Classic was actually only the second year for this PGA tourney set in Georgia's Golden Isle of St. Simon's Island. Played on the Sea Side course at Sea Island resort, which is the home for tourney host David Love III, the 2011 event was won in a playoff when Ben Crane topped Webb Simpson for the title. An ancient avenue of oaks greets patrons who came to enjoy the resort island lifestyle and a top field of PGA players. The golf course has a tidal creek bending gracefully though both the outward nine holes and the inward nine, and a series of sand dunes helped to define the character of Sea Island. The Lowcountry and the Golden Isles have a special kinship, and my hope is that the McGladrey Classic becomes a long-running success that joins The Masters and The Heritage family of tournaments. To view the dates for the 2012 McGladrey Classic click here.

For a past blog entry about the PGA click here.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2011 Colleton Historical Society Plantation Tour

Sign on White Hall Road
Pond behind the main house at White Hall
On Sunday October 16th the annual Colleton County plantation tour was held during glorious fall weather, and some of the properties date back to when the area was known as St. Bartholomew's Parish. An outdoor worship service was held at the Pon Pon Chapel in Jacksonboro before fellowship and a meal on the grounds of Beech Hill. Still in the hands of the family that has owned Beech Hill since 1825, the hosts were gracious in allowing access inside their home which was decorated with a mixture of sporting images and floral decorum. Next up was Oregon Plantation, a tract that claims nearly identical property boundaries since the late 1770's,  and is now utilized as a nature preserve. Thanks to the plantation manager for being on hand to answer questions about the native plants that have been restored on the Oregon tract. Taking a turn south towards the nerve center of the ACE Basin, I arrived at White Hall Plantation - which is simply a sporting property. The heartbeats of sportsmen could be imagined when witnessing the duck impoundments behind the house, the equestrian facility and its associated hunter/jumper activites, and the pristine grounds around the main house dotted with live oaks that belittle the word ancient. The owners of the property are members of the N.Y. Botanical Society and they have constructed a walled two-acre secret garden for the sake of communing with nature, and thanks to their master gardener for being on hand to discuss its plant life. Other properties on the tour included Maybank Plantation, Fishpond Bridge, Col. Isaac Hayne's tomb and the church at Catholic Hill. It is great to visit the living history that is present at the plantations of the Lowcountry.
To view the Colleton County Historical Society website click here.

Avenue of oaks and palmettos at Beech Hill