Friday, October 28, 2011

The Coyote Effect

Self photos by L. Ross on Oct. 28th with big male coyote

After seeing several deer on opening day of bow season, I had not seen another deer in the same area on several hunts. I have seen a lot of hog sign there, which is a new development. In the past no hogs were in the area.

I was aware that coyotes were in the area, by on Thursday, Oct. 28, I hunted for a couple of hours from pre-dawn to mid-morning and saw a large male coyote approaching. I made a good shot and he dropped in his tracks. A smaller coyote was following him and vanished instantly.

The presence of coyotes in the area probably explains the absence of deer on recent hunts. I skinned the coyote and the hide is being tanned to use as a conversation piece for my primitive craft seminars.

Upper Greenville County is a special area to visit

Gene Cunningham on a trail in upper Greenville County - Photo by L. Ross

Upper Greenville County has some beautiful timbered areas. Deer numbers are not as great as other areas, but the size of the bucks is better. Turkey numbers are excellent. Much of the area is game management property and some of the heritage preserve property is bow hunting only.

Many of the areas were logged in the distant past, but today the huge stands of oaks, poplars and scattered hickories have recovered and there are some awesome spots to explore. Old logging roads wind through the hills and provide access, but even so the walking is very demanding. If you plan to visit, carry plenty of water and a high energy snack.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Upstate Outdoor Report

Photos of handgun kills by L. Ross

Dennis Hardwick, Greenville Gun Club official, killed his second buck with a handgun this season. Dennis enjoys hunting deer and hogs with his handguns which includes several Smith and Wesson revolvers and Thompson Center Contenders.

Hardwick handloads his own cartridges to his specifications and gets great satisfaction from taking deer with handguns and handloads. He is also uses a longbow and fashions his own arrows from Port Orford cedar.

The Midlands Striper Club held a tournament at Lake Murray on Oct. 15. Lester Jones took first place with his top three fish of his five fish limit (top three weight determines winner) weighing 16 pounds, 14 ounces. Julie Griffin was second with three fish totalling 15 pounds, 12 ounces.

Upstate whitetail bucks are on the move. Chuck Mulkey of Chuck's Taxidermy and Deer Processing in Anderson reports an increase in morning activity. The best buck checked in there was 230 pounds and scored in the 150+ range.

Northwest Meat Center in Hodges reports 1,100 deer checked in so far this season. The best was an 11-point, 226 pound buck. In general, the bucks with big racks have not had great body weight. It appears that the dry summer and spotty mast has affected body weight.

SCDNR, in cooperation with Hunter Safety Systems, will have drawing at each Hunter Education class in Nov. and Dec. and one person in each class will receive a free tree stand safety harness.

A video on hunter tree stand safety is available on DNR's website at Additional tips are listed for hunters on the site.

South Carolina Ducks Unlimited reported in the latest newsletter (The Palmetto Call) that the license tag program has raised $275,000 in the last seven years. Funds have been allocated to the Mottled Duck Ecology Study in the ACE Basin, DNR's wood duck box program and the State Junior Duck Stamp program.

To purchase a South Carolina Ducks Unlimited license plate for your vehicle, contact your local DMV office.