Monday, November 21, 2011

Great Days Afield

Noted outdoor writer Bennett Kirkpatrick at Black's Brier Shooting Preserve

Photos by L. Ross

Patrick Rogers with 275 pound hog

photo courtesy of Rogers

L. Ross with a couple of deer taken recently.

photo by Patrick Rogers

On a recent hunt, I met a Patrick Rogers at the landing where we were both launching boats to go deer hunting. Rogers is a friendly, well-mannered 25-year-old that reflects the attributes that we all wish to see in outdoor persons.

We went our separate ways and I filled one of my doe tags and also took a small buck. As I was shooting a couple of photos, Rogers came by and stopped to chat. He shot a couple more photos for me and since I was in a canoe and two deer was quite a load, he volunteered to haul one to the landing for me.

Rogers is an all-around outdoorsman, enjoying kayak fishing and hunting for waterfowl, turkeys, deer and hogs. Subsequent to our meeting, he was hunting at another upstate location and shot the big 275 pound hog pictured above with a shotgun and slug.

This is the kind of person that you enjoy meeting in the woods. Congratulations to him on the big hog!

Lowcountry Hunt

Recently, I attended the fall meeting of the South Carolina Outdoor Press Association. On Friday of that week, I had the good fortune to be able to hunt with Bennett Kirkpatrick. He has
written for sporting publications for decades and in addition to being an excellent writer, he is an all-around good guy.

Kirkpatrick was shooting an old Parker 12 guage that was a thing of beauty. It was smooth from hand wear, almost devoid of bluing and had a piece of tape around the grip. You could tell that it had seen many days afield.

Age has not diminished Kirkpatrick's ability to shoot quail. We took 25 birds on the hunt and were pretty equally divided with the successful shots. It was the first hunt of the season and the dogs soon tired, but made a valiant effort to give us a good hunt.

Our host was William Peagler and our guide was Allan Weiss. They made our hunt most pleasant and we had a great time.

It was a privilege to hunt with Kirkpatrick and I hope we have the opportunity again in the future.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Anderson youth take 8-point buck with bow

River Cathey proudly displays a nice 8-point buck taken with his bow - Photo courtesy of Daniel Cathey

Rivers Cathey is 13-years-old, but this is his third deer with a bow. He is becoming an accomplished archer and hunter and carrying on a family tradition. Daniel Cathey, Rivers father is an avid archery hunter and when he talks about Rivers, his pride is obvious.

It is great to see youth today that love the outdoors and take part in traditional pursuits such as hunting and fishing. They are the future of outdoor sports. If we don't encourage them, a way of life will be lost.

Daniel and Bob Cathey run a quality duck hunting operation near Lavonia, GA. It is Skeeter Branch Shooting Preserve and their hunts are top notch. They provide a great outdoor hunting experience.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Western North Carolina Fly Fishing Trail

Photos courtesy of Jackson County Tourism Board

Western NC Trout - Photo by L. Ross

Many sportsmen's minds have turned to hunting, but if you can work in a fly fishing trip, it is a great time to be on the streams.

Check out for details about special deals on lodging near some of the top streams. Check the topic "November Deals". In addition, check out the neat video "We Love Our Trout" which highlights some of the top streams. You may even recognize some of the faces in the video.

Many of the delayed harvest streams have been stocked and the water is cooling down, prompting the fish to be more active.

Hope to see you on the stream!

Huge black bear taken in upstate stillhunt

Dennis Chastain, Pickens outdoorsman and naturalist, recently harvested a huge black bear on a stillhunt in Pickens County. He was hunting with a friend on Horse Mountain unsuccessfully for three days. They made a move to Pinnacle Mountain near Table Rock on the fourth morning.

After reaching the desired elevation, they separated. Chastain went to a spot where three years earlier he had harvested a 400 pound bruin. There was scattered sign in the area and it didn't take long for the action to start.

At 7:15, a large bear appeared at 40 yards. Chastain immediately fired at the bear with little apparent effect. The bear started ambling away. He shot it twice more and shortly after the third shot, the bear collapsed. All three shots had struck vital areas, but it took moments for them to take affect.

When Chastain approached the bear, he saw that it was huge and called to recruit help to drag it out. It took four people over four hours to drag the bear to a spot where a four-wheeler could reach it. After a 15 minute drive, it was transferred to a tractor and taken to Holly Springs Grocery where it was weighed. The bear weighed 485 pounds and was the biggest reported in the week-long stillhunt in the mountain region.

Chastain has been a very successful bear hunter. He is a frequent contributor to South Carolina Wildlife magazine and other publications as well as being involved in environmental causes and is an expert on upstate petroglyphs by native Americans.