Turkey Season Off To A Bit of a Slow Start for Me….. Henned UP
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The 2014 turkey season has bee a bit of a slow start nobody in our club has gotten one which is a bit surprising. The gobblers seem to be henned up and the hens are not breaking away so even in the afternoons gobblers are walking around with hens. The strategy one needs to try is to call the hen and hopefully she’ll bring big boy with her but so far we have not had any success doing that. Opening morning I should of filled a tag but I was trying to capture the hunt on video and I got messed up. I had two nice gobblers within 40 yards of me and I just knew they were or one of them would attack my jake decoy. I’m adjusting the video camera and getting it set when a hunter on the neighboring land shoots. He had to be within a 100 yards of me and it was enough to get them gobblers to move along. I really thought they might stick around and instead of reaching for my gun I grabbed a call to try to settle them down. Wrong…. I did call them back a little while later but they were 100 yards away and wouldn’t come closer. Well here is the video of that experience of me getting schooled again in the turkey woods.

Turkey Opener…… Is Almost Here
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Opening day for turkey season here in North Carolina is this Saturday. The youth have gotten an early start with a week long youth season this year and it sounds like some youngsters have filled some tags. We have been scrambling to get road access to our land after a rather late season ice storm toppled a lot of trees across the central part of the state. We still have a few roads on our property that is blocked but for the most part we are ready for turkey season. The weather is looking pretty good for the opener so hopefully it will great day. The turkey vest is packed and ready, the therma cell is ready and I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve. Turkey hunting is about my favorite hunt and I’m excited about calling a gobbler in. Good luck to everyone that is hitting the woods and fields for a thunder chicken…… and be safe.

The Obituary of a Poacher and a Moonshiner
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I’ve certainly never heard of Robert Burris Jr. until his obituary appeared in the Ashville Citizens Time and I certainly wouldn’t want to speak ill of the dead. However his obituary is a bit unusual especially for this day and age.

Game Wardens, security at Biltmore Estate, and other wildlife in Western North Carolina may finally relax. Robert (Bobby) Carroll Burris, Jr., has retired forever from this world of poaching, runnin’ moonshine, drinkin’, spittin’, and other general bad behavior. Now, he and his Heavenly Father, hunt bear in the rugged and mountainous parts of Heaven. Many family, friends and dogs greet him and he is preceded by his father, Robert Carroll Burris, Sr., and his mother, Ann Stanton Burris. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/citizen-times/obituary.aspx?n=robert-burris&pid=170549014&fhid=21639&FBNF=ShareObitAt#.U0VE76Xr2r8.facebook

I guess in a day and age when reality TV seeks folks like this out here is one that may of just missed his opportunity cheated by cancer. Hopefully in death Bobby found some peace.

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge Doesn’t Disappoint
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I spent this weekend in eastern North Carolina and you know I had to spend some time in Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge photographing bears. It was a spectacular weekend with lots of bear activity and I got a few good shots. Photographing bears can be a challenge so they don’t just look like a black blob. The issue seems to be even more compounded with the bears walking down almost white gravel roads but it seems many of my shots were better then the past I guess it is just a learning curve.

This one seemed lame in one foot not sure how he hurt it but he was feeding heavily in this field and getting around ok.

We saw over 40 bears in the few days I was in there and while the concentrations of sightings was around sunrise and sunset we saw a number of them in the midday.

As you can see the bugs were pretty bad

Pocosin Lakes NWR is a beautiful place with a wide variety of things to see and do so you need to put it on your list of places to visit. If you go this time a year I would recommend you bring some insect repellent because the biting flies are relentless.

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NC Wildlife Confirm Swallow-Tailed Kite Nest in North Carolina
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NCWRC Photo courtesy of John Ennis

Earlier last month biologists with NC Wildlife Resources Commission confirmed what had long been suspected that Swallow Tailed Kites were nesting in the state.

“There have been many sightings of the swallow-tailed kite in this same vicinity for several years in the spring and summer so we strongly suspected that they were nesting, but we continued to consider them a ‘probable breeder’ because we lacked evidence of successful breeding,” said John Carpenter, a wildlife diversity biologist with the Commission. “Because swallow-tailed kites nest in remote swamps, it was difficult to find nests during previous surveys.”

If your like me you may of never heard of this bird before today so what is a Swallow Tailed Kite;

Swallow-tailed kites, one of nine hawk species found in North Carolina, are striking black-and-white birds with a deeply forked tail. They are skillful fliers, hunting from the air and swooping down on unsuspecting prey, which they then eat in mid-air.

Sound recording of Swallow Tailed Kite Cornell Lab of Ornithology

According to the National Audubon Society, the historic range of breeding swallow-tailed kites once spanned as far north as Minnesota and west through Texas. However, due to habitat loss, they now are found only in fragmented populations in bottomland forests along rivers from North Carolina down to Florida and west to the Louisiana/Texas border. Because they nest almost exclusively in large river swamps, in the tops of trees, biologists typically search for them using helicopters or other fixed-wing aircraft.

Interesting bird and a great find here in the state. While some might think that NCWRC is all about managing wildlife for hunting nothing could be further from the truth. There are a lot of critters that benefit from the work they do and it should be a concern when some lawmakers want to reduce their funding by 50%.

While the bird is not federally listed as endangered or threatened, it is listed as a priority species in North Carolina’s Wildlife Action Plan,which means it is a species that the Wildlife Commission has targeted for conservation actions that biologists hope would preclude the need for federal listing.

Here is a link to NCWRC Wildlife Action Plan.

Lots of diversity of species and habitat in this state and I hope you get out and see some of it.

Boating Accident Claims at least One Life
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WRAL is reporting a boating accident on High Rock Lake in Davidson County has claimed the life of a child and a woman is missing.

LEXINGTON, N.C. — A child has been killed and a pregnant woman is missing after a boat crash on High Rock Lake in Davidson County.

Wildlife officials say a speedboat collided and went over the top of a pontoon boat around 12:30 p.m. Saturday on the northern part of the lake near Linwood.

Authorities say there were four people on each boat. A child on the pontoon boat was killed and a woman on board is missing. Another man in the beat suffered critical head injuries. No one on the speedboat was injured.

Officials are trying to determine what caused the collision. They say speed may have been a factor.


Memorial Day weekend is the traditional kick off to summertime activities and unfortunately tragedies like this do take place. Safety should be paramount on everyone’s mind especially while operating any type of motor vehicle. NCWRC has a lot of great information on boating safety that you should check out.

Please be careful out there and keep these people in your thoughts and prayers as well as the rescuers that are searching.

Dixie Deer Classic Was a Hit
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It was another spectacular Dixie Deer Classic there is no doubt the Wake County Wildlife Club knows how to put on a show. I was out there all three days and got to catch up with a lot of folks I hadn’t seen for a while. One only has to look at the winning deer heads to see that North Carolina continues to produce quality deer and while we may never be the trophy mecca some other states are the opportunity to take a buck of a lifetime in the tarheel state gets better and better every year.

I believe the two buck limit in large sections of the state continues to help produce better and more mature deer each year.

I attended a number of workshops but the highlight for me was Steve Rinella from the Meat Eater show on the Sportsman Channel. I’ll admit it wasn’t until I got sick and stuck at home for a few months till I discovered his show. This is not your typical hunting show nor was his presentation at the Dixie Deer Classic. His book is on my to read list and his show is programed into my dvr.

Steven Rinella is the host of the new TV show MeatEater (premiered January 2012 on The Sportsman Channel) and an award-winning author. Steven has spoken to a wide range of audiences about his life as a modern-day hunter-gatherer. With humor and irreverence, he discusses the hunting lifestyle, wild game, the ethics of hunting, and the human need for wilderness. His talks are punctuated with stories of amazing and sometimes absurd adventures, ranging from falling through the ice in Michigan to getting poisoned by wild mushrooms in Alaska to almost getting killed by a wild boar that fell from the sky under very strange circumstances in the central highlands of the Philippines’ Luzon Island

My overall favorite part of the Dixie Deer Classic was the youth involved in the scavenger hunt. All three days I saw the young people going to various booths throughout the show hunting out answers to questions about wildlife and conservation. While this was a very educational endeavor for them I wouldn’t necessarily point it out to them because they were having to much fun learning about the great outdoors.

Well the show is all packed up and won’t roll back into town until next year…. so you should start making plans on how you are going to bag that trophy buck this coming fall so he can hang on the trophy wall.

Big Buck Taken In Wake County
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The News and Observer has a story about this pretty impressive buck that was taken right here in Wake County.

Two weeks ago, Eric Robertson shot an 11-point, 200-pound deer on his parents’ land in Wendell, the biggest by far in his hunting career and far larger than most of the bucks wandering Wake County. He snapped a quick picture with his phone and sent it to a buddy in Ahoskie.

But within a few hours, that photo had made the rounds, passing into the hands of admiring strangers. By lunchtime, when Robertson took his deer to be processed, the butcher had already seen its picture.

“He didn’t even know the guy who showed me the picture,” said Don Sollars of Country Butchers in Zebulon. “I thought that was funny.”

There’s a reason shots of Robertson’s 11-pointer went viral: You rarely see a buck that big in these parts.

It’s not a record. The heaviest one ever weighed in North Carolina is 267 pounds, according to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. But the bigger ones tend to inhabit the spacious fields in the eastern part of the state.

N&O Story

I believe Wake County is a sleeper county when it comes to big bucks for a number of reasons;
Most of the agricultural land has sprouted up houses the landscape and pockets of timber are ideal habitat for deer.
Other than cars there is little that will prey on a full size deer. Coyotes are on the up tick so that may change.

That makes for some ideal conditions and allows bucks to get a little age on them. Pretty impressive deer for these parts and I suspect in the years to come we’ll see more deer like this or better taken here in the capitol county.

Wildlife Draws Swan Lottery…..and I’m Out a Luck Again!!!
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Swans are big birds it often takes a couple of attempts for the dogs to figure out how to bring one back.

North Carolina is one of the few states that has a tundra swan hunt and because of its popularity it is becoming more and more difficult to get a permit. Every year they hold a lottery for the prized tags and this is the second year in a row I haven’t gotten drawn. There has been some talk about going to a point system so if you don’t get drawn you’ll have a bit better odds the next year. Well I’m all for it…. I guess what kills me is that just about every year I hear of a few guys that don’t even bother to go hunt them even though they get the tag. Short of my death bed I’d be going. So another year where I won’t get to shoot whitey on Martin Luther King Day…… Well if you put in for this or any of the other permit hunts here in North Carolina go to the NCWRC website and see if you were drawn…. I hope you have better luck.

Agri Supply Celebrates 50 Years…. Stop By and Check Them Out
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I moved to North Carolina close to 20 years ago and Agri Supply was one of the first place I discovered to find a lot of equipment and supplies I needed for a number of my outdoor adventures. While they are primarily a farm store they carry such a wide assortment of stuff that they are great place for lots of projects. Over the years their hunting section has really increased and they have a great selection of treestands, ground blinds, supplies for food plots, processing deer etc. I hardly start an outdoor adventure with out running in there; my northern excursions for moose or bear always start at Agri Supply to get tarps and come alongs and things needed to get some big critters out of the woods. I was in Agri Supply last week to get supplies to re post the “No Trespassing” to hopefully keep folks out of my prime hunting spots.
Agri Supply is a local one stop place for a lot of the things I need… as I tell my wife if Agri Supply don’t have it you don’t need it. If they would only add a small jewelry counter it make my Christmas shopping so much easier.

Well this weekend Agri Supply is celebrating 50 years of doing business the right way and if you get the chance its a perfect opportunity to stop by and check them out. They will have all kinds of things going including some of the guys from “Pass’n It On” a North Carolina based hunting show. Here is the line up for the Garner Store Celebration.

Come See Us At Our Store! – September 22nd, 2012

Grass Cats Bluegrass Band from 11:15am – 1:15pm
Free barbecue lunch, cake, and chips 11:00am – 2:00pm
Meet some of the crew from the Fox Sport’s South TV show Pass’n It On Outdoors
Vendor demos
WQDR radio remote from 11:00am – 1:00pm
Face painting

Register to win great prizes including one of 2 truck tool boxes, Carolina Cooker, 5’ x 10’ utility trailer, tripod deer stand, park bench, air compressor, backpack sprayer with Glystar weed killer, Fimco Sprayer, chicken coop, Norwesco tank, Kodiak mower, gas caddy, and barbecue cooker
Visit the antique tractor and farm machinery museum for a trip down Memory Lane
Come check it out!

They are a great bunch of people and so helpful when you walk in there looking for something. I plan to stop out there on Saturday so who knows maybe you’ll run into me.

Infolinks 2013