Mike Sherrill of Mount Mourne has been an avid outdoorsman for most of his 63 years.
He has bagged big and small game, wild turkeys and waterfowl. He has caught trophy-sized fish.
As a part-time taxidermist he has mounted deer, bear, turkey, largemouth bass and other prized species.
The man has experienced a lot afield and afloat for several decades.
But Sherrill says a hunt earlier this month in which he was only an observer is the best-organized hunt he has taken part in.
It was a deer hunt for disabled persons, including Wounded Warriors, based near Sanford.
Hunters ranging in age from Mike’s 9-year-old grandson, Cody Sherrill, to a 93-year-old man participated.
The event, “Back In The Woods Again,” was founded by former world champion rodeo bull rider Jerome Davis and his uncle, Tommy Estridge, through their church. Davis was inspired to help others hunt again after he was paralyzed from the waist down when thrown from a bull.
Hunting is held in three counties – Chatham, Lee and Moore – with assistance from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and other sponsors.
“I was invited to go along by my son, Jason, who is Cody’s dad,” said Sherrill. “I gladly accepted to get to see Cody hopefully bag a deer.”
Cody, who lives with his parents near Troutman, was born with a spinal problem. He is a third-grader at Crossroads Christian School in Statesville.
Turns out Cody, firing a specially equipped rifle by blowing on a straw-like device and using a special aiming mechanism, got two deer, both does.
“Those people not only fed and lodged us and all the others who hunted, they had a club member guiding and sitting in the deer stand with us. They took the deer carcasses and dressed them. Then they packaged the venison for us to bring home,” Sherrill said. “Cody was thrilled, so that made the experience extra special and memorable for Jason and me. It’s nice to know that people like Jerome Davis – and those helping him – are still around.” Tom Higgins
• A few permits remain for a special youth-only deer hunt the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has scheduled for Dec. 14 near New Bern. The hunt, for youths 12-15, is set for the Weyerhaeuser-Cool Springs Environmental Center.
Permits are $5 per youth hunter, and the deadline for purchase is Nov. 22. They can be obtained online at www.ncwildlife.org or by phoning 888-248-6834. Participating youngsters must have completed a hunter education course and be accompanied by an adult licensed to hunt. The adult is not allowed to hunt and needn’t have a permit. Both must attend a mandatory orientation session on Dec. 7.
“Guidance and assistance will be provided every step of the way,” said the Wildlife Commission’s BB Gillen. Information: email@example.com or phone 910-218-3638. Observer News Services
• The S.C. Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a clinic on deer hunting Nov. 11 near Columbia for youth hunters 10-16. The hours are 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Lunch will be provided. To register, email Jessica Gibson at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, phone 800-277-4301.
• Work has been completed on a new boating access area at Hyco After Bay in Person County. The bay, below the Hyco Lake Dam, has been a popular fishing/hunting location for years. But until now, access was via an old road bed. Duke Energy provided the property needed for the launch/take-out area, which was built by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
• White Knoll High has won an inaugural fishing tournament for South Carolina high school and middle school students at Lake Wateree. Darin Hite and Caleb Walling teamed to boat largemouth bass weighing 12.56 pounds, easily giving White Knoll its victory. Five schools and 26 students participated in the event earlier this month. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is encouraging schools to create fishing teams. Information: Lorianne Riggin at 803-737-8483 or email RigginL@dnr.sc.gov.
• Ralph Faw of Statesville caught three bass weighing 9.56 pounds to win this week’s “Oldtimers Tournament” on Lake Norman. Included was a largemouth of 5 1/2 pounds that struck a chatter lure. The seniors fish every Tuesday for five hours from the Pinnacle Access Area on Highway 150 west of Mooresville. Each participant puts up $5 and the winner takes the pot. Anyone can enter. Just show up at 7:30 a.m. to start fishing.
Catches of the week
• A 500-pound blue marlin off Hatteras Village by Christopher Rossetti of Raleigh. He was trolling from the Swordfish with skipper Kenny Koci.
• A 55-pound wahoo off Hatteras by Ronnie Harkins of Greenville, S.C.
• A 42-inch red drum and a 37-incher at Ocracoke Island by Todd Lanham while fishing with guide Norm Miller from the Rascal.
• Two sizable puppy drum simultaneously in the Ocracoke Island surf by Richard Elmore of Charlotte. He was fishing with a double-hook rig.
• A 78-pound blue catfish from the James River in Virginia by Austin Sartin of Burlington.
• Thirty-one speckled trout, 11 red drum, six flounder and four sheepshead by Billy Kluttz of Concord, Chuck Allen of Charlotte and former Charlottean David English while fishing in Winyah Bay near Georgetown, S.C.
• A 70-pound cobia off Ocean Isle by Matt Goss of Raleigh.
• A 47.7-pound cobia at Bogue Inlet Pier by Keith Fisher of Fremont.
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