The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has made available online its management plans for seven Game Lands, including the sprawling Sandhills.
Covering 62,735 acres, the longleaf pine-marked Sandhills area is immensely popular with hunters, especially those in Piedmont. It has large tracts in Moore and Richmond counties, both within about a two-hour drive of the greater Charlotte area. Other portions are in Hoke and Scotland counties.
In a statement released Tuesday, the Commission indicated the plans were “developed to provide a management framework that balances science-based conservation practices with public access and usage.”
During a series of earlier public hearings across the state local outdoors enthusiasts had opportunity to comment on the plans. Now they have been set.
Included among the seven areas is the 14,331-acre Green River lands in Henderson and Polk counties. Also the Wayne Bailey Game Land in Pender County, a 17,778-acre favorite of wild turkey hunters and named for the biologist credited with restoring the birds in North Carolina.
The online information describes each game land, including its geography, infrastructure and amenities. To read the plans log onto ncwildlife.org.
▪ The fishing duo of Cole Winn and Scott Martin ran away with last weekend’s Carolinas Bass Challenge Classic at Lake Thurmond with a two-day catch of 10 largemouth weighing 44.69 pounds. They won a new Skeeter ZX200 bass boat equipped with a 200-horsepower Yamaha outboard motor. Second at the big reservoir on the S.C.-Georgia line was the team of Bobby Gaston and David Whyte with 29.67 pounds, good for $8,800.
▪ As suspected by many S.C. wild turkey hunters, the state’s harvest of the wily game birds was down slightly during the 2015 spring season. The Department of Natural Resources divulged this week that a survey indicated approximately 15,200 birds were taken by a turnout of about 45,000 hunters. That is 6 percent lower than the 2014 harvest. The most productive counties per hunt unit were Cherokee, Spartanburg, Pickens, Anderson and Newberry.
▪ A six-member team named Reel Anarchy and fishing from a boat with that name won the big Southern King Association tournament last weekend at Morehead City. The Floridians, led by boat owner and skipper Floyd Miller of West Palm Beach, caught a king mackerel of 51.94 pounds on Saturday and added one of 46.52 pounds Sunday to triumph easily with a total weight of 98.46 pounds and claim the SKA’s overall national championship
Catches of the week
▪ A 97-pound wahoo off Hatteras Village by local angler Tom Fay and fishing buddy Mark Negrey while trolling from Fay’s private boat, Wahoo II. The fish was 72 inches long and had a 33-inch girth.
▪ An 85-pound wahoo by a party fishing off Ocracoke Island aboard the Drum Stick with skipper Farris O’Neal.
▪ A 46-inch red drum in the surf at the south point of Ocracoke Island by John Waggett of Durham. Per regulations, the fish was released.
▪ A 31.5-pound king mackerel at Oak Island Pier by local angler Bobby Summey, formerly of Gastonia.
▪ A 30-pound king at Oak Island Pier by Rev. Don Davis of Supply.
▪ A 26-pound king at Oak Island Pier by Andy Summers of Trinity.
▪ A 20.3-pound king at Oak Island Pier by David Ross of Concord.
▪ Kings of 22 and 20 pounds at Oak Island Pier by David Patterson of Hillsboro.
▪ Limits of 20 crappie each at Lake Norman by brothers Bo and John Crutchfield of Denver, N.C., while fishing in the Mountain Creek arm.
▪ Blackfin tuna of 25 pounds, 22 and 21, respectively, off Hatteras Village by Anthony Lleshaj of Mooresville, Bob Matthews of Denver, N.C., and Carl Peggs of Moresville.
▪ A 5-pound triggerfish off Hatteras Village by Brian Carlson of Davidson.
▪ Sailfish boated and released off Hatteras by Robert Brogdon of High Point and Jay Ellington of Greensboro.