Other Sports

Flooding forces closure of S.C. wildlife areas

Flooding has disrupted most outdoor activities across South Carolina, including hunting.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources issued a bulletin Monday revealing that several wildlife management areas have temporarily been closed to vehicular traffic, just as deer season has opened in some parts of the state.

The agency said many roads are under water and have been severely damaged. Gates are closed on these areas until road travel is safe. Even though the gates are locked, walk-in hunting is permissible unless there are signs prohibiting entry.

It’s an “enter at your own risk” situation. Observer News Services

Tree stand safety urged

During last year’s deer season in North Carolina 10 hunters died when they fell from tree stands.

“That’s 10 too many,” Chet Clark, an outreach manager for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, said this week. “More people are hurt falling from tree stands than in any other type of hunting accident. These accidents are avoidable.”

Clark offered these recommendations:

▪  Maintain three points of contact when ascending or descending a stand.

▪  Use a full-body safety harness at all times.

▪  Check belts, chains and attachment cords for damage and excessive wear before use.

▪  Never carry anything while climbing or coming down. Use a haul line to raise and lower the unloaded firearm and other equipment after being seated.

▪  Have an emergency signal device, such as a cellphone, whistle or flare, readily accessible.

▪  Let an acquaintance know where you plan to hunt and the time of your return.

▪  Select a healthy, straight tree for placement of the stand.

▪  Take down a stand that has been out in the elements for an extended period of time and inspect for rusted bolts, frayed straps and other issues that might cause it to fail.

“Your life might depend on all this,” Clark said. ONS

Briefly

▪  It was off-again on-again for trout stocking on streams in the North Carolina mountains carrying the delayed harvest designation. Last Thursday the Wildlife Resources commission revealed that it was suspending the release of fish from hatcheries because of a flood threat. The situation was checked Monday and stocking resumed Tuesday.

▪  Joe Washam, one of the earliest marina owner/operators on Lake Norman, passed away Monday at age 92. His “Joe’s Marina” was just off Highway 73 west of Cornelius. The business was especially popular with anglers in the late 1960s and early ’70s, the heyday years of largemouth bass fishing at Norman. Condominiums and other developments now occupy the site where the marina once was located. Washam’s funeral was Wednesday at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Cornelius. Tom Higgins

Catches of the week

▪  Fifteen spotted bass and two hybrids boated and released Monday at Lake Norman by David Clubb of Mooresville. The fish hit lures trolled in the main channels of creek arms.

▪  A 36-pound blue catfish at Lake Norman by Mac Byrum of Denver.

▪  Twenty smallmouth bass boated and released Monday at Fontana Lake by Danny Williams of Robbinsville while casting a jerk bait to points.

▪  Eleven wahoo by Billy Berg of Murrells Inlet and party while trolling offshore at an area called The Scarp before rough seas developed during the passage of Hurricane Joaquin. The largest fish weighed 72 pounds.

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