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JULY 2014


What’s Inside


Outdoor Scenes See Page 12 & 20

Carmen Neil•••••••••Page 19 Terry Todd•••••••••••Page 21 Nancy Jo Adams••••Page 23 Todd Holbrook ••••••Page 23

Passing It On See Page 17

Subscription form................Page 15 Keaton Beach.....................Page 2 FL Reds................................Page 9

Obsession...........................Page 21 Hurbert Bickley...................Page 15 DeWayne Spires..................Page19

Spotted Sun Fish.................Page 23 Canoeing............................Page 23

Address Service Requested

POSTAGE PAID Valdosta, Ga. Postal Permit #171

Keaton Beach Fishing Report

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JULY 2014

also in May. However, we have yet to catch one on board One More Cast. Last week I took three ladies from Perry, Florida Pat out who are all in their70’s and we had a limit McGriff of 20 trout with three trout over 20” to boot! We Southern Outdoors caught short trout and sharks and lady fish mixed Writer in with our keepers. My charter Sunday, June 1rst was Stan and Tyler Bryant with Jeff Moore of Macon, Ga. and our top ten trout weighed 28+ pounds! Four of those were over 23” with a 25” Trout fishing continues to be “speck-tacular” Sow included. We also had a nice 26” red to top at Keaton as May water temps hit the mid 80’s off the stringer! The 20 trout weighed 44 pounds! and the trout never slowed down. They are still We have been fishing with live pin fish rigged up coming from3-5 feet of water regardless. on 32” leader of Trik-Fish30# line under a Back My charters have had limits of trout on every Bay Thunder. I have mostly fished 3.5’ - 4.5’ trip with a few reds thrown in for fun. We jumped unless we couldn’t catch a breeze; then I have a Tarpon two weeks ago ( early for Mid-May) and moved out to 4.5 - 6.5 ft depths. The trout are cobia have been caught at Keaton to 52 pounds still preferring the smaller than 4” pin fish, a bit unusual for this late in the spring, but I have had no problem catching them. Reds have been spotty while reports of reds caught on Precision Tackle’s Gold Intruder Spoons have been more common over the last two weeks. ( today is June 5) Look for reds on top of the tide and in the first hour of the lop. Jig spinners such as the Cajun Flash and Thunder-Spin will also take their share of reds in June. Cobia are still around but hardly as aggressive as when they first showed up pre-Spawn in May. Keep a live small blue crab handy were you to spot a ling and have a 40# outfit for the fight. Meanwhile, I will see you on the water Shelvy Elder of Valdosta, Ga. with a fine trout taken on a live pinfish under a Back Bay Thunder.

Jeff Moore of Macon, Ga. with a 24.5” trout taken June 1rst

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On the Cover

John Garrett Pearson tournament fishing at Lake Seminole. He is the son of John and April Pearson of Perry, Ga.

Cajun Thunder – ClarkSpoon Saltwater Assassin - Flying Fisherman Trik Fish • Bite-A-Bait • Star Rods

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JULY 2014



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Daniel F. Evans

Publisher & Publisher devans@

Julie Evans

Associate Editor Advertising Director jevans@ Audrey Evans Sales aevans@ Susan Scraggs Sales/Subscriptions sscragg@ Terry Todd Sales/Writer ttodd@

Deadlines Contact us at 478-224-3335 for advertising deadlines. All stories need to be emailed in either text, Microsoft Word, or typed as an actual email. All articles due by the 20th of the month prior to date of issue. Emailed photos need to be in jpeg, tif or pdf formats.

Mail to: Southern Outdoors P.O. Box 55 Perry, GA. 31069 Email to: © 2014 Southern Outdoors Magazine. All rights reserved, including advertising. Unsolicited editorial manuscripts and photos are welcome and encouraged. Ideas and/or opinions expressed in this newspaper do not necessarily reflect the ideas/opinions of Southern Outdoors, the publisher, editor and/or staff. Southern Outdoors is published monthly by Southern Outdoors Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 55, Perry, GA 31069. 478-224-3335. Mailed Valdosta Ga. Telephone number for editorial, advertising, and subscription office is (478) 224-3335. Yearly subscription is $25.00 for one year, $45.00 for two years. POSTMASTER Send changes of address to Southern Outdoors, P.O. Box 55 Perry, GA 31069

Here We Go Again Danny Evans

Southern Outdoors Editor & Publisher

Here we go again. It’s been all most 15 years ago I turned over the reins of Ga’s Outdoor Adventures to Terry Todd. Terry has been a good steward of GOA over the years, which has given me the opportunity to return to the outdoors. We all at some point get to a crossroads in our life where we make changes. Just so happened that Terry and I wanted changes at the same time. To mine and hopefully his too, we both we able to pursue other directions in our lives. Terry will still be involved in what is now Southern Outdoors Magazine helping with sales and outdoor news. Why the change you ask? My wife Julie and I just thought it was time to expand outside the Georgia lines. Most people when they enjoy the outdoors they travel great distances to do so. So we figured in order to cover the places people love to go, we to need to travel out a little more. As Julie would say, “We just need to get out of the bay!” A little inside joke with us that I might share with you one day.

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We hope to add in more areas of the enjoyment of the outdoors. There are just so many different aspects of “Getting Outdoors”. I will admit, I don’t eat, drink & sleep hunting and fishing like some, but I really do enjoy every aspect of the outdoors including hunting, fishing, boating, shooting and just plain going out in the woods to get away from everything else. I am very lucky, we live the outdoor life. I have a wife and two children who all are avid Hunter’s and love all shooting sports. My wife is the fisherman in the family. Just like my mother was, she is always happy with a cane pole, a bucket and some Louisiana Pinks in the cup. Though these pages we hope to not only share our experiences, but the ones, you the reader have also. So, please send us your stories and pictures. We would love to print them. As you will notice we are going to a little higher quality paper that is stitched and trimmed. So we want the best possible pictures we can get. When you send us photos, please do so in the highest resolution you can. 300dpi is preferable. But even if you are using your smart phone to take the picture, send it to us at the largest size it will let you. This will enable us to show your trophy buck or catch of the day in the best possible way. Send them to me at I do look forward to meeting each of you. Julie and I, along with Southern Outdoors staff members will be working trade shows though out the Southeast, so stop in to see us if you can. Well until next time, keep yourself outdoors as much as you can!!

Just Dropping in? Julie Evans

Southern Outdoors Associate Editor

If you are picking up this magazine for the first time, I hope you will enjoy the new changes you will see and articles that you will be reading about in the upcoming months. Georgia Outdoor Adventures printed it’s last issue last month, and this issue is the first with the new name of Southern Outdoors Magazine. For the subscribers of GOA, don’t worry. You will still continue to receive the paper on a monthly basis. We plan on enlarging our coverage area into the southeast and adding more articles and stories of interest to outdoor enthusiast. Of course, we want your input. We want to know what you would like to see more of and we welcome your comments and suggestions. One area that we plan on adding is more stories related to ladies by adding more articles, writers and pictures from woman. So, ladies, send me your photos, stories ideas, and thoughts. If you know of someone that you think would be a

good story idea, let me know about it. I did have a subscriber ask if we were going to add a ladies cooking column? My answer was that I would love too especially recipes of cooking or grilling what you kill or catch. But, I don’t want to rule out a man either. I have eaten many meals prepared by men that were absolutely delicious. Most of the times, I didn’t even know that meat was something that they had killed. So, if anyone knows of a “cook” that loves to prepare what they accumulated in their freezer from their favorite hunting sport, send me their number or email address. We want to make this your paper of choice to go to for a variety of outdoor sporting activities and news. I can’t wait to meet everyone that I have already talked to by phone only. My husband and I will be in Atlanta for the Buckarama on August 1 and then back two weeks later for the Buckarama held in my hometown of Perry that starts on the 15th. So, come on by and say hello to us. We want to meet you all. My email address is jevans@southernoutdoorsonline. com Don’t forget to like us on Facebook. We already have a couple of trips that we will be giving away this next year that I know anyone would love to win.


JULY 2014


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JULY 2014

Bud and I Enjoyed the Ride SOUTHERN OUTDOORS

Terry Tood

Southern Outdoors Writer

Georgia’s Outdoor Adventures literary started on the road some 14years ago. Starting a outdoor newspaper was fun, challenging, and enjoyable! A lot of great friends were made along the way, and probably a few people asking the Why question. We were told we couldn’t make it and a few tied to make it hard sometimes, but it was the thrill of challenge that kept GOA going for the all these years. There are so many people to thank for their love, interest, and support of this outdoor publication. I could fill this paper up with the names, but I will keep it short and move on. To our many faithful advertisers a big thank you for your support. To

of course our writers, we could not have had a paper without your support. To my family and especially my wife, thanks for putting up with miles and miles on the road, and all the outdoor shows. To my riding friend named Bud. We both will miss the road that we went down together on so many occasions. I will miss everything about GOA, especially the people along the way. But, there is some better news! The name is changing, as life does too, but the paper or magazine as it will be called will be better than ever. The new name will be called Southern Outdoors Magazine, with all color pages, more news from around the Southeast, and many more paper distributed throughout our area. I will still be involved to some degree and hope all of you keep supporting the effort to bring our readers the best of the best when it comes to the great outdoors! Check our new website out and call us if we can be of any service to you. Please support Southern Outdoors Magazine. As always, I will end this article as I have done for a decade plus. UNTIL NEXT MONTH-ENJOY THE OUTDOORS!


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JULY 2014

Marshes, Shrimp, Crabs, and Sport Fish Todd Holbrook GWF President

Live shrimp on Kahle hooks suspended below sliding floats mean spotted sea trout and - at the right stage of Georgia’s substantial tides - happy fishermen. Why is Georgia so well known for its inshore fishing for trout, red fish, flounder, tarpon and other sport fish? Why is our 100 miles on coast a standout? The answer: salt marsh. Salt marsh is the foundation of the salt water food chain and a nursery area for many species. The food that grows the shrimp, crabs, and larval fishes grows here. The shrimp, crabs, and larval fishes are the food for the trout, red fish, flounder and tarpon. It really is that simple. Our inshore fishing is good because we have healthy marsh in abundance. And continued health and abundance as well as

those continued shouts of “fish on� depend upon protections of our state marshes. Okay, let’s take a minute and talk about protections. For salt marsh to function like a food plot in the Atlantic Ocean, we have to keep our debris, our development, and our pollutants out of it. For years we have done that with buffers, i.e., setbacks from the wetland. The buffers allow a space for runoff to filter through upland soils so that clean water is what enters the marsh. If we develop houses, factories, and parking lots right to the wetland edge, bad stuff enters, and we start the slow steady decline that ultimately kills our fishing. These are some of the reasons behind the recent uproar over a Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) policy change resulting in no enforcement of the buffers in some locations along the salt marsh edge. The impacts are a big deal. How big? The marsh is more important to quality fishing long term than are the regulations that protect specified size classes and numbers that sport fishermen can put in the cooler. It is that big. In EPD’s defense, an enforcement agency must have firm legal footing for its enforcement actions.

Most environmental and sportsmenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s groups argue that current law is clear enough for buffer enforcement for the past two decades. But the law certainly could be clearer. The good news is that both sides in this debate say that they agree that a law change during the 2015 session of the Georgia General Assembly is needed. No one is debating the importance of buffers. The Georgia Wildlife Federation stands in support of a revision to our laws. Hopefully, we will see nonprofit advocacy groups and the EPD, the Stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s chief enforcement agency for marsh buffers, standing together under the Gold Dome and insisting on a fix. What can average citizen do to help? Right now, stay informed. Join the Camouflage Coalition at <> . It cost nothing to join. In November, vote. In January, use the Camouflage Coalition to make certain that those we elect protect marshes and coastal fishing. Todd Holbrook is president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Wildlife Federation. He can be reached at

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We have a responsibility to conserve and protect our treasures Mary Ann Anderson

Communication Specialist Ga. Wildlife Federation

As a longtime advocate for Georgia’s incredible natural wonders and our amazing array of wildlife, I realize that protecting it all is a massive, ongoing task. As outdoorsmen and women, we have a responsibility to conserve and protect our treasures so that our children and our children’s children and their children can have the same deep appreciation of the natural world as we do. In reality, I never really thought much about saving our wild places and wild animals until I first traveled to Africa, to Kenya¹s Maasai Mara and Tanzania’s Serengeti, some dozen years ago. Later I would make the exhaustingyet-exhilarating journey to Uganda to write about and photograph the highly endangered mountain gorillas, of which only a few hundred remain in the world, and to places like South Africa and Zimbabwe and even the Galapagos to study the wildlife. My attitude toward animals of all species is truly heightened

with each sojourn with Mother Nature. After seeing the animals in their natural habit, the giraffe and elephants bounding across the savanna, the lion and cheetahs growling in the bush, and the great herds of zebra and wildebeest on their annual migration, the giant tortoises that Darwin so loved munch on sweet grass, I vowed to never, ever visit a zoo again. And I haven’t. Of course, that newfound appreciation spilled over into Georgia wildlife, and I vowed to make a difference in saving

it. After Africa, I began reading and learning all I could about our own animal and bird kingdoms. I went to Harris Neck to study the wood storks, to Jekyll Island to learn about our endangered and threatened sea turtle population of loggerhead, leatherback, green, Kemp’s Ridley, and hawksbill, to Moody Forest to catch glimpses of the red-

cockaded woodpecker, and to Broxton Rocks in search of the iridescence of indigo snakes and the prehistoric-looking, slow-moving gopher tortoises that still enthrall and bring a smile to my face. Oftentimes I walk the woods for hours just to snap a few photos. Don’t get me wrong. As a teenager growing up in South Georgia, I hunted and fished and could skin a squirrel as well as a man. Not once did I think about animal welfare as I took a bead on whitetail or a covey of quail. My view of wildlife began to change in my 20s, and by the time I arrived on the Dark Continent all those years ago, I knew that a part of the rest of my life’s work would be in conservation. Now, as an adult, I shoot only with a camera lens and not a gun, although I’m still known to bait a hook on a hot summer day and toss the line of a cane pole into a pond hoping for a wallop of a fight with a redbreast or bass. Earlier this year, when I began working with the Georgia Wildlife Federation, part of my personal goals was to work with educating others about endangered species and places, and really, all animals and habitats. Through legislation, the written word, and photography, GWF showcases Georgia’s backyard of woods and forests and streams and mountains and all their inhabitants. The bottom line is that when we protect our state’s and our planet’s natural resources, it’s a wise use of nature and an insurance policy that the generations who come after us can enjoy it all as we do now.

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You Can Change or get left behind By Julie Evans Associate Editor Southern Outdoors

I never thought driving just 30 miles west of my hometown, that I would find what I did in Jeffersonville, Ga. There’s big business in that small town, and I mean really big. Obsession Bows is what I am talking about! Four million in sells and growing everyday! Dennis and Angela Lewis have taken off with their new line of 6 bows along with other hunting products that are being used by avid hunters all over the world. When you visit the offices of Obsession Bows in Jeffersonville, Ga. you see a full Indoor Shooting Range that is set up for you to test one of his bows. Also, you’ll see bows that have already been built neatly arranged around the warehouse and ready for shipping. That particular day that I visited, Dennis was showing off his “new toy” that was just delivered called the Haas VF-4. That huge machine will be able to cut all of the components for the bows. This will be a great asset with a quicker turn around time for orders from his vendors. No, you can’t buy his products there, but you will get to meet Dennis and his wife, Angela who both play a big role in the day to day operations and the success of the business. Todd Jones the production manager and Blake Williams-Bow builder and Technician are also full time employees who help in the process of getting their bows out quickly to their vendor orders. Todd told me that he can put a complete bow together in 9 minutes….Now, that’s impressive! Dennis Lewis in no novice to the hunting world. Hunting is in his blood and has been for over 30 years. He is in his 4th year with Obsession Bows with 6 different models. Other products that Lewis owns and sells are White Tail Scents, Scrape Juice Hunting Products and Motor Mouth Sounds.

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In his career with competitive bow hunting shooting Dennis, He has won over 200 archery tournaments including the S.E. Triple Crown, 4th World IBO, GA. State Championship, ASA State Pro and Mid South 1st Championship. The lists of wins go on and on and the titles have been recorded in the books with his name written all over them. Lewis received a phone call one day from a guy named Kevin Strother who just happens to be one of the top, if not the best Engineer and Archery Designer in the archery industry. Kevin had heard about an accident that Dennis had been in and wanted to lend a helping hand during his recovery… They have been together ever since… 3 years later. (Kevin still holds a World Record in Speed with a bow of 588 fps. plus with Distant shooting of 1320 yards 1 ft and 3 inches per second) Kevin does the designing and engineering and Dennis and his team sell to over 300 businesses all around the world who carry his products. One of my questions was, “What’s so special about your Obsession Bows? Why are they so popular?” He was quick with his answer, “ I can build a better bow, dead in the hand, and quiet and accurate with shoot ability with better performance!” Once you see an Obsession Bow, you will notice the look of his bows are different from the traditional bows that are your typical greens and browns. Obsession Bows all have a unique design with many colors like purples, pinks and reds. Go to the website and read up on the different bows that are being sold today. It might help you to understand the slogan Dennis uses in his marketing, “Change or get left behind.” Dennis is serious and can back up his products with results…. He’s here to stay……

Dennis and Angela stand in front of the new Haas VF-4 that just arrived at the plant. This machine will help speed up production to get their bow out quicker to their vendors.

Todd Jones- Production Manager, Blake Williamson-Bow Builder and Technician along with owner-Dennis Lewis with just a few of their recent tropies brought home from 3-D Archery Tournaments

JULY 2014



Bagged Them!



Mitchell Day, son of Troy and Amy Day of Perry, Ga. with his first deer,hog, and turkey all shot in the last year. The turkey had 7/8” spurs and a 10 1/8” beard.

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JULY 2014

We Have You Covered!

Hannah Jones with her Opening day gobbler that had 11’ beard 1-1/4 spurs and tipped the scales at 20lbs.

Todd Jones with a double beard that I got Apr 13 2014 w/t a 10-3/8’ and 8-1/2’ beard and 1-1/8 spurs.

Steve Davidson along with family and friends withthey’re catch of the day at Orange Beach, FL. (LtoR) Madison Doughtry, Ethan Guthrie, Lamar Guthrie, Natalie Smith, Eden Davidson, Nic Bekklers, Steve Davison and Walker Davison

Josh Coil with a Red Fish he reeled in.

Whos hiding behind the Red Snapper??

JULY 2014



Florida Red Snapper Success –And More! By Jeff Young Southern Outdoors Writer

Pictured front row, left to right, Mark Munday, Johnny Reed, Lance Rucker - Back row, left to right, Jeff Young, Tyler Brown, Charlie Cook.

Juliette, GA

Panama City, FL – The good news? The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) moved to open the season for red snapper in state waters of the Gulf of Mexico this year for a considerably longer period of time than their federal counterparts! The bad news? As you are reading this, if you haven’t been red snapper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, you’ve missed your opportunity for 2014. While the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Council ( GMFC) decided that recreational fishermen could take 2 red snapper per day for only a 9 day period , beginning June 1, 2014, FWC opened the season out to 9 miles in the Gulf from May 24th through July 15th, giving anglers a much wider range of opportunity of catching delicious “pearl bellies”! We could spend page after page here, discussing the folly of our federal fisheries agency’s interpretation of the Manguson-Stevens Act, the need for legislative intervention, poor scientific evaluations of fish stocks and so on, but I would rather focus here on the more pleasurable side of this situation: catching fish! Big ones and lots of them! My friends and I started out on Saturday morning, May 24th from our boat slip in St. Andrew’s Bay with a few dozen pinfish in the live

well, visited the “bait barge” and picked up a few cigar minnows, made a short stop on some of the channel markers and picked up some hard tails and then headed off shore to start our day catching a few Amberjack in federal water. We stopped some 40 miles offshore, in 225 feet of water, over a good junk pile and went to work. We were looking forward to watching our youngest angler; Tyler Brown of Columbus, tangle with his first “reef donkey” and it did not take long! We had clipped the tail on a hard tail and had Tyler drop it to the bottom and crank it back up a few feet and hold on. With the screen of the bottom machine showing good numbers of big fish, we knew he would be in for a fight in short order so when the young man’s rod doubled over and he started grunting, we were not surprised. Tyler did an excellent job fighting that big Amberjack and after a few minutes of pulling, reeling, pumping, losing line and gaining line, we smacked a gaff in the fish’s head and slung him on the deck with a flurry of “high fives” all around! The limit on Amberjack is 1 per person, so we each had a fight in front of us, and to our surprise we only made 7 drops to land our 7 jacks. All See REDS, Page 16

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JULY 2014

The Ultimate Camo Storage and Travel Bags Nancy Jo Adams

panel woven nylon webbing. You can rest assured that your clothes will remain scentfree and all in one place. The very roomy

Southern Outdorrs Writer

In preparation of my South Africa hunt, I have taken my Watson AirLock Bottomless 26 Bowhunter’s Roller Bag out of the gear room to start packing items; after all, it is never too early to start preparing. I have full confidence that the Watson AirLock Bottomless 26 is going to get my gear to South Africa and back safe and secure. I own two of the Watson AirLock bags and plan to purchase the newest product added to the line in the near future. The Watson AirLock Bottomless 26 incorporates the exclusive AirLock Technology Back2Back 2-sided fabric coating protection for the interior and exterior fabric that resists abrasions, repels water and insures protection of your gear from odors. The exterior is designed of barrier premium fabrics made of high strength nylon and polyester to provide long lasting durability. The nylon handles and straps used on the product are high-grade panel woven nylon webbing for durability and a smooth touch. Commercial grade two-way YKK zipper extends the entire length of the bottom portion and the top opening of the duffle portion. There is a handle on each end of the bag that allows you to easily lift the bag for loading into a vehicle. The duffle top has reinforced nylon trim with one of them having durable reinforcement to assist in rolling down the top. All buckles are sturdy plastic pinch-style buckles. There are two larger buckles on the bottom portion of the bag to secure the main compartment and two smaller nylon straps and buckles on the roll-down portion to neatly secure the top portion; as well as the two buckles and straps that secure the roll-down portion on each end. The Bottomless 26 also features a detachable tree stand field pouch and a foldout-changing mat to keep you from picking up debris, leaves or moisture from the ground while trying to change in the field. There are two zippered pouches on the backside of the duffle and pockets on the inside of the top duffle with ample room for

gloves, face mask, socks or any other items that need separate storage. The bag incorporates smooth gliding inline rolling wheels and a sturdy retractable handle. The top of the bag also has two handles that Velcro together for carrying duffle bag style. The design of the bag has a reinforced floor panel construction that also forms a kick plate reinforcement around the wheel area. All stitching is heavyduty reinforced stitching with commercial grade nylon thread. The Watson AirLock Bottomless 26 measures 26”Lx18”Hx15”D and is available in Mossy Oak Breakup and RealTree Xtra with accent colors of hunter orange or pink; as a proud sponsor of Breast Cancer Research and Awareness. The MSRP of the Watson AirLock Bottomless 26 MSRP is $269. Also, available is the Mathews Lost Camo with Mathews Logo accent. The Watson AirLock Camo Carrier is made with the same high quality standards and materials as the Bottomless 26 but designed to be the perfect bag for transporting your gear to the field. It keeps your clothes organized and scent-free and the Back2Back fabric is water repelling. There is a large integrated double layer changing mat that is

Camo Carrier measures 26”Lx19”Hx12”D and is available in Mossy Oak Breakup and RealTree Xtra with accent colors of hunter orange or pink and has a MSRP of $139; also, available in Mathews Lost Camo with Mathews Logo Accent. The newest bag introduced to the Watson AirLock lineup is a Mini Camo Carrier. Measuring 19”x16”x9”, this bag is anything

but MINI. The Mini Camo Carrier is perfect to use as an airline carry-on. The Mini Camo Carrier is available in Mossy Oak Breakup and RealTree Xtra with accent colors of hunter orange or pink. You can read more about all of the great Watson AirLock products and find a list of dealers located in your area at Visit Watson AirLock on Facebook and see what other hunters have to say about the Watson AirLock products they own. Nancy Jo Adams, founder of Ladies in Camo, is a freelance/staff writer, columnist, blogger, product review specialist, avid huntress, a mentor for women in the sport of hunting and an advocate for ethical hunting. She is a member of the Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA) and Southeastern Outdoor Press Association (SEOPA). See more of Nancy Jo’s writings on her blog at www.njadams1.wordpress. com, and/or follow her on Social Media.

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JULY 2014


It’s all about “Sporting Women”!

“Sporting Women” is where it’s at for the women who fish, hunt, shoot, or just love the outdoors like I do! Truth is, women are beginning to dominate the outdoor industry. But, there will be no bashing the men here, because if it weren’t for my husband Doug and my personal journeys I wouldn’t be the “sporting” type. After a two-time breast cancer diagnosis, God led me to explore new adventures. These adventures led me to enjoying shooting and learning about guns from my husband. Then, we all know what came next...holding a gun in my hand and helping to provide for my family. Little did we know these new adventures would soon lead to something even bigger. Three years ago, Doug and I were led in a different direction using my personal breast cancer journeys to help others by doing what we enjoy. We founded the charitable event TA TA BANG! BANG!. This annual event became an elite sporting clays competition that combines the love of the hunting and shooting industry. Friday, April 26th, 2012, Beaux Eden Plantation, Fort Valley, Georgia, became the home of the annual TA TA BANG! BANG!. Our first year, Travis Creekbaum of The Chase with Leigh and Travis made a special appearance. We started the annual event with just a five-stand competition

Carmen Neil

Southern Outdoor Writer TA TA BANG! BANG!

with side games, raffle and auction, raising over $39,000. Just this past April 19th, 2014, we kicked it up a notch and had Howell Shooting Supply from Enterprise, Alabama, add a 100-bird sporting clay event on a course that was over a mile long. This was also the first year we featured the Spent Rounds Designs sponsored “Crazy Quail”. Along with the lineup was the infamous timed event, “TA TA TACTICAL”, presented by Georgia Firearms Training Academy, and the grandiose “hunter’s dream raffle and auction”. To our amazement, the event brought in pros and grand master champions from the sporting clays world. Micheal Lee of The Backwoods Life even made a special appearance and joined in on the excitement. By the way, you won’t find orange clay targets at our events. Each year we special


order bright PINK White Flyer clay targets to set the theme for the event. The day ended with an awards dinner banquet and live auction. We are blessed to say we raised over $55,000 on a rainy Easter weekend. All proceeds from TA TA BANG! BANG! events go to screening mammograms and further diagnostic breast cancer testing at local nonprofit community hospitals and their outlying diagnostic facilities. Sometimes all it takes is a personal journey and your passion to make things happen. For me, it was being a two-time breast cancer survivor, my love for the outdoors, and the founding of TA TA BANG! BANG! (Shooting Sports for Cancer, Inc.). I am blessed and honored to be among the “Sporting Women”. For more information, visit www.tatabangbang. com and like our Facebook page. Aim. Shoot! Blessed. Carmen Neil is the Founder/Owner, President/ CEO, Shooting Sports for Cancer, Inc. that holds the TA TA BANG! BANG!


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Page 16


Bringing in the catch

JULY 2014

Tyler Brown shows off the “Big Red” he caught off of Panama City, FL

Pictured are Mark Munday, Johnny Reed, Lance Rucker, Jeff Young, Tyler Brown, Charlie Cook, Brian Bramlett.


Continued from page were more than the 30” legal length great success, our Boston Whaler 360 with our senior angler, Charlie Cook of Lawrenceville’s being the beast! I hate say it but the author’s was the runt of the litter at 32”. So with phase one complete we moved about 10 miles closer back towards the 9 mile line, stopping in about 180 feet of water to work on catching some scamp and red groupers. We dropped pinfish and cigar minnows to the bottom and caught a few of those tasty critters along with many big red snappers, the allegedly imperiled species, so obtrusively guarded by the misguided Feds. Of course, we had to release those red snappers as we were still about 10 miles south of the state water line. With phase two completed with

Outrage’s fish box at about half capacity, we moved on to try out a few pieces of structure along with some live bottom inside the 9 mile line. In these spots we were able to drop any of the several types of bait fish remaining in the live well with instantaneous results. Within about an hour, we had caught our limit of 14 American Red Snappers, all inside Florida State water and we headed home with a box full of the finest groceries Mother Earth can provide for us and with memories for young and old to last a lifetime! Oh yea! I almost forgot! We got up Sunday morning and did it all over again!

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JULY 2014



Passing It On and Giving It Back H.J. Thiel

AKA “REB” Southern Outdoors Writer

In Luke Chapter 12 verse 48 Jesus said to “whom much is given much will be required” Now I’m going to ask you all to hold on to that for a moment because I’m going somewhere with it. I have been a member of the Georgia Outdoor Writers Association for a number of years. I’m honored to be among this group of men and women because among them are some of the most blessed and talented men and women I’ve ever had the pleasure to be associated with. Blessed because as outdoor writers we have had the opportunity to embrace, engage, experience and above all enjoy life in a way most people only dream about. Talented because these are some of the most gifted word smiths and outdoor scribes to ever put the pen to parchment. Skillfully and artistically informing, education or entertaining based on their knowledge, experience, and through their work. The reason that is important is because long before the outdoors became an industry. Before trade shows, outdoor channels, Pro-Staff’s or any of that other stuff, it was the outdoor writer who sparked the Spirit of Adventure in the hearts and minds of outdoor men and women. When I was a kid I didn’t know how big the world really was but I always looked forward to getting my hands on an outdoor magazine. Inside the covers of those magical books I not only began to learn different tips and tricks about hunting and fishing, I also learned of deep sea fishing adventures, back country hunts and wilderness fishing trips with stream side camps that were written so vivid and real that I would lay in bed at night pretending I was there, and with that picture so clearly painted in my mind I could almost hear the crickets and the crackles from the camp fire as I drifted off to sleep. It was in those stories, through the talent and creative writing of those authors, men such as Duncan Dobie, Leon Scott, and Charlie Elliot that I was inspired. In doing so they passed on the desire in me to pursue those adventures I had read about. I say all that because today the outdoor industry has exploded. We’ve become so fast paced and commercial with e-magazines, web-isodes, and television shows where the focus is mainly on the catch, the kill and the product we’re trying to sell (which is how we pay the bills) that I’m afraid we’ve lost focus on the important things in the delivery of our material such as the pursuit, the experience, the making of memories, and the connection to Mother Nature which is what makes the outdoors so great to begin with. The problem with that is we are an industry that will eventually implode if we fail in our task of inspiring younger generations to seek out and pursue the adventurous spirit that is found in the outdoors. Not to criticize any of our outdoor brothers or sisters in the outdoor industry but I doubt many who read this article can remember what any of the outdoor television celebrities did on t.v. two weeks ago. While it’s entertaining, very little of it is memorable. However, I’m willing to bet that most can remember something that we have read about the outdoors, for some us from years ago.

There is a difference in working for a deadline focused on products and the catch of the day and actually honing ones skills in the craft of outdoor writing. Those who understand this have the ability to do great things. It is for that reason I believe the written word will endure the test of time because it has the power to captivate the imagination, plant the seeds of knowledge, inspire ordinary people to do extraordinary things and it is in making that connection and leaving that lasting impression that the traditions and heritage of the outdoors can and will be handed down to future H.J. Thiel presenting the Bass Pro Shop - Pass It On Award at the Annual generations. As outdoor writers that is the Awards Banquet to one of his outdoor hero’s Mr. Leon Scott. gift that we’ve been given and said in Luke 12:48 the challenge that we face, because as outdoor professionals “To whom much is given, from them much will be it comes with great responsibility. That responsibility is to not required.” only insure we do our part but also a little extra to preserve Mr. Leon Scott has dedicated his life to passing on the and pass on the promise for the future of the outdoor sports. traditions and heritage of the outdoor sports. So it’s only Bass Pro Shop has realized that if there is to be a future in fitting that we take this opportunity to say THANK YOU, the outdoors at all we as responsible stewards must work in recognize him for his contributions and accomplishments in order to pass that torch. That’s why they have developed and his life’s work and give a this little token of appreciation sponsor the Bass Pro Shop Pass It On Award to recognize and back to him. give back to those individuals who have excelled in sharing and insuring that future. I had the pleasure of attending the 2014 Georgia Outdoor Writers Conference in Warm Springs Georgia and the honor of presenting the Bass Pro Shop - Pass It On Award at the Annual Awards Banquet to one of my outdoor hero’s Mr. Leon Scott. Leon is a noted expert in long bow, pistol and muzzle loading and has been a National Pistol Shooting Champion. He has also won many awards for his archery and muzzle loading skills as well as his contributions to those fields. He has been a leader in teaching marksmanship, archery and the principals of conservation in various schools and forums where he has taught well over four thousand kids valuable outdoor skills that will enrich their lives forever. Leon is a well respected teacher, mentor, friend and journalist who has been an esteemed member of the Georgia Outdoor Writers Association for many years and is a distinguished member of the Georgia Hunting and Fishing Hall of Fame. Without question Leon has exemplified what Jesus

Page 18


JULY 2014

JULY 2014



The Outdoors Through A.J.’s Eyes

I have learned that in the beginning keep it simple. them all. And when he answers, you never know if Complexity mixed with uncertainty is a recipe for it will be shouts or whispers. With A.J., let’s just say disaster. Nothing at a beginner’s level is simpler he has his own rod and reel now and can be seem at than fishing. The house we live has an old farm pond times walking the banks of the pond behind our house. Dewayne Spires in the backyard. A.J. liked being with me. He had His Aspergers still raises its ugly head at times. Lack Southern Outdoors a strong need for male attention which was a plus of focus and impatience is an enemy he is going to Writer for me. At first, we would walk down to the pond. have to fight the rest of his life. The medications that He would watch me cast for a bass and we would he takes have helped him greatly. Autism research talk. His ability to stay focused at the task at hand is making huge inroads into Aspergers Syndrome as varied according to how much he was interested in well as other forms of Attention Deficit Hyperactive it. His attention would waver until I happened to Disorder. He has found an interest in archery which catch something. His youthful exuberance would is another “Aha” moment unto itself. To look at him, he seems to be a normal eleven year explode. He watched with excitement as I reeled in Autism and the outdoors is not an easy, but when old boy. Full of energy and curiosity, Anthony Joseph the usually small bass. I would show him how to approached simply and keeping expectations low Congi lives his life wide open from the moment he properly hold the small fish by the lip. Gently, he at first; it could possibly pay dividends in patience, gets up in the morning to he finally comes to rest that would ease the fish back into water. He asked why focus, and a grandeur way of life for both child and night. Still wearing a cloak of innocence and naivety, we put the bass back in the pond. I told him to take adult. In my home, there is a young man who has A.J. sees the world as his personal playground, but only from nature what you need and nature will a whole new world opening before him. Through what he sees sometimes is not exactly what we see. always be there to provide when times are hard. I A.J.’s eyes, only God’s blue sky has always been his A.J. has Aspergers Syndrome, a form of autism. As could see understanding in his young eyes. limit, but now perhaps this young man also has The I was trying to explain, A.J. does not fit the norm One time, I hung a slightly larger fish than Almighty’s woods and waters as a sounding board when one thinks of an autistic child. His aptitude usually. I immediately handed him the reel and for his life ahead. tests in school are off the scale. His I.Q. tests scores yelled, “Reel him in!” After an initial moment of Know the facts. There is a 1 in 110 chance your place him at near genius levels. What makes him shock, the fledgling angler cranked frantically on my child will be born with autism different is somewhere in his brain is a disconnect old Ambassador 500. For more information on Autism and Aspergers that is both mental and social where point A does “Keep your rod tip up,” I coached, “Don’t Syndrome: not always connect to point B; sometimes point A rush him!” bypasses B completely and tries without success to In just a few connect to point C. I know this because three years seconds, a plump ago, I became A.J.’s stepdad and he became the little largemouth reason why I get up each and every day. I need to wiggled slightly in help him find ways to connect the points in his life. his grip. You would I have never had any children of my own, have thought it was so when I begged A.J.’s mother to marry me, I had Christmas morning no idea what being a dad entailed. Now, it is nearly from the look on his three years into my new life. I have a very beautiful face. Pictures were and headstrong she-bear from the mountains of taken along with West Virginia for a wife, a sixteen year old diva of many fist bumps a stepdaughter; who has me wrapped around her and high fives. As finger, a dog that is about three sizes too big, a cat he released the little that allows me to pet it occasionally, and my newly bass, I heard him say, found reason for living, A.J. My parents are laughing “Go back home little their collective butts off at me from Heaven, but fish and get bigger so I I hope they are doing so knowing I finally found Houston Lake Country Club is the home of fast can catch you again.” something important to do with my life. A lump came up in greens and friendly people. The golf course is an 18 I am not a child specialist. I do not have my throat. Faking a PhD or any of those other letters. I am just a hole facility that includes: my allergy problems, South Georgia country boy. All that is in my child I rubbed my teary •Full Service Restaurant and Grill developmental profile is my deep abiding love of the eyes. Had I just had •Large Practice Green outdoors and a promise I made to A.J.’s mother that I an “Aha” moment would be the best possible step (dad) to her son. This •Driving Range with my step-son? was no time to get in over my head with scientific That night, I prayed •Swimming pool methods and psychological insights. Despite his that this was more issues, A.J. is still a boy. If I could reach him on that For Tee Times Call: than just a one -time level perhaps I could open his eyes to a brand new thing for A.J. Funny world, a world that might teach him lessons he can thing about praying; carry into the other aspects of his life. the Good Lord has When confronted with difficult task at hand, this habit of hearing


Page 20





JULY 2014

We Have You Covered!

Kaylene Swartzentruber and her boyfriend, Heath Ellis. It was her first gobbler.

Bill Lavender holds 3lb flounder caught by Graham Lavender at Lanark Village, FL in St. George Sound.

Brian Nash with two Gobblers he bagged this season.

If you have pictures of your latest outdoor adventure, please send us the pictures. Large pictures of at least 300 resolution would work the best. If not, please send them the as large as you can and we will work with them. Email to:

Terry Tood with a nice Blue Gill he caught in a recent trip.

JULY 2014



Those Deadly Ticks and Spiders Too

Summer is here and the biting critters are out in force. I think I got at least one tick off me each month this year. I have used a lot of insect repellent already this year. I will spray the seats of my truck about every two weeks until the first frost. This article comes after a ten week episode with a brown recluse spider bite. I was on antibiotics for two weeks and treated the bite with a warm wet cloth and Epsom salt at least two times each day. Almost well now but I have a permanent depression on my right shoulder. The most serious threat to anyone that spends time in the outdoors is from bites from insects and arachnids. Insects have six legs and include mosquitoes, wasps, yellow jackets and hornets, etc. The family of Arachnids poses a great danger to people due to their serious bites and diseases that can be transferred to humans. This class of arthropods includes spiders, ticks, scorpions and mites. Characteristics are eight legs, a two-segmented body and no antennae. Spiders are found everywhere and perform a vital function by eating millions of insects. There are two species of spiders that we need to avoid – the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. If you are bitten by either of these spiders, seek immediate medical attention, as the bite from either can be life threatening and it usually takes months to recover. The black widow spider is easily identified by its shiny black body with an orange spot on its abdomen. Black widow spiders are a common species in Georgia and will make their home in your basement, shop, any outside structure, or camper. The brown recluse has a violin shaped marking on the bottom of its abdomen. This spider is notorious for taking up residence in a pair of shoes or boots, especially the pair that you keep on the porch and do not wear frequently. Be extra careful when returning to your deer camp and check for these two uninvited guests, especially in sleeping bags, spare boots, chairs, couch and in any clothes that may have been left at camp. Invest in some insect foggers and use them on a regular basis. A bite from either of these two spiders usually results in necrosis of the skin and tissue around the bite area. The amount and depth of tissue damage is relative to each individual and the amount of venom that is injected. I know several people who have been bitten by brown recluse and black widow spiders and each required a stay in a hospital and required a long recovery time. Lets not forget the scorpion. We have a healthy population of these in Georgia also. They live under rocks, concrete blocks, lumber etc. and come out after dark to feed. The scorpion has two pinchers located at the head and the stinger is located on the end of its elongated body. The sting of a scorpion is quite painful but usually not as serious as the bite from a black widow spider or brown recluse spider. I have had one encounter with a scorpion and although the sting was quite painful, I had no serious problems with the sting. Not as bad as a snake bite but ONCE WAS ENOUGH for both of these critters! Ticks are another member of this deadly order and one that most of us have been bitten by. It is not a question of if you will pick up a tick on your next outdoor outing, but haw many? I have come to dread August and September, as this is when the seed ticks are most prevalent. They come in dozens or sometimes by the hundreds. I once caught a coyote

Hubert Bickley

Southern Outdoors Writer

that had hundreds and hundreds of seed ticks around his eyes, ears and all over his head and neck. So, don’t forget to take preventative measures for your pets and inspect them for ticks after a run in the woods. Ticks are a purveyor of several serious diseases that are transferable to humans. The two most widely known are Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Other tick borne diseases are Tularemia, Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis. All of these are very serious and life threatening diseases and require medical attention. The test administered for Lyme disease is not very reliable. If you experience flu like symptoms, headache, fever, chills, night sweats, unusual joint pain or fatigue after a tick bite, go in and see your doctor. Tick bites take a while to heal, but if there is a red circle with a bull’s eye in the middle you have a classic symptom for Lyme disease. It is a matter of time before we find a tick attached to our body somewhere. Proper removal of a tick can greatly reduce the chance of disease transmission. If time permits, cover the tick in VASELINE or other heavy grease and leave alone for ten to fifteen minutes. This removes the tick’s air supply and makes removal easier. Never grasp a tick by its body to remove, as this simply injects the fluid contents of the tick directly into your body along with any possible disease organisms. Grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible and remove with a slow fluid motion. Twisting the tick counter clockwise as you lift gently may facilitate in the removal. A sharp pointed pair of tweezes can be used, but grasp the tick as close to your skin as possible. On occasion the head may break off and remain in

your body, which usually requires a trip to the doctor. It is not uncommon for the bite area to stay red and irritated for a week or more. It usually takes eight to twelve hours for a tick to inject disease toxins into your body, so prompt detection and removal is essential to prevent disease transmission. Any time you or your pet goes outside, always do a tick check when returning inside. Do not leave your clothes lying around as any ticks that may be on your clothes will crawl off and be in your house. I place all my work clothes in a plastic bag until they are washed. It is a good idea to take an extra outfit and change clothes before driving home. Protection and bite prevention is the best way to avoid potential problems. This can be accomplished by use of insect repellents, proper clothing and footwear, visual inspection of all body parts after each outing and the prompt removal of ticks. Deet and pyrethrum is the two most widely used ingredients in insect repellents. Deet repels and can be used directly on the skin. Pyrethrum kills and should not be placed in direct contact with the skin, but can be placed on clothing and footwear. Add perspiration or water to treated clothes and contact with the skin occurs. If pyrethrum will kill a tick, then repeated exposure to the skin may affect you! Remember the little critters always pose a greater danger to us humans than the large ones and there are thousands of them searching for a meal or are ready to defend themselves.

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JULY 2014

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JULY 2014



Canoeing Basics Course Scheduled

SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (6/13/2014) Canoeing provides a pristine opportunity to get back to the basics on the water. Don’t know how to canoe? The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center can provide beginner instruction at a special class offered June 21, 2014 and again on July 19, 2014. The canoeing basics program takes place at Charlie Elliott, one of seven regional education centers operated by DNR’s Wildlife Resources Division, will give participants the chance to learn the fundamentals of canoeing, paddling,

safety, rescue and gear. Canoes, paddles and a life vest will be provided. Attendees should bring a lunch, sunscreen and water and be prepared to get wet. Fee for the Basic Canoeing class is $20 a person. Preregistration is required (770-784-3059). Participants should be 10 or older. The class will initially meet at the Visitors Center before proceeding to the designated lake. Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, named for the first director of what is now the Wildlife Resources Division, offers outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, shooting and

birding along with educational programs and a conference center, banquet hall and hotel-styled lodging, all within an hour’s drive of Atlanta. The 6,400 acres include Marben Public Fishing Area and Clybel Wildlife Management Area. The Center is located near Mansfield (543 Elliott Trail, Mansfield 30055), less than an hour southeast of Atlanta off Interstate 20. For more information, visit, CharlieElliott or call (770) 784-3059.

WAYCROSS, Ga. (6/10/2014) Spotted sunfish, also called “stumpknockers,” present a fun fishing challenge for anglers. Ryan Kersey can attest to that! Kersey, age 39, of Swainsboro, Ga., also knows that the effort was well worth it as he reeled in a tie to the current state-record spotted sunfish from the Satilla River on June 4, 2014.

vegetated, slow moving lowland streams and warm shallow ponds or small to large creeks and large rivers extending into brackish tidal regions. Nicknamed “stumpknocker” as they orient to stumps where they find food. They are frequently caught on natural baits, such as worms and crickets, but small spinners, flies and popping bugs also work well.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Resources Division, this 10 oz, 8-inch catch doesn’t beat, but ties, the existing state record established by Mike Markovcic in 2003. A new record would have to be at least one ounce greater.

Anglers must possess a current Georgia fishing license to fish in public waters. Where can you get a license? Buy it online, find a list of retail license vendors at www. or buy it by phone at 1-800-366-2661.

provided to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources based on several factors, including the number of paid sporting licenses. Sport Fish funds make the following activities possible: managing sport fish populations, raising freshwater fish in hatcheries and stocking them in public waters, maintaining and operating public fishing areas and building boat ramps, and much more! Information about state-record fish, including an application and rules, can be found at www.georgiawildlife. com/Fishing/Record Program or in the current Sport Fishing Regulations Guidebook

“The Satilla River is going to be the best place to be during the hot Georgia summer for some fantastic bream fishing, and the catch of this new state record tie is a great example,” says John Biagi, chief of fisheries for the Wildlife Resources Division. ”Georgia offers such fantastic places for anglers, from big rivers and reservoirs to small neighborhood lakes. I hope this tying record will inspire others to get out there and go fish Georgia!”

By purchasing a license as well as fishing equipment and related items, you and your fellow anglers help fund sport fish restoration programs, thanks to the Sport Fish Restoration Act. This Act allows funds accumulated from a federal excise tax on fishing equipment and related items to be directed to activities that benefit recreational anglers. A portion of these funds is

State Record Spotted Sunfish Gets Tied on Satilla River

Spotted sunfish (Lepomis punctatus) are members of the bream family. They are dark olive or brown above, with light green or olive sides and covered with small black spots and dusky orange fins. They are typically small, rarely reaching one-half pound, and usually found in heavily


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Southern Outdoors Magazine July 2014  

Southern Outdoors, the South's Premier outdoor magazine.

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