Bucks abound during regular deer season

Published 10:18 am Friday, November 19, 2010

The opening day of the regular deer season has come and gone.

A hawk sits on a tree branch at dusk at Southampton Outfitters near Drewryville. -- Gwen Albers } Tidewater News

From what I witnessed, it was very successful. I had one report from Newsoms Hunt Club that several large buck were taken. While driving around, I watched a nice buck run full speed across a field and noticed another monster standing within 50 feet of Route 58.

I shared the end of the day with Mark Pope and Kenny Williams at Southampton Outfitters. Mark started Southampton Outfitters after seeing the opportunity of bringing in additional income to the family farm after the crops had been harvested in the fall. He also said it is something he loves to do.

The Pope family has been farming its Drewryville-area property for four generations. The property where the main lodge sits was purchased from the Drewry family, and Mark has a total of 70 permanent stands for hunters.

Kenny Williams shows a deer that was hit by a vehicle on Route 58 near Drewryville last week. -- Gwen Albers | Tidewater News

Saturday found a number of hunters out on the property who were taking advantage of being able to hunt archery earlier in the week and shotgun on Saturday.

Southampton Outfitters has been in operation since 2001. Mark offers all-inclusive hunting opportunities on 5,000 acres in Southampton County. His clientele is mostly from the northeastern United States and primarily from New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Pope also gets a number of military groups throughout the seasons. He advertises for both deer and turkey right now; he stopped doing dove hunts two years ago. Mark offers beef tenderloin, venison, wild turkey breast and more to his hunting parties for table fare.

Mark said the largest buck taken from his property scored and measured 168. He also said most bucks are never scored. This year has been the year of big misses and tall tales with less venison in the freezer. Even the guys who never miss have had their share of frustrations.

I spoke to hunter Andy Tould from Hershey, Pa. Andy has been booking hunts with Southampton Outfitters for four years. He has brought as many as 11 friends at a time with him.

Andy met Mark over peanuts at the Eastern Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, Pa., and they have become friends over the years. Andy likes the short five-hour drive, the number and size of the deer, and the price. He also enjoys the food and the camaraderie of deer camp.

Andy has not been exempt from frustrations this year. In three days of hunting, he missed five deer.

Mark can be reached at www.southamptonoutfitters.com or at (804)-586-8077. He is located off 58 at 12583 Cedar View Road in Drewryville.

Until next week I have to remind you to please be careful during this time. As you have seen, motorists need to exercise care during this time of year also. This can be a real fun time if a little bit of care is taken by us all.