Reflecting on the end of the season

Published 8:06 am Friday, January 7, 2011

Last Saturday afternoon, my sweetheart and I were sitting along a trail that runs parallel to a large cultivated field about 100 yards in the woods at the Big Woods Wildlife Management Area.

A pair of hunters retrieves their hunting dog in the Big Woods Wildlife Management Area an hour before the close of the 2010 deer season on Saturday. -- Gwen Albers | Tidewater News

About 200 yards further down the road is my 16-year-old son, David. It is getting late in the day, and our deer season is about to come to a close. In the distance, I hear a dog bark. As I wait, the dog is moving in our direction. At this point, my hope is on the rise. The dog has closed the gap to about 200 yards and is still moving in our direction.

There is a small stream running through the woods in the direction of the dog, and I’m thinking, the deer is moving along the thick cover around the stream and should bust the trail about 50 yards to my right. It looks really good. With 100 yards to go, the dog turned right and headed away.

Our season is over. It was a good one, overall, for us. We have venison in a couple of freezers, and we left the woods exactly as we had found them. Everyone still has all of their fingers and toes, and we don’t have to replace any equipment either.

My congratulations go to you, too. I did not hear of one hunting accident in our coverage area this season, and that is wonderful!

My other son, Robert, 16, and David, want to try bow hunting next year. I think that is great. The patience, the persistence, the solitude found in bow hunting is good for boys to learn. They feel their opportunities will be better early in the season. My sweetheart wants to join them. I have work to do of my own if I want to be there; I have an injured shoulder that is going to need some work. No one said this outdoor thing was going to be cheap.

Fishing News

The Rock Fish are biting off the beach right now along the North Carolina coast. The cold weather is driving them further south. Did you hear about the Blue Fin that sold for $396,000 in Tokyo this week? The River keeper didn’t have a lot of good news last week but it won’t be long before the local bite is on.

Hunter Billups killed his first deer on Dec. 29 while hunting with his PaPa, Terry Hedgepeth, at Zuni Hunt Club. The 8-point had a 15 ½-inch spread. Hunter is the son of Tom and Michelle Billups. -- SUBMITTED


How about that Jitterbug Jayton Billups? He is surely on his way to becoming a highly skilled outdoorsman. Careful though Jayton, by the looks of things, you are setting your marks pretty high at a young age. Keep the pictures coming; I enjoy following your success.

OK, stay warm until next week, and remember that we have a lot to be thankful for.

BOB RUDZIK is a Newsoms resident. He can be reached at