The Old Man looked through the single pane window, his breath turning to fog even on the inside. Across the room, a fire danced in the wood stove and rumbled up the flue. Together we watched through frosted glass as bare pecan limbs switched against the breeze. School had let out at midday ahead of […]

Kevin Tate | Daily Journal
Judy Doolittle's elk chili was voted best overall at Monday's Wild Game Tasting in Pittsboro. Her sweet and sour wild turkey placed first in the feather division. Pictured, from left: Deer division winner Daniel Williams of Vardaman, fin division winner John Harrison of Pittsboro, Doolittle, and wild hog division winner Billie Hitt of Pleasant Hill.

By Kevin Tate Outdoors Writer The hunting process is not complete until game is ultimately brought to the table, and for many that step is the favorite of all. For Judy and Robert Doolittle of the Silver Springs community in Calhoun County, the process of fine tuning recipes to suit various sorts of wild game […]

At the time, the float I was using seemed as big as a baseball, and maybe it was. It didn’t matter though. One of the Old Men was raising catfish in this pond for commercial use and they ate when the opportunity was presented. Finesse in the presentation didn’t have much impact on the matter, […]

Kevin Tate | Daily Journal
With the Atlantic on one side, the Gulf of Mexico on the other and living reef lining the waters between, fishing opportunities near Key West exceed any possible expectations. Barracuda, above, and black tip shark, below, bracketed a day filled with nine different species caught on rod and real with Capt. Tony Murphy last week.

By Kevin Tate Outdoors Writer KEY WEST, Fla. – The reel’s drag screamed as line poured out of the rod and into the wake of a streaming V that, in the shallows around the Marquesas Keys, could mean only one thing: shark. Capt. Tony Murphy leaned away from the force and let the Shimano gear […]

Some of us may never be confident we’ve found the place we were meant to be, but when Tony Murphy got to Florida in 1986, he knew he’d found a home. Born with a passion for the open water, he left his life in England behind at age 19 and changed hemispheres, landing in Florida, […]

By Kevin Tate Outdoors Writer From raccoon patties to alligator tail and other dishes common and unique, yearly wild game banquets bring communities together and offer both fellowship and adventure. Banquets set for Pittsboro, Dorsey and Tupelo mark three such highlights for this month’s sporting calendars. In Calhoun County, one of the region’s long-standing events […]

I found the Old Man in his garden, looking at corn stalks that had been broken over and robbed. “It’s raccoons,” he said, pointing to a track. “Last night was the third in a row. I sat out here with a shotgun until 2 this morning and nothing happened. I came back out here at […]

By Kevin Tate Outdoors Writer Hunter Baggett of Mantachie has seen and shot many deer in his 12 short years on Earth, but a buck he took last weekend was more unusual than any most will get their hands on in a long lifetime. Hunting on a relative’s property in Chickasaw County, last Sunday’s sunrise […]

My friend and I were wading eyebrow deep through a big stand of briars while the beagles stood in the clean edge of a harvested cotton field, watching us. They’d been in the briars with us when we’d stepped in to help flush a rabbit, but at some point they’d relinquished the job silently and […]