Whitney Phillips gets her Old Man

By SanteeCooperLife

A years-long quest is now complete

More than 6 1/2-years-old, 17 1/2-inch spread, 185 pounds and 7 points. These are the final numbers on a buck that has been keeping Whitney Phillips of Summerton, SC up at night. 

“He was beat up and on his way down when we finally connected. But it’s not the size of the antlers on this deer. This is the first deer that I had an emotional attachment to. Please don’t tell my husband Trey,” she said, only half jokingly.

Phillips manages Clarendon Club, a sportsman’s paradise for deer and duck hunting that encompasses more than 3000 acres of prime hunting land on the shores of Lake Marion in Clarendon County.

“My Old Man,” as Phillips endearingly called him, has been the primary target for her Thompson Center Arms .25-06 for the past three seasons. At one point, he had larger antlers, but he and Phillips just couldn’t connect. 

Numerous times, he walked past her stand with circumstances that would not allow for a shot. Too far. Too fast. And one time, too close, directly underneath her stand, seemingly taunting her. She dared not move for fear of spooking him. He walked away unharmed. So the chase continued.

“The Old Man and I met for a short visit last year when he came by my stand. Everything was perfect,” she said. “I slowly settled the crosshairs behind the shoulder and gently squeezed the trigger. NOTHING!” 

But the problem, she soon realized, wasn’t the gun.

“I called Trey to tell him my gun was messed up, and he asked if I had loaded it,” she said.

Time to try again

After loading the gun, Phillips waited for another chance. This time, she got settled, gently squeezed the trigger. But again, NOTHING.

She looked at the back of the gun and noticed she had forgotten to pull back the hammer. So she pulled it back, anticipating that the deer would be moving on shortly. But there he stood, offering her a shot.

“She settled the crosshairs and once again squeezed the trigger. The bullet found its mark, spraying matter violently into the air. The matter in the air was sand, and the mark was the dirt in front of the deer. Her Old Man ran off without even a scratch.

“Immediately I regretted pulling the trigger. I waited all this time for this opportunity. And then I bombed it,” she said.

Luckily, the Old Man kept coming around, and was seen on other outings by every member of the Phillips family, including son Troy and daughter Clara, who often join Whitney and Trey in the stand, enjoying family time afield, which, along with big bucks, is a major part of the Clarendon Club story.

For the Phillips family, allowing bucks to mature to their full potential before harvesting them is their goal. Proof of their strategy is in the South Carolina state record book, where Trey’s name is written beside the 150 4/8-inch buck he killed on the property just a few short years ago.

On Oct. 13, the weather was just right. Mr. Gene (Eugene Phillips — the patriarch of the Phillips family) commented that someone always kills a good buck around the middle of October. Trey took the kids to school, allowing Whitney to get in her stand. Her buck had been moving around a lot, and had been spotted making visits on neighboring properties.

Phillips got in the stand before daylight, watching and listening to nature as the woods awakened. With the first hint of light, she could make out the silhouettes of deer in the bait pile, as well as other deer meandering about. 

One look through her Zeiss scope confirmed the Old Man was there. The moment of truth was upon her.

She also noticed another buck that was considerably larger than her long-time target. But she didn’t consider shooting that one. Not even for a second.

Finally, success

“The Old Man was MY BUCK. He is old and I have hunted him hard. It was the one that I was after. And it was more about finishing what I had started than anything else,” she said.

Once it was light enough, the Old Man moved away from the other bucks, offering Phillips an opening. She gently touched off the shot. The Old Man ran away.

“Oh no. I rushed it again,” she thought. 

The other bucks had not left the scene. So she had a good feeling the Old Man might come back if she hadn’t hit him.

After 4 long minutes, he came back. He stood broadside, 125 yards away. Phillips settled the crosshairs and gently squeezed the trigger. A hard hit with a visible reaction as the buck kicked out his back legs let her know the bullet hit its mark. The end of this multi-year craze engulfing the spirit of the entire family was finally coming to an end.

After a hurried wait, she began the search for blood. She saw right away that her aim was true. The ground was littered with blood. Turning in the direction of his travel, she saw in the distance the Old Man’s white belly. 

The game was over. She finally had her guy.

She called Trey, then Matt Taylor of Woods ‘n Water Taxidermy in Manning, and then to her son’s school to ask Troy’s teacher to let him know the good news.

Once mounted, the Old Man will grace the wall of the Phillips’ home, and the stories of his adventures will be told for years to come. His legacy will always be remembered as another part of the Santee Cooper Life.

Cancelled 2020 Conference

Hi SCOPe members,

Today the SCOPe Board called a special online meeting to discuss rescheduling this fall’s conference in Aiken. Concerns about COVID-19 have led to discussions with the local tourism bureau and other partners, so our board has decided to delay the event until 2021. We appreciate your continued support as we plan for a great conference in the future.


Tricia Perea


Those interested in learning more about primitive and survival skills might be interested in a two-day seminar in March that will cover fire starting with bow drill and ferrocerium rod, flint knapping, water purification, cordage making from natural fibers, archery, atlatl and more.

Other skills such as cast iron cooking, trapping, campsite selection and many other valuable outdoor skills will be covered. For more details such as cost and registration information, location, etc.,  contact L. Woodrow Ross at lross3871@charter.net or call 864-238-1944

The Wild Country ~ REVIEW

“That Wild Country” by Mark Kenyon is excellent reading for SCOPe members and it contains a lot of historical information about the preservation of wilderness areas and some of the struggles of those who worked to preserve them. 

The sub-title says, “An epic journey through the past, present and future of America’s Public Lands”.
Mark Kenyon is an outdoor writer, has been published in Outdoor Life, Field and Stream and is a contributor to MeatEater, Inc. This is his first book. 
Kenyon traveled the U.S. to many of our most famous and beloved Parks and wilderness areas and detailed his personal adventures, but he went on to explain how these areas were set aside and protected. The text is a positive assessment of the needs for wild places, but it is also a warning of the need to continue to support the need for such places.

References are made to such groundbreaking and historical writings as Aldo Leopold’s Sand County Almanac and Theodore Roosevelt’s “Hunting Trips of a Ranchman and the Wilderness Hunter.

You may not agree with all his statements, but it is a book that is well worth taking the time to read it. 

Best regards, Larry



RE: Pete Rogers Outdoors Launches New Podcast

Taylors, SCPete Rogers Outdoors announces the airing of Christian Outdoors Podcast

Christian Outdoors Podcast will be hosted by longtime award-winning outdoor writer photographer and speaker, Pete Rogers of Taylors, SC. Christian Outdoors is a Podcast that will merge two passions of host Pete Rogers. An ordained minister and longtime outdoor communicator, Pete Rogers saw a need in the industry to bring these two passions together into one place. For over twenty years Pete Rogers has dedicated his life to promoting the hunting, fishing and outdoor lifestyle. While simultaneously working to spread the gospel through a variety of avenues.

“The podcast gives me another avenue to reach an audience I may not have reached before.” Rogers says. “And it allows me to expand beyond the normal avenue for communication commonly found in the outdoor arena.” For decades the majority of the communication has been through written word. More and more people are turning to Podcasts to get their information. “As someone who loves God and loves the outdoors, I think I bring a unique perspective to the microphone. As a trained minister and longtime contributor to the hunting and fishing and outdoor arena, I believe I can offer a podcast that can merge these two passions together.”  

Christian Outdoors Podcast will cover a wide array of topics near and dear to the heart of host Pete Rogers. Rogers is dedicated to covering all areas of outdoor lifestyle. “I have long been entrenched in the hunting, fishing and trapping arena, and love it there. But there are dozens of other outdoor activities that we can reach with this podcast. I hope to include episodes on camping, backpacking, hiking, skiing, off-road riding, mountain biking, and anything else I can think of.” In addition, there will be interviews with well-known outdoor folk who are passionate about Christ and what he has done for them. When the opportunity presents itself, Rogers will also cover topics many Christians struggle with and seek to address those in a positive manner.

Christian Outdoors Podcast hopes to be a podcast that will enlighten, broaden and transform people in a variety of areas. “I want Christian Outdoors Podcast to be a place where we discuss all things outdoors and how we can enjoy God everyday” Rogers says.

Christian Outdoors Podcast will be available on iTunes, Spotify, and Google Play, Android and other podcast platforms beginning October 1, 2019. To find out more, go to, www.christianoutdoors.org and learn more about the podcast and host Pete Rogers. To contact Pete Rogers or to schedule him to speak at your next event, you can email him at; pete@christianoutdoors.org

About Pete Rogers Outdoors

Pete Rogers Outdoors is the brand behind outdoor writer and author, photographer, and seminar speaker and Podcaster Pete Rogers of Taylors, SC. Pete Rogers annually produces over 100 articles and more than 400 photographs for various outdoor outlets. An award-winning writer and photographer, he is the author of two books; Times Well Spent: Ramblings from a Sportsman’s Life, winner of 2012 Best Book from the South Carolina Outdoor Press Association and his latest book, released in spring of 2018, So, You Want to Hunt Turkeys. He is also the Host of “Ralph and Vicki’s OffGrid Podcast” with Outdoor Television legends, Ralph and Vicki Cianciarulo. For more information or to request him to speak at your next event contact him at; peterogersoutdoors@gmail.com. Or Pete@christianoutdoors.org

 www.petergoersoutdoors.com         www.christianoutdoors.org        

Contact: 864-275-6034

Developing Skills with Primitive Weapons and Tools

Check out the latest book by Larry Ross ~

You can get your copy on Amazon Kindle :

Skill with primitive weapons is something that is earned by repetition and hard work. It requires good hand/eye coordination and being physically fit for some skills. It would not be advisable for a person that is not dedicated to learning these skills to set out on that path. If one desires to hunt extremely successfully, it would be a good plan to use firearms. On the other hand, if one is seeking a challenge and a doorway to the most exciting way to hunt, primitive weapons are the way to go.

The key to using primitive weapons and tools is to practice diligently to hone your skill. When using atlatl or bow, developing good form and having good concentration is important. Use of primitive weapons is like shooting foul shots in basketball. There are no sights, it is a balance of hand-eye coordination and concentration on a tiny spot on the target or animal that you desire to strike. Repetition is the key. Practice, practice, practice!

When hunting with any weapon, especially primitive weapons such as atlatl or bow and arrow, it is vital that you not fall into the trap of looking at the entire animal when the moment of truth arrives. You must pick out that tiny spot on the animal that will result in a humane kill. We owe it to our quarry to be the best that we can be.

Not all who make and use primitive weapons choose to hunt. Many enjoy the opportunity to master skills that our forefathers practiced on a daily basis. Flint knapping, making bows and arrows, making atlatls, cordage making, fire starting and many other primitive skills are a way for us to experience how our forbears lived. We can establish a connection with the past in a very real sense. The satisfaction of developing skills that seem foreign to our modern world is very attractive to those of us who walk to the beat of a different drum.

It is our wish that this text will start you on a pathway that will be very rewarding. It will not always be easy, but it will open your eyes to the past in a very genuine way. Godspeed on your journey to knowledge that is as old as humanity.

How to Shop for The Perfect Rural Property in Three Months

Posted by Jim Mize on May 1, 2019

Outdoorsman Jim Mize shares his experience of buying rural land in three months, from narrowing down the ideal location in his search to visiting properties to choosing the perfect fit for his needs.

Month 1: Narrowing down the Search

When I first graduated from college, I lived in a rural area. I could turn my bird dog loose in my backyard and take off walking. During my working years, all that changed with a couple moves to mid-sized towns and a larger city. Now, I’m entering a new career and thinking rural living sounds like the way to go. The next question to answer is, “Where do I start?” You might be in the same mindset so my journey could be useful.

Realtors often use the quote, “Three things matter when you choose where to live: location, location, and location.” But for rural living, what does that mean?

After some thought, I decided to think about where I would go and how often, and then balance my location to give consideration to my travel. For instance, I will be writing full-time about the outdoors, so being in the outdoors matters. I fish several streams regularly, so access to public land is a plus.

Find the rest of the story and more from Jim at :


Wando River Redfishing

Check out this over the slot Redfish caught in the upper Wando river. Angler ( Steve Healey ) The weather is heating up and the fish are on the bite both inshore & offshore. Mahi are hitting the docks hard and will soon be on the grill of every avid saltwater fisherman. Get outside, listen for a gobble, chunk a cricket, throw a fly or just enjoy our great outdoors. Looking forward to seeing you in, on or around the water soon.

Photo by : Brian Carroll / The Outdoor Image

TAG Boats builds offshore fishing catamarans in Charleston, SC

TAG Boats offering plush, high performance fishing craft

As anglers head to the offshore fishing grounds this year, they’ll see a new player in the boating market. TAG Boats, based in Charleston, S.C. is set to shake up the offshore world with their world-class high-performance fishing catamarans.

TAG is currently producing 36-foot catamarans that have all the comforts and features important to today’s anglers. Their 43-footer is in the design concept phase.

David Johnson, Jr., a 43-year-old entrepreneur who grew up in South Carolina’s lowcountry, has spent over 25 years fishing offshore in a variety of boats ranging from 21-footers to 60+ footers, and everything in between.

See more of the story from SCOPE Member Brian Cope at :

New Charleston boat company producing offshore catamarans

New Beginning In Talkeetna

The second novel in a series about a Native American fly fishing guide, Adam Running Wolf, tells of his move from West Yellowstone, Montana, to Talkeetna, Alaska. He makes the move to escape the bad memories of the death of a young man that he mentored.
The move has many positive aspects that include making new friends, starting a successful business venture and meeting an attractive woman who would become important in his life.
As usual, Running Wolf becomes involved in a series of dangerous events with the local criminal element, but navigates the perils in his normal stoic and efficient manner.

This novel and 22 other books by
L. Woodrow Ross are available on Amazon Kindle.