SCOPE President’s Message

I hope this finds everyone enjoying the holiday spirit and finding time to get out and enjoy the woods, waters, fields, and streams. It’s a fast-paced time of year, but still one I enjoy and look forward to.

We’ve had a flurry of SCOPE activity regarding the 2024 Conference site. Pat Robertson and I are working one targeted area and Jim Mize and Phillip Hunt are working another. Progress has been favorable. 

Teaming up this way, we’re hoping to generate interest in a conference site for the next couple of years, instead of just 2024. Jim and Phillip have reached out to the Lake Hartwell Country tourism folks and have a meeting set for after the holidays to discuss options in that area. 

Pat and I met with Jenny Parrish, Director of the Olde English District Tourism group, last week and had a positive discussion. 

The Olde English District is huge, and encompasses everything from Rock Hill/York area and cross-country through Camden/Lugoff and beyond. The area extends to the Broad River to the west, likely a different stretch of that river than we enjoyed recently at our Lake Murray Conference. It goes east beyond the Catawba River, and includes lakes Wylie (SC portion) Wateree, and Fishing Creek. Some of the Catawba River areas are ideal for outdoor opportunities other than just fishing. Ms. Parrish seems wide open to helping us explore and tap into the many media opportunities in this area.

We’re planning to hopefully move forward in Jan., and factor in the response from Hartwell tourism folks. Ms. Parrish was genuinely excited about the possibilities of working with, and hosting, SCOPE. If we do go to this area, we’ll likely HQ in Chester, but that’s close to Rock Hill and central to the Olde English District, and should enable us to explore the natural resource opportunities in the area. 

We still have plenty of ‘stuff’ to do before we can make a final plan, but we’ve got a good start. 

Not many members have sent Tricia their “Views,” or “Media Reach” info (see Nov. 2023 President’s Message), so please help us with that. Some have sent them to me at my email, and that’s fine, too. I can say for certainty that even using the older, estimated “Views” number for SCOPE collectively was eye-opening (in a good way) for Jenny Parrish at Olde English District tourism. And Board members feel comfortable that the old estimate is a rather conservative figure. If you have any questions, just email me at

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all SCOPE members, families, and friends. And for that matter… to everyone, everywhere.

Terry Madewell, Co-President 2023/2024 

Almost a fly-fishing story

I had gone to Santee Cooper in early June with the intention of catching bluegill on my fly rod. Fishing with Kevin Davis out of Blacks Camp, I had no doubts my host would put me on fish. My objective was to fish spawning beds in a few feet of water with a popper and wet-fly dropper.

I feel obligated to digress here and mention my passion for catching bluegill on their spawning beds. I don’t need to keep them other than the occasional mess, but a bluegill is just a fun fish to catch. They smack flies like they are tasting them, almost licking their lips, and then those panfish fight with a passion that belies their size.

In short, during spring and early summer, I often drive past trout streams to get to a good bluegill pond. Among my bad habits, this one can hardly be held against me.

As is typically my dilemma, I was a week early on the spawn and the fish were mostly in deep water still. Kevin managed to find some fish for me I could reach in shallow water with these flies, but the challenge had been issued by my finny friends so I was determined to try again with flies that could go deep.

Through the summer I tied weighted versions of bugs that catch bluegill. Clousers with oversized barbells and nymphs with enough weight to drop like cannonballs filled my fly box. I leaned slightly to one side when I put the box in my pocket.

Then, I rigged my fly rod with a longer leader and fluorocarbon tippet, thinking that I could still get by with a floating line. In ten feet of water, my line tip might work like a strike indicator when I got a bite.

Pedro looked at my fly rod and asked, “What do you plan to do with that?”

The next chance I got to chase deepwater bluegill came during our South Carolina Outdoor Press Association conference at Santee Cooper. This one was held in October and I expected the bluegill to be deep, most likely around brush. We had lined up plenty of guides to get our media members on the lake, so I was confident of getting a ride in a panfishing boat. I guessed wrong.

As it turns out, I was assigned to chase catfish with Captain John Smith, who goes by “Pedro.” He never said how he got his nickname, but I’m guessing the Pocahontas jokes got old. As I stepped onto his boat, he took one look at my fly rod and said, “What do you plan to do with that?”

You can read the rest of this award-winning story, written by Jim Mize, by clicking here to visit

2023 SC Outdoor Press Association Award Winners

The South Carolina Outdoor Press Association gathered in Lake Murray Country for their annual conference and banquet Oct. 4 – 7. During the banquet, the organization named their Excellence in Craft award winners, which are listed here:

Best outdoor Blog

1: Brian Carroll “Santee Cooper Life”

2: Mike Watts “Rivers and Feathers”

Best Outdoor Audio

1: Pete Rogers “Christian Outdoors Podcast: Episode 176, Turn Your Life Around”

2: Brian Cope “New State Record fish and CWD impact on Carolina hunters”

3: Brian Cope “ Is North Carolina’s elk population native to the state?”

Best Outdoor Book

1: Whit Gibbons, “Salleyland: Wildlife Adventures in Swamps, Sandhills, and Forests”

2: Jim Casada “Lords of the Veldt & Vlei”

3: Jim Mize “The Jon Boat Years”

Bob Glendy Award (Best Fishing Story)

Jim Casada “A Murderer as a Mentor: The Strange Saga of Old Al”

Terry Madewell Award (Best Hunting Story)

Jim Casada “Fred Selous: Heart of Steel”

Best Magazine Story (1000 words or less)

1: Jim Casada “Memories of Butchering Hogs”

2: Pete Rogers “Smaller is Better in the Muzzleloading world” Minnesota Deer Hunter Association Magazine (Winter 2022)

3: Terry Madewell “Beat the Mid Summer Blues”

Best Magazine Story (Over 1000 words)

1: Terry Madewell “Santee’s Springtime Slabs”

2: Cindy Thompson “Land of the Pines” South Carolina Wildlife Magazine July/August 2022

3: Cindy Thompson “A River Reborn” South Carolina Wildlife Magazine March/April 2023

Best Outdoor Newspaper Article

1: Whit Gibbons “Corn Snakes make colorful windshield wipers”

2: Whit Gibbons “Okeefenokee Joe”

3: Josh Lanier “Wanderlust”

Best Electronic Publishing Story

1: Larry Chesney “No fishing in your pajamas”

2: Jim Casada “Did you ever?”

3: Corey Hunt “Simple 7’s: Fishing Glacier National Park” (no link available)

Best Conference Site Story

1: Terry Madewell “Take a Swipe at Stripers” 

2: Larry Chesney “Slow Drifting for Spring Cats”

3: Jim Mize “Almost a fly fishing story”

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 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, 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;

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; Or        

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 :