Outdoor notes, March 15, 2014

Eckert Crane Days are March 21-23

Why do cranes dance? Perhaps you will find an answer to that and other crane-related questions during the annual Eckert Crane Days festival on March 21-23.

Jeff Webb of Conetoe, N.C., poses with the massive wild boar he killed during a hunt in February at the White Oak Ranch Hunting Club in Bertie County, N.C.. The pig had been seen roaming the grounds of a hunting club for about 8 years.

Crane lovers headed to Eckert Crane Days on Friday through Sunday have three mornings of guided crane viewing instead of two as previously announced here.

Organizers of the annual crane festival will be set up 9-11 a.m. on those mornings, as well as
3-5 p.m. on March 23, at Fruitgrowers Reservoir, one mile east of Eckert on North Road.

Scopes and binoculars will be available as will experienced birders explaining the manners and behavior of Sandhill cranes.

Formal presentations begin at 1 p.m. at the Eckert Presbyterian Church, corner of Colorado Highway 65 and North Road.

For more information, call

Hunter tags immense wild pig

Conetoe, N.C., hunter Jeff Webb has become the focus of the hunting social media after harvesting a wild pig said to weigh more than 500 pounds.

Webb killed the pig in Bertie County, N.C., with one shot from Webb’s .308-caliber AR-15 rifle.

“Clean kill, dropped him, stoned him right in his tracks,” Webb recalled.

White Oak Ranch Hunting Club President Michael Mansell told the North Carolina Sportsman that the pig was well-known among the members of the club and is believed to have been sighted about eight years ago.

Since then, hunters would occasionally get glimpses of the animal through trail cameras.

“We have pictures of him going back to 2011,” Mansell said. “He was a hard one to get on the ground for he moved around a great deal.

“These hogs are smart. We stay scent-free, watch the wind and hunt from elevated stands.”

The seven-foot-long boar maxed out the club’s scales, which went only to 500 pounds.

“He pegged the maximum weight capacity of the certified scales with his head and shoulders still on the skinning shed floor,” Mansell said. “It was a true beast.”

As with many other states, wild pigs in North Carolina are nonnative animals that can be a threat to the environment and the agricultural industry. Hogs can be hunted year-round with no bag limits, although hunters are not allowed to take pigs with firearms on Sunday.

As big as it was, Webb’s boar wasn’t the largest ever killed by a hunter. In 2007, an 11-year-old Alabama boy shot and killed a wild boar that weighed more than 1,000 pounds.

Steamboat tops 300-inch mark

Steamboat Ski Resort’s cumulative snowfall this season edged past the 300-inch mark at midmountain last week after the latest storm plastered more than a foot of fresh snow on the mountain.

As of Friday, a total of 307 inches of snow had fallen at midmountain and 353 inches, almost 29.5 feet, at the summit.

According to the website OnTheSnow.com, the most snow recorded at midmountain was 433 inches (36 feet) in 2008.


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