No foul play suspected in missing duck hunter case

Last week we shared a story of missing SC duck hunter Tyler Doyle, complete with conspiracy theories posted on numerous social media pages. But as the search for Doyle continues past two full weeks, law enforcement agencies have said no foul play is suspected.

Several state and local agencies are continuing the search for Doyle, and this week, a Wisconsin-based nonprofit organization called Wings of Hope Search and Rescue joined in. This group brought in boats equipped with underwater sonar and 3D imaging, drones, and cadaver dogs.

Whatever conjecture has come from numerous armchair private investigators on social media, law enforcement and rescue agencies believe Doyle disappeared in the exact manner as reported on Jan. 26, when Doyle’s hunting partner called 911 after seeing Doyle’s boat, which had become disabled, taking on water outside of the jetties connecting Little River to the Atlantic Ocean.

The hunting partner was standing on the north jetty when the first rescue team arrived, having been dropped off by Doyle earlier. Duck hunting from these jetties is not uncommon, and leaving one hunter in one spot, then boating to another spot in order to cover more water or to set up decoys is also a fairly common practice.

Doyle’s neoprene waders, which are capable of floating for an extended period of time, were found by family members during the first couple of days after his disappearance. His wallet and some decoys have also been found.

New Orleans’ Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is March 25

The 74th Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is slated for March 25, 2023 in New Orleans.

The 74th Annual Big Bass Rodeo and Fishtival is scheduled for March 25, 2023 at New Orleans City Park.

The Big Bass Rodeo is the oldest freshwater rodeo in the United States, and features numerous divisions, including Adult, Junior, Kayak, Student, and Team. A Fishtival will take place the day of the event, featuring activities and entertainment throughout the morning, along with a visit from Robbie the Redfish and Parker the Raccoon.

If you’d like to get ready for the rodeo, the LDWF is offering two free bass fishing courses at the park on Feb. 25 and March 24. Courses will include bass behavior, proper handling of bass, and lure preparation and use. Click here for more info and to sign up.

What really happened to missing duck hunter Tyler Doyle?

What really happened to missing duck hunter Tyler Doyle?

Twenty-two-year-old Tyler Doyle of Loris, SC went missing during a duck hunt on Jan. 26, 2023 near the border of North and South Carolina. A massive manhunt began almost immediately, with rescuers reportedly on scene within 9 minutes of being called.

But as of Feb. 4, a full 9 days later, Doyle has not been found. This despite search and rescue teams from the U.S. Coast Guard, the SC Dept. of Natural Resources, the NC Marine Fisheries Division and numerous other local, highly-trained rescue teams with state-of-the-art technology looking non-stop. And that’s not to mention untold numbers of private volunteers also looking. From land, sea and air, it’s been a search of epic proportions.

As always, some folks jump to conclusions right away. It was the same in this case. Early on, some were calling it a hoax. All a conspiracy. His duck hunting buddy did it. He’s on the lam to escape an upcoming court date. He decided to start a new life. He’s safe at home, but staying hidden so that his wife can collect his life insurance money and hopefully collect some donations from the good people of the world.

But all the speculation has just been that – speculation and rumor. Started, spread and bolstered by those not on the ground, on the water, or involved in any way in the search for Doyle. Meanwhile, those organizations that have been involved in the search have tried to put those rumors to rest. Agencies like the SCDNR have released multiple statements saying this is simply the case of a boating/hunting accident and that no foul play is suspected.


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Arkansas lakes see new bass regulations

Some new bass fishing regulations are in order for two Arkansas lakes beginning Jan. 1, 2023.

Anglers in Arkansas should note some new bass regulations which began on Jan. 1, 2023. The changes are for two lakes in the Natural State.

On Norfork Lake, regulations for all three species of black bass have been changed. The new law states that largemouth and smallmouth bass must be at least 13 inches long to keep. The length limit on spotted bass (sometimes called Kentucky bass) has been dropped. Anglers can keep spotted bass of any length.

The Arkansas Game & Fish Commission encourages anglers on Norfork Lake to keep smaller, legal-sized bass of all three species. While this may seem counterproductive and a shift from a long-standing, nationwide push to release bass to fight another day, this lake is currently overpopulated with small bass, which stunts the growth rates of all fish.

The same problem has led to a change in Sugarloaf Lake’s largemouth bass slot limit, which has been removed. Anglers can now keep any size bass from Sugarloaf Lake. AGFC has stated that the slot limit has left this lake, like Norfork, full of stunted bass.

A third lake that anglers should take note of is Lake Monticello. This lake has been renovated and is currently slowly refilling to full pool. It is open for anglers, but all gamefish must be released immediately. 

For full information on fish and game regulations in Arkansas, click here.