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Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew


Opening Day

This was the first opening day of duck season that I wasn't standing in water beside an oak or cypress tree and that is due to the fact of having mild temperatures and the lack of migrating birds. We found some geese in one of our leased agriculture fields a few days before the season opener and we made the decision to hunt them instead. 

We loaded up our enclosed trailer with layout blinds, full body and shell Canada goose decoys and headed out to the field.  After playing the wind and setting out our spread we began getting "locked & loaded" for the legal shooting hours.  

It was very cloudy and it had been raining and early on this morning there was some fog so we adjusted our style of calling for those conditions.  We had Blake Langley filming for us and he did an outstanding job for the conditions, location, while being mindful not to spook the birds. We had two small flocks work in and we managed to harvest five.  

Shortly after our last volley, I saw a pair of mallards flying across the field and I picked up my duck call to give them a try.  I made the comment, how sweet it would be to call them in our goose spread.  They responded almost immediately and told the boys, "Game on!” They were very high, but they descended quickly and worked well with the wind. After five circles, we had them where we needed them.  When I called the shot, "Wreck em!" shots rang out and the drake fell, as no one even tried the hen.  So instead of icing on the cake, we added a big beautiful greenhead to the mix. We gave high fives and laughed for several minutes, over what had just happened.

The Wrecking Crew 2013 Opening Day


Team WC ~ It's what we live for.


Schofield's Waterfowl Day

Schofield’s Ace Hardware in Florence, SC had their annual “Waterfowl Day” this past Saturday, and team Wrecking Crew (Ty Parker, Justin Thomas, Blake and I) supported their event along with having a Meat Duck Calling Contest for the youth and adults.

We brought our WC1 Xpress Boat powered by Gator-Tail 35, to use as a calling stage for the contestants.  The kids really had a blast with the decoy display, layout blinds, and being able to step up in our Xpress boat.  We tried to simulate a real hunt as much as possible and still have fun.

Kid blowing a duck call at Schofield's Hardware Waterfowl Day 

We had three calling contests: JR, Intermediate, and Adult contests, which Schofield’s donated lots of great prizes for the winners and all of the youth received gift cards for participation.  Also, for the adults, Schofield’s offered a $20 gift card just for entering and how cool was that?

Along with the contests, our “crew” continued to support Schofield’s by representing our sponsor’s: RNT Calls, Drake Waterfowl, Yeti Coolers, and Mountain Khaki’s.  We generated a lot of buzz with our Xpress Boat and Gator-Tail Motor and WeHuntSC.

Kids in a duck boat at Schofield's Hardware Waterfowl Day 

It was a fun filled day, with lots of duck calling kids and adults, camo clothing and eyes in the skies, looking for the migration in the Pee Dee Area.

We appreciated everyone who came out to the event and would like to thank not only our sponsors, Schofield’s but our crew members(Ty Parker, Justin Thomas and Blake) who supported the event.

Good Hunting ~ Daryl
Team Wrecking Crew


Broken Main Beam

I had scouted an area on one of our tracts of land, and found several good scrapes coming out of a thick bottom up to a food plot on top of a ridge.  We placed trail cameras up to get a “look” and got several nice bucks on film.

My next available time to hunt was Wednesday afternoon, and I got in the stand around 3:00.  Just five minutes later, I had a spike buck enter the food plot. The spike fed for over forty-five minutes but was very spooky acting. 

I had texted my dad who was hunting a separate stand on the same tract of land, to tell him that deer were already moving.

The spike buck kept looking over his shoulder and actually jumped a couple of times, so I was really concentrating on the area where he had been watching. Then all of a sudden, the spike jumped and ran off into the thicket on the other side of the food plot.  I thought wow, this could be it and sure enough a heavy dark horned buck stepped out.  The buck started towards me in a slow walk and I chose not to shoot him head on, so I held off.  Around the 70 yard mark, he stopped and turned giving me a good shoulder (lung) shot. I squeezed a shot off and he bolted into the thicket only running for 30 yards.

I texted my dad again, telling him BBD.  He congratulated me and said, he would see me after dark.

This buck weighed in at 185 lbs and had a 17” spread.  The right main beam had been broken off and which adds character to him and this hunt.

Daryl Hodge's Broken Main Beam Buck from November, 2013 

Truly Blessed with a good memorable hunt.

Good Hunting ~ Daryl
Team Wrecking Crew


The Briar Bed Beach Chair Bandit

Leighton Bell's BuckRaised by honest parents who could admit their first-born son was a klutz, I was shielded from firearms and sharp objects as a child. It wasn’t until I moved to Chesterfield County and befriended the son of a gun shop owner that I was really introduced to shooting and hunting.

My first three years have been quite adventurous thanks to JR Joyner of Patrick and Leigh and Paul Branch of Bennettsville. I should also thank Clyde Watson of Chesterfield, who allowed me to hunt his property and helped me celebrate killing my first deer, while also breaking the news to me that most respectable hunters don’t kill deer that weigh less than 100 pounds.

After three years and three kills … and not quite that many horns, I finally felt comfortable enough to venture off and hunt my own land. Failing to factor in the amenities that come along with hunting other people’s property, I found myself without a deer stand, sitting in a bright blue beach chair in a briar patch just off a cornfield with a dead tree limb above my head to use as a gun prop.

My first few hunts were peaceful as I tried to become one with nature, while also taking advantage of the quiet time to work on the newspaper. Most days at dusk, a group of does and two fawns would enter the corn field about 150 to 300 yards away. While the does ate, the fawns would romp and I would type away on my laptop.

My strategy was to allow the does to become very comfortable with me sharing their field in hopes they’d stick around to attract some large bodied, multi-horned suitors during mating season. Although I don’t know much about hunting, I am keenly aware that wild men chasing women usually leads to trouble, so the idea of the baddest bucks dropping their guard and becoming easier targets during “the rut” made perfect sense to me.

My plan finally came to fruition Oct. 26 shortly after I finished typing a story about the Chesterfield Rams defeating my alma mater in football. As I was putting away my computer and considering calling it a night, I heard a rustle in the woods beside me.

Propping my gun on my killing limb, I watched as a buck stepped out in search of the doe scent I’d placed about 50 yards away from me. A few steps later, he entered the sights of my scope and went down.

My loving wife, Wylie, sweeping our front porch a quarter mile away, heard the shot and began thinking of words to console me, assuming I’d missed. I on the other hand was standing over the body of a 9-point, 220-pound buck that I naively assumed would weigh about 100 pounds, just as every other “big deer” I’d previously shot wound up weighing.

As members of the horseback hunting group Carolina Marsh Tacky Outdoors, Wylie and I planned on using one of our steeds to haul any deer I killed home. However as we tried to lift the deer onto the back of her horse, we quickly realized this deer was going to be a little heavier than any I’d killed before.

Recruiting another friend and trading Wylie’s horse for my pickup truck, we finally got the deer loaded and hauled to Welshneck Wildlife for processing. It was there where respectable hunters stood around admiring the size of my deer that I realized I’d done something impressive. Of course that still led to some confusion, as I found myself surrounded by a bunch of men talking about “scoring my rack” while also taking photos for Facebook. Feeling a little sleazy, I headed home.

The following day was spent fielding calls from friends and family, most of whom expressed disbelief about my kill. The best call was from my mom, chastising me for telling her I’d killed “a moose” when all her church friends clearly saw on Facebook I’d killed a deer.

Life lessons learned from the hunt: The smell of a strange woman usually leads to trouble and never, I mean NEVER, lie to your mama. 

Leighton Bell is editor of The Link whose rack scored 120. Whatever that means.


My First Buck

I got my very 1st deer this past week on Veterans Day and I am pumped up about deer hunting! I’m relatively new to hunting, but I visit the site frequently and stay up to date with everything. Clint asked me to share the story of my first hunt so I’m posting first blog below and I hope there are many more good stories to come in the future.

I have a good friend that took me hunting this past week at his farm. We got in the stand around 5am in the morning and man was it cold. I heard a buck running a doe down the river bank around 5:30am, but it was still too dark to see anything. Shortly thereafter around 6:15 what I believe to be that same buck came out of the tree line, but again it was still too dark to see the full size of the buck. My friend told me not to worry because the buck would be back at some point later in the morning. Seeking that buck got my heart beating and holding off wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but I knew it was the right thing to do.

Around 6:45am my friend hit a grunt call and 10 minutes later I was checking my iPhone (new hunter) when my friend hit me on the arm, he said "Get the gun ready, he is coming out!” I put the phone down, my breathing got heavy, and I was nervous and cold because I was under dressed (again pointing at my inexperience). The Buck came out and I had the muzzleloader up and ready to go. I had the gun positioned right over the lane and was ready for the buck to walk into it. The buck started marking his territory and strutting around messing with the limbs. My friend told me "Get ready because I will stop him once he gets going".  At this point all I was thinking about was I couldn’t believe he is going to let me shoot this nice buck and what happens if I miss him?!? 

By this time it was around 7:02am because the sun was just coming over the ridge in front of us. My heart was beating out of my chest, but I got as ready as I could be. My friend said “Can you see him?” I responded “I don't see him". At that moment I couldn’t see him because I was fixed on the lane that I thought he would move too. However, the buck was moving on towards the wood line instead of where I was looking. So, I moved the gun, got the scope on him perfect, and my friend got him to stop. My friend said “Take him now” and I pulled the trigger.

I felt nothing as I pulled the trigger, but I did began to notice blood, not from the deer, but rather from my own forehead, start to drip. Smoke was everywhere and I looked up and asked my friend "Did I get him?” and my friend responded “Yes he is down!!!!!!”

I couldn't believe it. Blood was coming down my face, I was shaking so much I could not stop both from nerves and from the cold, but I had got my very first deer on my very first shot!!!! I got “scoped” pretty good, but it was worth it.

Barry Driggers First Buck


2013 WeHuntSC.com Turkey Competition Winners Announced
This past turkey hunting season was not a good one for me because I didn’t get to go out much due to work and travel. Even though I was unable to get it done there were some who did! I’m excited to announce our winners of the 2013 CRKT Turkey Competition!

Coming in first place was Jimmy Bradley of Pageland, SC with a nice 4-bearded gobbler

Jimmy Bradley's Winning Gobbler

2nd place went to Bruce Puett of Marlboro County

Bruce Puett and his Marlboro County Gobbler

And 3rd place went to Tony Pope of Kershaw County

Tony Pope's gobbler

Thanks again to the sponsors of our 2013 Turkey Competition. We would not be able to host a competition here on the site without their contributions. 

If you were a winner please contact me here through the site and we'll get you your prizes shortly!

Thanks again everyone..

Regards,

Clint



2013 CRKT Turkey Competition

CRKTTurkey hunting season is just about here for most of the state. I, and many of you, are itching for Spring to turn the corner and to get out there and chase some gobblers. And with turkey season comes our turkey competition! We're excited to be hosting our 2013 Turkey Competition this year courtesy Columbia River Knife & Tool

We'll continue to add sponsors throughout the month so the prize packages should get better in time. Be sure to take some good pics of your turkeys and BE SURE TO HAVE THE DATE IN THE PICTURE!

You need to be registered to the site to post pictures in the competition. 


2013 Kelleytown Baptist Church Wild Game Dinner
Kellytown Baptist Church

Last year I attended the Kelleytown Baptist Church Wild Game Dinner and it was a real treat. You may remember the blog I posted about the event. If you’ve never been you should check it out. There were several activities that were fun for the youth and competitions for everyone. I’m talking about archery competitions, skeet-shooting competitions, a BB gun range and even competitions for kids.  The guys at Kelleytown do a real good job at putting this event on and the attendance of the event is a reflection of the quality of the event.

When the afternoon activities get over then everyone goes inside for a great meal (last year they had some good alligator on hand). Next up will be a duck calling demo by fellow WeHuntSC.com blogger Blake Hodge and then Hank Parker Jr. will be the featured guest speaker. So if you’re in the Hartsville area this coming weekend and want to attend a quality outdoor event then be sure to check it out. 

I've attached the flyer for the event here in case you want to download it.



Event at a glance:

Booths:  
  • Fishers of Men
  • Christian Bowhunters Association
  • Ironman Outdoors with youth archery
  • Ducks Unlimited with retriever demonstration
  • NWTF with BB gun shooting range
  • Sutton Taxidermy 
  • Wrecking Crew Guide Service


Activities:

  • 3D Archery (Bring your own bow)
  • Skeet Shoot (Bring your own gun and shells)
  • BB gun range
  • Youth archery and casting kid’s


Event Schedule:

  • 2pm-5pm: Activities | Booths | Live Music 
  • 5pm-6pm: Dinner | “Scoot’s” Duck Calling Demonstration | CBA 
  • 6pm-8pm: Guest Speaker | Door Prize Drawings 


Tickets

  • Tickets: (Limited to 500)
  • Ticket required to attend
  • FREE FOR EVERYONE
  • Donations accepted


Location


Regards,

Clint


2013 Predator Challenge Results
A pic from the 2013 WeHuntSC.com Predator Challenge Check-InThis year we had more teams and hunters participating than in any previous year of the competition. The competition keeps getting bigger and bigger each year. So thanks to everyone who participated, to all the sponsors who made it possible, and a big thanks to Gavin Jackson, Robbie Boone, & Adam Smith for managing this year’s event. I should also mention Chip Humphries & Terry Williams who originally helped get the competition created and managed it for the past 2 years. We all owe these guys a big thank you because without them the competition wouldn’t have happened. They worked for months getting things ready. All the sponsor’s donations, rules, organization, and communications around the event stemmed from their efforts.

If anybody ever told you that predator hunting was easy… they were lying. Anybody who hunted in this year’s Predator Competition will tell you the same. We looked forward to the competition and planned for several months and when it finally got here the rain and fog made things tough on everyone. From talking to everyone at the check-in it seemed that the coyotes just hunkered down for the majority of the weekend due to the weather. Many of the hunters I spoke with said they saved their “best spots”, “honey holes”, and “go-to locations” for the weekend of the competition and still came out empty handed.  The more I chase coyotes the more I respect the guys who are successful… and we did have some hunters who got it done rain or shine so let’s talk about the guys who came through no matter the conditions.

 

 

Help us make the competition better by giving us your feedback


1st Place & Big Dog

This year our 1st place team was “Team  Warner” out of Aynor, SC. Adam Davis, Josh Allen, & Dustin Paananen of Team Warner not only won 1st place, but they also won the “Big Dog” award. These guys brought in 2 coyotes totaling 68lbs. The big dog was 38lbs and it was a big one. Congrats to the guys for getting it done all weekend. Having the double-win they did not leave empty handed.

1st Place Winners - Team Warner 





2nd Place

Our second place team was the “Carolina Hawgmasters” out of Chesnee, SC. Todd Davis  and Paul St. Cyr arrived to the check-in with just minutes to spare and claimed 2nd place. They also brought in 2 coyotes with the total weight of 63lbs.

 

2nd Place Winners - Carolina Hawgmasters 





3rd Place

Our 3rd place team was the “Fur Takers” out of Clover, SC.  Andrew Love, Hunter McCarter, Woody Neely, & Chris McCall brought in 2 coyotes that totaled 58lbs.

 

3rd Place - Team Furtakers




  Click the below image to see a gallery of pics from the event

2013 Predator Challenge Check-in Pics 

 

On behalf of the WeHuntSC.com team we’d like to say thanks again to the Sportsman’s Warehouse of Columbia, SC for letting us hold the check-in at their facility, to our gracious sponsors, and to all hunters that participated. We look forward to next year’s competition… see you at the check-in!

Regards,

Clint




2012/13 Waterfowl Season - Team WC Making it Rain.

We started off with a slow to good
early goose season with most of our corn fields being cut late due to being to wet.  Once, they were dry enough to cut, so were everyone's. This gave the geese
too many areas to go.

Thanksgiving season, I spent in Arkansas with friends Eric McKinney & Taylor Sweetin of Cuttin Outdoors and mentor Butch Richenback, founder of RNT calls in Stuttgart.
We had a great Timber hiunt with the Cuttin Outdoors boys, which are part of our Team Wrecking Crew.  Butch worked with me in the RNT shop, along with several other
RNT team members.

Friday after Thanksgiving, was the "Super Bowl" of all contests, the Intermediate World Duck Calling Championship.  In 2011, I finished 5th and had really high hopes going into this year. After blowing in the 1st round, I was tied for 3rd place, only 2 pts behind the leader.  Note:  Callers do not see there scores until afterwards.  I did realize I blew a solid 1st round and was pumped and ready for the 2nd round.  Traditionally, the 2nd round is where I really show out, but this year I over blew the call and made a distinct bad note.  With this being the World Contest, and my first two scores combined, I wasn't fortunate enough to make the 3rd and final round of the top 5.

I was disappointed for sure, for Butch, Clay of Xpress Boats, who came to watch, and everyone here in SC who support me.  I kept my head high, and congratulated the winners, and drove back 13 long hours. Moving forward in 2013, I will be competing as an adult, and I only have one thing to say, look out the kid is coming!

When the 2nd split of duck season came in, it was our best "opening day" in SC in the last 10 years.  We had some good friends of ours, Brandon & Daryl McCants from Georgetown, SC hunting with us that day.  We were blessed to harvest 15 mallards, 1 woodie, 1 teal, 1 mergie and 3 geese. And yes, all wild birds!!

As the season went on, it went from super to good, to slow to awful, with  several weeks of mild to hot temperatures for December and January. Our team kept on "Grinding" and making the best of it.  

Attached is a video of our season and I hope you enjoy it, because "it's who we are" and "what we live for"!

Click Here for the Video


Good Hunting ~ Blake


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