This coming deer season several hunters around the state will be the lucky winners of a McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag. If you read the blog about the Pee Dee Deer Classic then you saw the pics and footage where we covered the idea and concept of the fan bag. It really is a neat concept that I think will give hunters an edge with covering their scent as well as eliminating moisture in their clothing.
McKenzie Outdoors is partnering with WeHuntSC.com to sponsor all 5 competitions that we?re hosting this deer hunting season! Looks like the prize packages are rounding out to be very nice. A big thanks to McKenzie Outdoors for working with us to reward hunters around South Carolina.
Find out more about McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bags
Below is a video of Eddie McKenzie, creator of the scent-fan duffle bag, where he explains how the bag works.
This past weekend the wife and I went on a quick vacation to the beach?yes, Myrtle Beach! We had planned this trip for a while and it turned out that Scott Ledford of Ledford Outdoors was going to be at the Bass Pro Shops store in North Myrtle having sign-ups for their upcoming, annual, Youth Dove Hunt. Since we were going to be in the area, I told the wifey that she could shop while I looked around BassPro and talked with Scott about the details of the event. It wasn?t hard to get her to say ?yes? to going to any kind of mall.
We caught up with Scott around mid-day on Saturday and got some details of Ledord Outdoors? upcoming event. On September 11th, 2010 Ledford Outdoors, along with several sponsors, is putting on a very neat youth dove hunt in Horry County, SC. Youth ages 9 ? 15 are eligible to win this exclusive dove hunt. Ledford Outdoors is going to draw 15 winners from the entries and these 15 youth & teens will be the ones who win and get to go on the dove hunt. So how do you enter?... you either sign up on Ledford Outdoors? web site or you fill out the form and register at Bass Pro at Myrtle Beach if you?re in the Myrtle Beach area. Keep in mind that, to participate, a parent or guardian must be on hand with the youth and the parent/guardian must hold a valid South Carolina hunting license! Youth and teens can register for a chance to win a spot on the dove hunt from August 6th ? 22nd. Also, you don?t have to be from SC to register, you can win from another state, but you would have to buy an out-of-state license for the hunt if you win from another state.
The best part about this event is that it is directly geared towards the youth and there will be give-aways, food, entertainment, and tons of family fun. Scott even mentioned where they will be giving away a shotgun and maybe more than one. This event has been backed by some good sponsors who are enthused about encouraging youth to hunt so I?m sure it will turn out to be a positive event that 15 lucky youth/teens will really be happy to win.
Below is a quick video I shot of Scott talking about the event. If you are a youth/teen or if you know a youth/teen who would love to get in on a hunt?then forward them the link so they can register for a chance to win!
This week has been very busy with all that we?ve got going on, but that is fine by me. As we continue to monitor the food plots, we have to get ready to plant the fall plots as well. So, when we got back from the Pee Dee Deer Classic, we journeyed out to the woods to check up on the remote food plot. We also went and took a new soil sample at a location where we?re going to try to plant a different fall plot to get an idea of the composition of the soil. Since this will be the first time we?re planting a food plot in this location it will take us some time to get the soil in the best conditions possible, but you have to start somewhere.
Earlier in this series, I covered the reasons why one needs to take a soil sample. You can see that blog entry here: Collecting a Soil Sample in case you haven?t been following along. Even at the Pee Dee Deer Classic, the Tecomate Seed representatives and other food plot experts presented and spoke about the importance of the soil and how the composition of the soil directly affects your food plot?s success. They talked about the ?pieces of the puzzle? necessary for a successful food plot. I may be leaving some pieces out, but what stuck with me were three main pieces: the soil, the seed, and the knowledge. In order to have success with a food plot you?ve got to have soil that is ready and conditioned to foment the growth of plants, good quality seed, and most importantly?you?ve got to know what to do! (That last part is what I?ve been working on for some time now). So it?s the week of August 1st and we?re taking a soil sample and intend to plant a fall food plot in late September to early October.
If you?re in South Carolina and want to know where you can get a soil sample analyzed, just find your local Clemson Cooperative Extension by clicking here. For a small fee, you can send off your soil sample and they will return you a read out with detailed information about the makeup of your soil. If you have trouble understanding the pH and all that, then you can take it to a seed and feed store and they can assist you with interpreting the results. The staff at the local coop can also help you with that as well.
Remote Food Plot Update
The remote food plot continues to grow well. As I continue to be clueless about this all, I was wondering why all of this stuff wasn?t eaten already. I know there are deer out there, but yet some plants continue to grow untouched by the deer. I knew that the seed was a mixture of plants (milo, clover, peas, etc), but I didn?t know that the deer would be eating them at different times of the summer/fall. The deer are being selective about what they eat as they walk through the food plot. That is, they are eating some specific types of plants and not the others. You can plainly see where they are passing through the plot and also which plants they are eating. It appears that they are eating the peas and the lab lab and leaving a lot of milo untouched. I spoke with the Tecomate rep and he said that after the first frost comes the starches in some of the plants will turn to sugar. After that happens then the deer will really get in there and eat the remaining plants. I hope this is right! He also mentioned that the first time you plant a plot it kind of takes the deer a little while to figure out that they can get in there and eat the plants.
Another note to mention is that I have not been getting many game-camera pics. I thought something was wrong and it turns out that when you have dead batteries the camera won?t take pictures! So we have put new batteries in the camera and hope to have some good pictures in upcoming blog entries.
The below video is of us getting a new soil sample where we?re going to start the process of conditioning the soil and attempt a fall food plot install + a current view of the remote food plot. Sorry to spin so fast out there?it made the video a little blurry. Maybe one day I?ll upgrade cameras and get better footage.
I create sub-folders and number every blog entry that I write just to help keep things organized. With all the video, images, and text if you don?t keep it organized things can get hard to find. It just appeared to me that I had written 99 blog entries thus far. I periodically give site growth/metric updates and so figured I might as well give a site update since the 100th blog entry is here.
In football we always said "The big eye in the sky don't lie" which, while grammatically incorrect, still carried valuable meaning. This saying meant that we knew someone was filming practice or the game and that eventually we would all be sitting down with the coach and would watch the film to see what really happened on various plays. In the web world, the "Big eye in the sky" is the analytics program that runs in your site's background tracking your site's metrics. The "Big eye in the sky" always told the truth about your performance on the field and so do the metrics denote the true success of your site.
With that said, I feel we?ve made considerable progress with the growth of the site. As deer season is approaching, the numbers are already starting to climb. As many of you know, we started this site last September just for fun and have essentially done minimal marketing. It?s mostly been word of mouth, some bumper stickers, and a couple of T-Shirts. Considering the low-budget marketing, I think the growth of the site is pretty impressive?at least from a web developer?s standpoint. To have over 100,000 page views within just less than a year is a good sign and is definitely more than I initially anticipated.
So here?s the metric breakdown and some other info?
Metrics and Info (from Sept ?09 ? Aug ?10)
At the time of this 100th blog entry we are one month short of being up one full year and have had:
I mentioned the numbers have started to climb as we approach deer season?here?s an image extracted from the metrics demonstrating what I mean.
The Top 10 cities in SC that visited the site were as follows:
* I will also add that for about a month the link to our site went semi-viral in Finland due to this blog entry. So everyone from Chesterfield downward was outdone by the Finns! Hyvva Suomi!
Searching for WeHuntSC.com via Keywords
The YouTube Channel
In sum, I?ve written 100 blogs (with this entry being the 100th) and I hope you have enjoyed at least some of them. It?s neat that we cross the 100,000 page views at a time close to the 100th blog, though I don?t think they are exactly related to each other. We?ve come a long way since last September, but we?ve still got plenty of ground to cover. Though, keeping it in perspective? it?s all in fun! I?m interested to see what happens on the site this upcoming deer season with the images, competitions, videos, and ?yes? with the analytics!
Recently I was made aware of some pretty impressive achievements that a South Carolina youngster made that deserve some recognition. Lancaster?s Blake Hodge recently traveled to Houston Texas to compete in the World Duck and Goose Calling Championships. Blake competed in both solo and team competitions at both the youth and adult levels. Winning awards in multiple categories, Blake proved to be competitive on numerous levels.
Blake is just 14 years old and has only been duck and goose calling competitively for 3 years. He?s gotten pretty good with it too! You may be a skeptic, but just wait until you see the video below and it will surely make you a believer. Also, it?s important to note that while Blake won in both the adult and youth competitions.
Blake?s winnings consisted of:
I was able to catch up with Blake this past weekend and do a quick interview with him. We were able to get him to do some calling for us a well. The boy?s got talent and I have to say that I wouldn?t mind having him in a blind with me cause he sure can call better than I can at this point!
Congratulations to Blake on his winnings and for representing South Carolina very well at the championships!
What can I say? Thermacell just keeps on giving away prizes. As you are aware, Thermacell recently partnered with WeHuntSC.com on a promotional giving away free Thermacell appliances and now they?re back at it again. Though, this time the give-away is put on by Thermacell and they are giving away a Thermacell appliance per day and the winners are entered into a bigger lot that has the chance to win even bigger and better prizes!
Thermacell sent a press release and below are the pertinent details of the Give-Away:
ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent to Host August Appliance-A-Day Giveaway Help the hunter in your life gain protection from mosquito borne illnesses; enter to win a free mosquito repelling ThermaCELL appliance that is up to 98% effective according to tests conducted by the US Department of Defense.
ThermaCELL, the leading area mosquito repellent, will giveaway one ThermaCELL Realtree APG unit* each day in August to help hunters get ready for hunting season. Contestants can win a ThermaCELL Appliance, Hoyt TurboHawk Bow or a ThermaCELL prize package! Giveaway Details:
So yes, register to win and this time I?m going to register too!
To register simply click this link: Register in Thermacell's Appliance A Day Give-Away.
Another big thanks to Thermacell!
We left out early this morning and headed down to the Florence Civic Center for the 2010 Pee Dee Deer Classic. It didn?t take long for the place to get packed and it was buzzing with people both young and old. The rain held off just long enough and hunters and vendors from all across the state (and from many other states) were on hand to mix and mingle. The place was lively all day long and you could feel the energy in the air.
The floor and the walkway of the second level of the Civic Center was literally covered with vendors selling any and every product related to hunting. From knives, to guide services, to shirts, to scents, to 4-wheelers, to bows, to tractors, to food plot products, jewelry, and even fudge, you could find it all. There were even vendors there selling fishing and turkey products too! As full and busy as that place was it was almost overwhelming. That is, trying to take in the people, the information, the products, the messages, and the concepts is a lot to absorb at once. I think it wore me out after a while, but then again maybe I?m just lame.
The event was bigger than I initially anticipated and in comparison to the Sportsmen?s Classic I would say it?s a bit smaller. Though, this is just due to the fact that the event is solely targeted on deer hunting whereas the Sportsmen?s Classic features many more fishing and turkey hunting vendors and booths.
Vendors were on both the ground floor as well as the second level. The second floor is also where speakers presented on various subjects throughout the day. It was apparent that the ?Snake Master? was the biggest draw of the day as every time he spoke about snakes you couldn?t even fit around the corner due to the large audience that gathered to listen to him speak. Yes ? he did have live snakes in the building and no, I didn?t go by there messing with them?but a lot of people did.
I did miss out on one aspect of the classic though. (Fail again) I intended to see the archery competitions, but in between me not knowing the times when they started plus being busy shooting pics/videos, and talking to people I always seemed to find a way to miss them. However, it was obvious that there was a competition as you could see hunters walking around with their bow cases. I heard they were pretty good though and that the winners will be announced tomorrow.
There was another aspect of the show that I found neat. I?ve been to wrestling matches where the audience members bring their own belts to show off, but I?ve never been to a show where people walked around with their deer heads. At first I thought people were just showing off, turns out that I was wrong and they were just bringing their deer to be scored. The event featured on-site scoring of deer racks so if you wanted to know exactly what your buck scored, you simply brought it in and gave it to the guys with the tape. Cool beans! I took a pic of the guysthat were scoring the racks that you?ll see in the video below.
Going to these shows I usually see many products that I expect to see, but there are always a few products that stick out to me a little. I?m sure you may be the same way. In that regard, this expo was the same. I picked a few products to talk a little bit about that left an impression on me. If you?re a ?techy? or have similar interests as me, then you may like them too!
The McKenzie Duffle Fan Bag McKenzie Duffle Fan Bag The McKenzie Duffle Fan Bag is a really neat concept. After I saw it, I had the ?Why didn?t I think of that? moment. Essentially it?s a camo duffle bag with a fan in one end and a place to put a cover scent in on the other end. You turn the fan on and it pulls the scent through the bag scenting your gear with whatever cover scent you put on the other end. The bag can hook up to your truck?s cigarette lighter or an outlet in your house. Not only does it scent your clothes, but it also helps remove any moisture in your gear. There?s no doubt that this product works as whenever one of the bags is opened you can instantly smell dirt, dog fennels, or whatever scent was on the other end. Great idea created by a fellow hunter and fellow South Carolinian. I?m not sure, but I think the McKenzie Duffle sells for around $95. - www.mckscent.com
Mossy Oak's Video Recorder Eyewear Mossy Oak ? Video Recorder Eyewear Another memorable one for anybody who loves to video hunts. Though, you could really use this product to video anything. The gist is that it?s a pair of camo glasses that has an HD video camera located right between your eyes. If you see something coming you simply click a button right by your ear to start recording. The glasses use a very small sd card to store the video and can store 4GB of footage. I was skeptical about the quality of the footage given the small camera, but I have to tell you that I was impressed with the footage that came from this thing. The vendor had videos he had taken on display on a computer in his booth and the quality was really good. It also performed well in low light. I had a hard time not buying some of these, but the price is a little steep. They run for $269 online, so get your billfold ready if you want one of these. - Video Recorder Eyewear
E-Z Kut Pruning Sheers E-Z Kut Pruning Sheers I was really surprised at, yes, the ease of use of the E-Z Kut. I know it sounds cliché to say, but this product really is easy to use. You don?t have to have a strong grip at all to make this thing cut through limbs, twigs, or branches. The gentlemen selling this product was very nice and simply let the product do the talking. So I tried it out and I just squeezed and the clippers kind of clicked and as they clicked it seemed like it got easier and in a matter of seconds I was all the way through the limb. The E-Z Kut was relatively quiet, very smooth, and made a clean cut. If the wood was too big for your hands to grip you could just spin it in circles and as you spun it, it was cutting doing work until it got into a position that you could grip it. After gripping, a few more clicks and it was done. Seems to me like it would be something neat to carry in your hunting pouch and (after you got up the stand) you could simply, quietly, and quickly cut through anything that was in your way. Maybe a good stocking stuffer and sells for $29.95 online. - www.EZKutPrunners.com
Tag-Out Hunting Products ? Chameleon Blind Tag-Out?s Chameleon Blind is also a neat concept, especially for bow-hunters. It?s kind of a like a combination of a ground blind and a tree stand. The Chameleon Blind would definitely keep you dry in on a rainy day, but most importantly it conceals your movement. The Blind has vertical slits in the fabric to allow you to shoot out of any directions. The Tag-Out representative also told me that the blind has some weight at the bottom of the blind fabric in order to keep it from moving a lot with the wind. If you?re a bow-hunter looking to conceal your movement, this one might be worth it. Price point is $129
- Tag-Out Chameleon Blind
Havoc's Scent Sticks Havoc Scent Sticks Havoc Scent Sticks is a simple and neat concept. These scent sticks help you do two things, one of which has nothing to do with scent. The scent sticks are small, bright pipes that you place in the ground at different ranges. Since knowing your ranges can be critical you can set these up to assist you in gauging the range of your target. The pipes are tapered at one end to make for easy entry into the ground and they are hollow at the top. Once you get them into the ground you place a large cotton swab in the opening. Though, before you put it in you?re supposed to soak it in scent. The goal is simply get the deer to pause momentarily to smell the scent while you take aim. Price Point: $12. Good concept, cheap, easy to see. - Havoc Scent Sticks
The ladies behind High Maintenance Camo And for the women?High Maintenance Camo Representing a growing market share, female hunters no longer have to make due fitting into guy?s hunting gear. High Maintenance Camo has solved the diva dilemma and is making quality camo gear for ladies. They make camo to wear hunting, but they also cross over and make trendy, fashionable camo that women can wear out and about. This company is a family based company out of Florida and is run by some nice ladies. Guys, if you?re trying to sway your lady into getting into hunting, this may be the route to take?buy her some trendy camo! Ladies, if you?re tired of trying to fit your curves into men?s clothing?look no further.
Scott Ledford of Ledford Outdoors Scott Ledford ? Ledford Outdoors Along with products, there are always some people who stick out to me?whether for the right or wrong reasons! Today we met Scott Ledford from Ledford Outdoors (who stuck out for the right reasons). Scott is very connected in the hunting industry and guides clients on all kinds of hunts up and down the east coast. Scott is into video and has been trained by, and shot videos, for the pros...as in Waddell and the crew. Scott is also a PlotMaster authorized dealer so he?s into all kind of stuff.
Though, Scott?s connections and video work wasn?t what stuck out to me. There are a lot of connected and talented people out there, but rather his outwardly evident passion and genuineness was what impressed me. Scott seemed very passionate about hunting, quality game management, and mostly about getting youth involved with all things outdoors. Scott is also very upbeat about getting kids into hunting and so I expect to see him involved with a lot of big things in the future?especially in the youth realm. - http://www.ledfordoutdoors.com
I?ve created the below video to give you an idea of what the environment at the event was like in case you were unable to attend.
Anticipating the upcoming hunting season, it was good to be in an energized environment full of people who all share the same passion for hunting. For me it was similar to being in a pep-rally before the big game. I?m fired up and ready to go ?now I just have to convince the wife to share the same vision!
WeHuntSC.com noticed considerable growth in site traffic this past week with the welcoming of several rabbit hunters from all over South Carolina. If you are into hunting rabbits and you?re in South Carolina, then you need to get in the loop with the rabbit hunters on our site. These guys are from all different corners of the state and are very passionate about rabbit hunting and the dogs they use to hunt them!
I don?t know much about rabbit hunting, but I?m learning slowly over time. Though, I can tell you from going hunting with Hoot and watching the message board that rabbit hunting is just as much about the dogs as it is about rabbits. I would venture to say that you won?t find many rabbit hunters who aren?t also dog lovers. Now it makes sense to me why Hoot didn?t even carry a gun when he took us rabbit hunting last winter.
It seems that the dogs must be trained year round and I will say that these ?bunn brothers? talk about the breed of dogs and where they descend from like they just researched someone?s family tree and wrote a report on their heritage. They know this stuff inside and out. If you?re not on the inside of the rabbit hunting world then the language they speak when it comes to blood lines can be a little hard to follow. I find it neat and interesting that these guys know all this information about their dog?s lineage and pedigree and discuss it so frequently. I guess it is necessary though if you want to have the best dogs trailing some rabbits!
We?re happy to have all the new site members aboard and welcome any others that may wish to join in on the fun!
We just rounded out our Thermacell Give-Away campaign and now a lot of WeHuntSC.com registered site members will be mosquito free this coming hunting season! A big thanks to Thermacell for partnering with us on this campaign to drive site registration and promote Thermacell in South Carolina.
So if you know any of these people, you may want to sit with them during the upcoming hunting season!