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Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew

Yellow Cape Communications Sponsors Video Tips Blog Series

Yellow Cape Communications is a communications firm based in Charlotte, North Carolina. Yellow Cape specializes in television production, multi-media for web, still photography, communications consulting, marketing communications services and all things web. You've seen Yellow Cape?s work before when you first come to the site and see the girls in camo introducing our site. You may also have seen the 2010 Central Eagles State Championship Documentary or the Chesterfield County Career and Technology Education video.  I also had Jason produce a DotNetNuke SuperFan Video for me and it turned out really good!

Jason Fararooei and his team at Yellow Cape Communications create top notch multi-media communications - so if you work for an organization that may need multi-media creation, photography or communications consulting services, give Jason a shout http://www.YellowCapeCommunications.com.

Yellow Cape Communications has partnered with WeHuntSC.com on 5 quick-tip video segments to promote the basics in hunting and outdoor safety. Over the course of this deer hunting season we will be releasing the videos in this blog series. I can already tell you that the last segment in this series is by far the best! Below is the first in the series.



JD's First Deer Rifle
JD's First Deer Rifle  

Do you remember your first deer rifle?  If you're like me you probably can remember just about everything about your first rifle.  My first deer rifle was a Remington Semi-Auto .243 that my Dad bought at a local gun shop.  It was a heavy gun and because of that we traded it for a Remington Model 700 .270 the next year.  It was with the .270  that I killed my first deer. 

Choosing a rifle is one of  the most important things you do when preparing a young hunter for their first season.  Confidence in your rifle is very important and with a young hunter it is imperative that you build that confidence by choosing the correct rifle.  We often hear debates about what is the best caliber but to me it more about confidence than caliber.  You can build that confidence by finding a rifle that fits.

I think JD has found the rifle that fits him.  JD bought a Remington Model 700 Youth .308 from Sportsman Inc. located in Newport, SC over the weekend.  I wasn't able to tag along when he bought it but based on what JD told me it sounded like an awesome experience.  The staff at Sportsman Inc. went above and beyond to make sure JD had everything he needed for his first rifle.  On Saturday we packed up and headed to my friend Rick's house to get the scope mounted and sighted in. 

As we arrived at Rick's house and stepped from the car a cool breeze signaled that deer season was just around the corner.  I couldn't have been more excited about watching JD shoot his first rifle.  It didn't take long and Rick had JD's scope which is a Nikon 3x9x50 mounted and ready for the shooting range.  We set up a bench at 25 yards and got everything ready.  We took some time to give JD some safety instructions and get him comfortable with his set up.  Again safety and getting familiar with the rifle goes along with building that confidence that is so important.

We had a minor hiccup before JD made his first shot.  The mount screw for the scope was a hair too long and wasn't allowing the bolt to close.  Rick was on top of it and within minutes he had the screw filed down and the gun ready again.  JD got set up and made his first shot at 25 yards.  I was eager to see the recoil from the rifle because that is definitely something you want to manage when starting a youngster out shooting.  To help with this JD bought Remington's managed recoil ammunition.  On the box it stated that it reduces recoil by 50% and I was sold after watching JD make a few shots.  We shot about three rounds at 25 yards and then backed up to 50 yards.  After making a few more shots we finally backed up to 100 yards.  JD shot about nine rounds down range and with each shot you could see his confidence rise. 

It was a fun day of shooting and I can't thank Rick enough for his help.  We got to teach JD a few things about safety and shooting and we watched JD start to build a bond with his rifle.  He's a pretty darn good shot!  Now it's time to go hunting!

What do you remember about shooting your first rifle?  Check out JD's first shots in the video below.


1st doe of 2011

This past weekend I checked my game camera on Friday to see if I was getting any action at one of my stands.  When I got back to a computer and checked I had 885 pics within a one week time span. Needless to say, this was a good sign. The pics had some bucks, does, fawns, and squirrels in the mix.  With the cool front moving in over the weekend I felt like it should be a good weekend to hunt. Though my weekend schedule would only allow me to hunt in this specific stand on Sunday afternoon. I looked forward to the hunt all weekend.

Let me back up and say that I hunted this same stand two weekends ago and had a deer bust me. I had been in a hurry to get to the stand, didn?t have time to spray down or use my scent control products, and I rushed out to the stand. I was sitting in the stand when all of a sudden I heard a deer blow at me from behind my stand. The deer was alone & bounded away into the woods. I never saw it, but only heard it as it fled my area of the woods.  The fact that it was alone makes me think it was one of the bucks I?ve got on camera. I was not a happy camper.

This stand sits back in some dense woods and early in the year it?s really tough to see due to all the leaves on the trees. It?s a good stand for later in the season when visibility is better, but with so much activity on the game camera I figured I should try my luck. Though, knowing that a deer would be in really close to me before I would see it meant I should take better care of my scent or else I?d get busted again.  This time I would be prepared. 

   WeHuntSC.com - Atsko Scent Elimination 4-pack
  The Atsko Scent & UV Control System

I spent some time with my Atsko Scent & UV Control System 4-pack over the weekend. I washed my clothes in the Sport Wash, then applied the UV Killer, took the soap to the shower, and mixed the activator with the N-O-dor spray to get it ready for spraying down before entering the woods. After washing the clothes and ridding them of my scent I dropped them in the McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag and let them marinate in the earth scent wafers that I had in the bag. Before hunting I took a shower with the Atsko Sport Wash, got dressed, and sprayed the rest of my gear down. Even if I didn?t see a deer I was going to have my scent better under control on this hunt.

I got into the stand a little early because I didn?t want to be rushed & because I had pics with deer over the corn pile early in the afternoon.  I got set up with my Irwin Quick Grip Redneck Engineered Camera Arm and was ready to rock. I still wish Irwin would come out with a camouflage quick grip, but I?d settle for a black one? if they don?t I guess I?ll have to spray paint my current one.  I had quietly clamped the camera to the right side of my stand and had it in position.  The camera wouldn?t be falling off this time!

As I sat in the stand the squirrels were driving me crazy. They were everywhere and as they raced around the woods I thought back to Andy Hahn?s blog and wished he would have had them cleared out back there because they were getting my heart rate up every now and then!  I sat for a long time without moving. I tried to be as still as possible because, like I said, a deer can get in on you at this stand (early in the season) without you even knowing it. I didn?t want to get busted again.  I sent some text messages to other friends who were hunting and sent a few tweets on Twitter as I scanned and listened to the woods around me.

WeHuntSC.com - The McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag  
The McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag  

It got to be ?the time? right before dark when you feel like you should see something.  I was starting to think I was going to be unsuccessful again and I couldn?t figure out why with all the pics I?d been getting at this location.  Then I heard leaves cracking at a slow and steady pace. My first reaction was to cut the camera on.  I slowly moved my hand to the camera and hit the power button. I could hear something walking, but couldn?t see it.  It was getting closer to me and my heart starting going.  It kept on walking through the woods at a slow pace and I finally saw movement. When I saw the movement and was sure it was a deer I hit the record button. Right after I hit the record button I slid my safety off, but left my gun lying in my lap. I had the camera pointing toward the corn in front of me, but the deer was to the right of me. I wasn?t going to swirl the camera and risk getting busted so I just recorded the whole time until the deer got close enough to the viewport of the camera.

With the deer?s next step I saw its leg through some leaves. There was still plenty of light to see, but it was just so thick I couldn?t see well.  Finally I saw the outline of the deer and it was only about 25 yards from me. The deer stood still and ate some acorns and while it stood still I heard even more leaves cracking behind it.  There were more deer. 

It didn?t take long before I could tell that the lead deer was a doe and a good sized one. I watched it as it got closer to me. This deer crossed in front of me at about 15 yards, broad-sided and I could have probably knocked it down with a football?well maybe a couple of years back I could have, but it was really close.  I didn?t want to shoot a doe if it had fawns with it and I also wanted to see if the deer trailing behind were any decent bucks.  The doe crossed in front of me and I filmed it as much as I could. At one point the barrel of my 243 got in the way of the lens and blurred the video shot, but I wasn?t going to move it just for the sake of the camera. I filmed as best as I could while l kept looking to the right to see what kind of deer the other sound I heard was.

  WeHuntSC.com - The Irwin Quick Grip Camera Setup on my stand
  The Irwin Quick Grip Camera Setup on my stand

The lead doe had worked her way across the front of me and was over to my left. She didn?t seem interested in the corn I had only 10 ? 20 yards to her right. I was finally able to see the other deer that was making the cracking of the leaves behind the lead doe.  It was another doe, a little bit smaller, but not a fawn.  It seemed there were as another deer off in the distance, but the sound of it was getting smaller as it got further away.  At this point I had all the information I needed in order to make the decision to take the lead doe if I got a good shot.

With where the doe had walked there were now leaves and a few small trees in between us, but to my surprise the doe turned back to the right and headed toward the corn pile. It was only a matter of time.  This doe ate corn for what seemed like forever?though it was probably only a couple of minutes. The good part was that she had her butt facing toward me while she ate. This gave me the opportunity to lift my gun up and get it situated. I had her in the crosshairs and was waiting on her to turn and give me a good angle.  As she ate corn I waited and waited and eventually pulled my face back from the gun for a moment because I got tired of squinting for so long. I was glad I did because the barrel of the gun was right under the viewfinder of the video camera and had I shot it would have probably jumped up and hit the camera. I slid the gun over and leaned back in.  The doe ate and finally popped her head up to the side. I guess she saw me because she perked up real quick and stomped her foot at me. I didn?t have a good angle with her first stomp, but when she looked at me harder she turned the rest of her body and it gave me a good angle.  I took the shot and saw her back legs jump up in the air. I knew I had made a hit. I heard her run about 40 yards and crash. 

One of my rules that I use after I shoot a deer is to sit in the stand and for a little while and calm down and collect myself.  I don?t want to pressure the deer and I don?t want to do anything dumb by being in a rush.  I sat there and took some deep breathes and tried to get my heart rate down some.  As I sat I could still hear the other deer over in the woods. It didn?t scatter off like you might imagine a deer to do. For a moment I thought I might be able to get 2, but then I decided against it as it was starting to get darker. I put my gun on safety and started taking the camera down from the stand. I turned my light on and climbed down.

Even though I saw the deer jump & heard it crash I still wanted to go to the point of contact to make sure I saw blood because stranger things have happened before when trailing deer.  I saw a drop of blood and knew I had contact. I sent some text messages to friends saying I would need help shortly.  I walked in the direction that I heard the deer run in and shined the light up ahead and saw a white belly. It didn?t take me but about 5 minutes to find it.  Help arrived soon thereafter and we got the deer out of the woods and to the processor.

* Had a problem with my camera & was unable to get any pics off the camera :-(

It was a great early season hunt and I?m glad that I took care of my scent before going in this time because those deer got really close to me. The doe weighed 120lbs and was a good sized doe by South Carolinian standards. I will probably return to this stand at some point and try to get one of the bucks I?ve been getting on camera back there.

Do you self film your hunts? If not you should give it a try?it is challenging, but pretty rewarding to be able to re-live the hunts.



Goose Hunting with the Wrecking Crew - Early Season
Wrecking Crew
Team WC with 19! 

This September weather has been brutaly hot and really tested our endurance and love for the sport. Though, with plenty of crackers, gatorade, and bug spray, we've managed to do pretty good this season. We were able to get some more youth interested in the sport of waterfowl hunting while having their parents spending more time in sporting good stores, purchasing their needs, and some of their wants! We worked with them in the field, discussing firearm safety, decoy placement, conservation, and of course "calling". As we always say, youth are our future!  

We hunted lakes, grain fields, and pastures/ponds this year with pretty good success and utilized these type of decoys: shells, full bodies, and floaters. When field hunting, we used "layout blinds" to stay hidden, especially while trying to video.
I would like to thank everyone who hunted with us, and look forward to "getting down", and doing some more "Wrecking"!
I would also, like to thank our continued sponsors, Drake Waterfowl, Winntuck Waterfowl Lanyards, and Decoy Outdoors.
Below is a video showing our team in action: Wrecking Crew early season episode 1. 
I hope everyone enjoys it and is looking forward to colder weather, with wings committed.
Good Hunting

The "Brow Tine"
JD hasn't stopped smiling about his new knife.  

When I was twelve years old my Dad gave me my first knife.  If I close my eyes I can still picture that day and remember thinking how cool it was to have my own knife.  It wasn't much to brag about but you couldn't tell me that at the time.  I spent many hours whittling on sticks in the woods with that knife.  It was a small black folding knife that to this day I have tucked away in a special place. 

With this being JD's first deer season I thought it would be special if I could get him a knife that he could not only use but cherish for the rest of his life.  I knew JD was no stranger to knives because he often had one on his side or in his pocket when we would go on fishing trips over the summer.  With that being said I wanted to make sure the knife he got for his first hunting season was special in every way. 

About ten years ago I bought a "Pikes Peak" pocket knife from CRKT - Columbia River Knife and Tool.  I was always looking for a good pocket knife and when I bought that knife I hit the jackpot.  The knife has held strong since I bought it ten years ago.  The only hiccup was about two years after I bought the knife when the clip that attaches with three Torx screws came off in my pocket and I lost one of the screws.  The next day I called CRKT and within the week I had a new clip and three new screws.  The representative I talked to was very helpful and gave me a tip of putting Loctite on the screws before I reassembled.  From that point forward that knife has been rock solid.  

  CRKT - Kommer Brow Tine

Based on prior history, I knew that CRKT was the company I wanted to use to find JD a knife for his first season.  With their help, we found the perfect knife in the Russ Kommer Brow Tine.  When the box came in the mail I could hardly stand it.  When I opened the box and pulled the knife from its tooled leather sheath I was pumped.  The stag antler handle fit perfectly in my hand and I could see my reflection in the stainless steel mirror finished blade.  As a hunter this was a dream knife and I couldn't wait to give it to JD.

Unfortunately when the knife arrived we were in the middle of about a week's worth of rain.  I wanted to surprise JD with the knife, so I waited until the weather cleared up.  The weather finally gave us a break last Monday so I called JD and asked if he wanted to go check on the food plots.   I told JD I was going to do an update video for the blog but as we started the video I told him to look in my camo bag.  As he pulled out the box I think I was about as excited as I could be.  JD was totally surprised and I don't think he has stopped smiling since.  Now he has an awesome hunting knife to carry on his side this year.  Inscribed on the side of the knife it says field tested.  Hopefully we can put those words to use this year in JD's first season. 

I think JD will cherish that knife for a very long time.  It is these memories that we can really hold on to and I was blessed to be able to share that moment with JD.  Do you remember your first hunting knife?  What memories do you have of it and your first deer season?


Guest Blog: Anyboy Else Hunt Squirrels?

WeHuntSC.com - Klay with some of the squirrelsThe below blog entry is a guest blog entry by Andy Hahn:

Some folks say they hunt squirrels because it hones their stalking and shooting skills, making them better big-game hunters. Other guys tell me they only hunt squirrels because their kids enjoy it. Well, I need no such excuses. I go squirrel hunting because I love to hunt squirrels.

As a teenager in Pennsylvania I used to rush home from school, grab my single-shot 20 gauge and orange vest, and head for nearby woodlots in search of bushytails. When I was in my mid-20s, I lived in Philadelphia. Every Saturday in October and November I?d wake up at 3:30, drive to State Game Lands in south central Pennsylvania and greet the dawn on a hardwood ridge overlooking the Susquehanna River, squirrel gun in hand. My pulse always got to racing at the glimpse of a tail flicking among the branches or the sound of a small critter shuffling through fallen leaves?and it still does!

In 2006 I was diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig?s disease), a neurological condition that has put me in a wheelchair and rendered my arms nearly useless. Now I hunt with the help of friends and adaptive shooting equipment. While a ?point man? handles the rifle, we watch the sight picture via a special video camera and monitor that show with a scope?s-eye view, crosshairs and all. When things look right, I squeeze the trigger with a cable release.

WeHuntSC.com - Andy Hahn with his adaptive rigThree years ago my buddy Ron Wagner and I were hunting the last week of deer season at Bang?s Paradise Valley Hunting Club in Ehrhardt, SC. We commented that many of the stand sites seemed overrun by swarms of grey squirrels. ?No wonder my corn bill is so darn high!? joked the lodge owner, Bang Collins. ?Maybe you guys can help me by thinning out the rodent population.?

We needed no further encouragement. Bang lent us a Ruger 10/22 and the following day we started collecting the main ingredients for a big pot of Brunswick stew. That evening as we talked about our ?rodent-control project? I noticed a youngster listening with wide-eyed attention. Nine-year-old Klay Elixson had come to Ehrhardt with his grandfather Rick Hires, another regular visitor at the lodge with whom we?d become good friends. I asked Rick, and when he gave his permission I invited Klay to join Ron and me for a tree-rat safari.

The next dawn found the three of us in a pop-up blind, anxiously waiting for some squirrels to appear. We didn?t have to wait long. We used the Ruger and my shooting equipment, which kept everyone involved in the hunt.  Ron aimed while Klay and I took turns using the cable control to squeeze the trigger. Klay displayed fine hunting skills by keeping still, spotting bushy-tails and patiently waiting for high-percentage shots. The scope camera proved an excellent teaching tool as we followed squirrels on the monitor and discussed why different situations and angles made for good or bad shot selections. Our apprentice soon earned the title of No-Playin? Outa-the-Wayin? Lead-Sprayin? Squirrel-Slayin? Machine.

Sharing our knowledge and watching a young hunter enjoy himself, Ron and I probably had more fun than Klay that morning. Time in the woods with an enthusiastic kid also showed me that despite having special needs, disabled hunters can and must take responsibility for helping pass on our outdoor heritage to the next generation.

WeHuntSC.com - Klay, Andy, & RonWeHuntSC.com - The Squirrel Eraser

The following season I bought a Marlin Model 917 VSCF .17 HMR, added an Alpen Kodiak 6-24x50 scope and dubbed it ?The Squirrel Eraser.? Ron, Klay and I now get together at Bang?s once a year for a tree-rat roundup.

Last year a deer hunter scoffed at our small-game pursuits: ?I don?t waste time hunting squirrels.?

?Me neither,? I replied. ?I enjoy every minute of it.?


2011 Deer Season - My Opening Weekend
   WeHuntSC.com - Camera videoing the doe in the soybeans
  A pic of the camera videoing the doe in the soybeans
I was able to go hunting this past weekend for my first hunt(s) of the 2011 deer hunting season.  I?d been itching for deer season to get here for some time and it finally arrived.  The weather has been hot lately, but this weekend a cool front moved in and I was hopeful that the drop in temperature would have the deer up and moving. The day before the hunt it was in the 90?s and it was right at 60 degrees in the stand on my first hunt. I don?t particularly like to be sitting in a stand and sweating the whole time so this new cool weather was very welcomed by me.
I went hunting with Jeremiah Johnson in Chesterfield County.  Jeremiah is always posting big deer to the site and he?s obviously got a knack for spotting the big boys and handling them when they arrive.  If you watch the site for a period of time, sooner or later you?ll see Jeremiah posting pics of some good deer.  I looked forward to our hunt and was just hoping to see anything.
We got up in a tower stand that overlooked a 2-laned food plot that was right beside a cut-over before it got light.  The wind was blowing pretty well and it felt good in the stand. It felt like the fall finally! Jeremiah and I whispered some and he told me where he usually saw deer coming from so that I could keep my eyes peeled and help him spot any movement.  As soon as light started coming through the trees we heard some clucking from behind us. There were turkeys all around us and they were clucking and purring from the roost. As it got a little bit lighter out we could see a turkey in a tree not far from us.  Shortly we saw a turkey fly down beside us, then another, and before we knew it we had 3 turkeys on the ground. One turkey was out in front of us in the food plot picking at soy beans (or bugs on the soybeans) and the other two were walking through the woods to our right. I got some good footage of the turkeys on the roost and in the plot. It made for a neat sunrise, but it was still cloudy and very windy.
We?d been sitting there for a while just surveying the cut-over and food plots when Jeremiah said ?Look, there?s a deer?. A doe got out in the food plot as quick as I could turn my head. I looked back and sure enough a doe was out in the food plot munching on soy beans.  I cut the video camera on and started filming. To our surprise the doe was by herself. I couldn?t believe that this doe stayed out in the food plot for over 45 minutes eating.  She sure must have been hungry and she surely left with a full belly!  
WeHuntSC.com - A closeoup of the doe eating soybeans in the food plot
As this deer browsed the food plot I taped her walking her way through the soy beans.  We had no intention of shooting this doe because Jeremiah was looking for a large buck and this doe was probably too much on the small side to be harvested.  As the doe ate Jeremiah and I whispered about how the doe may have had a fawn, but that the prevalence of coyotes in the area may have gotten the fawn at some point. Obviously one will never know, but usually does are traveling with younger ones at this point of the season. 
This deer stayed out in the food plot for an extremely long time and I was able to get some great video footage.  At one point we had a turkey in one shooting lane and the doe in the other lane. I panned the camera from both lanes to get a view of both of the animals there at the same time.  The doe slowly worked her way toward our stand and she stopped to eat and was ?winding? once or twice when the wind blew really fast.  She was definitely a little hesitant given the circumstances of the morning.  We watched the doe and video her for some time. Eventually I guess she got full and headed back into the cutover. She disappeared as quickly as she arrived once she stepped into the cutover. We caught one more glimpse of her half-way through the cut-over and then we didn?t see her anymore.
The below video is 17 minutes long...the doe gets closer over the course of the video. Close-up shots at the end.
We had no intentions of shooting it.
It was a great morning to be out in the woods. The weather was great and we saw some turkeys and a deer.  It was a good way to start the season.
Thanks again to Jeremiah for letting me tag along on the hunt.

WeHuntSC.com - Buck with weird rack eating soybeans    
Buck with weird rack eating soybeans  
I went hunting a couple more times over the weekend and didn?t see anything on two of those hunts. It was very surprising to me because I figured with this cool front moved in that I would be seeing more deer, but as you know, it doesn?t always work out the way you think it will.  I finally saw more deer on Sunday afternoon.  I went and sat in a different soybean field that I?ve hunted several times before.  Again the conditions seemed perfect and on my way in I noticed how much higher the soybeans were in this field. The soybeans came up to my ribs in places as I walked through the field.  This was both good and bad.  Good for the harvest, but bad for seeing deer!
After sitting in the stand for a while and posting several tweets on Twitter.com/WeHuntSC I saw a flicker of brown way off in the distance just over the edge of the soybeans.  Sure enough it was a 4 pointer that looked to still be in velvet, but it was so far off I couldn?t tell.  After zooming in I could see that this deer had more than 4 points and some of the points seemed awkward looking. I?m not sure what?s going on with this deer?s rack, but it definitely looked unique.  I watched (and filmed) this deer eating soybeans for 30 minutes.  All of the footage looked exactly the same so I cut it down to the best 4 minutes I could extract.  
As with the doe above, I had no intention of shooting this buck.  It wasn?t big enough and we?re trying to manage game on this land as well.  As I watched the deer I was wondering what I would do if that would have been a bigger buck.  I thought a bigger one may be trailing not too far behind him?at least I was hoping so.  I came to the end conclusion that I wouldn?t have tried to shoot the deer because it would have been an ill-advised shot.  It was really far out and there?s no way I could have gotten the bullet there without going through a ton of soybeans and they would definitely slow it down and alter its course. If it would have been a huge buck it would have driven me crazy, but I still would have had to suck it up and be disciplined.  
Here?s the footage of the buck eating soybeans
Overall it was a good opening weekend to deer season. To me, seeing any deer is a successful hunt whether or not I harvest one on the hunt!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hello all! Just a short entry before I take off for the weekend festivities.  Well, the weather is getting cooler (and almost down-right cold today in the Upstate) and I can feel fall! Bow season officially came in yesterday for me but I will not have a chance to go this weekend. How many of you have been and have you had any luck? I'm excited to get the season off to a start!  College football is in full swing and deer season has arrived.  This is the most wonderful time of the year!  

'Babes, Bullets, & Broadheads' Logo  

I am also excited to announce that I was one of the girls all over the country who got selected for the 'Field Staff' position for the women's outdoor company: Babes, Bulletts, and Broadheads. This awesome company represents/encourages women in the outdoors and our goal is to educate and get more women and children involved in the great outdoors. I'm so excited for this opportunity (and all the free gear I get too!). If you get a chance check out the webiste and if you have a Facebook account 'Like' the page to support us!  We appreciate it! 

Wish you all the best this season! 


Tecomate Seed & BuckYum partner with WeHuntSC for Game Management Blog Series

WeHuntSC.com - Intro to Game Management

  WeHuntSC.com - Tecomate Seed
  WeHuntSC.com - BuckYum
Last year we did the Tecomate Seed Food Plot Journey where we documented a year's worth of food plots from a beginner's perspective.  We learned a lot through that journey and we're continuing to plant food plots this season with hopes of learning more and creating an environment from which we'll grow quality deer. Though, this year the series will go further than food plots.
Installing and having Tecomate Seed food plots is one of the ways we hope to create a good environment for the deer in our area, but that's not the only steps we're taking and it's not the only facet of game management. We?re also going to throw in some mineral sites and give our deer a supplemental feed. The supplemental feed we'll be using is called BuckYum and boy do the deer love it! We put some out at the end of last year and the deer literally had it gone within days.
We?re going to be explaining more about the Tecomate Seed products as well as giving more details about BuckYum in future blog entries, but for now we just wanted to communicate the news of the blog series.
We're pumped to learn more and hope that in some way this blog series will help you as well!

Food Plots, Yellow Jackets, & Epi-Pens
  WeHuntSC.com - Yellow Jacket
  These are not fun!

This past Saturday we set out to do some work on our deer lease. We met early and headed out with a tractor, two 4-wheelers, a spreader, and several other tools to get the job done. I?m going to be blogging about a lot of this in an upcoming series, so I won?t get into too much detail, but I did want to post this to share a portion of the story.

We had worked all day long.  My shirt was soaked, my eyes were burning from the sweat getting in them, swarms of gnats seemed to love my eyes and ears, and I was as hot as I could be. We were closing out our work for the day with cutting some shooting lanes near a small food plot we?re working on.  We were all spread out and were cutting lanes back towards a central point where we envisioned putting a ground blind. I was cutting with a machete and was slowly throwing the briar laced branches to the side.  I took a step towards a small pine and took a swing at the branch. I felt the small dirt hill beneath my boot (yes they were snake boots) kind of collapse. I didn?t think anything of the dirt packing down beneath my foot?it just seemed like a soft spot in the sand that we?ve all stepped on at some point or another. 

About a millisecond later, I realized that the seemingly ?soft? sand hill that had just collapsed beneath my foot wasn?t loosely packed for no reason. I had a sharp burning sensation on my left index finger. I looked down I saw a yellow jacket just digging in on my finger. I took a swipe at it and then started feeling a sharp burning pain on my right knee followed by a burning on my right cheek. I realized what was happening and started high-stepping it out of there.  I was yelling and moving faster than I have moved in a long time! I began taking my shirt off when I felt the burn coming from my elbow, but I still hadn?t gotten the yellow jacket out of my left index finger yet, but I ripped it out as fast as I could. I started swinging my shirt in circles over my head I was running toward the trucks.

I guess I should back up and say that I?m allergic to stings. I found this out years ago when a bee stung me. That was back in the early 90?s and we had to rush to the doctor because I started swelling up and was having trouble breathing.  Since that time I?ve been stung once here and there with nothing really coming from it.  I guess over time I outgrew it or maybe being bigger and older allowed me to handle it better?at least from one sting.  It became apparent this past Saturday that having 6 stings quickly brought back that very same allergic experience.  Mr. JE was working with us and he knew that I was allergic to being stung and quickly followed me up the hill.  Afterwards he told me that he saw the yellow jackets coming out of the ground and chasing me. I had stepped directly on the yellow jackets? hive.

We jumped in the truck and headed directly to CVS to get some Benadryl because this is what I typically take after I get stung.  It normally does the job.  As we rode to CVS I could feel the cold chills running through my body. While sitting in the CVS parking lot waiting on Mr. JE to return I felt a stinging on my left leg. I knew what was happening and shortly thereafter the people in the CVS parking lot saw me shimmying out of my pants into nothing but my undies. I?m sure it was funny from an outside perspective, but by this time I was burning from the stings and could feel my skin getting tight around all the stings on my body and there wasn?t too much funny about it on my end. 

When Mr. JE returned he noticed I had lost some clothing since he?d entered the store and I told him that I still had one yellow jacket in my pants. I drank as much Benadryl as the directions allowed and we left heading to his house.  About half-way through town my tongue started feeling fat and numb. A few blocks later I felt my throat getting tight. Shortly thereafter we arrived to Mr. JE?s house and we had decided to redirect to the Urgent Care in Monroe.  I knew I?d have to put my pants back on if I wanted to enter the Urgent Care with any dignity and so I put my pants back on. When I stuck my leg into the left pants leg of my britches a yellow jacket flew out in the truck! I opened the door and shooed it outside and it kept ramming the window trying to get back in. Yes it was still mad, but luckily I got it out without suffering another sting.

Mr. JE turned the caution lights on his truck and we made it to Monroe in record time. I walked into urgent care barefooted, but with my pants on and just hoped there wasn?t another yellow jacket hidden away in some cuff of the pants.  I was quickly admitted and got a shot within minutes. All in all I had about 6 stings and my finger was so fat I couldn?t bend it any more. The doctor wrote me a prescription for an Epi-pen and we headed back to Pageland. My stings have been stiff and swollen for several days after.

Needless to say my day turned out to have a different ending than I anticipated and the swelling and irritated skin is just now returning to normal (5 days later).  I never expected to encounter a whole yellow jacket hive and end up in an emergency so if you?re allergic to stings like I am let me be the guinea pig on this one and save you from embarrassment and a possible emergency! I?ll be sure to have my epi-pen with me on future outings in case I happen to find another hive unexpectedly.  Luckily for me I had help with close by and we wasted no time in getting to some help, but as we know this always isn?t the scenario.  There?s no denying that seeing me running and yelling like a wild man in the woods was a comical scene as well as me being in the CVS parking lot in my underwear and boots.  However, the situation could have not ended up funny if a couple variables in my situation had swung the other way.  Next time I?ll be prepared because snake boots don?t stop yellow jackets!



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