Earlier this season our "Crew" hooked up with friends Adam and Buck Cumbo of
Longhshot TV to film some waterfowl hunts for Adam’s Longshot TV show, which airs on Sunday mornings @ 11:00 WWMB21. We were invited to hunt with Jason Smothers and Justin Wrampler of Graveyard Guide Service, in Arkansas over this past Thanksgiving. We posted some initial blogs here about our hunt and now we’ve got the full episode ready to present to everyone.
We met Adam and Buck in Columbia, SC at Clothing World Sporting Goods Store and headed out for our 13 hour journey. We arrived in Arkansas just before dark and got to witness several thousand ducks and geese going to roost. You see this early on in the video here below. It was a truly amazing sight.
After we arrived we were game planning our hunts, but the weather would soon throw us a curve ball. The temperature dropped into the 20's overnight (which locked up the rice fields) so we switched to plan "B" and hunted a bayou off of a river which had some open water.
The hunt started off a little slow with the wind changing directions which made our set up more difficult to get the birds in for good TV footage. At one point, we broke out the shovels to break up more ice to give us a bigger hole, which definitely helped.
As the morning progressed so did the birds and we ended up with a great hunt with friends and family. Man we really had a great time and can't wait to get back out there with Jason and Justin.
So set back and relax, grab some popcorn and enjoy one of our waterfowl hunts with some great guys from Graveyard Guide Service.
Good Hunting ~ Daryl
As the 2013/14 Waterfowl season ended, it allowed our "crew" a few days to scout and get ready for the Youth Waterfowl Day here in SC. We scouted public water, and some of our private land, and found birds in both locations, but felt like we had a better chance of getting our buddy Ben his first duck on our private land.
Since Blake had just recently sold 'Ol Red, we loaded up his new ride "Madonna"… and don't ask me why he names all of his vehicles. We attached the hitch and strapped our Drake Waterfowl stand-up decoy bag filled with Drake Waterfowl duck decoys and some GHG Goose Decoys. Due to the freezing temperatures we kept all of our Drake Waterfowl waders in the back of the Tahoe (Madonna) to keep them toasty!
A pic of Madonna
Once we got to our location, we started our journey in through the darkness. We had to break ice going in which just added to Ben's hunt. After setting up our decoy spread it was time to get "locked & loaded".
At first light, we heard the beautiful sound of woodies, squealing through the timber. Right at legal shooting time we had two woodies come in and I told Ben to wreck 'em, and three fast shots rang out with no feathers falling. Just a few minutes later we had a single woodie come by and the three shots followed. Again, with no feathers fell. You could start to see the disappointment in his body language and the "crew" kept talking with him to keep his spirits up.
We saw a lot more wood ducks but they were either too high or too fast but we held our ground. All of a sudden Blake asked, boys do you hear that? Yes, indeed we do. A mallard hen was quacking off at a distance. Not only Ben, but the whole crew shifted into another gear. Blake and I both picked up our RNT duck calls which were hand-tuned by Butch Richenback (founder of RNT) and we started a duet of hen calls. Once we spotted her she had company, a nice big greenhead. As they started working our spread, I stopped calling and coached Ben, and Blake continued to work his RNT Daisy Cutter.
The pair circled for three times before committing and then it was wings cupped & orange feet down. I told Ben to wreck him and wreck him he did. A fat 'ol greenhead in the decoys splashing was a beautiful sight for not only Ben but to the crew as well. We all high fived, and looked at each other hollering, “Who's your Drake???”
As we drove back to Ben’s house we talked more about the hunt and you still couldn't wipe the smile off his face. We are pretty sure this one's going to the taxidermist.
We've been blessed through the years to help many hunters young & old, to harvest their first duck or goose and we were fortunate enough to be able to continue that tradition this year. These moments in the outdoors are who we are and what we live for.
Good Hunting ~ Daryl
The 2013 deer season was another great year for the "crew". We managed to harvest several nice bucks through hard work, land & deer management, and yes a little luck.
For us hunting and being in the outdoors is a way of life. It’s a year round thing rather than being seasonal as most people think about hunting. We’re chasing bucks during deer season, but we are also scouting duck hunting holes towards the end of deer season. When deer season is over we’re hunting ducks and geese and doing a little predator hunting on the side. When duck season ends we start working on food plots (for deer hunting) and we also work on our deer stands in this time of the year too. Then comes turkey season and we chase longbeards. Right after turkey season we put more time in looking for shed antler racks. Looking for sheds is another great way to scout and spend more time in God's Great Outdoors and it also gives insight as to what you can expect for the upcoming deer season. No matter what time of the year it is there is probably something you can do to prepare for the upcoming season.
So before the turkeys start gobbling and the fish start biting, head back out in the deer woods and start preparing for the 2014 deer season. September will be here before you know it!
Here are some of the rack mounts from the 2013 hunting season from the Wrecking Crew
Good Hunting ~ Daryl
With a big Artic push coming in, our team hit the lakes and rivers to scout for migrating geese. Blake was the only boat out of three to find any, and find them he did. Everyone has heard about the X spot, but not everyone has found it. Well I must say, this was the X spot!
The only downside to this was that it was on public water so I knew we had to get there early. So, the night before we rigged up more floaters with longer cords for deeper water and headed out @ 3:oo am.
Once arriving at the landing, we launched our Team WC Xpress 18' Bayou Duck Boat. It was 17 degrees with 20 mph winds and the water was "white capping". We trimmed our Gator-Tail 35, zipped up all of our Drake Waterfowl Gear, and rocked on to our destination.
Five minutes before legal shooting hours we had 10 mallards light in our decoys and I thought this was going to be good. Right before legal time… they flew off. Lol!
After legal shooting hours came we heard distant shots on the wate. Our "crew" got our game face on. Within minutes we had a flock of three come in and zero left out. Man, what a way to start off that bitter cold morning! Three more vollies came in and we harvested three limits by 7:15!
We've taken more birds than that in a hunt, but with all of the scouting we put in and having them "do it right" with "in 'yo face action", in crazy weather, and on public water, made this a truly epic hunt.
After a few pictures, we loaded up our Xpress and headed back to the landing before anyone could see where we had hunted. I typically don't mind sharing some information, but I think we will keep this to ourselves!
Good Hunting ~ Daryl
After a good cold front some new birds pushed in and our crew took advantage of it. Blake and I had been scouting several different fields and we had one that was really drawing them in.
The night before the hunt we hooked up to our Team WC enclosed trailer, filled with full bodies, shells and layout blinds heaters so all we had to do was get in and "crank her up".
Once we got to the field and unloaded all of our gear we still had 20 minutes before legal shooting hours. So we started singing and dancing around, just having good 'ol fun (it's all about fun with us) until crunch time.
Shortly after daylight, we started hearing honks off at a distance. We could tell that they were in the air and not coming our way. Blake and I started with our RNT Warbird Goose Calls really loud to try and get their attention. They slowly quartered our way but passed our field. Just before giving up we noticed the lead bird swung back and rest of the flock followed. The flock circled 3 times before committing and when they did, it was game on.
High five's and loud hollering followed after we were jacked up from calling them in from such a far distance. We had three other volleys, which made for an awesome hunt for everyone.
With friends and family experiencing another great morning in God's Great Outdoors, it doesn't get any better than this, especially in our home state. WeHuntSC!
Good Hunting ~ Daryl
The weather channel definitely got this one right. With freezing rain and gusting winds, our “crew” headed back out for another morning of Waterfowling. Once the freezing rain stopped, the temperature dropped to a delightful 10 degrees. Even in the midst of some of the coldest temperatures we’ve seen in a while, we gathered all of our reliable Drake Waterfowl Gear to ensure a comfortable hunt.
With the ground frozen, we utilized round decoy stands and shell body decoys instead of stakes for full body decoys. Once the ground blinds were in place, we hunkered down just before the morning light arrived.
Once the sky started to lighten up we had a small flock of divers fly by with 100% thrust on (the fly by was similar to a fly by from the movie Top Gun). Around 7:30am, we heard a distant honk and Blake and I started running our RNT Warbird Goose Calls and suddenly a flock of 5 “Canada’s” broke over the trees. They turned and started to fly across the field so Blake started calling aggressively and the geese responded immediately.
They circled one time and then cupped their wings and dropped their feet down and glided right into the decoys. I hollered “WRECK EM” with us harvesting three out of the five.
The beautiful sight of God’s creatures in those conditions is why we do what we do. It would have been real easy to stay in the bed, but “it’s what we live for!
Good Hunting ~ Team Wrecking Crew
It was time again for our annual Arkansas Timber Hunt with our good friends Taylor Sweetin, Eric McKinney, and the rest of the “Cuttin Outdoors” gang. Blake and I loaded up our Xpress 1860 bayou powered by a Gator-Tail 35 hp motor and headed to Clothing World in Columbia to meet my dad.
Once loaded up, we settled in for our twelve hour drive. We always look forward to seeing our good friends and some cupped wings in the “green timber”. It was a long ride, but we had a good time along the way.
After arriving in Stuttgart the first place we stopped was to see Butch Richenback at the RNT shop. The shop was full and Butch was swamped. We talked with Butch just a few minutes and then went next door to Mack’s Prairie Wings to buy some shells.
Early the next morning, we met up with our friends from “Cuttin Outdoors”, and then followed them to the boat landing. We had an awesome boat ride jumping logs and weaving through the trees. Our Xpress Boat and Gator-Tail Motor performed really well.
It wasn’t long until shooting hours after we had set out all of our decoys and our video cameras. We were very excited. Feeling “jacked-up” would be an understatement.
Shortly after day-break the mallards started flying and working our spread. Once they committed we hollered the signal “Wreck’em!” and the shots rang out.
It turned out to be a hunt of a lifetime, with three generations hunting together with our good friends, Taylor, Eric, Grant, Cody, Brett and Mason of “Cuttin Outdoors”.
We can’t wait to show the footage, so stay tuned for more wrecking from “crew”.
Good Hunting ~ Daryl
From balmy temperatures of 70 + to the mid 30’s in one day with wind and rain we thought we might have a shot. The cold temperatures helped push some Giant Canadian geese to the upstate of SC. Our crew loaded up the enclosed trailer once again and headed to one of our hot-spots, a freshly planted wheat field. We carried all of our decoys and layout blinds into the field and Blake strategically placed the decoys to work a North/Northeast wind.
With the cloudy and rainy skies we figured the geese would stay on the roost longer than their normal flight time and that was indeed the case. Around 8:00am we heard a flock of geese at a distance so we hunkered down and Blake started working his Banded Crazy Train. Our camera man Blake Langley was in good position and started filming the geese as they started to give our spread a “look see”.
They started to swing wide and when Blake saw that, he started double clucking and triple clucking and the geese responded immediately. Wings cupped and feed outward was an awesome sight to see and we harvested five birds out of the 1st flock. After some high fiving we got back into position and had a single come in silently, and we just let him do his thing.
We started hearing more geese at the opposite end of the field, so Blake and I both started calling. A flock of around 15 came across but they were heading in a different direction. When we saw them heading somewhere else we started pouring it on ‘em with our calling and they made a wide swing out of the field. We thought we had lost them and then suddenly they broke over the tree line. They already had their wings cupped and it was game on. We managed to harvest six more out of that flock and we got it all on camera.
While laying out in the rain, trying to film and not get the camera’s wet, the crew had an awesome hunt and we can honestly say, “It was raining geese”.
Good Hunting ~Daryl
Team Wrecking Crew
Most every duck hunter has dreamed about hunting in Arkansas at one time or another. When you set out to hunt in Arkansas you have a few things to consider. One major problem is to decide whether to hunt public land or to hunt with a guide service. In our recent trip we opted for hunting with a guide service. In this blog entry I’d like to share information about a great experience we had with Graveyard Guide Service. If you are considering hunting with a guide service, Graveyard Guide Service is located in McCrory, AR (just north of Stuttgart) and is a great place to go.
Justin & Jason with Graveyard Guide Service both try to ensure that your hunting experience is a “hunt of a lifetime”. They typically hunt over flooded rice fields, dry fields, and recently they’ve started hunting over some flooded timber for the ones who like to hunt in really close scenarios.
One thing that is a little different about Graveyard Guide Service is that they specialize not only in ducks, but in Specklebelly Geese as well. While hunting in the fields this additional specialty really adds to a mixed bag of waterfowl that you can get.
On our hunt there was something I vividly remember and that was that while hunting in the blinds, typically around 8:30, Jason would fire the grill up and man those biscuits and gravy will “smell it up”! So yes we chowed down right there in the blind and this is just another example of how Graveyard Guide Service goes out of their way to ensure you have a great hunt and enjoyable time. After the hunt, which usually ended around 1:00, they picked us up from the pits in their side-by-sides and then drove back to the lodge for a great lunch.
So if you are thinking (dreaming) about hunting in Arkansas, gives the boys at Graveyard Guide Service a shout GraveyardGuideService.com. Believe me we had a blast and plan to go back, real soon!
Here's a YouTube video where Drake's Migration Nation hunted with Justin and Jason of the Graveyard Guide Service
With hopes of shallow ponds and swamps freezing my father Pete (74) and I decided to hunt the river as the temperatures dropped in the low teens this past weekend. We were very optimistic on the way to the landing, but after arriving and seeing only one other boat at the landing our hopes slightly dropped. We thought we may have guessed wrong.
With all of our Drake Waterfowl gear on we managed the 19 degree boat ride really well. Once, we got to our hunting spot, my dad and I starting throwing out all of our Drake Breeze-Ryder duck decoys. I was very interested to see how well this year's models would work. We got the decoys out and got situated into our hunting spots and waited on daylight.
Shortly after day break, we had a pair of mallards fly across the river. I picked up my RNT Short Barrel and started hammering them. They responded immediately with a wide turn. They circled several times and within minutes they were feet down and wings cupped over the decoys. I hollered to my dad, “Wreck em!” and wreck’em he did, getting both of them one right after the other.
After retrieving his pair of mallards and getting settled back in we had two different pairs of Mergansers to work our spread. We managed to harvest three out of the four mergansers. During the next thirty minutes or so, we had a lull in the action not seeing many birds at all. Around 8:30, I heard a single "honk" and my dad hollered "Start calling". I picked up my RNT Warbird goose call, and started calling. Shortly, we spotted him up the river, coming down wings cupped and feet down. He sailed the last 200 yards and started to light in the decoys and I hollered to my dad again, “Wreck em!” and, again, he did just so.
This was the coldest day of the year so far and one I will remember forever. Hunting with my dad, is truly a blessing.
Team Wrecking Crew