WeHuntSC.com Blog


Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew

SCDNR Deer Management Public Meeting Post Game

As we all are aware SCDNR is hosting public meetings around the state to discuss the deer management legislation (Senate Bill 454) that’s up for vote. If you haven’t attended a session I encourage you to do so to let your voice be heard. I support the bill and think it will be a good thing for the state given the condition of our deer population and tendencies of some of our state’s hunters. 

Last night I attended the meeting held in Lancaster, SC. I really didn’t know what to expect as far as how many people would attend and what the discussions/comments would be like. I know that hunters feel differently about the legislation and for some it gets pretty personal and emotional. I was interested to attend and hear the data from DNR as well as the reactions from the crowd.

Charles Ruth speaking at the SCDNR Public meeting to discuss deer management program legislation

I met coyote slayer Gavin Jackson there and upon arrival it was obvious that DNR had a heavy presence at the meeting. I bet there were 25 to 30 DNR representatives and officers present. There were also some gentlemen wearing business coats who sat down at the front. I assume they were politicians, but am not sure as they didn’t say much, but seemingly were just there to observe.

Charles Ruth was the presenter for DNR. Charles is a Wildlife Biologist at SCDNR and he is over the turkey and deer programs. He went through several PowerPoint slides pretty fast to start the presentation. He gave some background on the current state of deer hunting and regulations within the state. One thing he pointed out early on was that buck limits are not a function of SCDNR, but rather it's voted on at a higher level in government. DNR simply enforces the laws that are adopted by government. Even though he stated that fact, some obviously didn’t understand it, but more on that shortly.

A panoramic view of the crowd in Lancaster SC to hear Charles Ruth speak on the deer management legislation

In the “Background” section Mr. Ruth highlighted a lot of information. He noted that the declining deer population in our state was due to several factors. The factors he noted were:

  • Lack of reasonable bag limit
  • Forestry practices
  • Years of extremely liberal deer harvest
  • Coyotes

Regarding the lack of a reasonable bag limit Mr. Ruth pointed out how much of an outlier SC is. He noted that just about every state has some type of tag program and the states that don’t have tag programs have “antler restrictions”. South Carolina and Hawaii (which Hawaii doesn’t have native deer) are the only ones with really no type of regulations, tag programs, or antler restrictions. From that perspective it’s easy to see that SC is an outlier. 

Media present filming Charles Ruth of SCDNR speak on the 2015 deer management legislation

Mr. Ruth also noted that while we have fewer deer now and deer harvest numbers are down… we still lead the southeast in terms of harvest per square mile. Since he went through his slides quickly I wasn’t able to jot down all the data points, but I did capture a few that I thought were interesting: 

  • Since the year 2000 there have been 3 million deer harvested in SC. 
  • Over last 14 years only 7% of hunters average killing more than 4 bucks per year 
  • That 7% of hunters is killing 30% of the total deer harvest per year – i.e. there is a small % of hunters that kill a lot of bucks
  • SCDNR issuing far fewer depredation permits, but some agricultural damage still exist in places in SC

Mr. Ruth also noted that DNR conducts surveys and polls + they have worked with independent agencies to conduct surveys over the last few years. From the polls and surveys they have been able understand both quantitative and qualitative data as it relates to deer hunting across the state. Some of the sentiment and data they gleaned was:

  • Hunters focus on bucks, not does and with no limit on bucks hunters can repeatedly take bucks
  • Hunters are ready for a more modern approach in SC
  • Bucks are exploited under current system
  • Hunters want better sex ratios and more mature bucks
  • The majority of hunters in SC are tired of the “If it’s brown it’s down” mentality
  • The majority of SC hunters are “for” buck limits
  • Hunters don’t mind paying for tags as long as money goes into deer program in DNR

Current Status of Bill 454
Senate Bill 454 was filed on DNR's behalf in January and has passed the senate. It’s up for vote in house shortly in the upcoming session. Mr. Ruth noted that the proposal may not please everyone, but DNR had to come up with 1 proposal that attempts to please everyone. If the bill is passed in the next session it will still take a year to implement. If it doesn’t pass then the process will have to start over. 

The legislation would provide the following:

  • Limit of 4 antlered deer per hunter
  • Limit of 4 antlerless deer per hunter
  • $15 for 4 buck and 4 doe tags
  • Tagging will be required for all deer
  • Doe days would be eliminated to avoid untagged deer
  • Non-residents deer tag (Amended in senate) $30 for first tag and $10 for each additional tag
  • Doe Quota Program - Large property owners would get extra tags to use on their specific property. There is a $50 application fee, then DNR has to grant the access into the DQP based off their research.

Open Forum Q/A Session
After Mr. Ruth’s presentation he wanted to get to the questions from the audience and he also wanted to conduct surveys both via raise of hands and via paper. During this session I was reminded that I was in Lancaster as several of the audience members were interrupting each other, complaining that DNR was trying to “Help the rich man and hold the poor people down”, and just not being courteous to one another in general. 

Some audience members asked about reviving the check-in locations, rolling big-game license cost & tags into same fee, call-in harvest reporting, and wanting punishment for people caught with illegal deer. Mr. Ruth answered the questions as best he could. As the session went on the environment became more animated. 

In Sum
I was glad that I attended the meeting and got the info and am up-to-date on the current state of Senate Bill 454. I was also disappointed in some of our fellow outdoorsmen that were present and I think we collectively owe Mr. Ruth an apology. Several audience members were disrespectful to Mr. Ruth during his presentation. They made snide comments, interrupted him, asked him questions and then didn’t let him answer before interrupting him again. Even worse some crowd members were essentially holding Mr. Ruth solely responsible for the way the government works, the way the legislation is written, and how laws are interpreted. It was as if they didn’t understand how our government currently works and what DNR is trying to do. Mr. Ruth and DNR are trying to help the deer population and hunters across the state, but the way some interacted with him you could tell they didn’t understand. 

It was also obvious, at least to me, that everyone came and voiced their own unique perspective, but yet didn’t consider the scope of the greater task at hand for DNR. Whether it was a bow hunter that was mad about when the season starts in various game zones, or a processor worried about tagging deer in his cooler, a person who wants to blame coyotes for everything, or just a redneck in general who changed positions on a question half way through his response… all attendees had an individual perspective and concern that was voiced. There seemed to be a disconnect in that DNR has to collectively consider all of the unique perspectives, but yet the audience didn’t care about other hunters perspectives, rather they only considered their own. I did not envy Mr. Ruth’s position on stage last night, but I do respect him for delivering the info and taking the misdirected heat. It was impossible to please a room full of 60+ hunters from one area of the state so I can’t imagine trying to please all hunters across the entire state in 1 bill. Though, even though the crowd was animated during the survey session the majority of the crowd was in support of adopting the new legislation, which was a positive.

I thought Mr. Ruth handled the increasingly animated crowd very well and was very professionally even when some members hurled insults at him and his organization. Kudos to the DNR team for hosting the event, remaining professional, and working to get this bill passed. I think the future of deer hunting in our state will benefit from it for years to come. I for one appreciate your efforts and recognize that the challenge before you with this legislation is not an easy one to get across the line. Thank you!

Birthday Buck – A Story of Grace When The Light Is Fading
Birthday Buck – A Story of Grace When The Light Is Fading
My friend Jason Love recently had a birthday and since I couldn’t afford to buy him anything I figured I’d could “gift” him my presence in the woods! Jason and I hunt and fish together a lot so we looked forward to getting together. 

Jason has a hunting spot where he’s been getting some pics of really nice bucks, but they’re only coming in at night. The below game cam pic is the one we were after. Jason told me early on that it would only be by the grace of God that we see this deer in shooting light. 

The Buck on Game Camera Pre-Season

Jason and I in the standSo we knew the buck we were after and knew he liked to come out in the evenings. As you know, it’s been really hot lately and yesterday in particular the weather wasn’t the best scenario. It was lightening off in the distance as we entered the woods, but we played the wind and weather conditions the best we could. Jason has always told me “If you want to shoot big bucks you’ve got to learn to hunt the wind.” His words would be like foreshadowing on the hunt on which we were embarking.

We climbed in the stand at 5:30 and got situated. The stand overlooked a shooting lane and was camouflaged back in some trees. It was indeed hot and yes we did sweat for a while! Of course we had our laugh out loud moments on past memories and of course we got some Jesus time in as well! Jason and I have a habit of preaching to each other and to anyone who will listen and we’ll be glad to talk to you too!

The view from our standAfter our deer stand sermons were over we knew we were ready for the hunt! Little did we know what was about to happen. We hadn’t been sitting there too long when a doe walked out in front of us. I never heard or saw that doe coming it just appeared. It didn't stick around long and eventually it laid down and took a nap in the edge of the cut over! 

The sun was slowly starting to fade and our ability to see down the shooting lane would soon be gone. Both of us were desperately looking for the ONE to come on out and give us a shot. Moments later Jason says “There is a deer!” Then he said “That's my deer!” A few seconds later I heard the rifle go BOOMYOW as he fired the shot! The deer bolted towards us and from what I could tell he crashed! At that moment it was all praising God for His blessing! We sat in the stand for a bit to both celebrate and let our racing hearts calm down.

We then climbed down and located the deer. It was a nice 7 point with a 19.5 inch spread that ended up weighing 190lbs. Once we located the deer Jason got on his knees and he praised Jesus for it! He had made what we thought was impossible, possible, like He always does! It was a birthday hunt that we’ll never forget.

In many ways the story of this hunt parallels the way God often works in our lives. We often make “our” plans and adhere to “our” own envisioned timelines and schedules. We go out and when things don’t work as we think they should or when we think they should we get frustrated. I’ve sat in a deer stand many days when I thought I should be seeing deer and didn’t see anything just like I’ve looked at life many times and felt like things should be different than my current circumstances. Though, we can’t impose our schedule over God’s schedule. His timing is perfect, ours is not. So just when you think you’re down and you don’t see any way to move forward… stay positive and keep listening to those uplifting you and speaking biblical truths to you. Just when you think the light is fading you may just experience God’s grace. 

Jason Love with his nice early season buck


WeHuntSC.com Updated
WeHuntSC.com Updated

If you’ve been a member of WeHuntSC.com for any amount of time then you know that change is somewhat constant. As technology evolves and new functionality becomes available I’m constantly working on and tweaking something with the site. Well the time came again where the site needed to be upgraded, updated, and leverage some new functionality.

WeHuntSC.com Updated

What’s New?
This update brings some enhancements that you will see and some that you won’t. I’m going to list these out for easy consumption:

  • Upgraded Software Platform
  • Spam User Blocking
  • Brought Back Photo & Video Galleries
  • Enhanced Blog Functionality
  • Fixed Corrupted Data Affecting Search

Updated Platform
In order to stay current the software that runs the site needs to be updated. I’ve updated the software to the latest version which should give us some speed & security improvements.

Spam User Blocking
We were getting hit with some spam account creation towards the end of last year. I’ve taken some steps to block the spam users from creating accounts. If you ever get friend requested from a spam user, please let me know. 

Photo & Video Galleries
Upload Pics on WeHuntSC.comUsers like the “Activity Stream” on the home page + Photo Galleries so I’ve updated the site with a photo gallery that will update the Activity Stream whenever images are posted. Going forward, whenever you want to post a picture you will no longer do it in the home page activity stream, but rather in the Pics section. When you post a picture in the Pics section it will automatically update the Activity Stream with a reference to your photo. Pictures can also be rated and each picture has comments available too. I also added a few “Recent” pics areas to the right of the home page activity stream to make it easy & quick to see recent visuals uploaded by users. Also, video continues to become popular among hunters. Each year more and more hunters carry video cameras into the woods. Once posted to YouTube the videos can easily be added to the site on the “Videos” page. I look forward to seeing some of your videos from this year.

Updated Blog Functionality

With this update I’ve migrated all blog data to a new integrated blogging system. This system provides more flexibility for authors and previous blog entries should be a little easier to find within the blogging section of the site. 

Fixed Data Corruption Affecting Search
WeHuntSC.com Search returning all resultsUntil I started the upgrade process I didn’t know there was any data corruption within the site. Soon though it became apparent that several blog entries and other site content was not being returned in the site search. I dug around the database and found the issues and have corrected them in this release of the site. Now all site content should be accurately returned in search.

All hunting resources and competitions still remain as well.

So What Was Removed?
In the last update both Group functionality and Gaming Mechanics were provided but neither were widely adopted and leveraged by site members. So I’ve removed those to reduce clutter and focus on the things that site members really like such as the visual aspects of the site – Photos, Videos, & Blogs and of course the competitions. 

Still to Come
There are still some things that need to be updated and I’ll continue to work on that. I’m still working on a Q/A or Message Board functionality, but at this point I needed to turn the new site on. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks/months. In the meantime, hope you enjoy the new functionality.




American Hunting Lease Association

As many of you know we had  a booth & gave presentations on coyote hunting at this past year’s Sportsman’s Classic . While at the show I met a guy from an organization called “American Hunting Lease Association (http://ahuntinglease.org)”. Their COO, Sean Ferbrache came by the booth and connected with us. It initially took me a bit to understand what services they provide, but once I saw the light it made sense. 

Hunting lease liability insurance

If you are a land owner who is hesitant about leasing your hunting land or if you are a hunting club who wants a written agreement between your club and a land owner then the information in the below video will be helpful to you. So without trying to explain everything in text here in this blog I’ll let Sean’s interview explanation do the talking. Ultimately I just wanted to make everyone aware of their service in the case that you have a need for it.

2015 Sportsmens Classic Recap

This past weekend we had a booth at the 2015 SCDNR Sportsmen’s Classic and we also gave 3 presentations (one each day) on coyote hunting. We had been looking forward to the Classic and preparing for some time so it was good to see March finally roll around. At the event there were hundreds of booths set up and there were products, services, and speakers of all types. It was really amazing and it was also a well organized event.

You can see our booth setup below:

Gavin Jackson at the WeHuntSC.com Booth at the 2015 SC Sportsmen's Classic

Activity at the Booth
We had a lot of good traffic by the booth. Since we don’t do a lot shows there were numerous individuals we met who had never heard of WeHuntSC.com before. We had the coyote competition promo video playing on repeat (shout outs to Yellow Cape Communications for some awesome video work) and as people walked by they would see the video and hear the howl of the coyote and check things out. Several coyote hunters said they’d never heard of the competition and that they would definitely be entering it this coming year and some even said they would be the next winners!

One thing that was really amazing to me was to see how many farmers, turkey hunters, and deer hunters stopped by our booth and showed pics of dead coyotes on their phones. These people weren’t specifically coyote hunters yet they had pics of them on their phones. Regardless of the type of hunter nearly everyone at the show had pics of coyotes and I think that is very telling. We all recognize that coyotes are prevalent across the state and to see the evidence first hand from outdoorsmen from around the state just validated it for me.

We even had people stop by and thank us for what we’re doing… that is trying to work to raise awareness for what coyotes are doing across the state & motivate people to start hunting coyotes. Several individuals shook our hands and told us to “Keep up the good work”. Overall we had a good location with good foot traffic and the booth side of the show was a good experience for everyone.

Celebrities at the Event
There were also a number of celebrities or famous people on TV at the event. The crew from Lizard Lick towing were on hand, Captain Wild Bill from the Discovery Channel's "Deadliest Catch" was there, and Bruce from "Swamp People" was there as well. We were even able to get a quick pic of Sam with Bruce.

Presentation Recap
Each day at the event we also gave sessions on “Intro to Coyote Hunting”. We had an average of 22 people at the sessions and the sessions seemed to go well. We fielded lots of questions and you could definitely sense the feeling that the people in the room really cared about the coyote problem. We provided background information on coyotes and also tips on how to get started hunting coyotes. I’m going to post some subsequent blogs on each topic we covered in the presentation later this week. We also had a few organizations inquire about if we would speak to their groups about coyote hunting. If you are interested in that then please let us know and we can line something up.

See You Online & At The Check-In
We were glad to be able to participate in the 2015 Sportsmen’s Classic. It was great to meet a lot of new hunters and connect with other outdoor organizations in the state. We hope to be able to do it again sometime. In the meantime we’ll see you online at WeHuntSC.com & hopefully at next year’s Coyote Competition check-in!

Come See the WeHuntSC.com Team at the 2015 Sportsman’s Classic

Come See Us at The Sportsmen’s Classic
If you’re an outdoorsmen in South Carolina there are a few events that you definitely know about and the SCDNR sponsored Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic is one of those events. We’re excited to announce that this year WeHuntSC.com will have a booth and we’ll be speaking 3 times during the event. If you are a member of the site please stop by and hang out a while, we’d love to connect with you. We've even got thousands of free WeHuntSC.com bumper stickers to give away as well.

Promoting the Predator Challenge!
As you are most likely aware, there are speaker sessions that happen all day long throughout the event. We are speaking at one of those sessions and it’s all about raising awareness about coyotes and coyote hunting as well as promoting our annual Predator Challenge. If you’re new to coyote hunting you’ll definitely want to check it out. If you just want to see some cool videos and make funny faces at us from the back of the room while we present feel free to come by as well :-)

We hope to see you at the Classic this weekend!

​2015 Predator Challenge Results

The 2015 Predator Challenge was yet another successful event. Every year we’ve seen the competition grow in participation. This year we set another record with 52 teams and 183 hunters participating across the state. Thanks to everyone for joining in on the hunt and to the sponsors who make the competition possible. Also, thanks to my fellow organizers Gavin Jackson and Robbie Boone for all the hard work and dedication to keeping the competition running. Without everyone getting involved the competition wouldn’t be possible.

Catch and Release Sportsman's Consignment

McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag

Pink Door Gifts and Shoes

Boondocks Hydrographics

Pin Oak Taxidermy

WinnTuck Waterfowl Lanyards

Golden Strip Outdoors

This year’s weather brought a lot of rain with it on Friday, which made it tough on everyone. Teams were posting on the site, on Twitter, and on Facebook throughout the weekend talking about how tough the hunting was on Friday. However Saturday and Sunday brought clear skies and cool temperatures that offered good hunting conditions. The majority of the hunters at the check-in commented that they did their best on Saturday & Sunday..


Competition Results:

While there were hunters all around the state participating and posting pics of solo coyotes, bobcats, and foxes every team did not show up at the check-in. This always happens and every year there are people who stay home and if they would have showed up they would have won something! Nevertheless we did have a good crew on hand at the check.

The total tallied stats from the check-in were:

  • Total Coyotes Checked In: 7
  • Total Foxes Checked In: 6
  • Total Bobcats Checked In: 3

1st Place: "Pred Headz" (Hunter Traywick, Maurice Hinson, Dustin Hicks, & Doug Hinson)
Predators Checked In: 2 coyotes, 1 bobcat, 1, grey fox
Counties Hunted in: Chesterfield & Kershaw

2nd Place: "Carolina Dog Killers" (Smitty Mcwhorter, Scotty Mcwhorter, Cody Ahlstrom, Chandler Cathy)
PredatorS Checked In: 1 coyotes, 2 bobcats, 1 grey fox 
Counting Hunted In: Union County NC, Chesterfield County SC

3rd Place: Dead Meat Militia (Charlie Byrd, Cory Byrd, Myron Byrd, Chance Huckabee)
Predators Checked In: 2 coyotes, 1 grey fox
Counties Huntined In: Darlingon, Chesterfield

Big Dog Award: Moonlight Mafia (Jake Horton, Hunter Horton, Robbie Burch, Travis Sanders)
Coyotes Weight: 33.15lbs

Thanks again to everyone for participating… we’ll see you again next year for the 2016 Predator Challenge..

​Thanksgiving Day 9 Point

I like Thanksgiving and look forward to it every year. Thanksgiving equals spending time with family and counting blessings, relaxing, eating too much, and … hunting! Last year on Thanksgiving Day I lucked up and got a nice 8 point buck. I blogged about the really cold hunt and titled the blog “Thanksgiving 8 Point”. Well, continuing the streak of luck this year on Thanksgiving Day I got a nice 9 point buck. Accordingly this blog entry is titled “Thanksgiving Day 9 Point”.

Just as last year this Thanksgiving brought with it cold weather. Though, this year the ground was not completely frozen on Thanksgiving morning. It had rained a lot in the days leading up to Thanksgiving and had just finally cleared up. I have deer stand down in some really thick woods that I hadn’t hunted much this season and with bucks still making scrapes in the area I figured I would give it a shot. In most of my hunting locations I have shooting lanes cut and have good visibility. Though, in this location I hadn’t cut any shooting lanes and I knew that any shot I took would be a tight one.

I got to the stand really early. With the stand being in some thick woods I wanted to get there and let the noise of my entrance have plenty of time to die down before prime hunting time arrived. With all the leaves on the ground I did make some noise on the way in, but luckily I didn’t make too much as the leaves still had some moisture from all the rain of the previous 3 days. The wetness of the leaves helped dampen and absorb the sound some.

After I got situated in the stand I noticed that the wind was blowing fairly strong. I thought to myself that I was probably wasting my time with such a strong wind blowing. As the sun slowly started to rise I could hear the duck hunters cutting loose in the distance. Mixed in with the sound of the duck hunters’ shots were loud turkey gobbles. I don’t often hear turkeys gobbling in the fall, much less when it’s really cold and windy. For whatever reason though the turkeys were hammering too.

Once the sun got up I heard a few rifle shots in the distance. I figured that nature must have the animals moving if the turkeys were gobbling, duck hunters were shooting, and then rifles shots were being fired. I scanned the view from my stand from left to right looking for movement. With it being so thick I would be lucky to see anything and even luckier to get a shot off in this area packed tight with oak, cedar, and pine trees. Then just before 7am I saw something move down in front of me about 85 yards out. The wind had been blowing leaves off trees and the flicker of falling leaves had been catching my eye. Initially I thought the movement I saw was just another leaf falling. I kept looking and then I saw a leg move in between two branches. My heart started beating a little, but at that point I couldn’t tell whether it was a buck or a doe. I put my rifle up on the shooting rail of the stand and tried to find the deer in the scope. I looked in the direction where I saw the leg move, but couldn’t find anything in the scope. All I could see was trees. It seems that this is a common occurrence for me… being able to see the deer with my naked eye then not being able to find them in my scope. I had to look into the scope and raise back up out of the scope several times before I was able to find the deer. During this up and down movement my bleat call fell out of my pocket and landed in the foot rest of the stand! I knew for sure I spooked the buck as it was heavy plastic falling directly on metal. It was loud, but in between the leaves rustling in the wind and the deer being far out it somehow luckily didn’t spook him. It probably took less than a minute to find him in the scope, but man it seemed like forever.

Once I finally found the deer in my scope I could only see a portion of him… then he put his head down and disappeared momentarily. Now that I had him in the scope I needed to make sure he was a shooter. I didn’t want to shoot a small buck so I kept watching the area the deer was in through the scope. He raised and turned his head to look behind him. When he made this movement I saw the main beam on his rack and saw how tall and wide it was. Then my heart really got going. The deer was not in a hurry and was pawing at the ground. He took a step forward and I saw his rack move in a gap in between two trees. He was indeed a shooter! I zoomed my scope in and had it zeroed in on his neck. I didn’t want to make a neck shot on the deer (though some would argue that neck shooting is a good tactic), but the thought did cross my mind. I was looking down in between trees and branches in a shooting “window” that was about the size of basketball. I debated shooting the deer because there wasn’t a better shooting lane that the deer would progress to and I also didn’t know which direction the deer would travel. Then the deer took a small step forward and I could only see his neck and the base of his shoulder. I thought to myself that I may never get any other opportunity on this deer and I pulled the trigger. As soon as I pulled the trigger the deer turned, put his white tail up, and bounded into the distance. I didn’t see the deer kick or do anything awkward signaling that he got hit, but I felt that I made a decent shot. All I could do was to sit in the stand and to try to calm down and hope that the bullet didn’t hit a branch as it traveled through the small window of opportunity.

I sat in the stand for a few minutes to calm down and ensure my gun’s safety was on and to listen to see if I heard the deer crash or thrash any. I didn’t hear anything and after a few minutes I climbed down out of the stand and walked in the direction where the deer was when I took the shot. As I walked down I was replaying the scene over and over in my head. Had I hit the deer or did I miss? Opportunities on good bucks like that don’t happen often and I was wondering what happened.

When I got down to where the deer was pawing at the ground I saw several scrapes. The buck was checking his scrape line and I still couldn’t figure out the exact spot where the deer was when I took the shot. I also didn’t see any blood. I started getting worried. My heart beat escalated some. I walked in small circles looking for any drop of blood signaling contact. I never found any. I kept looking back up toward the stand to try to find an opening where I may have taken the shot, but I never found any. I began to get mad. I replayed the scene over and over in my mind. I told myself to calm down and go back and start over again. I went back and started over. Still no blood. I was getting upset with myself at this point. Since I couldn’t find any blood I figured I would walk in the direction that the deer ran. As I walked I saw a spot where some leaves were turned over as if the deer took a “fall-step” or slipped, but that area didn’t have any blood present. I started fanning out in circles around the area where this slide mark was. Still no blood. I continued walking in the direction the deer ran in and then I heard a stick break ahead of me. Even though I didn’t see any blood or see any deer the stick popping represented a small signal of hope for me. I kept walking in the direction the deer ran, but never saw blood or any more fall step / slide marks. I went from glimmers of hope to frustration with every step. Then all of a sudden I saw a deer jump up just ahead of me. It indeed had a nice rack and when I saw this I got excited because I knew that I had hit the deer and that I would be able to trail it. The deer bounded once more then crashed. I just stopped and sat down and watched the deer. I was really deep in the woods and I didn’t want to push the deer any further. The deer didn’t move anymore and after about 10 minutes I slowly walked over to the deer and there laid a nice 9 point, 170lb buck! I snapped some pics of the deer and started texting my friends saying that we had some work ahead of us and I posted a few pics to Twitter..

Here are some pics of the deer

Clint Patterson's Thanksgiving 9-Point Buck

Clint Patterson's Thanksgiving 9-Point Buck

Clint Patterson's Thanksgiving 9-Point Buck

Clint Patterson's Thanksgiving 9-Point Buck - Broken tine pic

Clint Patterson's Thanksgiving 9-Point Buck In Honda Pioneer

It was indeed a nice buck and I was very lucky to get it. One thing that was different about this one was that the deer never bled any. There was a small entrance wound, but no exit wound. I shoot a 243 and I think it must have hit every bone in there to not have an exit would at 90 or so yards. So there was no hope of a blood trail with this one. The deer never bled until we got to the processor. And speaking of the processor… there were several big bucks there. The deer were definitely moving on Thanksgiving day!

In what had seemed like an impossible hunt I somehow lucked up by being at the right place at the right time and made a lucky shot. It seems I have somewhat of a Thanksgiving streak now. Hopefully the 3rd time will be the charm and I can get a Thanksgiving 10 point next year. I’m already looking forward to next Thanksgiving!

How were your Thanksgiving hunts?

​Lancaster County Cattlemen’s Association Meeting

This past Tuesday night Robbie Boone and I attended the Lancaster County Cattlemen’s Association monthly Meeting in Lancaster, SC. This meeting consists of a large group of cattle farmers from the area plus a representative from the Clemson Agricultural Extension. We were invited to discuss the rising problem of coyotes in SC and to talk about the 2015 Predator Challenge.

The meeting was held at Jomar’s restaurant and the meeting of course started off with a meal. After the meal was over the leaders of the group turned the program over to Robbie and me for our presentation. Robbie spoke the majority of the time and presented on all kinds of information about coyotes. He spoke about their habits, habitat, breeding cycle, animals they prey on, laws for hunting them, all the way to tactics for hunting them. Robbie did a great job and it was very informational. We also provided the members of the group with a 1-page print out for the rules for both hunting and trapping coyotes. This information came straight from SC DNR’s website and the Cattlemen’s Association Members seemed to find this helpful. After Robbie spoke on the information about coyotes I got up and briefly spoke about the Predator Challenge and what we are trying to do with raising awareness for the sport of predator hunting.

One thing that was interesting (and telling) was that during the presentation and after the meeting it was evident that the Cattlemen’s Association Members were also having issues with coyotes. Several of the members told stories of the increasing rate in which they’re seeing coyotes. Whether plowing fields, running combines, or tending to their cows each member has had an encounter with one or more coyotes. The frequency of these encounters is increasing and they definitely recognized the problem that coyotes pose for them at cattle farmers as well as for hunters.

Overall the meeting went well and the group was very receptive to the presentation. I think now instead of carrying their rifles in their trucks the group members are now going to start carrying them in their tractors and combines and shooting them more often! It was a great event and we hope to do more of these in the future. If you would like for us to come out to your venue just use the Contact Us form to reach out.

Here are some pics from the event…

​2015 Predator Challenge Registration Is Open

2015 Predator Challenge

It’s that time again! We’re excited to announce that registration for the  2015 Predator Challenge is now open! Every year we look forward to the Predator Challenge because the competition continues to grow. More hunters are participating as the awareness of the sport of predator hunting rises. If you have never participated in the Predator Challenge and/or are not a coyote hunter then I encourage you to give it a shot. Coyotes are indeed difficult to hunt so if you are a hunter who’s up for a challenge then predator hunting may be a good fit for you.

Why We Host the Predator Challenge
By now we are all aware of the  damage coyotes are doing to game populations across the state. SCDNR studies have provided data to confirm the negative affect coyotes are having on deer, turkey, duck and other game populations and coyotes are also doing damage to livestock farmers. If you don’t believe that just ask any chicken, turkey, cattle, or sheep farmers in your area. The reason we host this competition is to raise awareness for the sport of predator hunting and to raise awareness about what coyotes are doing across our state. Even if you don’t hunt coyotes you can benefit from simply helping spread the word about the competition so if you’re reading this and you’re not going to be able to hunt do everyone a favor and at least tell your friends about the competition.

The Rules
The rules this year are the same as last year except we’re adding in a new rule that we’re only accepting 1 bobcat and 2 foxes per team. Why did we add this rule in… because we want to put the focus of the competition on coyotes. Yes you may be able to win the competition with foxes or bobcats alone, but they are not the ones we really want hunters aiming for. So this year we will not accept more than 1 bobcat and 2 foxes per team.

Another thing we’re doing this year to encourage early registration is that we’re giving the first 25 teams that register 3 points added to their final score at the check-in. So be sure to register your team ASAP because those 3 points may help you win the title!

Competition Quick Stats:

We will continue to add sponsors & prizes to the competition page as they come in so stay tuned to the site for updates. If you’re interested in sponsoring the Predator Challenge just  contact us. We look forward to seeing you and your team at the check-in on Jan 25th! The only thing left to do now is to register your team!


If you have any other questions or want more information about the event just give us a holler by posting a comment to this blog or emailing us via the  Contact Us form.



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