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Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew


Scent Control and Deer Hunting
  WeHuntSC.com - Clint Patterson with 8 point buck harvested in early 2010 season
  Me and the post-hunt pic

As you know, we?ve been working a lot on the Tecomate Seed Food Plot Journey over the course of the past year.  Most of the time when we?re out working we are talking about deer hunting and optimistically dreaming up scenarios where huge bucks come into the food plots or into shooting lanes and how we would position ourselves, etc.  I?m sure you may have had similar experiences.  Many times when Adam and I have been out working and having these conversations he kept bringing up the subject of scent control.  I have known your scent was important, but I?ve never really thought about it, or taken it to, the level at which Adam does.  What level is that you may ask? the level of spraying down when going to check game cams, washing your clothes in odor reducing detergent, taking showers with scent free soap, looking up which direction the wind is blowing before hunting, etc.  Initially to me, that was a bit much, but hey?everyone has their own style of hunting.

This season we?ve been using the McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag as well as Atsko?s products to work with our scent management.  This is a regular routine for Adam, but for me it?s a whole new ball game, so I figured why not try it out and see what happens.  So, as you know from previous blog entries, I?ve been using the McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle bag to fuse earth and pine scent into my hunting gear.  I mean I?ve been putting everything in the bag?my clothes, m boots, my smaller bag, even my Thermacell, and this past week I also stuck my video camera?s tripod in there too!  Literally everything in the bag smells like dirt now.  So I?ve got my hunting gear taken care of and smelling just right. 

I?ve also started testing out and using some of Atsko?s scent reduction products.  Atsko has a 4-pack (the same one that someone is going to win this year) of scent reduction/UV killer products.  I put the N-O-Odor soap in my shower and put the N-O-Odor spray right beside my McKenzie bag.  I was eager to test all this out because in this early season heat, anything I can do to reduce my scent is beneficial since I sweat a lot and it?s been very humid.

###

Ok?jump back in time to one week ago?

A week ago (when we put down lime and seed) I also went out and put some corn out at an area where we?ve had an old stand forever, but that hasn?t been getting hunted out of much lately.  We have a feeder out there that hasn?t been working for a while too (you?ll see it in the video).  Since I had some time, I took a game camera out and tied it up on a tree and put some corn out in front of it.  I didn?t know what to expect or even know if any deer were in the area, but I figured I?d try it out.  I put it out and really just forgot about it.

When I came back home this past Friday, I went out to check the game camera.  I put a new chip in and brought the chip that was in the game camera back to the house.  Looking at the chip I could see that deer had been in there all hours of the day and night.  In one week I had 268 pics on it. That answered the question as to whether there were any deer moving in that location.  There were a lot of does on the camera, a small 4 point, a small 6 point, and every once in a while an 8-point came through and paused for the camera and ate some corn.  I guess I had the game camera really close or something because the majority of the pics were close-ups like these:

WeHuntSC.com - Game Cam Pic WeHuntSC.com - Game Cam Pic
WeHuntSC.com - Game Cam Pic WeHuntSC.com - Game Cam Pic
WeHuntSC.com - Game Cam Pic WeHuntSC.com - Game Cam Pic

 

With so much activity going on in that location, I figured I?d go and sit there the next morning to see what would happen. 

###

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

I knew I was going to go sit in this stand on Saturday morning and I was thinking about my scent-game-plan.  I let my McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle run all day Friday and all night Friday night while I was at the game and even while I slept.  After the game (Eagles dominated Chesterfield again!) I came home and took a shower and used Atsko?s odor eliminating soap.  I planned to use it that night and also in the morning.  And yes, when you use it?you can?t smell anything.  I sat the odor eliminating scent spray near my McKenzie bag to spray my shorts (the shorts that I wore under the camo) and socks down.

So the game plan was this?take showers using odor eliminating soap, put on regular underclothes (shorts & socks) and spray them down with the scent eliminating spray, and then wear the camo and take gear that had been getting scented all day and night with the earth/pine scent.  This would hopefully reduce any human scent and/or bacteria that deer smell that may have been on me and then cover-scented my gear with a natural smell.  Doing all of this really felt extreme and out-of-the-ordinary for me, but again? I?m just giving all this scent management stuff a whirl.

I executed all scent management steps and set out to the stand.  This stand is a very small, old, wooden stand located in a thick forest area.  Due to this scenario; I didn?t take the tripod, but was set to MacGyver a way to video or either get busted by a deer moving around trying to video.  It was going to be so tight in the stand that I wouldn?t have room for the tripod.  I knew this would hurt me in some way, but I just wasn?t sure how.

WeHuntSC.com - Atsko Scent Elimination Products   
Atsko Scent Elimination/U-V Killer 4-Pack  
Though I didn?t want to be, I was very loud on the way in.  It has been so dry these past few weeks that something crackled and crunched with every step I took.  I finally made it to the stand and climbed up (skipping the broken step on the way) and got situated.  I had my Thermacell strapped to one of the wooden braces on my left and was mosquito free.  It turned out that the stand is leaning to the right.  Luckily, this stand is leaning at just the right angle for the video camera to steady on it and be looking right over the corn pile.  I slowly chambered a shell, made sure the safety was on, and took some deep breathes to try to slow my heart rate some to help me cool off.  The moon was full and some of the trees were casting shadows.  It was early and I just sat there in silence as some beads of sweat rolled down my forehead. 

I sat for a little while and my vision was slowly getting better as the sun was starting to rise.  Shortly thereafter I heard something moving behind me in the woods.  If you?ve hunted before then you know the sound of a squirrel running through the leaves?they?re loud and go in spurts.  This sound wasn?t like that, but rather was a slow pace and sounded like a deer rummaging through the forest floor as it walked.  Due to the high activity of game cam pics, I felt sure it was a deer.  This sound started out behind me?what would be 6 o?clock on the clock-face and it was extremely close.  I was frozen in my stand and wasn?t budging.  I knew that however many deer were back there were close and that any movement would leave me busted and hearing deer blowing at me as they ran away.  My heart beat was escalating with every step that the deer took.  It got closer and closer and was coming up my left side.  I was looking to the left in my peripheral vision as much as possible, but didn?t see anything initially.  I didn?t want to turn my head and just kept looking to the left.  I looked until my eyes started hurting from straining them so much looking so hard trying to find what was making this sound.  I?m sure this may have happened to you before as well. 

It was still a little dark and tough to focus clearly. Then I finally saw movement and it was about 10 yards away from me!  It was heading toward the corn pile.  I wasn?t moving for anything as the deer walked right beside me, but my heart started pounding because I saw antlers!  The trail I walked into the stand had me coming into the stand in the same path that this deer was walking toward?i.e. his path was going to intersect the path I took and he would be smelling right where I walked as he crossed my path.  I knew I did all this scent stuff, but I also knew I was sweating some.  I really didn?t know what to think. 

   WeHuntSC.com - Deer Walk Diagram
  Diagram illustrating the path the deer walked

As the deer passed around my left side he went behind some brush.  If I was going to turn the camera on with any structure in between us, that moment was the time to do it.  I reached over and cut the camera on and it started recording.  Keep in mind that, due to size constraints, I didn?t bring the tripod and the camera was not secured to the stand, but rather just sitting on top of the side of a 2 x 4.  I was nervous that I would knock it off, but I had to get it turned on.  After I got the camera turned on I moved my gun a little, cut the safety off, and got my body in position.  The deer kept walking and I could hear him getting closer to the corn as he moved.  Finally he popped out at the corn pile and was broad-sided, giving me the perfect shot. 

Something neat happened when the deer got over to the camera.  Obviously the camera sensed movement and starting taking some pics.  I was looking through my scope and also looking through the camera at the same time.  I was going back and forth with my eyes again from the scope to the camera.  Out of my right eye I saw a really bright light flash, but I didn?t see it out of my left.  From what I could tell, the video camera picked up on the infrared flash, but my naked eye obviously was unable to and apparently the deer?s eye couldn?t pick up on it either.  This may be common knowledge, but when it happened to me in the stand it kind of startled me at first because my initial reaction was that the deer would be spooked.  You?ll easily see the camera flashing in the video.

As it got lighter I watched this buck eating corn for what seemed like forever.  I mean I had the best case scenario from the moment that he arrived at the corn pile.  I let him go for a few minutes without pulling the trigger.  I wanted to make sure that this buck was not a 6 pointer because I?m trying to let the deer get to a decent size in this area.  I looked and looked and finally counted 8 points, but even then I still debated not shooting this deer.  I could tell he had a good sized body, but I just went back and forth in my mind about letting him walk and shooting him.  Then I finally decided to shoot.  (This is why you see me let him eat the corn for a while and not take the shot until late)  The deer was eating corn and I had the perfect angle, but at the moment I decided to shoot he kind of gave me a quarter shot.  I waited a few seconds and he raised his head up quickly and his body tensed up.  I thought he sensed danger and was about to bolt?so I took the shot.  When I took the shot I knew I hit the deer because his back legs jumped up in the air.  The bad news was that when I pulled the trigger the camera fell off the ledge of the stand ? the good news is that it fell back in the stand rather than out of the stand!  I caught it in my lap.   I heard the deer go down about 20 yards away so I didn?t think it would be a tough deer to trail.

I always sit in the stand after I make a shot just to calm down some and gather myself.  I want to give the deer time to die and also want to make sure that I get my safety back on my gun and that I don?t get in a hurry and leave anything or hurt myself somehow.  On this specific day all my hunting buddies were not around and were out of town or were working.  So I put the call in to my parent?s house and told them that I shot a deer and that I was going to start dragging.  They said they would come out to help.

WeHuntSC.com - Deer on the tail gate pic

After a couple of minutes I got out of the stand and walked over to the corn pile and shot some post game footage.  I walked a little bit and then saw the deer lying down about 20 yards away.  I knew I had made a good shot.  I went over and started dragging.  My parents showed up not too long after I had started dragging the deer.  My dad has been having some trouble with his knees lately and just walking the terrain of the land was killing him?so what does any good mother do?that?s right?my mom helped me drag the deer out of the woods!  Talk about unconditional love.  So to the people around Pageland reading this?if you see my mom tell her that you heard she?s dragging deer out of the woods in her slip-ons!  I felt bad as one time she fell down when we were pulling the deer across a dried up creek, but she soldiered up right on through it and kept pulling.  We had to stop 2 ? 3 times, but soon enough we had the deer to the edge of the woods.  My mama has always told me ?They don?t make them like me anymore? and after last Saturday I have to say that I definitely believe her!

That was how the story of the hunt went.  Reflecting back on the hunt, I have to tell you that I really think the measures I took of scent control played a big part in my success.  The reason is because that deer started out behind me and came full circle all the way around me at a very close range and even walked across the path that I walked in on.  The deer ended up in front of me and was clueless that I was even in the woods.  If I would have smelled then he would have winded me a couple times over and fled the scene, but you already know how the story went.  Needless to say, I?ll be covering my scent and paying more attention to it in all my upcoming hunts.  Maybe the deer was dumb or couldn?t smell, but you have to "dance with the one that brung ya" right??? So I?ll keep focusing on my scent and see how the rest of the season goes.  Maybe Adam?s scent management techniques aren?t too extreme after all!

After all this I got all my scent control products together and took some pics with the deer.  The deer ended up being 8 points, 155lbs.  He?s not a monster, but he was a decent buck.

WeHuntSC.com - Clint Patterson with 8 point buck harvested in early 2010 deer hunting season

Here?s the video of the hunt?sorry the camera fell, but we don?t have a camera-arm sponsor yet?lol!  So next time I?ll take some rubber-bands or start saving my money up for a camera-arm.  Also, you?ll notice that my video edits aren?t great?but I?m a web guy?not a video guru so this will have to suffice.

Be sure to bump the resolution up a little in the bottom right-hand corner of the video where it says "360p"

Something else neat occurred to me later that morning?when I was hunting the camera was flashing right?  I sat there and thought to myself? that pic will have the deer in it and also have me in it (if it could see that far out).  So I journeyed back out to the stand again to get the chip (that had only been out there for one day) again and see what the pic looked like.  I was surprised to have over 80 pics just from the past 24 hours.  Those deer were out there all night long again!  That 8 point was there in the middle of the day on Friday and there were even deer at the corn pile at 5:45 am?the same time when I started walking to the stand.  I probably scared them off on my way in.  Anyway, I found the pic of the deer at the corn-pile right before I shot and you can see me in the background, but it?s kind of blurry.  You can make out my head, the gun barrel, and the dark area where the camera is.  Check out the pic

WeHuntSC.com - Reverse Game Cam Pic

So I sweated a lot dragging the deer and even got some blood on my camo and what did I do?that?s right? I put them in the washing machine and washed them with Atsko?s odor eliminating detergent.  I dried them and then stuck them right back in the McKenzie bag.  I think the stars aligned just right for me on this day or something.  I?ve only been in the woods hunting 2 weekends and have harvested 2 deer.  This season has been a success whether or not I get any more deer this year?and I?m just fine with that, but I?ll still be out trying to videotape!  If you made it this far, thanks for reading all this.

Regards,

Clint
 


It's all about Waterfowl
   WeHuntSC.com - Blake Hodge
  Me with two awards from the last competition

Hello I?m Blake Hodge from Lancaster, SC and I?m glad to be able to share my hunting experiences with you here on WeHuntSC.com. I'm 14 years old and attend Buford High School in Lancaster County. Even though I'm only 14, I have 11 years of hunting experience all which have been with my dad Daryl. Speaking of my dad, I help with his waterfowl guide service here in SC.  You can check us out at WreckingCrewGuideservice.com for more information. I also, travel across the United States hunting waterfowl, competing in calling contests, and working waterfowl hunting shows for my sponsors.

Waterfowl hunting is my true passion, but I enjoy deer and turkey hunting also. I've been fortunate enough to have harvested 24 deer and 9 wild turkey so far. I also have played baseball, football, and basketball, but have put those on the back-burner for the love of the "Great Outdoors".

Since duck hunting is very near to my heart, I?m very passionate and involved with Ducks Unlimited and we just happen to have an event coming up really soon. On October 7th, Lancaster County will be having their annual fall banquet and if you've never been to one, you surely have been missing out. It's for a great cause so check out www.Ducks.org for more information on that.  It's just another way to get out of the house and enjoy great food, great prizes, and make new friends like myself. 

See the: Lancaster County Ducks Unlimited Chapter Event Flyer for more information

So a big thanks to the WeHuntSC.com crew and to all of you for having me as one of the new bloggers. It's definitely going to be a ride on the wild side so "Buckle Up".

Blake


Blake Hodge to Blog with WeHuntSC.com
   WeHuntSC.com - Blake Hodge
  Blake Hodge

Do you remember Blake Hodge?  If you?re in the waterfowl world, then you probably already know him?if not, then you may remember him from his YouTube video we shot of him demonstrating some duck and goose calling for us.  Well, we?re excited to announce that Blake is joining the WeHuntSC.com team as one of our bloggers.  Blake is from the Lancaster, SC area and will contribute to the site blogging about his hunting adventures, trips, calling competitions, and any events that he is involved with.

At only 14, Blake already has an impressive resume among his peers as well as in comparison to older waterfowlers.  Blake has already won several competitions (some won in the adult division).  Here?s a list of some of the competitions he?s already won:

  • 2010 World 2 Man Team Mallard Duck Calling Champion
  • 2010 NC- Calling For Hope JR Open Duck
  • 2010 NC- Calling For Hope JR Open Meat Duck
  • 2010 NC- Calling For Hope JR Open Canada Goose
  • 2010 NC- Calling For Hope Adult Open Meat Duck
  • 2010 TX- WLWCE Open Team Specklebelly
  • 2010 TX- WLWCE Open Team Canada, Specklebelly, and Snow Goose
  • 2010 TX- WLWCE Adult Open Canada Goose
  • 2010 NC- Cape Fear Wildlife Expo JR Open Canada Goose
  • 2010 NC- NC State Open JR Canada Goose
  • 2009 SC -SC State Open JR Duck
  • 2008 SC- SC State Open JR Duck
  • 2008 SC- Sportsman's WHSE Intermediate Duck
  • 2008 SC- Sportsman's WHSE JR Duck
  • 2007 SC- Sportsman's WHSE JR Duck

As you can see, Blake is getting it done in SC and beyond.  We?re proud to have Blake on board and look forward to reading his future blog entries.

Regards,
 

Clint

 


Fall Planting Season
   WeHuntSC.com - Jon Charles of River Oaks Wildlife Management
  Jon Charles of River Oaks Wildlife Management

As mentioned in the summary, this is a guest blog entry written by Jon Charles of of River Oaks Wildlife Management

Fall planting season is here!! I know some of us are a little late on planting certain types of plants, but we all know it?s been hot and dry in parts of the south.  It?s time to get started. One of the most frequent questions that I get asked is ?I planted a food plot and the seed did not come up...Why?  That seed must not be any good.? There are a few simple reasons it did not come up:

  1. Did you do a complete soil analysis?
  2. Did you plant at the right time, depth?
  3. Did you amend your soil correctly (Solu-Cal, lime and the right type of fertilizer?
  4. Did you plant to deep; did soil harden and crust after a rain?
  5. Did you roll or pack your soil type too much?
  6. Was there herbicide residue in the soil?
  7. Did you inoculate your seed and use the right type of inoculant?

1. Soil Analysis
The first step anyone needs to do before planting any type of seed is have a complete soil test done. Not just test for pH but also check levels of micro and macro nutrients. If your soil is void of the right balance of these minerals it can have a negative effect and you will not see the results you?re looking for.  Please get this done first and save yourself the headaches, money, time and labor you went through and take $20 to $ 30 dollars and do this first. Missing minerals can be added into your fertilizer for as little as $6.00 per acre. There are also several types of managers you can add into your fertilizer like Nutrisphere N, Avail, and Wolf tracks. These products can save you money and produce higher amounts and higher yields in your field or plot.  Use the right type of lime and remember ag lime takes 4 to 6 months to correct the PH in your soil so if you planting in the spring you need to have added lime the previous fall. Another great product we use at River Oaks Wildlife Mgt is a product called Solu-Cal. A 50 lb bag of solu-cal is equal to 300 lbs of lime and starts correcting soil in weeks not months and will last a lot longer. You should check it out. 

Next avoid the ?Farmer Brown? syndrome. What is the ?Farmer Brown? syndrome you ask? It?s the guy down the road that is Mr. Know It All. They use outdated methods, the same methods their dad and granddad before them did. All they know is 400 lbs of 10-10-10 per acre and 2,000 lbs of lime and that?s all you need to plant any seed you want. WRONG!!!  Farmer Brown will get you in trouble and will cause you a great waste in your time and planting.  Stay away from Farmer Brown folks!!! Listen to qualified wildlife mgt consultants or agronomists, not the guy working in the back of local feed store or the farmer down the road that has not evolved or is not practicing modern productive methods of planting. Remember we are planting for wildlife.

2. Time
Make sure you read the seed bag and recommended planting times for your zone.

3. Soil Amendment
Please after getting your soil test back amend your soil correctly using the right type of fertilizer and add in the correct fertilizer mgrs to assure you positive results.

4. Depth
When planting make sure when getting the seed in the ground by either broadcasting, using a plotmaster, or drilling, make sure you plant your seed at the right depth. Small seeds like clovers, alfalfa, and brassicas (like any seed) need good seed to soil contact. 

5. Packing Your Soil
If you?re broadcasting, drag your seed over lightly and compact your soil lightly. Do not get out and take the truck or tractor and drive over the plot as a lot of times this compacts the soil to tight?especially in clay soils! If you get a rain and the water runs off the top it can crust over and harden up. These small seeds need a lot of energy to push through the soil and reach the surface. With small seeds only cover over lightly or plant about ¼ inch deep. Larger seed like Lab Lab, soy beans, peas should be planted about ½  to 1 inch deep and NO deeper .

6. Herbicide Residue
Make sure your soil has had time to deplete itself of chemical agents (Roundup etc.) I have seen guys plant too early after spraying and till in grasses and weeds before a complete burn down only to have the seed get contaminated with herbicide residue and not come up at all. Believe me, I have seen a few properties that were hit with ?Farmer Brown? syndrome or just too anxious to hurry up and get it planted. So, please, if you spray for invasive grass or weeds, give the area time to dry out and burn down. This is usually at least 14 days minimum.

7. Inoculants
This is something that most frequently gets overlooked. Please take the time and inoculate your seed with the right type of Rhizobium bacteria. Check your seed labels and see if it was pre inoculated and always plant before the expiration date.

Blow is a list of the different types of Inoculants needed for different seed types.

  • Clover types Alsike and Ladinos
    • Rhizobium type L B
    • Trifolli,code B
    • Arrowleaf  code  O
    • Crimson and Berseem code R
    • Subterranean type WR
  • Alfalfas and most sweet clover
    • Code A
  •  Alice clovers joint vetch, Iron clay peas, Cow peas, Milgarra butterfly, Lab Lab, etc
    • Inoculant Bradyrhizobium spp code  EL
  • Austrian winter peas, Sweet peas, & Flat peas
    • Inoculant type Rhizobiun IB Vicaea code C
  • Soy beans
    • Dradyrhizobiun Japonicum code S

This should get you going for now. Make sure when inoculating your seed that you follow the directions.  It?s a living bacteria and you should keep it in the fridge or in a cool place until it?s time to apply. You can add water and make a slurry and wash your seed in it and then spread your seed out on a tarp to dry, but not in direct sunlight or you can dry mix it in a bucket and coat your seed this way, but please follow the directions.

If you go down the check list above you should eliminate most of your concerns about getting a good food plot started. Remember it all starts with your soil. Your plants act as transfer agents that transfer the nutrients in the soil to the deer that you are trying to reach. Treat your soil right and it will treat your deer right allowing them to get the best nutrition possible.

In the next blog entry, we will discuss the different soil types and talk about supplemental feeding and minerals. Also stay tuned in for The Real Deal On Seed For Wildlife coming next month.

If you have mgt questions or need professional consultation we can be reached at email rowm47@gmail.com or phone at 919-341-9659.

For question on Solu-cal go to www.solu-cal.com or call 508-295-1533 and ask for Craig Canning at ext 230. Let him know how you heard about the product!

Thanks again folks and remember to use best management practices and introduce a kid to the outdoors any chance you get. 

Jon Charles,
River Oaks Wildlife Mgt
 


It?s Better to be Lucky than Good
   WeHuntSC.com - The view over the remote food plot
  The view over the remote food plot

In the midst of football and all the food plot work, I was able to go hunting some this past weekend.  The first two times I went, I sat over the remote food plot hoping to catch something coming through, but nothing stopped by.  Though, on my second trip in I did have one blow at me just as I was getting situated in the stand.  I was not happy to spook a deer and give away my location, but at least it was a good sign that deer are in the area. I?ll have to be quieter the next time I go in there.

As you know, it has still been really hot and humid out there which equals sweat which equals mosquitos.  All I can say is ?Thank God for Thermacell?.  I sat out in the heat 3 times this past weekend and didn?t get one single mosquito bite!  Thermacell is definitely a must-have product.  If you?re reading this and have never used a Thermacell, then you?re missing out.

What can I say?Derek has inspired me, so this year I?m carrying a video camera with me which gives me something else I?m trying to learn how to do!  Hopefully I can get some good shots of deer without spooking them by knocking the camera over or clicking any buttons.  Already I?ve learned that you have to have your ducks in a row to carry everything you need for your hunt + the camera & tripod out to the stand in one trip.  It?s just one more thing to carry, but when you do get deer on camera it?s really worth it to be able to share the videos with everyone because people always ask ?Did you see anything? and instead of trying to explain the setting to them, I just show them the video now!

WeHuntSC.com - Camo Ninja  
The "Webneck Camo-Ninja"  

The first two hunts I went on this past weekend were in the morning and I went out to the remote food plot.  On my last hunt of the weekend I chose a different scenery and went out to a freshly cut corn field.  My hunt over the corn field was an afternoon hunt.  The corn field is so big that sometimes you can see deer and not be able to shoot them due to their distance.  I hoped to get a deer, but more so, I just hoped to get some footage.  You know how it is when you try something new?you?re all gung-ho about it, so I was fired up about getting any kind of footage.

I got to the stand and found a small wasp nest and a ton of ants waiting on me.  After fending all that off the best I could, I got situated and ready.  I sat for a long time and was texting my friends seeing what was going on with them.  The sun slowly started to set and as it did the light was just slapping me in the face.  I had to squint and sit awkwardly for a while just to keep the sunlight from blinding me.  After the sun went behind a cloud and got a little bit lower, I was able to sit normally and see clearly again.  It was ?that time??you know the time when you expect deer to walk right as the sun starts to set.

I was scanning the field and way off, I mean way off, I saw a flicker.  Instant pulse-rate increase.  It was a deer and it was about 350 yards out.  I zoomed in with the camera and could barely see it due to the remaining corn stalks, crests of the hills, and distance.  I was excited to see some activity, but disappointed that it was so far off that I couldn?t get any decent film or shoot.  The deer browsed the field a little then returned to the woods.  Shortly after that, I noticed something brown moving through the field to my left.  When I looked up I saw a whole group of deer walking out about 200 yards from me.  I tried to zoom in and out in the video to demonstrate how far out they were.  The group had about 5 ? 6 deer in it and I went to grab my camera and position it to video the deer then CLANK?some kind of metal piece on the tripod dropped off and hit the bottom of the stand.  I just knew that I had blown it, but luckily the deer didn?t hear anything.  I had to re-gather and get the camera in position.  In a few seconds, I got the camera up and zoomed in to see the deer.  At this point my gun was still across my lap.  The deer were so far out that any touch of the camera made the camera bounce and become difficult to see.  It looked to be a group of does and so I filmed them for a little while.  I was debating on trying to pull a shot off at that distance, but decided to film them for a little while first. 

After filming them for a little bit, I finally decided to shoot.  I thought about it and I had my doe tags and everything so why not give it a whirl.  I put my gun up and was looking through the scope.  The whole time I was trying to pick out which one had the biggest body.  The last thing I wanted to do was shoot a young buck or a small doe.  At that distance, it was challenging to figure out which one had the largest body.  Also, I knew I would have to aim a little high if I was going to have a chance because the deer were way out and the bullet would drop at that distance. Side note: I?m shooting a 243. 

   WeHuntSC.com - Clint and the doe
  We stopped for a quick pic at the house
So I had my gun up right beside the camera and was going back and forth in between my scope and the camera.  It was kind of difficult to do both at the same time.  The deer were spreading out and it was difficult to keep them all in the same shot and it was also hard to know that if the deer I was looking at in the scope were the same deer in the camera.  Being zoomed in so far in both the scope and the camera was enough to give you motion sickness.  You can see in the video where I bumped the camera several times trying to move it over.  Sometimes I was looking in my scope when I bumped the camera and other times I was actually looking at the camera.  So I didn?t have a good feel for what was actually getting filmed and what wasn?t.

These deer were walking and browsing and, to my surprise, some of them started lying down in the middle of the field.  I had never seen this before and was kind of amused by it.  I thought maybe the first deer was lying down to scratch her back or something, but then another laid down too.  I didn?t know if they all planned on lying down, but I figured I better not waste any more time.  I went back into the scope and picked out the lead deer because it had the biggest body.  I aimed high and pulled the trigger.  I saw the fire come out the end of the gun and then the remaining deer scattered.  You can see them jump up in the video.  I chambered another shell and watched the others run from the field.  I sat there for a little bit, calmed down, and then went walking to see if I could find any blood.  I really didn?t expect that I could hit a deer from that far out. 

I walked over to where I shot and didn?t see anything and then I walked a little further and saw a doe lying on the ground.  I couldn?t believe I hit the deer at that distance.  It turned out that my shot was high indeed as I hit the doe in the neck.  We weighed the doe at the processor and it weighed exactly 100 lbs, but dragging it all the way across that field I could have sworn that it was heavier. 

The video turned out to be darker than it was in reality of the setting.  I guess the lens of the camera couldn?t pull in all ambient light, but nonetheless, you can see in the video that the light source began to lessen as I filmed the deer.  If you watch towards the end, you can see the deer lying down and then you can hear the shot (at the 10:40 mark of the video) and see them jump up and scatter.  The deer I shot was actually out of the frame of the video.

In the end it was good to get a doe and get on the board.  Last year I missed a doe broad-sided at about 30 yards out and this year I got one a little over 200 yards out with the same gun? it?s better to be lucky than good any day!

Regards,
 

Clint
 


Liming & Seeding the Fall Food Plots
   WeHuntSC.com - Adam and the drag
  A pic of the old drag hare that we used

This past weekend Adam and I got out and did a good day's worth of work on two food plots that we're installing in the fall session of the Food Plot Journey.  Boy was it hot too!  Up until this point we have taken soil samples for both areas, sprayed, and disked both of these plots.  Given the best case scenario we would have preferred to get the lime in the soil a few weeks ahead of the seed, but due to the fact that we're just like you (weekend warriors) we've kind of gotten in a bind with our time and are putting down both the lime and seed on the same day.  Again, I don't think this is the best practice method, but it can still work or at least we hope so!

The soil samples we took for these plots returned a pH of 5.2 for both of these plots...which is a little low.  We are putting lime in the ground to help bring the pH up to a level that creates a better growing environment for the plants that we are planting.  Also, this fall we are using a new type of lime.  We?re using "Fact Acting Lime" which (I believe) is a recent development within lime products.  Fast acting lime is supposed to do just what it is named "act fast"!  Normally it takes several months for lime to start breaking down the acidity in the soil and changing the pH.  Though, this fast acting lime is supposed to be able to start changing the pH at an accelerated rate.  On the bag of the lime it says that it's 15 times more effective than regular lime.  Since we're late putting the lime down due to our schedules, I sure hope it acts fast!  We'll be interested to see how it works.  The bags are about 30-40lbs a piece and we put 4 bags on the small plot and 8 bags on the larger, power line plot because that was the recommended amount given the size of our plots and the coverage of the lime.

WeHuntSC.com - Fast Acting Lime   
The Fast Acting Lime  

After we made the passes with the lime and spreader, we then hooked up a drag to the ATV because we wanted to drag the lime in.  We're doing this to hopefully cover the lime up with dirt and get the lime near the area of the soil where the roots of the plants will be located.  If all went well, the lime will be right where it needs to be right when the plant needs it.  You'll see in the video where we drug both areas.  We used an old drag hare to do this and it seemed to work well and started leveling out some of the small hills as we drug the soil. It was real similar to dragging a baseball field.

After liming and dragging, it was now time to put the seed down.  On the small plot we are putting in Tecomate?s Monster Mix.  The seeds for Monster Mix are very small and look neon green in color.  We only had to make 3 or 4 passes with the spreader because the seed got out so quickly.  It didn?t take too long to get all this done on the small plot as it, of course, is smaller in size.  Adam also climbed up in the stand to take some pics of the envisioned food plot to demonstrate our perspective on what we will be seeing this coming fall.  Hopefully we'll be looking down on something that is green and thriving!

   WeHuntSC.com - Tecomate Seed's Monster Mix bag on the soil
  An image of the Monster Mix

We repeated the same process on both food plots of liming, dragging, and seeding. As mid day approached, it started getting really hot.  We worked on the power line plot for a while.  We both were soaked and I even went to the store and bought 6 drinks and we drank them all within an hour?but there was still work that needed to be done.  Since the power line plot is steep and "hilly", it was a little tougher to manage.  The drag would get clumped up, the spreader would bounce and act as if it was about to tip over, etc.  The power line plot required a little more time because of all of this mixed with the fact that I was going back and forth from the video camera to the regular camera etc. 

With regards to the seed and food plot product for the power line food plot, we're planting Tecomate's Max Attract & Ultra Forage.  We mixed these seeds together to offer the deer in the area a smorgasbord of food sources.  Optimistically we?ll have a hillside leading to a creek that is covered in green right about when other food sources start to diminish for deer in our area.  This will not only get them where we want them to be, but will also help them with their year round nutritional and dietary needs.

Now that the weeds have been sprayed, ground disked, soil limed, and the seeds have been sowed, all we can do is sit back and hope for rain.  It has been extremely dry these past few weeks/months.  You can see this in the videos we've previously posted where dust is flying everywhere and covering us from head to toe.  Without any rain, there's nothing much that can grow so we?re going to be praying for rain in the coming weeks. Hopefully everything will come together.  On a positive note, Tecomate's seed is covered with a "Yellow jacket" coating that retains any moisture it comes in contact with.  This coating is specifically designed to aid in dry conditions. 

The seeds of the Monster Mix were bright green and very small as seen in the image below

WeHuntSC.com - The soil with seeds in it

Below is an HD video collage of the lime, dragging, and seeding install.

And now...the wait for rain!

Regards,

Clint
 


Sometimes You Just Have to do the Right Thing

The below blog entry was submitted by a SC hunter who wanted to share his story and lesson learned and who has also asked to remain anonymous:

Everyone learns the tremendous difference between right and wrong at a very young age.  Some of us choose to do the right thing and, often times, some of us choose to do the wrong thing.  The sum of the consequences of our choices is what comes to define us as individuals. Doing the right thing is not always the easiest path to take, but it is definitely the most fulfilling. The following is a true story about what recently happened to me and how I chose the hard path to do the right thing. 

About two weeks ago, I was in a deer stand hoping for a buck to walk out.  A few does and a fawn or two had come out, but no bucks.  About an hour before dark, what I thought was another fawn walked into the shooting lane.  I brought the rifle up to look at it through the scope and it was a huge bobcat.  He wasn?t hanging around long, so I shot him just as his front foot hit the edge of the lane.  I actually considered mounting the cat because of his size.  The next day I posted pictures of the cat here to the site.  I was proud of it! Not once did I give a single thought about any regulations involved with shooting bobcats whatsoever.  The next day a buddy of mine at work asked me if we were supposed to shoot bobcats during this time of year.  I replied to my friend ?Why not??  I thought that bobcats were regulated like coyotes, which is a year round open season. After a little bit of research I realized that I was wrong.  Bobcat season opens November 25th in my game zone. I had broken the law.

I had made a mistake and even posted it for everyone to see!  I had to swallow a little pride and do what was right and bite the bullet.  I called the Department of Natural Resources to find out what I needed to do.  A few hours later I ended up meeting a DNR officer who subsequently wrote me a ticket for $140 and 10 points off of my hunting license.  I did not enjoy paying the fine, but if I wouldn?t have reported myself and had gotten caught later, I could have served jail time and paid 10 times more than $140.  I have no doubt that I made the right decision about turning myself in to DNR.  Since then, a few of my friends have called me an idiot and a few have said I did the right thing.  I don?t mind the name calling considering I still have a clean criminal record after the fact. 

The point of me telling this story is to show that ignorance is no excuse when it comes to breaking laws.  My ignorance to the hunting laws in my area could have caused me major trouble, but I chose to do the difficult, but right thing.  Now I am in a little trouble and am missing some points on my hunting license, but more importantly, I still have my integrity and peace of mind about my actions. 

I encourage everyone to read the rules and regulations book before you go out in the woods so that you won?t find yourself in a predicament similar to mine.  It is also a good idea to fold the book up and stick it in your pack or pocket or wherever it can fit in case you need it while you?re out. 

In our high school weight room we had a sign that said "Character is who you are when no one is watching" and I think that statement holds a lot of water.  I applaud the hunter for demonstrating good character in this situation even when he knew there would be a penalty.  I also applaud the hunter for submitting the entry and turning the situation into a positive one for everyone. We all have to play by the rules, so if you don't know them then just travel over to SCDNR for more information.  If we all respect the game, the environment, and the rules, then we're only helping ourselves to be safer and helping to ensure fun in the outdoors for future generations.

Regards,

Clint

 


Gavin Jackson to Blog for WeHuntSC.com
  WeHuntSC.com - Gavin Jackson
  Gavin Jackson

I would like to introduce you guys to a personal friend of mine, Gavin Jackson.  Gavin is a childhood friend of mine that resides in Jefferson, SC, which is where we grew up.  He fits in very well with the WeHuntSC crew because he has a great passion for the outdoors.  If he isn't working or hanging out with his family, he is in the woods hunting or fishing.  Gavin is like me, it's not as much about killing the animal, but the work and homework you put in beforehand.  To me, that is what true hunting is all about.  

Gavin is going to help us blog about deer, turkey, boar, coyote, and ducks, but he will mainly be blogging about duck hunting and coyote hunting.  He said those two are his favorite types of hunting.  I just got off the phone with him a little while ago and you can tell he really loves to duck hunt and coyote hunt.  By the time he finished describing duck hunting and coyote hunting, I was ready to go and I don't really hunt either.  Anyways, I will let you guys learn more about him when he post his first blog tomorrow.  We are thankful for him helping us out and we look forward to reading about his hunting experiences this year. Good luck hunting and be safe!!!

 
 
 

Proud to be part of the WeHunt SC team!

       
  Me, my dad, Mike, and my son, Kingston
Thank you all for the opportunity to share a little about myself and my hunting experiences. My name is Gavin Jackson. I was born and raised in Jefferson, SC, where I still reside with my wife and our son. From very early on, hunting has played a big part of my life. It isn?t just a hobby, it is so much more. It is a passion, a pastime, and a right of passage, but also an avenue for many memories to be made. I look forward to sharing those memories with you all.

My first hunting experience is one for the books. My dad and I, along with several of our friends and family, were glad to be out on my first deer hunt. The eager young man that I was, climbed into the multi-person deer stand, which my papa built for us, with my dad. It was a luxury stand- ten by ten with a couch and cup holders, which I didn?t see the huge importance of at this stage in life. I not so patiently waited for what seemed like an eternity to have my chance to get my first kill. After thirty or forty-five minutes, it finally broke daylight. We were scanning the field below looking for the monster buck!  My dad quietly whispers to me, ?I see one.?  ?Where? Where? Where? Where? I don?t see it!? I didn?t quite whisper back to him.

Well, I decided it was best for me to climb out of the sixteen foot home away from home into the five foot tall weeds to get a closer look at this supposed deer. My dad recalls me creeping through the weeds like Rambo. Finally, I saw the deer. He was about twenty yards from where I was standing. I pulled up my twenty gauge single shot youth model?BOOM! I got him!

Words can not express the adrenaline and excitement I felt at that moment. Something happened, the deer didn?t move. I knew I had shot him but he didn?t budge! As I examined this massive beast in front of me, I could see the hole in his shoulder. Then I could see the styrofoam coming out of this hole. Then I noticed the plastic horns.

?It?s a dog gone fake deer!? I yelled up to my dad. Then I kicked him! At least then he fell over.

My dad climbed down to have a look for himself. He walked his distraught son, whose first buck was a 6-point piece of styrofoam, back to the truck. Once he disarmed me, he let me in on his secret. He had set me up.

I don?t remember if I was mad or sad, probably both. But it?s a story I will never forget. I look forward to one day telling this same story to my son, after I get him too!

All hunters have a story to tell. Those stories bond us together.
 


The South Carolina Deer Hunting Message Board is Getting Heated Up
  WeHuntSC.com - SC Deer Hunting Message Board
   

The air is getting a little cooler, football season is in full swing, and deer hunting season is upon us.  If you?re like me you can smell the seasons changing to fall in the air? and it just does something to you.  Sensing the temperature starting to drop and smelling the grass of the football field just makes me feel good inside!  

Others are sensing it and ?getting the itch? (at least the hunting part) too!  This can be noted as the activity on the message board is picking up.  I imagine we?ll get some good conversations on the board this fall as well as some good pics/videos posted to the site.  I look forward to seeing what everyone brings to the site this season!

Maybe we should give a prize for the first user to 300 posts or something? if we do, you boys would have to catch up to Hoot because I think he?s currently in the lead!

Remember: If you?re posting a pic in the competitions PUT THE DATE IN THE PIC!

Regards,

Clint

 


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