The 2011 Pee Dee Deer Classic proved to be another successful outdoor event. If you?re a deer hunter the event definitely got you in the right frame of mind as the new products, gear, & displays on hand would get your blood pumping. Not only were deer hunting product vendors on hand, but even turkey, gator, waterfowl, and international hunting vendors were on hand as well. Radio stations were broadcasting from outside and you could find baby alligators, puppies, deadly snakes, and even a bear on hand inside the event! There were several activities for youth & kids as well as speaking sessions for sponsors.
Also, if you?re a tech-geek and use Twitter we ?live-tweeted? the event with usage of the hashtag #PDDC. If you want to go back and see the tweets just search for that hashtag and you?ll find them
I enjoyed the 2011 Pee Dee Deer Classic and was able to talk with many of WeHuntSC.com?s sponsors, bloggers, as well as a couple of site members at the event. I had lunch with 2 of our bloggers (Tommy & Evan) as well as site member ?KershawBuck? during the middle of the day. We had a good time talking about our plans for this upcoming deer season as we chowed down on some Firehouse subs.
After lunch I headed over to the Schofield?s Hardware Annual Classic Sale where Mr. Blake Hodge of the Wrecking Crew was on hand doing some calling demos on behalf of Drake Outdoors. I have never been in Schofield?s Hardware before, but I have to tell you that I will definitely be going back! Just thinking of the word ?hardware? gives one an inaccurate impression of this store. This place is an outdoor store combined with a hardware store. To me, having all those products hand-in-hand is great because I always use hunting gear & hardware simultaneously. I couldn?t believe just how much hunting/outdoor product they had on hand in the store. They?ve got really nice clothing for any kind of hunter, they?ve got feeders, boots, deer stands, scent products, all the way to guns and ammo. You name it and they had it. I left the store with a new perspective?and a new outdoor store for when I?m in the Florence area!
After lunch and going to Schofield?s I headed back over to the 2011 Pee Dee Deer Classic. This time around I wanted to really look at the products on hand with a critical eye. Probably like many other people do, I?m always looking for new products that are not just ?gimmicks?. I?m looking for cutting edge innovation and for things that could improve my hunts and yet still not hurt my wallet too much! I?m also looking for booth-vendors who are passionate about the products they are promoting...in a genuine way, not a push-this-product on you type way. I found a couple of those products and met a couple of these people. Below I?ve detailed some of the people, companies, organizations, and products that stuck out to me.
Probably the neatest thing I saw this year was a camo suit called the ?SacSuit? by CamOver. This product is definitely innovative and the guy at the booth was definitely passionate about the product. It?s hard to describe what this suit is like without seeing it for yourself, but to try to describe it I would say that it?s a 1-piece camo suit that folds inside itself and zips up into a nice circular pouch. When opened for wearing the zippers where this thing zips are used as a venting system. This product was definitely designed by a hunter and I think the guy at the booth may have even sold out there at the event. This product is a definite ?must check out?.
- Web site: http://www.sacsuit.com/
Have you ever heard of ?Falconry?? I haven?t, but I learned about it this past weekend. Falconry, as defined by the SCFalconry.com web site is, ?the taking of wild quarry in its natural state and habitat by means of a trained raptor.? The definition taken from the web site lines up with what the guys at the show told me about falconry. They catch falcons in the wild and train them to hunt. Imagine dog hunting without dogs, but rather falcons. Trying to imagine this piqued my interest because I?ve never seen or really heard of anyone around me doing it. I?m definitely going to research more about the sport and hopefully try to learn more about it?and maybe even get in on a falconry hunt at some point.
- Web site: http://www.scfalconry.com/
Another new product that seemed really neat is a feed called "BuckYum". BuckYum is a feed, an attractant, a mineral supplement, and a permanent food source all at the same time! BuckYum consists of a mixture of corn, peanuts, and peanut chips. If you get anywhere near some BuckYum you definitely can smell the peanuts in it. Just grabbing a bag of BuckYum will make your hands smell like peanut butter. BuckYum not only smells great, but it has a good balance of protein, fat, & fiber that deer need. When you put BuckYum out it usually gets eaten qiuickly by the game in your area, but in the case that it doesn't all get eaten up the seeds in BuckYum start to grow a permanent food source. This way you get the maximum "bang for your buck".
One more notable thing about BuckYum is that one of it's creators is a former NFL player...and a good one at that! Brad Hoover of the Carolina Panthers is one of the co-owners of BuckYum. Brad is very down-to-earth and is genuinely a good guy...and he loves the outdoors. Brad gladly signed autographs for Pee Dee Deer Classic event attendees.
- Web site: http://www.BuckYum.com
WinnTuck is an organization that makes waterfowl lanyards and sunglass lanyards. You wouldn?t imagine finding many waterfowl oriented vendors at the ?deer? classic, but WinnTuck?s gear looks so good and is of such quality that it drew interest from everyone that walked by. WinnTuck?s lanyards are very high quality and very durable. Also, their shirts and hat designs are so unique and stylish that you can ?crossover? in these clothes...that is, you can wear them to an outdoor oriented event or a semi-formal event and still not be out of place. I love it when I find clothing that can ?fit in? regardless of the environment and WinnTuck?s clothing & logo design is so stylish that it fits this bill. If you?re a waterfowl hunter and you haven?t heard of (or seen) WinnTuck?s gear before then you should definitely check it out.
Product web site: http://www.WinnTuck.com
Appletree Game Feeder
Yes you?ve seen all kind of feeders before, but you?ve never seen one like this. It doesn?t work by gravity and the contents of the feeder move upward before they move downward. This is another product that is tough to describe without seeing. This product was also definitely designed by hunters because all the T?s were crossed & I?s were dotted in the design of this product. I fired rapid questions about the design to the gentlemen working this booth and he had a quick and legitimate response to every question.
- Web site: http://appletree.embarqspace.com
McKenzie Scent Fan Bag
I also spent time over at Eddie McKenzie?s booth where he was demoing his ?Scent Fan Duffle bag? for the second year. His booth had the whole area smelling like dog-fennel and event attendees caught whiffs of the smell as they walked by. It was neat to see them smell the scent and then turn and look. I guess from a vendor?s perspective it?s a good way to get attention. Though, what was more impressive to me was that people who had previously bought the bag last year were stopping by just to tell Eddie how much they loved his bag and how they were sitting on top of deer in tree stands without the deer scenting them during the last deer hunting season. Unsolicited positive feedback from consumers is always a good sign and demonstrated that to me that the people who use the McKenzie Scent Fan bag like it so much that they stopped back by just to talk about it. That is impressive. So if you?re reading this blog and you?ve never heard about the McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag, you should really check it out.
Web site: www.McKScent.com
Riley Darby I also met a YouTube star for the first time in person this past weekend. I?ve seen Riley Darby in a lot of videos where he?s catching fish, showing off the biggest buck in the world, and almost falling off an ATV, but I?ve never met him in person until this past weekend. From meeting Riley I can tell you that the videos don?t do his personality justice. Not only was Riley shooting random people that walked by with a rubber band gun that he got at the Classic, he was telling us about the deer he?s going to harvest this coming year, he put on a display at the bow shooting station, and he even threatened to shoot a bear with a rubber band too. The camera loves Riley and he?s pretty accurate with a rubber band gun so it?s only a matter of time until he?s on ESPN outdoors. Keep your eyes out for Riley in the future!
All in all, the Classic was another good event. I had a good time hanging out and seeing the new products. Tommy also pointed something out to me that I had previously just walked right by. Someone had used the WeHuntSC.com banner in their setup! This was really neat to see.
I recently met our 2011 Montana Decoy Turkey Competition winners to give them their prizes. As you are most likely aware, our site audience voted and Mark and William emerged as our winners. After the announcement we had to schedule and coordinate a meeting place to deliver the prizes. Since Mark and William hail from areas distant from each other we had to line it up for different days and it even was raining as Mark received his prizes. Nevertheless we still got it done, but we didn?t shoot much video? just pictures. It was definitely a good day for William Babb and Mark Cody when we met and they were all smiles as I got the prizes out of my car.
Below are the pictures and videos from the winners receiving their prizes.
Below is a video of the winners receiving their prizes
Thanks again to our sponsors and to everyone for participating in our 2011 Turkey Competitions! Without our sponsors and participants none of this would have been possible!
One of my most favorite parts of working on the web site is to be able to give the competition winners their prizes! One of the winners quoted this past weekend ?Shooting the deer was good enough, now this is just the icing on the cake!? and that?s what it?s all about! Seeing the winners smile while they get their prizes makes us feel good and is rewarding for us too!
Again our winners were (See pics of the winner's deer):
The winners received some great prizes from our sponsors and each left with a handful of goodies to play with and we hope to get some ?field test? reports from them as well. I think in total we gave out just short of $2,000 worth of prizes to the winners. This is pretty good for the site just being a little over 1 year old and we hope it will get even better in years to come.
We did get some interviews from this year?s winners so check it out in the video below. Thanks again to the sponsors and to everyone who participated. Be sure to tune in early next season to see what competitions we?re hosting, what rules we?re enforcing, and what prizes you can win.
We left out early this morning and headed down to the Florence Civic Center for the 2010 Pee Dee Deer Classic. It didn?t take long for the place to get packed and it was buzzing with people both young and old. The rain held off just long enough and hunters and vendors from all across the state (and from many other states) were on hand to mix and mingle. The place was lively all day long and you could feel the energy in the air.
The floor and the walkway of the second level of the Civic Center was literally covered with vendors selling any and every product related to hunting. From knives, to guide services, to shirts, to scents, to 4-wheelers, to bows, to tractors, to food plot products, jewelry, and even fudge, you could find it all. There were even vendors there selling fishing and turkey products too! As full and busy as that place was it was almost overwhelming. That is, trying to take in the people, the information, the products, the messages, and the concepts is a lot to absorb at once. I think it wore me out after a while, but then again maybe I?m just lame.
The event was bigger than I initially anticipated and in comparison to the Sportsmen?s Classic I would say it?s a bit smaller. Though, this is just due to the fact that the event is solely targeted on deer hunting whereas the Sportsmen?s Classic features many more fishing and turkey hunting vendors and booths.
Vendors were on both the ground floor as well as the second level. The second floor is also where speakers presented on various subjects throughout the day. It was apparent that the ?Snake Master? was the biggest draw of the day as every time he spoke about snakes you couldn?t even fit around the corner due to the large audience that gathered to listen to him speak. Yes ? he did have live snakes in the building and no, I didn?t go by there messing with them?but a lot of people did.
I did miss out on one aspect of the classic though. (Fail again) I intended to see the archery competitions, but in between me not knowing the times when they started plus being busy shooting pics/videos, and talking to people I always seemed to find a way to miss them. However, it was obvious that there was a competition as you could see hunters walking around with their bow cases. I heard they were pretty good though and that the winners will be announced tomorrow.
There was another aspect of the show that I found neat. I?ve been to wrestling matches where the audience members bring their own belts to show off, but I?ve never been to a show where people walked around with their deer heads. At first I thought people were just showing off, turns out that I was wrong and they were just bringing their deer to be scored. The event featured on-site scoring of deer racks so if you wanted to know exactly what your buck scored, you simply brought it in and gave it to the guys with the tape. Cool beans! I took a pic of the guysthat were scoring the racks that you?ll see in the video below.
Going to these shows I usually see many products that I expect to see, but there are always a few products that stick out to me a little. I?m sure you may be the same way. In that regard, this expo was the same. I picked a few products to talk a little bit about that left an impression on me. If you?re a ?techy? or have similar interests as me, then you may like them too!
The McKenzie Duffle Fan Bag McKenzie Duffle Fan Bag The McKenzie Duffle Fan Bag is a really neat concept. After I saw it, I had the ?Why didn?t I think of that? moment. Essentially it?s a camo duffle bag with a fan in one end and a place to put a cover scent in on the other end. You turn the fan on and it pulls the scent through the bag scenting your gear with whatever cover scent you put on the other end. The bag can hook up to your truck?s cigarette lighter or an outlet in your house. Not only does it scent your clothes, but it also helps remove any moisture in your gear. There?s no doubt that this product works as whenever one of the bags is opened you can instantly smell dirt, dog fennels, or whatever scent was on the other end. Great idea created by a fellow hunter and fellow South Carolinian. I?m not sure, but I think the McKenzie Duffle sells for around $95. - www.mckscent.com
Mossy Oak's Video Recorder Eyewear Mossy Oak ? Video Recorder Eyewear Another memorable one for anybody who loves to video hunts. Though, you could really use this product to video anything. The gist is that it?s a pair of camo glasses that has an HD video camera located right between your eyes. If you see something coming you simply click a button right by your ear to start recording. The glasses use a very small sd card to store the video and can store 4GB of footage. I was skeptical about the quality of the footage given the small camera, but I have to tell you that I was impressed with the footage that came from this thing. The vendor had videos he had taken on display on a computer in his booth and the quality was really good. It also performed well in low light. I had a hard time not buying some of these, but the price is a little steep. They run for $269 online, so get your billfold ready if you want one of these. - Video Recorder Eyewear
E-Z Kut Pruning Sheers E-Z Kut Pruning Sheers I was really surprised at, yes, the ease of use of the E-Z Kut. I know it sounds cliché to say, but this product really is easy to use. You don?t have to have a strong grip at all to make this thing cut through limbs, twigs, or branches. The gentlemen selling this product was very nice and simply let the product do the talking. So I tried it out and I just squeezed and the clippers kind of clicked and as they clicked it seemed like it got easier and in a matter of seconds I was all the way through the limb. The E-Z Kut was relatively quiet, very smooth, and made a clean cut. If the wood was too big for your hands to grip you could just spin it in circles and as you spun it, it was cutting doing work until it got into a position that you could grip it. After gripping, a few more clicks and it was done. Seems to me like it would be something neat to carry in your hunting pouch and (after you got up the stand) you could simply, quietly, and quickly cut through anything that was in your way. Maybe a good stocking stuffer and sells for $29.95 online. - www.EZKutPrunners.com
Tag-Out Hunting Products ? Chameleon Blind Tag-Out?s Chameleon Blind is also a neat concept, especially for bow-hunters. It?s kind of a like a combination of a ground blind and a tree stand. The Chameleon Blind would definitely keep you dry in on a rainy day, but most importantly it conceals your movement. The Blind has vertical slits in the fabric to allow you to shoot out of any directions. The Tag-Out representative also told me that the blind has some weight at the bottom of the blind fabric in order to keep it from moving a lot with the wind. If you?re a bow-hunter looking to conceal your movement, this one might be worth it. Price point is $129
- Tag-Out Chameleon Blind
Havoc's Scent Sticks Havoc Scent Sticks Havoc Scent Sticks is a simple and neat concept. These scent sticks help you do two things, one of which has nothing to do with scent. The scent sticks are small, bright pipes that you place in the ground at different ranges. Since knowing your ranges can be critical you can set these up to assist you in gauging the range of your target. The pipes are tapered at one end to make for easy entry into the ground and they are hollow at the top. Once you get them into the ground you place a large cotton swab in the opening. Though, before you put it in you?re supposed to soak it in scent. The goal is simply get the deer to pause momentarily to smell the scent while you take aim. Price Point: $12. Good concept, cheap, easy to see. - Havoc Scent Sticks
The ladies behind High Maintenance Camo And for the women?High Maintenance Camo Representing a growing market share, female hunters no longer have to make due fitting into guy?s hunting gear. High Maintenance Camo has solved the diva dilemma and is making quality camo gear for ladies. They make camo to wear hunting, but they also cross over and make trendy, fashionable camo that women can wear out and about. This company is a family based company out of Florida and is run by some nice ladies. Guys, if you?re trying to sway your lady into getting into hunting, this may be the route to take?buy her some trendy camo! Ladies, if you?re tired of trying to fit your curves into men?s clothing?look no further.
Scott Ledford of Ledford Outdoors Scott Ledford ? Ledford Outdoors Along with products, there are always some people who stick out to me?whether for the right or wrong reasons! Today we met Scott Ledford from Ledford Outdoors (who stuck out for the right reasons). Scott is very connected in the hunting industry and guides clients on all kinds of hunts up and down the east coast. Scott is into video and has been trained by, and shot videos, for the pros...as in Waddell and the crew. Scott is also a PlotMaster authorized dealer so he?s into all kind of stuff.
Though, Scott?s connections and video work wasn?t what stuck out to me. There are a lot of connected and talented people out there, but rather his outwardly evident passion and genuineness was what impressed me. Scott seemed very passionate about hunting, quality game management, and mostly about getting youth involved with all things outdoors. Scott is also very upbeat about getting kids into hunting and so I expect to see him involved with a lot of big things in the future?especially in the youth realm. - http://www.ledfordoutdoors.com
I?ve created the below video to give you an idea of what the environment at the event was like in case you were unable to attend.
Anticipating the upcoming hunting season, it was good to be in an energized environment full of people who all share the same passion for hunting. For me it was similar to being in a pep-rally before the big game. I?m fired up and ready to go ?now I just have to convince the wife to share the same vision!
The Pee Dee Deer Classic is an annual event that is put on by the guys at Moree?s Hunting Preserve in Society Hill, SC. The Pee Dee Deer Classic is South Carolina?s largest deer hunting expo with tons of exhibitors, displays, merchandise, and information. This is the 17th year of the event that brings deer hunters from across the state together. Though, this event is not only for SC deer hunters, but for deer hunters everywhere. So all you NC hunters that look at the site feel free to come on down. It?s just a hop skip and jump down 95 right to Florence.
Event details Name: Pee Dee Deer Classic Host: Moree?s Sportsman?s Preserve Event Website: http://www.moreespreserve.com/deer_classic.html Admission at door: - Adults $8.00 - Children 7 ? 12 $3.00 - Children 6 and under ? FREE Location: Florence Civic Center, Florence SC Create directions to the Florence Civic from your location Parking: - Free Event Layout: If you?re interested in you can view the booth layout. From the looks of the diagram it looks like there is going to be a bow tournament of some kind outside.
Some of the WeHuntSC.com crew will be attending the event and, as we did with the Sportsmen?s Classic, we will give a post-game-review blog entry of the Pee Deer Classic here on the site. So if you can?t attend we?ll try to give you a glimpse of what it?s like on the inside.