The 2013 deer season was another great year for the "crew". We managed to harvest several nice bucks through hard work, land & deer management, and yes a little luck.
For us hunting and being in the outdoors is a way of life. It’s a year round thing rather than being seasonal as most people think about hunting. We’re chasing bucks during deer season, but we are also scouting duck hunting holes towards the end of deer season. When deer season is over we’re hunting ducks and geese and doing a little predator hunting on the side. When duck season ends we start working on food plots (for deer hunting) and we also work on our deer stands in this time of the year too. Then comes turkey season and we chase longbeards. Right after turkey season we put more time in looking for shed antler racks. Looking for sheds is another great way to scout and spend more time in God's Great Outdoors and it also gives insight as to what you can expect for the upcoming deer season. No matter what time of the year it is there is probably something you can do to prepare for the upcoming season.
So before the turkeys start gobbling and the fish start biting, head back out in the deer woods and start preparing for the 2014 deer season. September will be here before you know it!
Here are some of the rack mounts from the 2013 hunting season from the Wrecking Crew
Good Hunting ~ Daryl
This past week I attended the 2013 Lancaster County Ducks Unlimited banquet. This is my 3rd time attending the event and this year’s banquet did not disappoint. Robbie Boone is the Lancaster County Ducks Unlimited Chapter President and he and his chapter members always run a well-organized, good eaten’, packed out event.
Every year I always look forward to the event because I know there are going to be a ton of great prizes, some awesome Jo Jo’s BBQ, and a good time with friends. If the event keeps growing they’re going to have to find another event venue. Also important to note is the reason for the event. The event was created to help raise funds for Ducks Unlimited to help protect our wetlands and to ensure the overall health of duck hunting as a sport for years to come. DU Chapters all over the country host these events and the money goes to the larger Ducks Unlimited organization. These events are what help keep duck hunting stay a managed and successful sport for outdoorsman. Along with the overarching reason for these events the banquets also provide an upbeat, entertaining environment where attendees can walk away with some great prizes.
When I arrived to the event there was a line waiting to get in the door. At that point I knew it was going to be another packed house. Upon entering the venue, the walls were lined with prizes, auction goods, vendors, and some very nice duck prints, decoys, and even corn hole boards. My favorite item that I saw was a neon green & yellow Ducks Unlimited light. I’m always inclined to like some kind of gadget and I could envision that neon light on my wall (although I’m sure my wife would have greeted me with a “Hey, um, that’s not going in this house” type response). Though, I didn’t end up going home with the neon green DU light as it went for more than I was willing to pay. However, some of my friends were more fortunate though… Derrick Outen left with a nice shotgun, Gerald Cato won a boat, and some others from the Pageland area walked away with various hunting items and gear.
I don’t know exactly the levels of funds the chapter brought in as a result of the event, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were one of the most successful chapters in the region. It was a great event, for a great cause, and everyone seemed to have a good time. My only critique is that I wish they would have dropped the AC a few more degrees lower!
Kudos to the Lancaster County DU Chapter for hosting another great event! I’m already looking forward to next year’s event.
If anybody ever told you that predator hunting was easy… they were lying. Anybody who hunted in this year’s Predator Competition will tell you the same. We looked forward to the competition and planned for several months and when it finally got here the rain and fog made things tough on everyone. From talking to everyone at the check-in it seemed that the coyotes just hunkered down for the majority of the weekend due to the weather. Many of the hunters I spoke with said they saved their “best spots”, “honey holes”, and “go-to locations” for the weekend of the competition and still came out empty handed. The more I chase coyotes the more I respect the guys who are successful… and we did have some hunters who got it done rain or shine so let’s talk about the guys who came through no matter the conditions.
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1st Place & Big Dog This year our 1st place team was “Team Warner” out of Aynor, SC. Adam Davis, Josh Allen, & Dustin Paananen of Team Warner not only won 1st place, but they also won the “Big Dog” award. These guys brought in 2 coyotes totaling 68lbs. The big dog was 38lbs and it was a big one. Congrats to the guys for getting it done all weekend. Having the double-win they did not leave empty handed.
Click the below image to see a gallery of pics from the event
On behalf of the WeHuntSC.com team we’d like to say thanks again to the Sportsman’s Warehouse of Columbia, SC for letting us hold the check-in at their facility, to our gracious sponsors, and to all hunters that participated. We look forward to next year’s competition… see you at the check-in!
Coming in first place was Jimmy Bradley of Pageland, SC with a nice 4-bearded gobbler
2nd place went to Bruce Puett of Marlboro County
And 3rd place went to Tony Pope of Kershaw County
If you were a winner please contact me here through the site and we'll get you your prizes shortly!
Thanks again everyone..
Last year I attended the Kelleytown Baptist Church Wild Game Dinner and it was a real treat. You may remember the blog I posted about the event. If you’ve never been you should check it out. There were several activities that were fun for the youth and competitions for everyone. I’m talking about archery competitions, skeet-shooting competitions, a BB gun range and even competitions for kids. The guys at Kelleytown do a real good job at putting this event on and the attendance of the event is a reflection of the quality of the event.
When the afternoon activities get over then everyone goes inside for a great meal (last year they had some good alligator on hand). Next up will be a duck calling demo by fellow WeHuntSC.com blogger Blake Hodge and then Hank Parker Jr. will be the featured guest speaker. So if you’re in the Hartsville area this coming weekend and want to attend a quality outdoor event then be sure to check it out.
I've attached the flyer for the event here in case you want to download it.
Turkey hunting season is just about here for most of the state. I, and many of you, are itching for Spring to turn the corner and to get out there and chase some gobblers. And with turkey season comes our turkey competition! We're excited to be hosting our 2013 Turkey Competition this year courtesy Columbia River Knife & Tool.
We'll continue to add sponsors throughout the month so the prize packages should get better in time. Be sure to take some good pics of your turkeys and BE SURE TO HAVE THE DATE IN THE PICTURE!
You need to be registered to the site to post pictures in the competition.
I always look forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas because I know that I’ll be able to spend a lot of time in the woods. This year’s Thanksgiving holiday brought with it some really cold weather. I checked the weather page on the site and saw where the low was 25 degrees for Thanksgiving morning. This level of cold gave me the opportunity to use my new Extreme Weather Camo Suit that I had recently got from Cabelas. Ever since I got the camo suit I had it sitting inside of my McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag. When I got the suit out of the bag it smelled completely like the “Earth Scent” I had the bag pulling through it for a few days. I put my base layers on and then my suit and headed out the door.
It was so cold that the ground was frosted over. As I reached the woods at my hunting location I heard the ground loudly crunching with each step I took. The light coming from the light on my head was reflecting on the frost on the ground. I knew at this point that my trip into the woods would be a loud one, but what else could I do? I entered the woods and the leaves seemed to crunch louder with every step. My breath created a fog as it reflected off the light on my head and about 10 minutes later I was climbing up into my stand.
I’d been getting a lot of game camera pics on this stand, but not really any big bucks with consistency. I took my camera, monopod, and quick-grip with me into the woods and got it set up. It was during my setup that I remembered that the video camera wouldn’t record when the temperature is really cold. So I setup the monopod and the quick grip and just tucked the video camera into my suit so that my body heat would keep the camera warm. I figured if I saw something coming I could just put the camera up on the monopod and start filming.
Normally in this stand as soon as the sun comes up seemingly millions of squirrels come out and run around as if they drank red bulls all night. However, on this day the squirrels stayed put and didn’t come out and make tons of noise rustling in the leaves. I think it was so cold they stayed put to keep warm. In comparison to my normal hunts in this location that morning’s hunt was very quiet. The quiet was welcomed by me, but it didn’t last long as some nearby duck hunters started letting it roll. I checked my phone to see what people on Twitter were saying and to see what time it was. It was about 5 after 7.
A few minutes later I heard a rhythmic crunching noise coming from in front of me and slightly to my right. I’ve heard squirrels so much in this stand that I can quickly tell the difference in sound between the pattern of a squirrel and the rhythmic sound of a walking deer. This wasn’t a squirrel. I instantly reached for my camera and pulled it out of my suit. I knew something was coming, but at this point I didn’t know what. I got the video camera to the top of the monopod and was just about to lock it in position when the quick grip slipped and the monopod rolled off the side rail of the stand. My plan had backfired. The cold weather made the quick grips not hold as firm and my bumping them caused everything to break down. Just what I needed. This has happened a time or two before and it’s easy to correct, but while the camera, quick grip, & monopod dangled on the side of my stand I happened to glance up and caught a glimpse of antlers. I know that getting good footage is great for posting here in the blogs and for re-living the hunts, but at this point I had to make a decision and since I’d seen what looked to be like a good deer I opted to not fiddle with the camera anymore and to focus on the deer. The whole time I was praying that the monopod and/or quick-grip wouldn’t fall down to the ground and spook the deer.
The buck entered my field of view about 65 yards in front of me and was cautiously working his way towards me. There are several oak trees in this location and I frequently have to shoot around them or wait for deer to walk into a shooting lane before I can pull the trigger. I knew the deer had a good rack, but hadn’t gotten a clear enough view yet to know if I was going to shoot it.
With the camera still dangling beside me I put my gun up and searched for the buck in my scope. I couldn’t find the buck as he was hidden just behind a large oak tree. I momentarily panicked when I couldn’t find him in the scope and I raised back up a little to look for him with my naked eye and as I did the buck took a step into an opening. I looked back through my scope and was able to focus on the deer. It was an 8 pointer, but I still didn’t know if it met our game management criteria. I needed to get more of a look at the buck’s rack. The buck zig-zagged his way towards me and even stopped momentarily to rub on a small pine tree.
Finally the buck headed toward the location where I’d been putting corn out for months. I was in shooting position with my safety off and was ready to take a shot if the buck made the cut. As I watched the buck in the scope he had his head down eating corn and eventually he raised his head up and looked straight at me. When I saw the width and height of his rack during this view was when I knew I was going to take the shot. The buck stared at me and then raised his nose up really high and tried to “wind” me. I thought in the back of my mind that my scent should be fine because I had been breathing in the scent of dirt during the whole hunt thanks to some earth scent wafers and my McKenzie Scent Fan bag. After a few seconds of being locked in a stare down with this buck he finally put his head back down to eat corn. At this point he was about 40 yards away from me and was giving me the perfect shoulder shot. I pulled the trigger and the buck instantly fell over right into the corn pile. I took the shot around 7:15. I texted the crew and said “Big Buck Down, gonna need help with an 8 point” and then sat there for a few minutes to calm down and ensure I had my gun back on safety and didn’t rush to get out of the stand. Within an hour we had the buck to the processor and he ended up weighing 175 lbs.
After a long season of holding off on several “iffy” bucks it felt good to get a nice buck on the ground. Ironically the loud sound of the crunching frosted over ground on my way in would ultimately help me out with getting this 8 point. I heard him coming before he got there and even though I had the camera fiasco I was able to get my body into position and get focused on the task at hand where I normally (without the loud crunching ground) probably would have had less time to prepare. It was a great start to a Thanksgiving Day and will be a Thanksgiving that I’ll always remember.