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:
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.
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!
This blog post is a little late, but that's better than never! I would like to thank everyone again who came out to see Team Wrecking Crew and who stopped by the Carolina Style Tee-shirt booth at this year’s Palmetto Sportsman's Classic.
Team Wrecking Crew had a booth set up outside with Team WC gear, and an awesome display of RNT duck and goose calls. To make it even better, Elite Team Wrecking Crew member-Butch Richenback, founder of RNT Calls, was there signing autographs, duck calls, new and old, tuning calls and giving lessons to both young and old.
We had a blast and I can honestly say, this was our best show to date! We made a lot of new friends and enjoyed seeing our old friends, clients and WC fans. I would like to give a big shout out to our team members who supported the event: Blake Hodge, Summer Vick, Justin Thomas, Dianna Thomas, Matt Cline, Megan Cline, Ty Parker, Scott Wagner, Kris Faulkenberry, Lisa Hodge, and of course Butch Richenback. You are what makes us what we are today!
Again, I would like to thank everyone who supported us at this year's Palmetto Sportsman's Classic. I realize you had numerous vendors to choose from and you chose us!
Good Hunting ~ Daryl
#it's who we are!
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!
This upcoming weekend is a big weekend for SC hunters and the city of Florence, SC. If you want to shop around, see the latest trends in outdoor clothing, artillery, weaponry, and everything in between just before hunting season gets here, then be sure to check out the Pee Dee Deer Classic as well as Schofields Annual Classic Extravaganza Event on Saturday July 28th!
For more information on the Pee Dee Deer Classic, just check out their web site at http://www.peedeedeerclassic.com
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.
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.
On Our Way to Okeechobee
We woke up around 4:45am and headed west. We would be putting in on the southern end of the lake in a town called Clewiston. Since it was so early it was of course dark, but I as we approached the town of Clewiston I could smell the smell of smoke. I asked Matt what that smell was and he said “Oh that’s the Sugar Cane farms, they burn the sugar during some part of their harvesting process”. It was interesting to smell that smell for a good ways, but yet not be alarmed that something was on fire or wrong. Late on in the day we found out that the sugar cane farmers actually burn the fields before they even harvest the sugar. The sugar cane fields spanned for miles and miles and miles. It was a neat sight.
Roland Martin Marina & Marine Center
We were set to meet our guide, Mark King, at the Roland Martin Marina. Once we started getting near the landing you could see the Christmas light decorations that were in the shape of a bass hanging in the streets.
Of course as “foreigners” we didn’t know which was the Marine Center and which was the Marina, but we learned pretty quickly. We went inside and saw several boats, tons of fishing lures, hats/shirts, and just about anything you could think of. Roland Martin’s name was everywhere and the marina had about what you would expect as well. There were restaurants, boats, weekend rental apartments, tiki bars, and of course fish on the walls and they even had 2 swimming in a tank.
Mark King, Bass Fishing Guide
We met the guide Matt lined us up with, Mark King, at the Marina. Mark was a very nice guy who definitely knows how to bass fish and he knows that lake like the back of his hand. Mark’s been guiding for 18 years and has all the accompanying honors and accolades that anybody would want a guide to have. Learn more about Mark’s guiding service at http://markkingfishing.com
Mark didn’t waste any time and we all hopped into his boat, which he already had waiting on us in the water. We rode through the locks and around the edge of the lake as the sun was rising. It was a beautiful sight.
Grass Paths in The Lake
Mark then made a left turn ducking into the grassy reeds of the lake. One thing I noticed throughout the day of fishing was the grass or weeds that were in the water. Of course I’ve seen grass in a lake before, but the lake had a lot of these on the edges and the paths that the boats ride leave carved out tunnels of sorts that were like hidden paths to bass hotspots if you will. I’d never really thought much about it, but these weeds or reeds were something that stuck out to me about the lake and when I think of Lake Okeechobee I’ll envision the grass in my mind. Anyways, we rode through these carved channels and we were head to a specific destination. I had the feeling that Mark knew these paths just as good as I know my way to some of my deer stands.
The Fish Were Biting
We got to our first stop and it wasn’t long before we had fish biting. We were using live bait, minnows, for our bait and they worked really well. I’d say we’d been stopped for about 5 minutes before we had corks going under. Mark told us to wait until the cork went under, count down from 5, then set the hook. This was obviously to let the bass get the minnow in their mouths really good before we set the hook. Even though we definitely wanted to let the bass get ahold of the minnows really well before setting the hook, you could see your cork darting off back toward the depths of the grassy weeds. It worked on my nerves a little bit to have a bass on and let him run back into that stuff, but I trusted the guide!
We set up right on the edge of the grassy reeds and would throw right out beside them. In every spot we fished in it wasn’t long before a bass would come out of that stuff and hammer the bait. We probably caught 15 bass the entire day and we constantly had action. There may have been a few minutes of lulls in action, but just as soon as I would turn around to look at something Mark would say “You’re down” and boom we’d have a fish in the boat.
Every fish we caught was healthy and nicely sized. We didn’t catch any state records, but we caught a nice mess of fish. One thing Mark told me was that the entire lake was only about 5 feet deep. I figured it would be deeper, but it wasn’t. Because it’s not that deep a lot of the boats there have unique anchoring systems called the “Power Pole” http://www.power-pole.com. You may be familiar with that type of anchor, but I wasn’t. I’m used to just throwing out something heavy and waiting until it hits the bottom.
Here are a few pics of fish we caught:
We Had a Blast
Needless to say, my friend Matt and I had a great time. We enjoyed being out on the lake and Mark was definitely effective as a fishing guide. I hope to be able to get back down there and fish with him again at some point. If you’re ever down in that area, be sure to give Mark and shout and tell him that you read about him here. You won’t be disappointed!