CROSS Outdoor Exchange of Boiling Springs, SC is a multi-faceted organization that truly embraces the outdoors. One side of the organization is a non-profit youth ministry that uses the outdoors as a means to share with, mentor to, and help guide children and youth ages 7-15. CROSS Outdoor Exchange has monthly and seasonal outings to keep kids involved. As part of the program CROSS Outdoor Exchange offers individual hunts/fishing trips to youth that are part of the program. This year CROSS Outdoor Exchange has added a youth deer hunt. The hunt is a fund raiser for the youth injured in the Cleveland Park train wreck earlier this year. This will be an annual event and will help these families in the future.
The other side of CROSS Outdoor Exchange is a for-profit Archery and tackle shop. The store is used not only for sales, but to be a place in the community where folks can find the CROSS ministry. The store carries bows by Bowtech, Strother, and Elite. The archery and tackle shop is also set up as dealers for Bass Pro, Lone Wolf, Lucky Buck, and Rhino. With a full line of fishing tackle and live bait, they also offer a consignment area as a way for outdoorsmen to change some of their older gear for newer models. The consignment area also helps the kids in the ministry get the gear they need at a lower price.
I just returned from a weeklong trip (where I didn?t have much connectivity) and one of the things I was interested in seeing when I returned home were the results from our 2011 SC Turkey Competitions. When I looked at our site metrics and checked the results from the competitions I saw a big surge from one city which correlated with a ton of votes for one of our entries in the Montana Decoy 2011 SC Turkey of the Year Competition! Then in our Montana Decoy Youth Turkey of the Year Competition we ended up having a pretty close finish.
So without making you read a long entry I?ll get to it! Our winner of the 2011 Montana Decoy Turkey of the Year Competition is Mark Cody from Chester SC! Mark obviously had some loyal voters because he won by a landslide with 458 votes with the nearest competitor only having 30. We saw big traffic spikes out of certain cities where Mark received votes.
Then in our 2011 Montana Decoy Youth Turkey of the Year Competition William Babb edged out Alex Carnes in a close race. William received 60 votes and Alex received 42. William hails from Marlboro County and the bird he won the competition with was the first gobbler he?s called up and harvested by himself.
Thanks to everyone for entering this year?s competitions. Without your entries and participation we wouldn?t be able to host these competitions on the site. And congratulations to Mark and William!
Now we?ve got to deliver the prizes to Mark and William so? when you read this?send me an email (clint.patterson(at)WeHuntSC.com) and we?ll work out the details!
See the results of the competitions
Have you ever gone to a hunting/fishing/outdoors tradeshow? If not, you should give it a try. It?s a good excuse to get out of the house and it?s also a good way to see what the new products are for the upcoming year. If you get any kind of ?out-of-season-blues? then these expos will put you right back in the zone because it?s nothing but hunting in fishing for as many booths as you care to walk by.
When I go to these shows I always like to look for new, creative products. It?s amazing to me what people come up with and many of these products come from hunters just like you and me who see a need for something so they create it. I like to see the products and to also hear the stories behind them.
It sounds odd to say it, but going to the shows can wear you out because it?s like information overload on Wildlife Energy Drink! Around every corner and with every new booth you see there?s something else to investigate and learn about. Some products and services may interest you more than others, but either way it?s firing all of your sensory receivers as you stroll through?at least it does for me. Combine the new products, new faces, competitions, and the smell of food in the air and you?ve got a hunter?s weakness, which leads me to the next point? only take the amount of cash that you want to spend before you go. Don?t take a check book, don?t take a debit card, or more cash than you plan to spend because I can tell you that you will want to buy more than you need! It?s really hard for me to go to any show and not buy something, but then again?I guess that?s what the vendors want!
Some info on upcoming shows?
The 2011 Palmetto Sportsman?s Classic is being held on March 25th ? 27th, 2011 in Columbia, SC at the state fairgrounds. If you can find USC?s football stadium, then you can find the state fairgrounds. The Sportsman?s Classic is put on by SCDNR and features products for both hunters and fisherman. It seems that this year one of the guests will be ?Twiggy? the Water Skiing Squirrel. The Sportsman?s Classic is a neat event and you can see just about anything you?d want to see from fishing to hunting at the Sportsman?s Classic.
See our review of last year?s Sportsman?s Classic
The Pee Dee Deer Classic is held in July 29th ? 30th in Florence, SC right before deer hunting season starts. This trade show is right up the deer hunter?s alley. Obviously the focus of the show is on deer hunting, but you will see some other sports represented there as well such as turkey and boar hunting. The Pee Dee Deer Classic is a good way to get your blood pumping and get you motivated right before deer hunting season gets here.
See our review of last year?s Pee Dee Deer Classic
The Dixie Deer Classic is held on March 4th ? 6th, 2011 in Raleigh, NC at the state fairgrounds. I have never been to this show, but I have only heard great things about it. Everyone says that it?s the biggest show they?ve been to and has the most in attendance over the course of the show. I may try to go this year just to see what it?s like. I think all the big names will be in the house, but if I go I?m not going to stalk them?though if you?re into being ?star-struck? then I think it may be an option for you. From looking at their web site it seems that they have a waiting-list for vendors. This tells me that the demand is high and so everyone?s statements about the show must be true. Depending on where you are in SC then a trip to Raleigh might not be a long haul.
Oh and just in case you?re wondering? you?ll be able to get a McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag at all 3 of these shows because I know Mr. McKenzie is planning on being in attendance at the shows.
Have you gone to any of these shows before? If so, what did you think? Which is the best and why? Also what are some of the upcoming shows that you know of in your area?
Last season was my first season turkey hunting and I have to tell you? I really liked it. Mr. Bruce Puette was nice enough to take me on my first turkey hunt and it was a blast. He made it look easy and then we gave it a shot! We fell short a few times and learned a little bit, but by the end we were able to call some turkeys in and get them on camera. We even got one to talk back to us while using a shed antler! Now that I know a little bit more about turkey hunting and have a video camera that will actually zoom, I?m really looking forward to this year?s turkey season.
And speaking of turkey season, I just want to let everyone know it?s already decided that we will be having 2 turkey competitions in the upcoming season?a Turkey of the Year and a Youth Turkey of the Year. Yes, you will have to have the date in the picture again so get ready for it! Go ahead and think about how you are going to take your picture and be sure to carry your camera with you!
We are in communications with some sponsors and I can tell you that it?s looking like the prize packages will be good this turkey season as well! We'll post more information about the competitions in the weeks to come...
*If you are one of the competition winners we will contact you via email soon!
You voted and now here are your winners:
In a couple of days we?ll have some happy hunters in South Carolina when we deliver the competition winners their prizes! I?ll take some pics/videos and will post a blog about the prize delivery too! If you?re interested in seeing the results of the voting, go back to the vote page to see the results.
Thanks again to all who participated and to our many sponsors who have donated the prizes for our competition winners.
Be sure to tune in early next season to get the updated rules for next year?s competitions!
After the Eagles game Friday night I knew it was going to be cold the next morning, so I put some extra layers of clothing in my McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag and let that baby roll all night long. In retrospect I was glad that I did because it was pretty chilly out there the next morning?and yes, I smelled like dirt! With the cold weather, all the scrapes, rubs, and rut activity going on, I was excited about going and sitting over one of our fall, Tecomate Seed food plots the next morning.
If you?ve been following any of the Tecomate Seed Food Plot Journey over the course of this past year, then you know that we?ve been working hard putting in food plots in various locations. I went out to the ?power line plot? this past Saturday morning and had a pretty neat hunt. The power line plot has Tecomate?s Max Attract & Ultra Forage in it. It sure is coming along nice by my rookie food plot creator standards.
We?ve got a tower stand placed about 1/3 the way down this plot. We put it here so that we could easily see to the bottom of the food plot. I like this stand because it?s in a good location and it?s provide a spacious setup from which it?s easy to film. Oh, and there just happens to be a nice scrape about 20 yards down from the stand as well.
I arrived very early so that I could get in the stand and give myself time to get situated and ready for the sun to rise. As I walked through our food plot to the stand it was easy to see that the Tecomate Seed Ultra-Forage & Max Attract was growing well. This stuff was higher than my ankles in many places. With the low-levels of rain that we?ve had this year I was pretty pleased with the growth. I opted to walk through the plot versus around it because there were dry leaves all on the side of the plot and I was trying to be quiet. Walking through the plot rather than the edge helped reduce the amount of noise I made entering and I wasn?t worried about spreading a lot of scent in the plot because of McKenzie?s Scent Fan Bag + Atsko?s odor elimination products that we?re using this year.
When I arrived to the tower stand I put out some doe estrus and then left the bottle open at the base of the stand. The power line acts as kind of a ?wind-tunnel? and with all the recent talk and signs of rut I wanted this estrus scent to blow down the plot in hopes of luring a buck into the area. I was hopeful that a buck would come through to eat and then smell the scent and work his way up the plot?at least that was my mental picture of what would be neat to happen and get on film!
I sat there in the dark for a little while and tried to get everything situated. Carrying a camera, tripod, gun, bag, etc makes for a little extra work and requires some extra time to set up. I finally had everything up and was ready to watch the sun rise. I sat for a little while when I noticed a deer enter the food plot at the very bottom left. I could tell the deer had a decent size, but yet wasn?t huge. It was still kind of dark and it made it a little difficult to see?and even more difficult to film (so sorry for the initially dark footage at the beginning of the video below). The whole time I was watching this deer I thought it was a doe. It wasn?t until after reviewing the film that I learned that it was actually a small buck. The raw footage isn?t quite as dark as the footage in the video below?when YouTube encodes the video there is a little bit of quality lost in the encoding. As I sat in the stand thinking this deer was a doe I was pretty pumped because I thought there was a good chance that a buck may be coming behind shortly thereafter.
This first deer stayed in the plot for a little bit and I zoomed in and out trying to get more light in the camera. I even moved the camera once trying to get it closer to me (you?ll see the bump(s) in the video). The deer was just browsing and poking its head up and down. I could see the deer ?winding? as some call it. He was putting his nose up in the air and seemingly inhaling so as to smell what?s in the air. I felt sure that the estrus scent I put out was making its way down the power line. Though, thinking this deer was a doe, I didn?t really care that it smelled the estrus. Either way I was pretty pumped because a deer came in the plot early and that signaled to me that deer were moving in my area.
After seeing this deer my heart was pumping a little so I was very focused looking for anything that might be trailing shortly thereafter. Sure enough about 15 minutes later I saw another deer enter the plot from the same direction?this one had a bigger body. I zoomed in with the camera and got the deer in the video screen. When I saw the rack I knew it was a good deer, but I knew that I wasn?t going to shoot it. I wanted to, as the saying goes; let him go so he could grow. I was sitting there with my rifle in my lap with the barrel leaning against the railing of the stand and with the tripod and video camera just to the right of me. It may not sound like it, but in those few seconds it?s a lot to manage in between operating the video camera, getting the gun up, and paying attention to deer in front of you (without spooking him). I?m trying to learn the art of managing this all at once.
Seeing these deer come through made me realize just how quick I?ve got to be ready to get my gun up if I want to shoot. If the deer don?t stop, eat, or spend any time in the plot, then there are only a few seconds that you have to react. If I would have wanted to, I could have probably got a shot off at this larger deer, but the shot would have been rushed a little and I don?t like taking shots in a hurry if I can help it. He?ll be bigger next year!
Hoot, I did some commentating in this video for ya!
Ultimately, it was a good trip in the woods for me. You don?t always get to see deer, but I was fortunate enough to see some on this hunt. It also felt good to see some bucks in the area and to have them browsing on the food plot that we spent a lot of time installing. Hopefully these two will make it for a couple of years and will hang around to walk in front of the camera again.
Thank you and congratulations to everyone who got out and voted YES to amendment one yesterday! South Carolinians spoke loud and clear when asked if the right to hunt and fish should be written into our state?s constitution?and the answer was a very loud YES!
This vote is a big win for hunters and fisherman around the state and even more so for outdoorsmen of future generations. Because of this vote, the right to hunt and fish will be written into our state?s constitution and will legally be our natural right as South Carolinians.
The results were in strong contrast with 89% (1,094, 522 votes) voting YES and 11% (136,186 votes) voting No.
Below is a graphic from CNN demonstrating the results. You can also go to CNN?s page to see the breakdown by county.
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.
Throughout the past year we?ve had some vinyl decals and bumper stickers printed up, but the demand for the stickers has outpaced our ability to come up with them. Fortunately, an organization out of the Charleston area has added our vinyl, site address decals into their arsenal of vinyl decals.
If you?ve ever gone into convenience stores around SC and seen a stand of vinyl decals near the counter then you?ve probably seen the display where WeHuntSC.com decals will now start appearing. These stands usually spin around and have several SC based vinyl decals on their racks. We?re pumped to have this medium to spread the word about the site.
The stickers will be available in more stores in the future, but for now you can find them in the following locations:
Should you desire a larger version of the WeHuntSC.com logo, please contact Josh Johnson of Johnson Graphics in Pageland, SC
We?ve been contacted by a farmer in Pageland, SC (The Watermelon Capital of the world) who is looking to lease a field for dove hunting for the upcoming dove season.
If you are interested in leasing the field respond to Clint.Patterson@WeHuntSC.com and I?ll put the farmer in touch with you. Be sure to provide your phone number!