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Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew


Blake Hodge
Blake Hodge
Blake Hodge's Blog

2012/13 Waterfowl Season - Team WC Making it Rain.

We started off with a slow to good
early goose season with most of our corn fields being cut late due to being to wet.  Once, they were dry enough to cut, so were everyone's. This gave the geese
too many areas to go.

Thanksgiving season, I spent in Arkansas with friends Eric McKinney & Taylor Sweetin of Cuttin Outdoors and mentor Butch Richenback, founder of RNT calls in Stuttgart.
We had a great Timber hiunt with the Cuttin Outdoors boys, which are part of our Team Wrecking Crew.  Butch worked with me in the RNT shop, along with several other
RNT team members.

Friday after Thanksgiving, was the "Super Bowl" of all contests, the Intermediate World Duck Calling Championship.  In 2011, I finished 5th and had really high hopes going into this year. After blowing in the 1st round, I was tied for 3rd place, only 2 pts behind the leader.  Note:  Callers do not see there scores until afterwards.  I did realize I blew a solid 1st round and was pumped and ready for the 2nd round.  Traditionally, the 2nd round is where I really show out, but this year I over blew the call and made a distinct bad note.  With this being the World Contest, and my first two scores combined, I wasn't fortunate enough to make the 3rd and final round of the top 5.

I was disappointed for sure, for Butch, Clay of Xpress Boats, who came to watch, and everyone here in SC who support me.  I kept my head high, and congratulated the winners, and drove back 13 long hours. Moving forward in 2013, I will be competing as an adult, and I only have one thing to say, look out the kid is coming!

When the 2nd split of duck season came in, it was our best "opening day" in SC in the last 10 years.  We had some good friends of ours, Brandon & Daryl McCants from Georgetown, SC hunting with us that day.  We were blessed to harvest 15 mallards, 1 woodie, 1 teal, 1 mergie and 3 geese. And yes, all wild birds!!

As the season went on, it went from super to good, to slow to awful, with  several weeks of mild to hot temperatures for December and January. Our team kept on "Grinding" and making the best of it.  

Attached is a video of our season and I hope you enjoy it, because "it's who we are" and "what we live for"!

Click Here for the Video


Good Hunting ~ Blake


Goose Hunting with the Wrecking Crew - Early Season
Wrecking Crew
Team WC with 19! 

This September weather has been brutaly hot and really tested our endurance and love for the sport. Though, with plenty of crackers, gatorade, and bug spray, we've managed to do pretty good this season. We were able to get some more youth interested in the sport of waterfowl hunting while having their parents spending more time in sporting good stores, purchasing their needs, and some of their wants! We worked with them in the field, discussing firearm safety, decoy placement, conservation, and of course "calling". As we always say, youth are our future!  

We hunted lakes, grain fields, and pastures/ponds this year with pretty good success and utilized these type of decoys: shells, full bodies, and floaters. When field hunting, we used "layout blinds" to stay hidden, especially while trying to video.
 
I would like to thank everyone who hunted with us, and look forward to "getting down", and doing some more "Wrecking"!
 
I would also, like to thank our continued sponsors, Drake Waterfowl, Winntuck Waterfowl Lanyards, and Decoy Outdoors.
 
Below is a video showing our team in action: Wrecking Crew early season episode 1. 
 
 
 
I hope everyone enjoys it and is looking forward to colder weather, with wings committed.
 
Good Hunting
 
Blake 

The Last Day
WeHuntSC.com - Me and some ducks on the last dayThe last day of duck season for us ended with a bang!   We found a hole where some mallards and woodies were using and we decided to go in a few extra hours early to beat anyone else there.  We had a long boat ride to our location and after placing only a few decoys (late season) we waited patiently on daylight.

Once daylight came, we heard the familiar sounds of woodies coming from a distance, and then our attention was redirected to the sound of a hen mallard. We called in the first pair of mallards and we got both of them. We passed on some more woodies as we were seeing a few more big ducks in the air.

As we started working them, my dad noticed some black ducks in the flock. He was really getting excited and bluntly stated ?Let the green go, and get the black?! And man did we get the black.  We took one black and one hybrid which was a mix between a mallard and a black duck.  A few minutes later, we started working another group of three mallards and after only 4 circles they pitched in through the trees.  We took two out of the three from this group.
 
WeHuntSC.com - Ducks and the boatAs the morning action slowed, we just stood around and reflected back on our season which really was a good one.  We only had two hunts that were a bust and the rest were pretty good for here in SC.  After taking a few pictures and admiring our bag, we got back in the boat and heading back to the landing with all smiles!

I would like to thank Team WeHuntSC.com, Butch @ RNT Calls, Kent @ Hobo Duck Calls, Mark @ Lodge Creek Calls, Drake Waterfowl, Ricky T. @ Decoy Outdoors, and Drew& Cheryl @ WinnTuck Waterfowl Lanyards for their continued support.
 
Good Calling & Hunting,
 
Blake
 
 
 
 
 

World Duck Calling Contest

 Hey Everyone,

Just recently, me, my dad, and good friend Robbie Boone headed out to Stuttgart, AR for the Intermediate World Duck Calling Contest. There were 26 contestants from all over the United States between the ages of 14-16 who had high hopes just like me.

After enduring the 12 hour ride, we finally arrived around 8:00 pm and Macks?s Prairie Wings was still open so we took advantage to stretch our legs and look around at the enormous display of waterfowl supplies.  After dad and Robbie purchased a few items, I called my duck calling mentor and good friend Butch Richenback of RNT Calls , to see what time I could come by the RNT shop the next morning for a call tune up and for him to listen to my routine. 

 
Blake, Robbie Iverson and Butch in the RNT Shop  

So the next morning we stopped by the RNT Shop where Butch re-tuned my call and worked with me for about 30 minutes prior to being overrun with other callers and store customers. This particular week was Stuttgart?s annual ?Wings over the Prairie Festival? with an estimated 50,000 people in attendance which was huge for not only Stuttgart but the state as well.

After we left Butch and the RNT shop, we headed to Main Street so I could register for the World Contest.  Once I registered,  we had a small lunch (nerves were starting to set in) for both me and my dad.  At 1:30 they called back all of the contestants for to go over all the rules and to begin the contest.

While we were getting ready backstage, the callingducks team was setting up their video equipment which would be giving live video footage for their site www.callingducks.com. This allowed other family members and friends who were unable to come , to watch and see what it?s all about .

Once the contest started, and I was #3 to come out, boy the nerves really started buzzing. When my number was called out, I said here we go, and just blow clean.  I blew a solid routine and was tied for 4th  after the 1st round and was called back in the top 12.  I drew #6 for the second round and surprisingly found myself less nervous.

  WeHuntSC.com - Blake Hodge at the world championship duck calling event
Blake on the Mainstreet Stage

When my number was called out, here we go again, and blew a solid routine again but with combining scores of the first two rounds, put me at finishing 7th in the world.

I would like to congratulate Seth Hartman for winning and two of my good friends Devlin Hodges who finished 2nd, and Greg Hubble JR for finishing 5th. Way to go guys!

I would also like to thank everyone at Drake Waterfowl, Decoy Outdoors, WinnTuck, and the team of WeHuntSC.com but especially Butch Richenback of RNT Calls for all of the support giving to me .  I could have never finished 7th in the World without you.

Good Calling & Hunting - Blake


JR World Goose Calling Contest

    
   Blake Hodge with his LCC Mayhem on the stage
Hello again everyone,

November has been a busy contest calling month for me, as I traveled to Easton, MD for the World JR Goose Calling championship.  Callers from all over the United States traveled to this event.

We met Mark McDowell, owner of Lodge Creek Calls in Archdale, NC and we rode the rest of the 8 hour ride with him.  John Hand was also along with us for the ride as he competed in the Mason Dixon Duck Calling Championship.

After, arriving in Easton, and checking into the hotel, we decided to go to the Waterfowl Festival and see the Dock Dogs and attend other festivities.  We ran into our good friends Jeremy Smith and Clay White, who work for Drake Waterfowl Systems.  We hung out with them for a little while and they gave me some added support and since I?m on Drake?s Competition Calling Team, I really tried to make a good showing.

   
Blake Hodge grabbing 5th in the Jr. World Goose  
Saturday was the big day! After blowing the 1st round in the JR World Goose I scored high enough to make the second round even though I was really nervous.  Coming out in the second round, I had settled down and really got in my zone.  I blew a clean round and had a lot of volume which again scored me high enough to make the big show for the top 5.  We had a 3 hour break and then it was time for the top 5 to strut their stuff.

I started really well, but half way through my final round, I locked up my call and couldn?t even make a sound!  Finally, after 2 or 3 puffs, I got it going again.  I continued on with my routine but realized I had blown my chance for the win.  I finished solid and walked off stage with my head high (that was tough).

Once all five contestants blew their final round, they called everyone out to announce the winners.  As I figured, I finished 5th but wait a minute, I had just finished 5th in the WORLD! Man how cool is that?

Later that night, a good friend of mine, Mitch Hughes won the World SR Goose Calling Championship and he even let me hold up the big $10,000 check (back stage of course) .  Congrats again Mitch.

Sunday morning came and we headed back to SC with a 5th place finish and written excuse to miss last Friday?s day of school! 

I would like to thank Lodge Creek Calls, Drake Waterfowl, Decoy Outdoors, and WinnTuck Waterfowl Lanyards, and the crew here at WeHuntSC.com for their continued support.

 

Good Calling & Hunting,

Blake


Calling Ducks to Calling Bucks
   
 

Blake at full draw just to watch the big one walk away.

After taking a break from all of the practicing for upcoming duck calling contests, my dad and I decided to spend a little time in some of our tree stands in search of a nice buck. I have started archery hunting and have been leaving my Ruger behind at rest in the gun case.

My dad and I decided to hunt in a two-man ladder stand alongside some hardwood ridges. The deer have always traveled through that section in years past. It?s also a great chasing stand for those big boys in search of some ladies.

Around 9 o?clock that morning, we heard footsteps behind the stand and new exactly what it was. As my dad peeked through t he corner of his eye to check out the intruder, he saw the horns. A dark horned, wide 6-point had made his way up the ridge silently and unseen. The buck was just out of bow range but slowly approaching the perfect shot. Just as I was gathering my bow, some coyotes started howling and that buck wasn?t thinking twice about staying around. As he fled the woods, I came at full draw and tried helplessly to stop him just hoping for a shot. The coyotes were just not in our favor that day.

   
The brown is down! A nice little 7-point with a broken right beam.  

Being the determined hunters my dad and I are, we were not giving up just yet. We hurried out of the woods and headed to grab some lunch. After eating and messing around town, it was already time to be heading back out into the woods. This time it was all on me. I was going to be in one of our best spots! I would be carrying my Bear Apprentice bow and my climber. As I inched my way up the hardwood, my dad was making his way out to his spot. It wasn?t long before the sun starting creeping below the trees and I started getting twitchy! I mean?I don?t know about you guys reading this, but when that sun goes down?my spirits go up!

Well like I said?as the sun dropped, my target was making its way towards me. At 7 o?clock a 7 point appeared on the hillside about 70 yards away. When he finally got up around 40 yards, I came to full draw. At about 30 yards, he gave me a perfect broadside shot. I took the chance and stopped him. I didn?t know the exact yardage, but I was close! I thought he was at 35 yards and put my 30 yard pin on his back. When I released the string?my arrow flew right over his back, just grazing him. You guys know what I was thinking, but the Lord gave me another chance. My 7 point then turned and licked his back where my muzzy had grazed him. This time there was no missing involved and my second arrow stuck him and we were on his trail.

WOW! What an experience! If you don?t bow hunt then you need to give it a try. All I can say is ?adrenaline?.

Good Hunting Blake


VA State Duck & Goose Calling Contests

 
   The LLC Crew awaiting anxiously
Hello everyone,   I recently got back from a ?Road Trip? to Glen Allen, VA where I competed in their VA State JR Duck and JR Goose Calling Contests.

We left shortly after my dad got home from work and drove straight through which was a 6 hour ride and my mom drove all the way.  We checked into a hotel around 1:00 am and  I don?t remember a thing after my head hit that soft hotel pillow.

I was back up around 6:45 and we went ahead and registered around 8:00 for the contests.  The contests were held at Green Top Sporting Goods and they have an awesome store with a ton of great hunting and fishing gear.

After the callers meeting, which are where they go over all the rules for the contests, we started practicing in their parking lot and actually called over three different flocks of geese.  Now if that don?t tell you that you sound good then nothing does. Seeing those monsters trying to light in the parking lot  got me super pumped for the contest.

Once they called the contestants back it was time to get my game face on and be focused.  It only takes one bad note in a 90 second routine to do you in.  Remember I rode  for 6 hours?..

 
The Green Top Prizes-$75 Gift Card-1st Place VA Jr. Goose  
For the duck calling competition, I used a RNT MVP duck call which was prepared by Butch Richenback.

For the goose calling competition, I used a Lodge Creek Mayhem goose call which was prepared by Mark McDowell and Joe Finny.

After several rounds in the duck and goose, the contests were over and I had won the VA State JR Goose and finished 2nd in the VA State JR Duck. 

I was so excited! I know my dad was proud and all my thanks go out to him, my mom and the Lodge Creek Crew for helping me with my routine!

Once the prizes were handed out and my time was up in the Green Top sporting goods store, we drove back home to Lancaster, SC to prepare for another school week @ Buford High School.

Well keep practicing and keep hunting!

Sincerely,

Blake


The Duck Commander & Blake Hodge

Hello everyone, I?m very excited toshare this blog with you.  I was invited to come to Schofield Hardware in Florence, SC this past weekend to give a calling demo along with Phil Robertson a.k.a. the ?Duck Commander? and to help promote Drake Waterfowl and WinnTuck Waterfowl products for Schofields.


 
Winn Tucks' Blake Hodge with the Legendary Duck Commander at Schofield's Ace Hardware in Florence, SC

 The event was great and had a lot going on all day long. We were set up at our table promoting Drake & Winntuck and there were other tables promoting various waterfowl products as well.  The Duck Commander was over at his table signing autographs and somehow there was a slight difference in the size of the line at his table than the size of the line at mine!

When it came time for Phil to speak and me to call, they came and got both of us and took us behind the stage.  While we were walking toward the state Schofields was introducing Phil. At that moment in time, I was asking myself was this for real?  How cool is this? Shortly after Phil got on stage, they threw me a curve ball by having Phil introduce me! What?the Duck Commander introducing me???...it was too cool.  I wasn?t ready for that, but I was pumped about the intro.  After being introduced by the Duck Commander, he asked me to give a calling demo on my LCC Mayhem goose call.  He had heard that I sounded like a whole flock of geese from everyone at Schofields.

Ok, I said????no pressure here, being in front of everyone and the Duck Commander!  As you could almost hear a pin drop except for the nearby traffic, I let it rip and got a great response from Phil and everyone in the crowd.  Whew?..I couldn?t believe that I just called on stage with the Duck Commander!

After I called, the program was turned back over to Phil and he gave a very inspirational speech that kept everyone glued to their seats. Once, he finished up, he went back inside to continue signing autographs and taking pictures. After the speech I got to something else that was neat.

Schofields not only had the Duck Commander, but they had Mud-Flap from Eagle 92.9 out of Florence, SC.  After the calling demo I got to do a live radio broadcast with him!  It was really neat.  After the broadcast, I couldn?t help but smell all the great food that was being cooked by none other than ?Cooks for Christ? and I?m telling you they cooked a great chicken bog!

I continued to promote Drake and WinnTuck products until the event was over. After that I headed back home to catch up with some friends at our Buford High football game and tell them about the Schofields event.

As I?m writing this today, I?m still pumped up over it and would like to give a big Thanks to everyone at Winntuck, Drake, & Schofields Hardware in Florence, for not only having but supporting me as well.

Until next time-Happy Hunting,

Blake


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


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