Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
With hopes of shallow ponds and swamps freezing my father Pete (74) and I decided to hunt the river as the temperatures dropped in the low teens this past weekend. We were very optimistic on the way to the landing, but after arriving and seeing only one other boat at the landing our hopes slightly dropped. We thought we may have guessed wrong.
With all of our Drake Waterfowl gear on we managed the 19 degree boat ride really well. Once, we got to our hunting spot, my dad and I starting throwing out all of our Drake Breeze-Ryder duck decoys. I was very interested to see how well this year's models would work. We got the decoys out and got situated into our hunting spots and waited on daylight.
Shortly after day break, we had a pair of mallards fly across the river. I picked up my RNT Short Barrel and started hammering them. They responded immediately with a wide turn. They circled several times and within minutes they were feet down and wings cupped over the decoys. I hollered to my dad, “Wreck em!” and wreck’em he did, getting both of them one right after the other.
After retrieving his pair of mallards and getting settled back in we had two different pairs of Mergansers to work our spread. We managed to harvest three out of the four mergansers. During the next thirty minutes or so, we had a lull in the action not seeing many birds at all. Around 8:30, I heard a single "honk" and my dad hollered "Start calling". I picked up my RNT Warbird goose call, and started calling. Shortly, we spotted him up the river, coming down wings cupped and feet down. He sailed the last 200 yards and started to light in the decoys and I hollered to my dad again, “Wreck em!” and, again, he did just so.
This was the coldest day of the year so far and one I will remember forever. Hunting with my dad, is truly a blessing.
Team Wrecking Crew
This was the first opening day of duck season that I wasn't standing in water beside an oak or cypress tree and that is due to the fact of having mild temperatures and the lack of migrating birds. We found some geese in one of our leased agriculture fields a few days before the season opener and we made the decision to hunt them instead.
We loaded up our enclosed trailer with layout blinds, full body and shell Canada goose decoys and headed out to the field. After playing the wind and setting out our spread we began getting "locked & loaded" for the legal shooting hours.
It was very cloudy and it had been raining and early on this morning there was some fog so we adjusted our style of calling for those conditions. We had Blake Langley filming for us and he did an outstanding job for the conditions, location, while being mindful not to spook the birds. We had two small flocks work in and we managed to harvest five.
Shortly after our last volley, I saw a pair of mallards flying across the field and I picked up my duck call to give them a try. I made the comment, how sweet it would be to call them in our goose spread. They responded almost immediately and told the boys, "Game on!” They were very high, but they descended quickly and worked well with the wind. After five circles, we had them where we needed them. When I called the shot, "Wreck em!" shots rang out and the drake fell, as no one even tried the hen. So instead of icing on the cake, we added a big beautiful greenhead to the mix. We gave high fives and laughed for several minutes, over what had just happened.
Team WC ~ It's what we live for.
Schofield’s Ace Hardware in Florence, SC had their annual “Waterfowl Day” this past Saturday, and team Wrecking Crew (Ty Parker, Justin Thomas, Blake and I) supported their event along with having a Meat Duck Calling Contest for the youth and adults.
We brought our WC1 Xpress Boat powered by Gator-Tail 35, to use as a calling stage for the contestants. The kids really had a blast with the decoy display, layout blinds, and being able to step up in our Xpress boat. We tried to simulate a real hunt as much as possible and still have fun.
We had three calling contests: JR, Intermediate, and Adult contests, which Schofield’s donated lots of great prizes for the winners and all of the youth received gift cards for participation. Also, for the adults, Schofield’s offered a $20 gift card just for entering and how cool was that?
Along with the contests, our “crew” continued to support Schofield’s by representing our sponsor’s: RNT Calls, Drake Waterfowl, Yeti Coolers, and Mountain Khaki’s. We generated a lot of buzz with our Xpress Boat and Gator-Tail Motor and WeHuntSC.
It was a fun filled day, with lots of duck calling kids and adults, camo clothing and eyes in the skies, looking for the migration in the Pee Dee Area.
We appreciated everyone who came out to the event and would like to thank not only our sponsors, Schofield’s but our crew members(Ty Parker, Justin Thomas and Blake) who supported the event.
Good Hunting ~ Daryl
Team Wrecking Crew
I had scouted an area on one of our tracts of land, and found several good scrapes coming out of a thick bottom up to a food plot on top of a ridge. We placed trail cameras up to get a “look” and got several nice bucks on film.
My next available time to hunt was Wednesday afternoon, and I got in the stand around 3:00. Just five minutes later, I had a spike buck enter the food plot. The spike fed for over forty-five minutes but was very spooky acting.
I had texted my dad who was hunting a separate stand on the same tract of land, to tell him that deer were already moving.
The spike buck kept looking over his shoulder and actually jumped a couple of times, so I was really concentrating on the area where he had been watching. Then all of a sudden, the spike jumped and ran off into the thicket on the other side of the food plot. I thought wow, this could be it and sure enough a heavy dark horned buck stepped out. The buck started towards me in a slow walk and I chose not to shoot him head on, so I held off. Around the 70 yard mark, he stopped and turned giving me a good shoulder (lung) shot. I squeezed a shot off and he bolted into the thicket only running for 30 yards.
I texted my dad again, telling him BBD. He congratulated me and said, he would see me after dark.
This buck weighed in at 185 lbs and had a 17” spread. The right main beam had been broken off and which adds character to him and this hunt.
Truly Blessed with a good memorable hunt.
Raised by honest parents who could admit their first-born son was a klutz, I was shielded from firearms and sharp objects as a child. It wasn’t until I moved to Chesterfield County and befriended the son of a gun shop owner that I was really introduced to shooting and hunting.
My first three years have been quite adventurous thanks to JR Joyner of Patrick and Leigh and Paul Branch of Bennettsville. I should also thank Clyde Watson of Chesterfield, who allowed me to hunt his property and helped me celebrate killing my first deer, while also breaking the news to me that most respectable hunters don’t kill deer that weigh less than 100 pounds.
After three years and three kills … and not quite that many horns, I finally felt comfortable enough to venture off and hunt my own land. Failing to factor in the amenities that come along with hunting other people’s property, I found myself without a deer stand, sitting in a bright blue beach chair in a briar patch just off a cornfield with a dead tree limb above my head to use as a gun prop.
My first few hunts were peaceful as I tried to become one with nature, while also taking advantage of the quiet time to work on the newspaper. Most days at dusk, a group of does and two fawns would enter the corn field about 150 to 300 yards away. While the does ate, the fawns would romp and I would type away on my laptop.
My strategy was to allow the does to become very comfortable with me sharing their field in hopes they’d stick around to attract some large bodied, multi-horned suitors during mating season. Although I don’t know much about hunting, I am keenly aware that wild men chasing women usually leads to trouble, so the idea of the baddest bucks dropping their guard and becoming easier targets during “the rut” made perfect sense to me.
My plan finally came to fruition Oct. 26 shortly after I finished typing a story about the Chesterfield Rams defeating my alma mater in football. As I was putting away my computer and considering calling it a night, I heard a rustle in the woods beside me.
Propping my gun on my killing limb, I watched as a buck stepped out in search of the doe scent I’d placed about 50 yards away from me. A few steps later, he entered the sights of my scope and went down.
My loving wife, Wylie, sweeping our front porch a quarter mile away, heard the shot and began thinking of words to console me, assuming I’d missed. I on the other hand was standing over the body of a 9-point, 220-pound buck that I naively assumed would weigh about 100 pounds, just as every other “big deer” I’d previously shot wound up weighing.
As members of the horseback hunting group Carolina Marsh Tacky Outdoors, Wylie and I planned on using one of our steeds to haul any deer I killed home. However as we tried to lift the deer onto the back of her horse, we quickly realized this deer was going to be a little heavier than any I’d killed before.
Recruiting another friend and trading Wylie’s horse for my pickup truck, we finally got the deer loaded and hauled to Welshneck Wildlife for processing. It was there where respectable hunters stood around admiring the size of my deer that I realized I’d done something impressive. Of course that still led to some confusion, as I found myself surrounded by a bunch of men talking about “scoring my rack” while also taking photos for Facebook. Feeling a little sleazy, I headed home.
The following day was spent fielding calls from friends and family, most of whom expressed disbelief about my kill. The best call was from my mom, chastising me for telling her I’d killed “a moose” when all her church friends clearly saw on Facebook I’d killed a deer.
Life lessons learned from the hunt: The smell of a strange woman usually leads to trouble and never, I mean NEVER, lie to your mama.
Leighton Bell is editor of The Link whose rack scored 120. Whatever that means.
I got my very 1st deer this past week on Veterans Day and I am pumped up about deer hunting! I’m relatively new to hunting, but I visit the site frequently and stay up to date with everything. Clint asked me to share the story of my first hunt so I’m posting first blog below and I hope there are many more good stories to come in the future.
I have a good friend that took me hunting this past week at his farm. We got in the stand around 5am in the morning and man was it cold. I heard a buck running a doe down the river bank around 5:30am, but it was still too dark to see anything. Shortly thereafter around 6:15 what I believe to be that same buck came out of the tree line, but again it was still too dark to see the full size of the buck. My friend told me not to worry because the buck would be back at some point later in the morning. Seeking that buck got my heart beating and holding off wasn’t the easiest thing to do, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
Around 6:45am my friend hit a grunt call and 10 minutes later I was checking my iPhone (new hunter) when my friend hit me on the arm, he said "Get the gun ready, he is coming out!” I put the phone down, my breathing got heavy, and I was nervous and cold because I was under dressed (again pointing at my inexperience). The Buck came out and I had the muzzleloader up and ready to go. I had the gun positioned right over the lane and was ready for the buck to walk into it. The buck started marking his territory and strutting around messing with the limbs. My friend told me "Get ready because I will stop him once he gets going". At this point all I was thinking about was I couldn’t believe he is going to let me shoot this nice buck and what happens if I miss him?!?
By this time it was around 7:02am because the sun was just coming over the ridge in front of us. My heart was beating out of my chest, but I got as ready as I could be. My friend said “Can you see him?” I responded “I don't see him". At that moment I couldn’t see him because I was fixed on the lane that I thought he would move too. However, the buck was moving on towards the wood line instead of where I was looking. So, I moved the gun, got the scope on him perfect, and my friend got him to stop. My friend said “Take him now” and I pulled the trigger.
I felt nothing as I pulled the trigger, but I did began to notice blood, not from the deer, but rather from my own forehead, start to drip. Smoke was everywhere and I looked up and asked my friend "Did I get him?” and my friend responded “Yes he is down!!!!!!”
I couldn't believe it. Blood was coming down my face, I was shaking so much I could not stop both from nerves and from the cold, but I had got my very first deer on my very first shot!!!! I got “scoped” pretty good, but it was worth it.
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..
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.
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.
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.
Help us make the competition better by giving us your feedback
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!