WeHuntSC.com Blog


Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew

The Pee Dee Deer Classic
   WeHuntSC.com - Pee Dee Deer Classic Website ScreenShot
  A Screenshot of the Pee Dee Deer Classic Web Site

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. 

WeHuntSC.com - Pee Dee Deer Classic Logo   

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.




Traction Made in Initial Deer Hunting Season

In case you didn?t know the story, WeHuntSC.com launched in September of 2009.  We weren?t exactly sure as to how the site would take among the hunting audience in SC.  We have been surprised at the growth of the site and energy surrounding it.  We are working hard on the back end to keep the site up and going and keep sponsorships coming in.   It?s fun to do and we are trying to keep it interesting as much as possible.

I wanted to communicate some of our web metrics to you all so that you can get a scope of the audience following the site & so that the competition winners know that there were more than 2 people looking at the site! Lol

Anyway, in the State of South Carolina we had 2,537 unique visitors from 70 cities


If you are curious as to which cities the dots represent or you want to know the frequency of visits per city, just DOWNLOAD THE STATE METRICS REPORT HERE

We also got some attention of states other than South Carolina.  To see which other states (40) that visited our site and the frequency with which they did, just DOWNLOAD THE NATION METRICS REPORT HERE

Overall we had over 37,000 page views from 3,995 visitors. 


So we are off the ground!  We?re going to keep pushing and marketing and hopefully the site will grow even more.  I?m going to update the site to a new, updated version of the site before too long.  I?m excited about it, but still have some finishing touches/updates to get configured.  Maintaining 2 sites at once is not an easy task!

Also, we announced the competition winners today!  Congratulations to Chad, Shannon, & Trent for winning our first annual competitions.  We?re going to deliver their prizes to them next weekend and shoot some video of the winners to include in a future blog.

Now back to the grind? thanks!



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2009 Deer Hunting Competitions Winding Down
We?ve got some pretty good deer in our online competitions for this hunting season.  Those guys (and gals) from South Carolina are coming across some nice deer!  If you think you?ve got a good buck and a good picture, then be sure to post it into one of our competitions before January 1st!  Winners of the competitions will receive:
  • A $50 gift certificate to Bass Pro Shops
  • A case of Wildlife Energy Drinks
  • A Thermacell with a carrying case
  • A Vinyl WeHuntSC.com sticker for your car/truck
I know some of you have been holding back because you think your deer isn?t the biggest on the page, but keep in mind that the biggest on the page doesn?t mean they will necessarily win!  We?re judging according to many factors, one of which is the quality of the picture!  So submit your photos regardless of if your deer is the ?biggest? on the page or not!

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Wintery mix & an 8 point
This past weekend a big winter storm covered the east coast.  With such a strong rain I wasn?t sure if I should go hunting at all, but I did end up venturing out in the wintery mix.  It was raining and very cold and in some nearby towns there was ice, sleet, & a little bit of snow.  Though, I think in Pageland it was mostly cold and raining.  Since it was wet and cold I opted to sit in a box stand where I would be shielded from elements.  I stuck the camera out the window to give you an idea of what I was seeing and hearing.  
Even though I was inside, I still somehow managed to get cold.  I sat in the stand until I couldn?t really see much more and then I headed out.  It rained the entire time I was there and, at moments, the rain was coming in sideways.  I was set to go duck hunting the next morning and so I was really hoping that the rain would stop before we went out to the swamp the next morning.
  The swamp as the sun was rising
So, early the next morning I met my fellow duck hunters over at the shed.  Luckily the driving rain from the previous day had stopped and we weren?t going to get soaked while we were out on the swamp.  Marty, Josh, and I were in the boat and Roger was posted up out on a point.  Marty and Josh and I went duck hunting 2 weeks ago (in my previous blog post about duck hunting).  This time we had an additional hunter with us.  Roger is a duck hunter from waaay back and I once saw him drop a mallard that was a country mile away!  So, leaky waiters and all, we were all ready to have at it!
The sun started rising and we had 2 mallards come in on us very early.  They landed in an opening just behind us, but we were unable to get a shot on them.  Not too long after that, random groups of wood ducks started coming in.  I would say that we saw in between 16 ? 25 wood ducks all together. Now that may not seem like a lot to you, but it is a whole lot better than only seeing 2 like we did last time!  We were only able to get decent shots off on one group of wood ducks.  Josh and I both shot twice at that group and one wood duck went down.  Time passed and a few more groups of ducks came in and landed in distant locations in the swamp.  We could see them, but we were unable to shoot at them. We stayed a little while longer in hopes of seeing some geese fly in.  We didn?t see any geese and when we went to get the wood duck, we couldn?t find it!  We had feathers everywhere, but no duck.  Though, I?m sure you?re probably saying it to yourself? but that appears to be about par for our course with duck hunting so far!  Have no fear though; we are working on some platform-based duck blinds.  If we get those successfully installed that should give us better looks and shooting lanes over the swamp.
Now switch gears to that afternoon and deer hunting?
Over the course of the afternoon Jason (the camera guy) came down because he was going to attend an engagement party (my engagement party) later that night.  If there was going to be a party, we might as well try to get some footage beforehand.  We went back out to the bean field because we needed to be able to make a quick exit if we were to make it to the party on time.
It was still cold and the rain from the previous day had left a lot of damp & muddy areas in the field.  We sat and waited for a good while.  So far it has been ?Murphy?s Law? that if we take the camera in the woods, we never get a deer on tape.  Also, when we take the camera there always comes a point to where we are unable to continue filming.  This, of course, is the best time to see a deer? right before it gets dark.  
  The box stand
Right as it was getting dark, 3 deer came out of the tree line.  If you hunt with a good scope, then you know that you can see better with the scope than you can with your naked eye right as it gets dark.  It was so dark by this point that you had to be looking through the scope to see them and even at this point it was still difficult.  While watching the group of deer for a few minutes 2 more came from the woods and one of them had a big body.  It took the bigger deer a while to continue up the tree line towards the other 3 deer.  As the deer continued walking, it was easy to tell that it was a good buck.  It took (what seemed like forever) until the deer got broad sided.  The anticipation was killing me..then BOOOOM? the first shot rang out and startled the group of 3 deer, which we think were does and they quickly fled the scene.  The white tails in the air were still visible even though it was getting dark.  The big buck ran about 15 yards and stopped momentarily.  I don?t know if he was hit or just startled, but it was just enough time to get another shot off at him and then he seemingly ran off into the darkness.  Let me back up here and say that these deer were at about 175 to 200 yards out and with it being very close to dark, it was really difficult to see or make out what was going on.  
Jason and I (with our hopes up) stomped through the mud all the way down to the tree line to see if we could find any blood.  On a side note, I looked at my phone and it was right at 6 o?clock and we had to be showered and at the/my engagement party at 7.  It was lining up to be a fun evening all ready ? My fiancĂ© would be frustrated if we were late to our own party (because of a dumb deer as she would say) At the same time, the hopes of finding a big buck were running through my mind all at once.  Holly had previously told me that if I knowingly went deer hunting before this party then I was indicating to her that deer hunting was more important than she is!  Can you feel my predicament?   Too much to juggle at one time!  I told Jason that we really had to be in a rush.
We walked down the tree line for a good 50 yards looking for any sign of a hit when I saw a white stomach.  I told Jason ?I think that?s a deer? and we both walked closer and sure enough, a nice 8 point buck was lying right there in the edge of the tree line!  It was a good sized deer?that was the good part? the other side of the story was that we had to drag him 200 yards through a very muddy field, get out without getting the Blazer stuck, somehow get him to the processor, and make it to the party all within an hour.  The excitement & stress both came at the same time.  We grabbed horns and started moving.  I?m glad we had some adrenaline helping, but even so we had to stop and take breaks about every 50 yards.  It was freezing out there and I was pouring sweat.  I was pushing to ?keep on keeping on? because in the back of my mind I knew that Holly was waiting on me at the house and she probably wasn?t as happy about the deer as we were.  We kept on pulling and dragging through the mud.  As we got closer to the box stand, my chest was getting heavy and I could feel my legs starting to shake?and I mean the kind of shake you get when you are out of shape and you start getting the ?shakes? when doing a strenuous exercise.  When we lift weights and get light-headed?we like to call it ?going green?.  I was definitely winded, light-headed, heavy-chested, sweating and shaking by the time we made it to the Blazer.  It took us about 25 minutes to drag the deer and get out of the field because we got back to the house around 6:35.  The Blazer, Jason, and I were all covered in mud.  Let?s just say that there was no ?Hey honey how are you doing hug? when we arrived back to the house.
Jason said he would take one for the team and take the deer to the processor (a whole different mission in itself since he?s not from Pageland) and in doing so would arrive late to the party.  So Jason snapped a few quick pictures of the deer while I headed for the shower with multiple women in my family looking at me with stern looks on their faces!  Here is the best pic of the deer.
I hurried up the stairs and got clean, dressed, and back downstairs within a few minutes.  I was dressed and still sweating because of how worked up I got dragging that deer.  We arrived at our party at 6:59 and it started at 7.  I was still hot and, in the back of my mind, I was worried as to whether Jason was going to make it or not.  If you?ve ever heard of Angelus, South Carolina, then you probably know that you can?t get there from here.  I sent Jason, a Charlotte, NC native out via GPS trying to find Angelus Deer Processing.  We were at our party and for the first hour I was worried about him finding the processor.  Somehow he found the processor, shot some quick videos, and made it back to the house in time to get cleaned up and make an appearance at the party.  All of these exciting events made for a memorable day/engagement party.  Even though we weren?t able to get it on tape (due to darkness) it was still a good overall hunt for us.  
  A view out of the box as the sun went down
For those of you who gave me a hard time last week, let me go on record and say that I did go to church on Sunday so that you are aware that you can go hunting and go to church within the same day!  Since we were exhausted from the previous afternoon/evening?s events we slept in on Sunday morning.  I went back out on Sunday afternoon and was hoping to have 2 deer at the processor on the same weekend, but it didn?t work out.  This time I was able to take the 4-wheeler in and let me tell you that it is a lot easier to get a 4-wheeler across that muddy field than it is a Blazer!  However, let me also say that it is a lot colder riding it back than it is riding in a Blazer!  I think it took my knuckles 15 minutes to thaw out once I got back.  I guess it?s always good to have a good, thick pair of gloves around if you ride 4-wheelers in the cold? I learned my lesson.
And that was the weekend recap.  This coming week is Christmas week and I should be able to get a few more hunting trips in.  I?m planning on doing both duck and deer hunting again.  Right here at the end of deer season, you never know what can happen!

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Christmas parties, Fog, & Deer

This past weekend I didn?t get to hunt but twice due to the Christmas season activities? i.e. Christmas parties & a cantata.  This is fine though because it was cold and wet all weekend and I enjoy seeing everyone during the Holiday season.  So this blog post will be relatively shorter.
The first time I went in the woods this weekend was on Sunday morning (yes we hunt on Sundays!).  Sunday morning it was pretty cold.  It was also very foggy and raining.  I put on as many layers as I could and by the time I got to the stand I was sweating a little. It didn?t take long for me to cool down in this weather though!  I went to the stand that Jason (the camera guy) and I put out last Thursday.  I can tell you from the walk in that the deer are definitely back eating corn again.  Man they had every cob cleaned except for one! I took a 360 view when it got light enough so you can see the setup.

It was so cold that I was literally hunched down in the stand just trying to stay warm.  This is a 12 foot ladder stand hooked to an oak tree that is overlooking a small open area in the woods.  The tree that the stand is on backs into a downhill slope, so directly behind me is a small valley.  I had been sitting there and I wasn?t moving at all when I heard something jump, run, & gallop away very quickly.   This sound came directly from behind me.  I never moved and never even saw the deer, but I believe it was a buck as this deer was traveling solo and sounded heavy as it took off.  That deer had to have smelled me or something because I wasn?t moving at all.  He sounded to be about 20 ? 30 yards behind me coming up that small slope.  I wish he would have been to his left about 50 yards because I may have had a chance at him.  Anyway, that?s how it goes sometimes.  They come from everywhere that you can?t see!  As the deer ran off it blew 2 times.  It sounded like it paused and started blowing again.  So I took Adam?s advice and I blew back at the deer twice.  Sure enough? the deer stopped blowing at me.  Obviously this didn?t help me get a shot or anything, but at least it got that deer to be quiet.  As I think about it now, this is the second time that I?ve been in there and heard deer blowing around me.  If this happens one more time I may move the stand to a different location in there to see if it helps.  Maybe sitting out on that hilltop allows my scent to spread more.  Who knows?  If you?ve got any insight on this, respond to this post!  So about 2.5 hours was all I could take of the cold and wet and I went back to the house. 
This same morning my dad had gone down to the hunt over the soy bean field.  They just started cutting the soy beans this week and so the visibility was a little better.  He said he saw 4 deer in the field at about 350 ? 400 yards and he could tell that one was a good sized buck.  Though, he said when he put his scope up that he couldn?t find the deer.  It was so foggy that he said he thinks the scope was reflecting light or something off the mist in the air and it made it difficult for him to see anything (at that distance) in the scope.  So while he could see them with his bare eyes, he couldn?t find/see them in the scope.  Has this ever happened to you?

So Sunday afternoon I, like any good son, went back down to the soy bean field to see if I could see any deer!  I did a 360 view of the bean field on my way in so you can see the setup.





I walked through the muddy field and ended up at the box stand underneath the tree.  I like this stand because it provides a good wide area to look at, but it also makes it hard because you?re inside the box and have to move to see out of the corners.  There are 3 windows in the box stand and in order to see the areas where the windows aren?t you have to move around a little.  I usually like this stand early in the season because I can sit in there without getting torn up by mosquitoes!  Then as the season changes and leaves fall I get into the woods more.  This box stand is heavy and is constructed out of thick lumber.  Getting it down under that tree was no easy task!  Here?s what it looks like.




Once in the box stand I shot a video so you can feel the ?boxed in? feeling that you get from sitting in the stand.

I sat and sat and watched it rain and text messaged etc for a while.  I then began to wonder if I could look through the scope and see the other end of the field with the mist & fog everywhere still.  I put my scope up and I will say that it seemed cloudy inside of the scope.  If you?ve ever looked through and old scope or a cheap scope you know that it isn?t clear or if it has let moisture in the scope then it looks somewhat foggy.  This is the feeling I had when I tried to look long distances.  I also wondered if the IPhone camera could look through the scope.  I put it up and it can see through the scope, but it is hard to hold it still enough to do it.


Then right as it was starting to get dark, I saw movement of brown way down in the left corner about 350 yards (the same place my dad had seen the deer earlier that day).  I put the scope up and dialed it all the way to 9.  I watched the deer for a while hoping that a big buck would come out.  It was getting really close to dark and it was getting more and more difficult to see the deer.  I could have pulled the trigger, but it wouldn?t have been a good shot + I had to hurry to get to the Christmas Cantata at the church.  If I would have shot at the deer I know I would have looked for blood for at least 30 minutes!  So, even though I did have my safety off and wanted to, I didn?t force the shot.  I sat there for about 15 more minutes and then left.
That?s the weekend recap and next weekend will consist of both deer & duck hunting for me.  Hopefully I can get some better footage next weekend.



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Persistence in the drought ? The weekend recap

The bumper crop of acorns, all the full moons, the sun, feeding times, the weather - all reasons I?ve heard given by hunters as to why we aren?t seeing more deer this year.  I went to our local processor this past weekend and he said things had been extremely slow in the past few days/weeks and from reading the article in the state paper, it seems that it?s a little slow everywhere.  Don?t get me wrong, deer are being harvested, but it seems that the numbers of deer harvested are not at the level that they have been in the past.  I do not take this stance from my own understanding of hunting, but rather from what I?m hearing/reading/experiencing all combined together.  Does it seem slow where you are?

Thursday morning I went hunting back out on the ridge again, but I did not see anything.  After the hunt I decided to go walk through a different section of woods that I had not scouted yet this year.  As I rode the 4-wheeler across the creek, I noticed how high the creek level was due to all the recent rains.  I stopped and took a video of the 4-wheeler and creek to give you a look at the water flowing pretty quickly.  This creek is usually very slow moving. 

After going through the creek and riding over a bunch of muddy areas, I rode up the old logging road a ways and found a place to park that looked decent.  I walked around on both sides of the old logging road for about an hour.  I saw a few rubs here and there and it was really thick in some of those places.  I finally walked into an area where the woods started opening up.  I was about 75 yards in the woods when I heard some commotion.  I looked up and 9 does where all jogging away from me through the woods.  They were all good sized does too.  It was weird because usually when this happens to me, the deer immediately dart away into the forest.  Though, this time they went away, but it wasn?t like they were in a real big hurry.  That?s how I was able to count them all.  If I would have had my rifle with me (instead of lying on the 4-wheeler) I could have shot one of them, but I probably wouldn?t have.  So, I obviously knew that deer were in this area of the woods and I continued walking around a little to see what I could see.  I saw about 7 rubs within a 30 yard radius.  On the way out from the location I also found a scrape.  I pulled out the I-Phone and dropped a pin on the Google map to mark the location.  I know, I know? technology and hunting meet each other and I ought to do it the old fashioned way right?  I hear enough of that already.  Anyway, I knew I was going to get a stand up in this location and a few hours later Jason had arrived and he helped me get the stand up.  We winched it down and put out some corn.

Thus, our camera man was in the building!  So far the trend is that whenever the camera goes in the woods, the deer don?t move too much!  (Murphy?s law at its finest).  We went hunting on Friday morning and didn?t see anything, but did see a lot of squirrels.  After the hunt we shot some short films on 4-wheelers & climbing stands.  Hopefully you?ll see those up on the site in the weeks to come.  I also got a short film of the camera guy (Jason) from my I-Phone.  See it below:


Then of course we went and got some good old Bojangles and then returned to the house.  We then went out to Central and started the state championship weekend.  It was a good time and too much to type here, but in the end we lost the state to Dillon by 1 point? again!  Man it was a tough pill to swallow and a few plays could have changed the course of the game tremendously.  I will say that this season was a good example of what quality coaching can do for a team.   You can see some of Jason?s pics from the game here

Sunday morning we were back out in the woods at the stand that we put up on Thursday.  The deer had eaten some of the corn that we put out as well.  Man it was cold Sunday morning and the thoughts, images, & replays of the game the day before lingered in my mind during the hunt?we were so close!  As the sun rose, the squirrels woke up and started running throughout the forest.  Squirrels really have no fear of heights and don?t mind being extremely loud either.  We didn?t see anything at all and about 7:45 we heard a deer blowing somewhere off in the distance.  This deer blew about 9 times, which is the most I?ve ever heard a deer blow before in the woods.  I don?t think it was blowing at us because the sounds were originating from far off.  I hoped that something had alerted the deer in another area and that it would push them towards us, but it didn?t happen. 

After some engagement pictures, I went back hunting in the afternoon.  My dad went with me this time and I put him in the stand that we had just put up and I went back to my climber.  J.E. was hunting in the soy bean field.  Right about dark-thirty I heard a shot.  I got down from my climber and went back to the truck where I had dropped off my dad.  He said he didn?t shoot and said he thought it was J.E.  I called Mr. J.E. and he said that he shot at a nice doe, but couldn?t find it.  It was so dark that he couldn?t search anymore and was going to return in the morning to see if he could find the deer. 

So that was a lot of hunting by me without seeing a deer.  Maybe I?m doing something wrong!  What about you and your area of the state?  Is it slow there?




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Bumper acorn crop leaves deer hunters lonely
  See the article online here

By BO PETERSEN - The (Charleston) Post and Courier

In the Lowcountry, after God, country and family, there's deer.

Young and old spend the entire year primed for fall season to open. They scout stand sites, set up motion-detecting cameras, run the dogs and watch the ground for telltale hoofprints.

A freezer of venison makes a winter; a rack on the wall is a story to tell. Hundreds of acres of corn, oats and rye are planted, and bags of corn are dispersed to lure big bucks out of the bottoms.

But sometimes they just don't come. Three-quarters of a million deer are estimated to live in South Carolina. A quarter-million bucks and does were reported harvested last year.

This fall, hunters find themselves sitting over food plots alone.

"They're not seeing the deer," said Trey Hoffman of Palmetto Deer Processing in Moncks Corner.

"The deer just aren't coming out to the fields," said Kyle Jones, manager of Echaw Creek Plantation in Berkeley County.

"It's not that the deer aren't there. There's plenty of deer track. There's plenty of deer moving," said Jacob Casa, of Ravenwood Hunt Club in Ravenel.

What it is, is the acorn. Maybe the best nut crop in 10 years is raining out of the oaks into the bottoms. That's like Haagen-Dazs to the deer, said Michael Cordray of Cordray's Venison Processing in Ravenel. And when there's ice cream lying right at your hoof, you're not going to go looking for corn.

The summer rains that brought the acorns also brought honeysuckle, greenbriar and other browse, or gazing food, that deer prefer. All that and warm weather has deer staying in the bottoms to feast and lying low until the late-night chill. It's one of those natural cycles. The better years for growing deer food usually turn out to be better years for acorns.

Some hunters are bagging deer. On Friday morning, more than 30 harvests already had been brought into Cordray's processing plant a few hours after opening. Two club hunters who brought in five deer said 20 more were spotted.

But a lot of the success has been among hunters who take on the sludge into the deep woods to stake out an acorn-rich oak tree.

So the season's a bust? Not so fast. Hunters said deer were moving when the night turned cold Thursday. The cold is thought to get them moving.

"The frost will kill the browse and sour the acorns. I think the hunting will be a lot better," Jones said.

"It ought to be pretty positive for the rest of the season," Casa said. "The bottom line is, you're not going to be able to harvest any deer sitting in your house."


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Got a doe in the ridge from my climbing stand

This past weekend was Thanksgiving weekend which represents many things for me.  Thanksgiving represents time spent with family and friends, upper state championship football games, The Turkey Bowl, & a lot of hunting.  This past weekend encompassed all of that and then some.

I was able to hunt on Wednesday afternoon and I went out to my climbing stand on the ridge, but I did not see anything.  On the way in I noticed that a buck made a scrape right beside a scrape and both were fresh.  I?m not sure if it would be the same deer doing this or some other deer making a scrape beside another just to talk a little junk to the other deer! Lol!  Either way it was a good sign to me.  I sat out on the ridge and just passed time wondering about all kinds of stuff.  One of the things I wondered about was how to integrate more imagery into my blog postings.  I recently upgraded my phone to an IPhone 3Gs and it has video capabilities which are awesome.  I shot my first video using the phone and instantly loaded it to YouTube from the deer stand.  When it was over I shared the link with my mom and she was sitting in the den at our house and saw what I just shot minutes earlier from my stand.  Pretty nerdy yet neat stuff.  So, to give you a visual idea of what I see when I?m sitting on this ridge I have embedded the video below.  The depth of the hill in the video doesn?t do it justice?and no, I don?t get real high in a climbing stand.  I?m scared of heights!

So Wednesday?s hunt was nothing to talk about really other than figuring out a good use for my new IPhone.  I?ll most likely try to include as many videos as possible when I can because I think it will be more interesting for any of you out here reading this stuff.  Thursday morning I went to a different stand

  This is the fog at about 7:45
that is deeper in the woods.  I could hardly see anything on this day because the fog was literally all over the place.  I couldn?t see very far at all.  It seemed to get worse the longer I stayed in the woods.  All in all, I did not see anything on this occasion either, but I did notice that the deer have started coming back to the corn and eating it.  They have left it untouched for a few weeks now and are finally interested again.  So, I?ll be keeping fresh corn out there for future hunts. 

Didn?t hunt Thursday evening due to Thanksgiving and then on Friday morning I went back out to the ridge.  It had gotten colder by Friday.  I think it was like 39 degrees outside and we had a little frost on the ground in Pageland.  Whenever I go out on that ridge I have to leave in plenty of time because of the route I have to take to get there?the truck, the 4-wheeler, the walk, the hike, getting in the safety harness, climbing the tree etc.  So I left really early in the morning and made the journey.  Even though it was cold, I was still sweating by the time I got to the top of that hill!   I took my toboggan off and climbed the tree with the cold air hitting my bald head?.for a few minutes it felt good.  I was up the tree and sitting there.  Along about 7:30 I had something neat come through the woods.  I still don?t believe it myself though, but I saw what I think was an albino fox.  That thing came trotting through and went up and down the ridge and darted right, then darted left, then jumped on a log, then ran along.  It wasn?t a coyote because I?ve seen enough of those to know.  It was smaller and it was a rare color that I don?t see much of.  It wasn?t pure white, but more so a dingy white.  I watched whatever this was for about 10 minutes and I was going to shoot it, but I didn?t want to spook any deer that might be in the area.  I sat and sat and at 8:30 I heard some trotting coming from my left down in the valley.  About 20 seconds later, 3 does were coming up the hill right in the perfect shooting lane for me.  One of the things that I don?t like about the climbing stand is that a deer has to come to certain places of the woods for me to feel like I have a good shot where I can balance and not have to hold some awkward position in order to get a good shot.  I hate having to squirm in the stand trying to turn to see something because I feel like I?m going to fall out, but these deer were coming right down the pipe.  They got in on me so fast that I didn?t even have enough time to turn the video camera on my gun on.  The deer came up the hill and the doe gave me a good broad sided shot and I pulled the trigger.  I knew I had hit her when she took off running because I saw her leg buckle as she was running.  The other two deer scattered and were disoriented.  She ran about 35 yards and I saw her go down.  Success!  I didn?t miss this time.  See, even a web developer gets lucky sometimes!  I sat there for a while and chambered another shell just in case.  About 15 ? 20 minutes later I got down out of the stand.  

I went and started dragging the deer.  I normally hunt with a friend or with my dad and can get help dragging a deer, but on this day everyone was working or out of town + the fact that you would have to have a 4-wheeler to get out where I was.  So, I drug the deer by myself?mistake #1.  Going down the hill wasn?t bad at all?crossing the creek and getting the deer up the hill was another story.  There were moments when I had to stop and just lay on the ground and take a break.  I felt like the deer weighed 200 lbs going up the hill.  During these moments, I took the opportunity to remind myself of why I should only shoot a trophy out on that ridge.  Man was I struggling.  With my whole body now shaking as if I had just go through lifting weights or something, I walked up the hill taking my jacket, toboggan, and bag off.  I went and got the 4-wheeler and rode it as far down the ridge as I could?which proved to only be about 10 yards.  I then unwound all of the winch and got it down the hill.  Of course it wouldn?t reach as far as I needed it to.  So I drug and drug and rested and shook and drug.  Finally I got the deer close enough to the winch and got it pulled up to the 4-wheeler.  That was one battle.  Have you ever tried to load a deer on a 4-wheeler or into the bed of a truck by yourself?  Well if you have then I?m sure you can feel my pain, but you haven?t?avoid having to at all costs.  I finally ended up having to bear hug the deer and got her up there on the rack.  I tied her down and finally thought I would be able to leave.  I turned the 4-wheeler and started up the ridge and the doe fell off.  I didn?t have her tied on well enough because I did a slack job of strapping her down.  Now back to the bear hugging and this time I tied her all kinds of ways so as to not have to continue this miserable cycle.  I finally made it out and drove the 4-wheeler up on the truck and headed to the processor.  It was a very exhausting experience.  All I know to say is ?Thanks God for hunting partners?!  If you?ve got a buddy that goes hunting with you be glad because it could be a lot worse. 
So I finally got a doe and it took every ounce of energy I had to get the thing to the truck.  Then Friday night we beat Abbeville for the Upper State Championship.   It was a tight game until the end when we scored a few pretty quickly.  Now we?re heading to the state again to rematch against Dillon.  Nobody ever thought we?d make it this far.




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Deer Hunters Help Prevent Car Wrecks

In the upstate of South Carolina, we receive the Charlotte Observer which is the #1 newspaper coming out of Charlotte.  Today, they had an article showing statistics of wrecks that were due to deer.  Last year proved to have the most wrecks associated with deer in years.

It seems that the more the city grows, the less places deer have to live, thus causing more wrecks with deer.  The NC Wildlife Commission biologist for Mecklenburg County quoted ?We have to figure out a way to allow hunting in more populated areas?.  This could be good news down the road for bow hunters who live near populated areas regardless of whether it?s NC or SC.  The report cited that nearly 1 in 10 wrecks last year in NC involved deer with Wake County NC being the #1 county with 1,084 wrecks with deer. 

So, when someone you are talking to may not like deer hunting or hunters just tell them that you?re trying to help keep their car safe!

You can see the article online here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/topstories/story/985500.html


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