Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
With 58% of the total votes John Shell has won the 2011 WinnTuck Waterfowl Competition! We had some really good entries in this year?s competition and it didn?t take long for the crew from the Charleston area to start logging a ton of votes. We had a major traffic surge in the site out of the Charleston area voting for John so I imagine that?s the area where John?s located!
John had a really nice pic of his dog on a dog-stand right over the water with the wood ducks (what I assume is a limit) hanging from the tree. Most importantly John did get the date in the picture as well! The combination of a good pic + a ton of votes = John?s about to get a bunch of free goodies!
See the voting statistics
Congratulations to John for winning and another big thanks to WinnTuck, Hobo Calls, & Lodge Creek Calls for donating products to make this competition possible! ? Oh yeah ? John, when you read this send me an email so we can figure out when we can get you the prizes.
It?s going to be like a second Christmas for the winner of the 2011 WinnTuck Waterfowl Competition! WinnTuck, Hobo Calls, & Lodge Creek Calls all donated the products that comprise a great prize package for this year?s winner so thanks to our sponsors for making the competition possible.
Thanks to all the hunters who participated and posted pics. We really had some good entries which made it tough to select the best. We had a tough time narrowing down the finalists and we decided to narrow it down to a top 5 instead of a top 3. Now the fate of the winners lies in the hands of the voters!
Voting will be live from 2/9/11 throughout 2/12/11. The winner will be announced on 2/13/11 and the prizes delivered shortly thereafter.
The top 5 pictures (in no particular order) were:
Be sure to go and cast your vote for the WinnTuck 2011 Waterfowl Competition winner!
The top 5 are below
Gavin Jackson and Justin Gainey
The Wrecking Crew
Dale Knight & Travis Johnson
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...
One of my most favorite parts of working on the web site is to be able to give the competition winners their prizes! One of the winners quoted this past weekend ?Shooting the deer was good enough, now this is just the icing on the cake!? and that?s what it?s all about! Seeing the winners smile while they get their prizes makes us feel good and is rewarding for us too!
Again our winners were (See pics of the winner's deer):
The winners received some great prizes from our sponsors and each left with a handful of goodies to play with and we hope to get some ?field test? reports from them as well. I think in total we gave out just short of $2,000 worth of prizes to the winners. This is pretty good for the site just being a little over 1 year old and we hope it will get even better in years to come.
We did get some interviews from this year?s winners so check it out in the video below. Thanks again to the sponsors and to everyone who participated. Be sure to tune in early next season to see what competitions we?re hosting, what rules we?re enforcing, and what prizes you can win.
*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!
It?s going to be like a second Christmas pretty soon for the winners of our competitions?but first someone has to win! Last year we selected the winners, but this year we?ve narrowed it down to 3 entries per competition and are letting the site audience vote on our winners. Voting will be live for 7 days and run through Jan 10th. On Jan 11th the winners will be announced and the prizes will be delivered shortly thereafter. Stay tuned for the winner?s blog when we post pics/videos of the winners receiving their prizes.
As you know, this year we implemented the ?have the date in the pic rule? and that made many pics ineligible for the competition. We had to enforce this rule because site users were uploading pics of deer shot in previous years. Forcing hunters to put the date in the pic removes the question as to when the deer was harvested. In this year?s GroundHog MAX Buck of the Year Competition we had to make a ruling on a pic that was a tough decision.
Ryan Lyle posted a game cam pic of a deer (with the date in it) then posted a pic of the harvested deer right beside of it. It was a great deer! It seems Ryan found out about the competition after he harvested the buck so he created a side by side pic showing the game cam pic of the deer and then the pic of him and the deer after he shot it. While the rack in both pics looks very similar, we threw this pic out from judging because we want to abide by our own rules, we want to be fair to the entries that did have the date in the picture of the harvested deer, and we also don?t want to have to compare any racks with game cam pics in future entries. It?s just too fine of a line to walk and could lead to unfair decisions and future scrutiny. While this deer is one of the biggest deer I?ve ever seen shot in SC, we?re sorry that we can?t accept the photo as an entry. Feel free to complain in the comment section below.
With all of that said, thanks to everyone for participating and thanks to our sponsors for donating such great products to WeHuntSC.com & to our winners.
Go and Cast Your Vote
Just wanted to post a quick update to the blog page regarding the predator competition. Remember YOU MUST BE SIGNED UP IN ORDER TO PARTICIPATE IN THE COMPETITION! If you show up to the check-in and have not registered then you won?t be able to win?and with all of these prizes, I?d hate for that to happen to you. So if you plan to participate?register.
Now that the disclaimer?s out of the way?time for the good news. The good news is that since the first blog about the predator competition we?ve received some more good sponsor donations for the competition! The following organizations have donated the prizes listed below:
I?m pumped that the predator competition is getting such a warm reception from both hunters and outdoor organizations. I hope to see you and your team at the check-in!
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.
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.
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
The potential change in the South Carolina deer regulations as highlighted in the blog by Clint titled "South Carolina Buck Regulations?" has a lot of people talking about buck limits, fees, and the one I'm most interested in, PREDATORS.
I had the opportunity earlier this year during trapping season to watch what I would call a professional trapper at work. If they were to give trappers a degree, this guy would have his Masters. For the purpose of this blog, I will refer to him as Master Trapper. His main goal was to trap wily coyotes from a friend?s property and he didn?t disappoint. My buddy told a story of a few days before when they noticed Master Trapper abruptly stop his ATV and examine a spot on the pasture fence. My buddy said they stopped and asked him what he was looking at. Master Trapper replied, ?coyotes are crossing here.? He spotted a single coyote hair on the fence while traveling 40 mph on his four-wheeler. That?s impressive.
Over the past few years, the coyote has expanded his range and is often seen in places you wouldn?t expect. I read an article this morning on CNN of coyotes in New York City. I wouldn?t have believed that a few years ago. I also have seen them in my backyard, which just a few years ago would?ve been unheard of. According to SCDNR, ?populations in South Carolina were established in Pickens and Oconee counties in the late 1970?s by houndsmen, and coupled with natural immigration, have since expanded to include all counties in the State.?
The question that often is asked is ?what impact do coyotes have on deer/turkey/predator populations?? Based on my research there are various opinions on this question. The scale goes from those that say that we need to eradicate coyote populations to those that say they have no impact at all. Personally, I don?t think it?s rational to say they have no impact at all. I found an interesting article called, ?Coyotes in the East: Are They Impacting Deer?? which was done by the USDA Forest Service. Its research has found that coyotes do have a significant impact on deer fawn populations. In its research they monitored 60 fawns and noted that 44 of these fawns didn?t survive until the fall season. During the research, they were able to attribute 36 of the 44 (80%) fawn deaths to coyote predation. That sounds significant to me. They are still conducting research as highlighted in Clint's Blog "South Carolina Buck Regulations?" . I also found an article at Outdoor Life magazine, which showed a series of pictures in which a coyote caught a fawn. This just gave me a visual of the research done by the USDA Forest Service. As with everything, I feel that the impact depends on the situation, but you can?t ignore that there is an impact.
The next question would be ?What does a landowner do?? Let?s face it, the coyote is here to stay, but there a measures that can be done to control them. SCDNR has a good publication that gives a history of the coyote and how they can be controlled. I got to see this done first hand by Master Trapper and it?s something I will not soon forget. Let?s remember that they don?t call them Wily for nothing.
Personally I'm not against buck limits because I usually don't reach the proposed limit. I usually will kill a doe or two for meat and then hunt for a "Wall Hanger". That's just me though. What impact do you think coyotes have as it relates to the proposed change in buck limits?