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Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew

Checking Duck Boxes and Finding Sheds

This past Saturday morning my friend Chad Channell (aka “Slowpoke”) and I set out to check some duck boxes we’ve been working on. He met me at the house and we loaded up the Team Carolina Power Sports Polaris Ranger and a few supplies and headed out. If you’ve read any of my blogs thus far then you our first stop was breakfast! A lot of my friends and I love to eat at Buford’s Little General on Saturday mornings. Not only is the food great, but there's always some good discussions going on amongst the crowd.

After that wonderful breakfast we headed out to our first stop. We unloaded the Ranger and loaded a few supplies and started out toward our first duck box. After a short ride we arrived at a duck box on one of my private ponds. We walked up to the box and easily opened the lid and checked for a hen duck or the presence of any eggs. The first box showed neither so we topped it off with more shavings and moved on to the look for more boxes on the next property. The next box also showed no hen or eggs. So we made some minor adjustments to the box and again topped this one off with some more fresh shavings. We were 0 for 2 at this point, but you can’t really predict or control nature.

We then took a short ride through a freshly cut field to another pond. As we approached the box a hen flew out of it. I was excited! Slowpoke saw it as well and said “What was that?” This is his first year helping with duck boxes so he’s still learning bits and pieces here and there. I told him that it was a hen wood duck and that she was laying eggs. We opened the side door and there was a mix of feathers, shavings, and eggs. I snapped a quick picture and closed the door and we walked away. We just wanted to know if eggs were present, but we didn’t want to disturb them or bother the hen duck. We had all the info we needed at this point and we moved on.

As we got off in the distance I explained to Slowpoke why it was important to check boxes during the laying season. We try to proactively check duck boxes to help ensure that the sport we love so much will be around next year and for future generations of hunters. As hunters we can help contribute to the success of the species and this is one of the few things we can do to help. One of the reasons we check the boxes is because if a Songbird goes in the box and lays an egg the duck will abandon her nest. As you can imagine this is not a good scenario so keeping a close eye on the box can pay off. If you keep boxes checked and catch that scenario in time you can clean the nest out and usually another duck will come and use box.

We checked around 25 boxes that Saturday and had only one hen with a clutch of eggs. We were not discouraged though as it is still early at this point in the year. They usually start laying eggs around mid-March.

After checking duck boxes we walked and rode some trails on our hunting land. While exploring we found a few nice shed antlers too. All in all it was a great day and I enjoyed my time outside. My Heybo fitted hat kept the sun from burning my bald head and my WinnTuck sunglass lanyard kept my Costas in place to keep the sun out of my eyes. It was another great day in the outdoors!

My First Quail Hunt

Recently I was involved in my first quail hunt. Being a rookie quail hunter I really didn’t know what to expect. I went on this hunting trip with some of my good friends and some, now, new friends that I met on the hunt.

We all gathered at the cabin Friday afternoon and got settled in. We had a good time sitting by the fire pit telling hunting stories and shooting the breeze. It wasn’t too long before dinner time arrived and man was it a delight. We had grilled salmon, 1inch thick rib eyes, salad, and potato dinner that that Kevin prepared. It was really good! After dinner the hunting stories continued until it was time to turn in for the evening.

Everyone woke Saturday morning to a quick and light breakfast. We didn’t load up too much because we had work to do. Everyone got there hunting gear on and got their equipment ready to go. The guys with the dogs arrived and our hunt began.

We started off in a cutover and it didn’t take long for the dogs to get on’em. The dogs pointed right away and it was really neat to see the dogs in action. We hunted all morning long and then we stopped for some grub. From the morning hunting we killed 33 birds. We paused for a nice lunch and hunted again after lunch and got 27 more quail. It was a fun day in the field.

It was a great experience being out there watching the dogs work and learning about quail hunting. I hope to be able to do it again soon. If you have never gone quail hunting you should give it a try at least once because it’s really addictive. After my first experience hunting quail I must say I'm now hooked.

My Friend’s First Goose

I have a friend named Mark that had never killed a goose. He has gone goose hunting with me a couple times, but other guys in the group never gave him a shot and he’s always ended up with the short end of the stick so to speak. Any honest man can’t have a goose hunting friend that has never killed a goose so we decided to get my friend his first goose!

With the knowledge that the end of season was near I scouted some new crop land I recently acquired and found some geese. I got a game plan together and called up three of my friends and out of those three, two of them declined! It didn’t matter to me because we were on a mission and wouldn’t let people backing out on us deter us. If you’re reading this I’m sure you’ve probably had some hunting buddies back out on you before so you can identify with the feeling. We still had geese to chase and season wasn’t over so there’s always a chance and having found some geese on my scouting trip I knew that we had a really good chance.

I had Mark to meet me at my house early in the morning. We loaded two Avery power hunter blinds and two bags of Avery GHG pro grade full body decoys. At about 5:30am we arrived at our hunting location, which was a winter wheat field with a large pond in the center. We got our blinds and decoys set up and awaited shooting light.

As shooting light approached we heard geese in the distance. I gave a couple calls on my RNT G3 goose call and my calling brought a small group of three birds right into the decoys. I quietly said “Take'em Mark!” He shot 2 of the 3! And in that moment my friend has shot his first goose! After the initial excitement calmed down I told him to go get the birds real quick. As he went to get his first ever geese I heard a honk. I yelled “Come on back!” He threw the birds back in the brush and got ready for round two. I started calling again and this time Mark started calling with me on his RNT warbird goose call. As it got closer I noticed it was a single. I told mark to get ready. The bird decoyed and Mark took him with one shot. About 15 minutes later we had one more single come in and low and behold Mark got it as well. The birds decoyed beautifully that morning. It was a great hunt and our mission was complete!

I was honored to help a great friend harvest his first four geese on the last day of duck season. He was one bird short of a one man limit. We waited around for more, but none ever showed. Spending time with friends in the outdoors on hunts like this is what I really enjoy and now my friend has the monkey off his back!

Here are some pics of our setup and of Mark with his geese

Arkansas Duck Hunt

Just wanted to take a minute to tell you guys bout my Arkansas duck hunting trip. We left out on a Monday morning with the truck and trailer loaded with gear. It was me and three other buddies and we set sail for Arkansas. All the information we had been given denoted that the birds were gone. I'd been watching the weather and saw where the cold front was moving down so I knew it had to be pushing waterfowl down with it. 

So we drove into Mississippi on Monday evening and we stopped there for the night. We got up on Tuesday and drove on in to Dewitt, Arkansas. The Sky and waterholes were missing ducks and geese. My smile was turned to a frown. That Tuesday we got settled into the historic Schoolhouse Lodge and drove into Stuttgart to visit Macks Prairie Wings because two of my guests have never been to Arkansas so we had to visit Macks. We did our shopping and toured the town a little and headed back to the lodge for the evening. 

The trip back to Dewitt showed a different outlook. There were tons of geese and ducks pouring in to fields and bodies of water that evening. I guess we had it timed right. We got up Wednesday and killed a 4 man mallard limit over some rice fields. On Thursday we got a 4 man 6 bird limit, which 1 bird was a mallard/ pintail cross over rice fields. 

Got up Friday morning and did something a little different… we went goose hunting. We got a guide named “Hoot” and had to meet him at 4 am that morning. We assisted him in putting out 1200 decoys and layout blinds. Come shooting light we had our limit of specks and some snow geese in a soybean field. It was a great hunt!

Saturday morning we hunted a 900 acre private reservoir and didn't limit out, but we killed a nice mixed bag. After the hunt we packed up and headed back to South Carolina. Although the word on the street said that the birds were gone our trip ended up being a good one thanks to some colder weather pushing the birds down. It’s always good to hunt, have fun, and hang out with friends. I had a great time and we made some memories.

Below are some of the pictures from the trip

A Good Day in the Swamp

This past Saturday morning three friends and I left the house for a little North Carolina swamp (one of our honey holes) hunt around 5 am. My friend Kevin and I had scouted the hole several days before our hunt and it looked promising. We got to the hole that morning and geared up got in position. It was the calm before the storm as we were waiting for shooting light.

Once shooting light arrived we shot into several groups and had a nice harvest of green heads. Following the hunt we headed up to the historic Dukes grill and had breakfast then headed home. It was a good hunt with great friends and that’s what it’s all about.

Pictured below Robbie Boone, Kevin Stilwell, Hal Crenshaw and Ken Starnes

10 Point Buck

My friends and I had camped all weekend at our club and had taken a few does and some smaller bucks over the course of the weekend. My son was with me Saturday night when I took a nice doe and that was only the second time he’s been with me while I’ve taken a deer.

I left my camper out there with the idea of putting it up Monday and I’m glad I did because I’m not sure I would have gone without it as it was 20 degrees! Though, I knew it would be a great morning. We have still been seeing bucks chase does, so I knew it could happen at anytime.

I had been hunting hardwoods and cut-overs a lot, but on this hunt I decided to hunt an open low cut field.  I’m glad I had my Thermos with me too because man it was chilly. I had just finished a cup of coffee and decided to use my heat bleat call. I hit the call and about 5 minutes later I look straight ahead and see nothing but horns!!  It happened so fast, he was looking backwards giving me a quartered back view. All I had was a neck shot so I took it. I hit him and he dropped right in his tracks. It was only then that I saw the doe about 20 yards away. I believe the bleat call brought her out and he followed.

It was a wonderful day in the deer woods of SC. I’ve been blessed with so much and the time in the woods paid off. I love this time of year! I might feel that my season is complete, and in many ways it is…but there is a lot more time to be spent in the woods until January 1st! The rut maybe on its way down, buts it’s still on none the less.

Below are pics of the buck:

Mark Anderson's 10 Point Buck

Mark Anderson's 10 Point Buck

Mark Anderson's 10 Point Buck

Mark Anderson's 10 Point Buck

Dad’s Double-beard

Dad and I have been turkey hunting all season. We’ve been successful, but there was one gobbler that had dodged both of us each time we hunted this one specific property. We had both previously worked this same bird and each time he had left out gobbling with two hens going in the same direction. So we came up with a game plan to hunt the bird together. Unfortunately for me, when the day we planned to hunt this bird came, I got called in to work so I couldn’t go. On my way in to work we discussed the pre-hunt while my dad was in route to woods.

Dad came in from a total different direction and located the “Boss Tom” with an owl hoot and then he made his way to our previously planned location in the dark. Once he got to the set up location he hooted again and the Tom sounded off twice. He was very active while still on the roost, which was a good sign.

At daybreak the woods came to life, the two hens gave a fly down cackle and pitched out in the pines. Shortly after the Boss Tom pitched out and automatically fell into a strut. The hens started into dad's direction, but then turned and quartered away. We had previously been calling softly so dad started cutting aggressively and got one of the hens fired up! Within minutes both hens were 10 yards away from dad and the strutting tom was just 30 yards behind. Once the hens started to move out of the way, dad cut real hard and the tom gobbled and stretched his neck out for a clean shot.

Even though I wasn't there with him on the hunt, it still made me feel good that my dad @ 75 years old, was still in the woods "wrecking em"! Truly a blessing!!

Tale of the tape: 20.4 lbs, 10" beard & 6" beard and 1" spurs.

Good Hunting ~ Daryl


2014 Sportsman's Classic Recap

This blog post is a little late, but that's better than never!  I would like to thank everyone again who came out to see Team Wrecking Crew and who stopped by the Carolina Style Tee-shirt booth at this year’s Palmetto Sportsman's Classic.

Team Wrecking Crew had a booth set up outside with Team WC gear, and an awesome display of RNT duck and goose calls. To make it even better, Elite Team Wrecking Crew member-Butch Richenback, founder of RNT Calls, was there signing autographs, duck calls, new and old, tuning calls and giving lessons to both young and old.

We had a blast and I can honestly say, this was our best show to date! We made a lot of new friends and enjoyed seeing our old friends, clients and WC fans. I would like to give a big shout out to our team members who supported the event: Blake Hodge, Summer Vick, Justin Thomas, Dianna Thomas, Matt Cline, Megan Cline, Ty Parker, Scott Wagner, Kris Faulkenberry, Lisa Hodge, and of course Butch Richenback. You are what makes us what we are today!

Again, I would like to thank everyone who supported us at this year's Palmetto Sportsman's Classic. I realize you had numerous vendors to choose from and you chose us!

Good Hunting ~ Daryl

#it's who we are!

The Grind is Over

As the 2013/14 last season goose season came to an end, our "crew" headed out one last time. With all of the recent snow and ice, we knew it was going to be tough to get to one of our fields.

The forecast was for 90% chance of rain throughout the night and would be ending shortly after daybreak. So we hooked up to our Team WC enclosed trailer and headed out.

The weathermen were spot on this time with the weather. Once we got our decoys out, the wind picked up and the rain stopped. The wind actually got up to 25 mph. We heard a couple of flocks in the distance but never saw them. As the wind continued to blow the clouds out, the sun just popped out and had the snow shining like diamonds.

Around 8:00 we saw a single goose crossing the field at the other end. He was downwind of us and was able to hear our RNT Goose Calls. He made one wide circle and then starting cupping his wings once he saw our spread. We let him glide in to the 15 yd “in-yo-face” range and then we took him.

It was the only bird we harvested that morning and we were truly blessed to experience it here in SC and in the snow. It would have been easy to stay in bed with all the inclement weather we had, but we can say, "We never gave up". From opening day to the last day, we gave it our all. It's who we are!

Good Hunting ~ Daryl

Wrecking with the "Cuttin Crew"

We've been hunting with some good 'ol boys from Arkansas the last few years and have made lots of great memories. These guys are like family and have treated us as such. Taylor, Eric, Ethan, Bret, Cody, Grant, Mason, Lucas, Evan and "Delta" make up most of the "Cuttin Outdoors Crew".

Their love for the outdoors is just like ours and we really gel together. From sunrises, taking youth with limitss or not, it's all about having fun and sharing Gods Great Outdoors.

Here is some footage from this year's hunts with Cuttin Outdoors and we hope you enjoy. Stay tuned for more "Wrecking" with "Cuttin Outdoors".

Good Huning ~ Daryl


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