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Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew

Weekend Hunt
   WeHuntSC.com - Deer in field

This past weekend I was blessed to be able to sit a few times in the woods.  The weather was pretty nice.  The mornings and evenings were nice and cool, just the way I like it.  Most of the weekend I sat in an old wooden stand my dad and I built a few years ago.  It overlooks about a 5 acre field that is usually planted in corn.  This year however, it was not planted and is pretty grown up.  I didn't end up getting to bed until about 3 a.m Friday night/Saturday morning and "attempted" to get up around 5:30 a.m.  I awoke with rays of sunlight peaking through my blinds.  Once I was fully conscious, I jumped out of bed in a panic.  I looked on my phone and it was 8:30 a.m.  Now at this point I could've easily just went back to sleep and just hunted in the evening, but I love hunting too much to do that.  So I unplugged my Mckenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag, grabbed my clothes out (which was washed in Atsko's scent free detergent), and started getting dressed.  Luckily, the hunting land is just across the road so I was dressed and in the stand by 9:15 a.m. 

After spraying down with Atsko's scent spray, I headed for my stand.  I was skeptical about hunting the old wooden stand since there was no corn planted, but decided to try it out anyways.  Once I got in the stand, I suddenly was annoyed.  Two branches had grown substantially since last year, one on each side.  The one to my left wasn't that bad because I could still see the majority of the areas I needed to see.  The branch to my right blocked a major inside corner of the field.  The majority of the deer travel comes from my right, so I was definitely disappointed. 

After about 45 minutes of sitting in silence, I decided I would try my hand at a little rattling.  As I got ready to bang the rattle pack together for a third time, I saw ears sticking up in the middle of the field.  I didn't see any horns, but I still looked in the binoculars to see if it was a big doe.  If it was a big doe, then I was going to try to get on the board.  When I peered in the binoculars, I actually found out that it was a little button buck.  At this point I knew I'm wasn?t shooting the deer so I grabbed the video camera and just filmed.  When I first saw the deer, it was straight ahead out in the field (it had been bedded down there).  He browsed as he headed for the woods to my right.  I filmed him until he got behind the tree branch and then forgot about him.  I figured he just kept going into the woods.  About 10 minutes later, I caught a glimpse of something about 15 yards to my right through the branch.  The button buck had circled back toward me and entered the woods just to my right and kept circling until he got right behind my stand.  This wasn't good because the wind was blowing directly in my face straight to him.  However, he never knew I was there because of the dual threat of Mckenzie and Atsko.  I sat until about a quarter to 12 and then got down for some lunch. 

WeHuntSC.com, - Scent Control Products and True Timber Camo

Saturday afternoon I decided to try my luck in a new ground blind I put out a week before.  I like the setup I got going there, but unfortunately I didn't see any deer.  When I was exiting the blind, I bumped a few deer that were trying to make their way to the deer feed but didn't get there before dark.  Sunday morning, I decided to sit in the old wooden stand again.  I have been choosing stands on the outskirts of the woods or just inside the woods because it has been too dry to walk deep in the woods.  I would scare every deer in a country mile.  About 8:30 a.m., I heard deer coming to the field on the same trail the button buck exited.  When they popped out into the field, I could tell right away there were not shooters.  When I zoomed in with the video camera, I noticed that it was a pair of button bucks.  I filmed them for a while.  They kept bedding down and then about 10 minutes later stand up and browse some more.  They never were further than about 80 yards away.  I looked at my phone and it was 10:30 a.m. and these deer still hadn't left.  They both finally bedded down and didn't get back up.  So I slipped out the stand and quietly headed to the truck.  Sunday evening, I sat in a two-man stand that is about 30 yards inside the woods at the inside corner of the field.  There has been a lot of deer travel there, but it just wasn't in the cards for me to see one that moment in time. 

Even though I didn't see a shooter, I still had a productive weekend.  Anytime I can have the privilege to sit out in the woods and enjoy God's beauty, then I consider myself thankful.  Seeing deer was just icing on the cake.  If you notice, the deer I did see this weekend were all pretty close encounters.  There are several factors that helped me achieve this interaction.  Paying attention to wind is a big one.  I know a lot of guys that will just go to a stand no matter what the wind is doing.  A deer relies on its sense of smell, hearing, and eyesight to survive.  Do what you can to fool these and you'll have a better chance at seeing deer.  I washed my clothes in Atsko scent free detergent, stored my clothes in my Mckenzie bag (it ran all night), and then sprayed down with the Atsko scent spray.  So when that deer got downwind of me, I was pretty confident I would not get winded.  Like I said early, I have been picking stands that I can get to without having to step on a lot of dry leaves.  Deceiving their eyesight is a little easier.  I have a lot of back drop behind me to break up my outline.  I also have another arsenal.....I have a camo made for the Carolinas!  I wear my True Timber Southern Pine camo and just blend in with my surroundings.

I hope you guys are enjoying this hunting season as much as I am.  Remember to cherish every moment you get to spend out in the outdoors because you never know when it will be your last.  Also, spread the fun and show others how fun hunting can be.  There is nothing any better than getting in the woods well before daylight and listening and seeing the woods wake up.  That's a scene I will never get tired of!!! 

Good luck, be safe, and God bless! 



Another Great Weekend Hunting!

After our football game last Friday night, Ryan (wide receiver/safety on our team), Katie (my girlfriend), and I headed out towards camp. After driving for about an hour or so we arrived and were eagerly awaiting the next day?s hunt. Early that next morning, five o'clock to be exact, we made our way to the stands. Katie and I went to a two-man stand on a row of pines surrounded by hard woods and Ryan went out to the stand overlooking the cut-down / cut-over. We were optimistic about the hunts and hoped to see some big bucks.

Katie and I got to our stand early and we kept dozing off and waking up until the sunlight started to shine throughout the woods. After sitting for about an hour, a 6 point walked out. Katie, shaking from excitement, grabbed the camera from my hand and began to film! I thought to myself, I think I have found my new camera operator! After filming the buck for a few minutes, Katie put the camera down to enjoy the sight of the deer. Before this point Katie had only seen two little fawns sitting with me during the pre-season. Getting to watch someone see their first deer in the stand and to watch their reaction is one of my favorite hunting experiences. About ten minutes passed and the deer moved out of our shooting lane to a small track of hard woods to our left. Katie asked, "Why didn't you shoot the buck?" I explained to her that we were managing our property and trying to shoot mature bucks with 8 points or better and a spread of at least outside their ears. It was a neat experience and a good day in the stand!

Ryan was sitting in a stand that Nick and I had put up a few weeks earlier. This was also the same stand that I harvested the cow horn from in my pervious blog. Ryan also had a good hunt as he saw 3 does and a 4 point on the corn pile. Having not hunted for a while, Ryan said that he had the "trigger happy fever", but he never did shoot any of the deer, he just enjoyed watching them.

  Atsko Scent Eliminator 4-pack
As I?ve mentioned before we?re really focusing on our scent control this hunting season. This past Thursday I was excited to receive the Astko Scent Eliminator 4-pack. Having great success with the McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag in all my previous hunts, I was excited to try these new scent products as well. The Astko four-pack includes: Body wash, laundry detergent, scent eliminator, and a UV eliminator. The night before my hunt, I washed all my clothes with the laundry detergent and placed them in my McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag. The McKenzie Duffle Bag scents my clothes and acts as a cover scent while the Atsko products kill bacteria and reduces my human scent. Using these two as a combination helps control my scent from the inside out.

Atsko also has another neat product that I?m using?their UV Killer spray. After arriving to my stand, I took my camo out of the McKenzie Scent fan duffle bag and sprayed it down with the UV killer. I used the UV killer spray to lessen any reflection that may be coming from my camo or gear. Regular commercial detergents have brightener dyes in them that, when hit by light, are visible to deer. Just in case my clothing came with any reflective dye or material on them or had any on them from previous washings, I wasn?t taking any chances.

I truly believe that these products had (and are having) a great impact on my hunts. We had deer walk underneath the stand and not even know that we were there! I?ve been close to deer before, but not as much and as frequent as this year! If you want an adrenaline filled hunt, try having deer walk right underneath your feet! Getting that adrenaline rush is what hunting is all about and scent control can make it happen.

Thanks to Dennis Coblentz For Some Of The Footage






2010 Waterfowl Competition
   WeHuntSC.com - 2010 Waterfowl Competition

We?re excited to announce that we?re going to have a competition for South Carolina duck and geese hunters on the site this season!  The competition is made possible by WinnTuck, Lodge Creek Calls, and Hobo Calls.  These organizations have donated products that will make for a great prize package for the winner!

The competition winner will receive over $400 worth of products listed below:

SEE THE RULES to find out more information about how the competition works.  The most important thing you need to remember is to HAVE THE DATE IN THE PICTURE!  

We?d like to give a big thanks to WinnTuck, Lodge Creek Calls, & Hobo Calls for making the competition possible.



The Right to Hunt and Fish

Do you remember the blog I posted regarding the upcoming vote on November 2nd and the South Carolinian?s Right to Hunt and Fish?  Well the date is just around the corner and we need to spread the word about this important vote.  With enough votes from hunters across South Carolina, the right to hunt and fish will be written into the state?s constitution and ensure that future generations will be able to continue to enjoy the great outdoors. 

See more data about the movement

Recently I met with Heather Clarkson from the SC Camo Coalition to talk a little bit about the importance of the Right to Hunt and Fish. Check out the video where Heather talks a little about the Right to Hunt and Fish Campaign.

Be sure to Vote Yes to amendment 1 on Nov 2nd!

If you have any questions or want more info, feel free to contact Heather.

Heather Clarkson
[email protected] 



WeHuntSC.com Blogs to be Syndicated
   WeHuntSC.com - GoLaurens.com
  A Screenshot of GoLaurens.com

I just wanted to post a quick blog and relay some news.  I was recently contacted by Billy Dunlap, publisher of two online news papers in the Clinton and Laurens areas.  Billy was interested in re-posting our blog entries in a newly opened outdoor portal of his web sites.  I checked out the two sites GoLaurens.com & GoClinton.com to see what was going on and it seemed like a good fit.

Billy and I exchanged some emails and I think it?s should be a win-win situation for everyone.  Billy has already posted two of my blogs on his sites and will continue to do so.  Hopefully this will give his readers more outdoor content as well as help promote our site more in his area of the state. 



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!



A Doe in the Cut-Over
   WeHuntSC.com - The Doe in the Cut-Over
  The Doe in the Cut-Over

Derrick Outen is a character?and yes...a sharp-shooter.  If you know him then this blog entry won?t surprise you much.  I?ve been after Derrick to let me video one of his hunts for a while and we finally lined it up.  This past Saturday morning, I met Derrick early in the morning and we set out on our hunt.

We ended up in a nice condo stand overlooking a field that is surrounded by woods. We made a point to be quiet and not use much light as we entered because sometimes deer bed down in the areas surrounding this stand and we didn?t want to spook any of them on the way in.  It didn?t take us long to get up the stand and get situated.  I also made sure I was on the side of the stand that would be filming the ?good? side of Derrick?s face just in case I had to get him on camera. 

It was 43 degrees and the air had a crispness to it that felt pretty good.  We sat and watched the sun rise from about 30 feet up in this spacious condo stand.  It was a very picturesque scene to observe as you could see for a very long distance all the way around the stand.  As the sun rose the beams of sunlight shined down onto the field for a really unique sight.  As soon as the sun hit the top of the trees it was dead in our face.  Derrick looked at me and said ?that?s why this is an afternoon stand? lol!  We leaned back to keep the sun out of our face as much as possible.  Eventually it finally got high enough not to bother us.

We sat and scanned the field for about 2 and a half hours.  We had a great aerial view of everything going on around and beneath us.  The only problem was that nothing was moving!  Derrick had some food plot product planted in the field and some corn out around the edges?everything seemed just right.  I was sure something was going to walk out at any minute.  The cut-over had been cut about a year ago and so there was thick brush surrounding the field that we were overlooking.  If a deer walked through the brush, as Derrick said he frequently sees them do, you would see the bushes and small trees moving as they came through.  Normally one wouldn?t see this kind of stuff, but being up so high you have that visual capability due to the vantage point the stand gives you.  He said if it?s a buck, sometimes you?ll just see antlers making their way through the brush in the cut-over.  The thought of that scene just kept playing over and over in my mind, but no matter how hard I thought about it? it just didn?t happen.

The clock was ticking and I had to head to the beach to celebrate the one year ?engage-iversary? with the wife.  We got down out of the stand and headed back to the shop.  Derrick said that there was another cut-over that we needed to check on the way back in.  We drove a little while and then parked the truck.  We got out and started walking.  I?ve never tried to just walk up on a deer before and didn?t really think anything like this would work.  So as we got out of the truck I was asking myself all these questions about how we were really about to pull something like this off and if so, how was I going to get it on film.  I didn?t have any answers that made sense to me.

We arrived to the edge of a cut-over and this cut-over was looking down on a really steep hillside.  Derrick said that the deer were going to be on the hillside somewhere and that we needed to be as quiet as possible.  He really knows the land well and we would be shooting at a down angle in a direction that didn?t pose any danger to anyone.  Since we were out of the stand I was free handing the camera which equals a ?shakey? video.  Also, at this location the sun was in our face again and it was bright.  We took a few steps with Derrick leading and me in the back.  After about 5 yards it was clear to see that ?quiet? wasn?t the word that would describe our entrance.  There were just too many sticks on the ground, brush in the way, briars ripping our pants, and cuckle berries.  It was thick and not fun to walk through. We got about 15 yards in and neared a tripod stand that he?s got on the hillside and he said ?there they go? and I looked up and saw 2 white tails just bounding down the brush-covered-hillside.  They were getting out of there and I mean quick like.  This is the scene that a hunter sometime sees, but hates to see it happen?that is, spooking a deer and watching them flee the scene.  Right after he said ?they?re they go? I had started turning the camera on and he was propping up on the tripod stand.  To my surprise, one of the deer got right on the edge of the woods and just stopped and turned around.  I have no idea why this deer stopped, but when she did I heard Derrick say ?You ready??  Since the sun was directly in our eyes it was really hard for me to find the deer in the camera.  I was bobbling the camera and mumbling?"uh, yea-noo, hold on, yeah I got her, go ahead".  As soon as I said ?go ahead? Derrick pulled the trigger and the shot rang out and the deer ran to the right going out of the cutover and out of our sight. 

I watched the deer in the screen and I told Derrick that I didn?t think he hit the deer.  Derrick just stared at me and we had an awkward moment of silence and then he said ?You mean to tell me that you are doubting me??  The look on his face was reminiscent of a look that the football coaches gave us when we had just messed up and they asked a question?knowing that they knew what the answer was!  I said, ?Well you could have hit it and I?m not saying that you didn?t hit it, but just from the way she ran off and the dirt I saw fly behind her? I don?t think you hit her.?  Another stare down and question??Clint, you?re really going to sit here and say that you don?t think I hit that deer??  I got the camera back out and looked at the video and the video was tough to see because of the light and me moving it around so much ?Blair-witch? style, but at the end of it you could see the deer and the shot.  We watched it back again and I said? ?You didn?t hit that deer.  I?m telling you...you missed.?  Derrick just shook his head in total disbelief that I didn?t think he hit the deer.  The look on his face was one that I can?t describe accurately here in words. I think my doubting his shot may hurt our friendship a little! Lol!  He said ?Alright?let?s go get the mule and see?but I?m telling you? I hit that deer.

We headed back to get his mule (yes we?re in SC, but that?s not a real mule but a larger ATV) and on the way back I was thinking to myself that there was no way he hit the deer.  I mean think about it?we just go walking through some cut-over, the deer jumps, he props up on a tri-pod, asks me if I?m ready, I give him the go ahead, and he shoots downhill at about 125 yards and he hits the deer?... all within 10 ? 15 seconds?  Come on now..the odds were just too high working against us.

We got in the mule and headed out to the location of where the deer was and sure enough?we found blood at the location where the deer was standing when he pulled the trigger.  When we found that first drop of blood Derrick gave me another long, awkward pause/stare basically letting me know that I was dumb for doubting him.  It was again reminiscent of a look you may have seen in high school football from one of your coaches.  We parked the mule and set out tracking.  Derrick had also switched guns from the rifle to a shotgun in case the deer jumped again.  We set out walking over this cutover again trailing this deer.  The briars, cuckle berries, and everything else was sticking to us and getting in our way.  Since it was early a lot of the brush was wet and so our clothes became wet after just a couple of yards tracking this doe.  We walked and trailed this deer forever and we could easily see the blood trail and this deer was really moving after the shot.  We only lost the blood trail momentarily and then regained it.  This doe ran back up the hill, made a left, and then headed back down the hill toward the creek.  We trailed this deer for about 115 yards and it took us about 20 minutes.  We kept thinking we were just about to see the deer, but then there would be more blood further up.  I told Derrick that we were going to have to add 5lbs to the weight of the deer because of how long the blood trail was.  We were both surprised at how long the deer ran.

We finally found the deer lying down the hillside near the creek.  It was a decent doe and, as bad as I hate to say it, he made a perfect shot.  I mean the bullet placement was right where it?s supposed to be.  When we saw where he hit the deer he kept giving me a hard time about me doubting him.  We drug it to the next closest road.  When we looked at the doe we noticed that the deer was really old because it only had about 4 teeth on the bottom jaw and those teeth were loose.  We also noticed that this deer had been shot earlier in the season by someone. It looked like someone grazed the top of this deer?s neck with a rifle because the hair was gone and you could see the fresh scar on the back of the deer?s neck.  I?d never seen one with that few teeth and that been shot before, much less that combination at the same time.

We headed back to the mule and brought it over to pick the deer up and guess what I got lectured about all the way to get the deer, all the way back to the shop, and all the way to the processor and back?that?s right??I can?t believe you doubted me? and on and on and on.

This is a good example of properly having the date in the pic

WeHuntSC.com - Derrick and the old Doe

Below is the video I shot?be ready cause it?s quick and very shakey

All in all it was a good hunt and I won?t ever question Derrick?s shot again (whether he misses or not)! Lol! I will say though that he made a good shot and got it done in a situation that was probably not the best case scenario so I give him kudos for that.  His shot was definitely better than my video!




A Great Weekend Hunting


Just as in my previous blog, we are still concentrating on getting our property right for the upcoming years. By ?getting our property right? I mean we are working on food plots, shooting lanes, and game management. October 10th was a very foggy Saturday morning and I was running late to get in the stand. So instead of sitting in the ?honey-hole stand? as we call it, I choose to sit in a stand closer to camp for sake of time. This stand is also in a good location so I was optimistic about seeing some deer. Three deer have been killed out of it since the start of the season so it has been getting some action. Nick and I have also filmed a good amount of deer from this stand. It?s a two-man stand set up on a logging road and the view from the back of the stand overlooks a cut-over.

Just as you would imagine?a buck came out behind the stand in the cut-over. As I mentioned, it was a very foggy morning and it was really difficult to see out of my scope! I thought to myself that it was just my luck that a deer walk out behind me and then I could barely see him for the fog in my scope. I didn't have my camera tripod that morning so I pulled my camera out of my bag and tried to free hand a little short segment of footage. With the light being low, the deer coming from behind me, and the fog making it difficult to see?I really couldn't tell how big the buck was. At first I thought it was a spike from a distance, but I finally got the camera focused on him. It turned out to be one of the deer we have been looking to harvest for genetics sake. Before I picked up my rifle, I checked and double checked to make sure this was the buck we?d been looking to cull before I made the shot. After I finalized my decision with the help of my camera, I had to stand up and turn around in the stand to make the shot. It wasn?t going to be the best body position to be in for a good shot, but I was able to as I used the back rest to steady my rifle as I placed my crosshairs right in his kitchen. I made the shot at 7:34 and he dropped right on the corn pile. After I got down and made it over to the deer I can tell you that this deer was one of the biggest cow horns I have ever seen! I usually do not shoot small racked bucks but this was interesting because of how big he was and how his horns didn't show that! The deer turned out to be around a four year old buck according to the processor.

That afternoon I went to a climber that I placed on another logging road about 800 yards away from the stand I hunted in that morning. I didn?t see any deer that evening but I did experience something awesome that I have never experienced in deer season. I had about 25-30 hens walk under my stand in a uniform line calling to each other! It was amazing to watch how they act out of turkey season and how much the call. I couldn?t believe what was happening, but I just sat there and watched it all take place beneath me. It was a pretty neat thing to experience and see.

So far in my life, I?ve always hunted with guns. This past Sunday afternoon I attempted my first bow hunt. I ended up perched on a wooden platform about 25 Feet up in the air on the edge of some hard woods. After a little while of sitting I had a small doe walk out. Having never killed a deer with a bow I was going to shoot a doe if it walked out, but once again my camera helped me! I zoomed in on the small deer and noticed that it had little bumps on his head and I knew it was a ?Button Buck?. I thought to myself in three to four years he could be a nice shooter. So I practiced restraint, and didn?t hit the release and let the arrow fly. It was a very close encounter with this deer. He was so close to the stand that I could hear the corn as he mashed it with his teeth. Crunch! Crunch! Even though it was a small deer, that hunt has to been one of the best experiences in my book.

Being so close to the deer and he not even knowing I was there was really neat. Again, I think one of the reasons for that is the McKenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag. I put my hunting clothes and gear in it for 2 hours before every hunt and it is really working. I even put my gloves and face-mask in it just to be safe. I know that my scent control must be on point if I want to be close to my game and without this bag I may have been winded by this deer. This deer had no clue I was in the woods because I smelled like strong pine and because of this close encounter I got to experience a great first bow hunt.



All in all, it was a great weekend of hunting. I hope to have many more to come.




The Hunter vs. The Killer
   WeHuntSC.com - The Hunter vs. The Killer
  The Hunter vs. The Killer

A while back someone on twitter saw a link to our site and checked it out.  Their response tweet was that they liked the design of the site and that it fired them up and made them "want to go kill something?"  Obviously this individual doesn''t have a clear understanding of what hunting is all about as his words were a window into his personal view of hunting ...or should I say his trouble distinguishing the difference between hunting and killing.

I often meet people who are non-hunters and sometimes over the course of conversation we end up talking about hunting.  Inevitably the conversation trends towards the hunting vs. killing debate.  It usually surfaces in the form of "How can you shoot those helpless little creatures?" or "You try to kill Bambi?" This statement is typically a strong indicator that the person asking the question has never hunted.

I'd like to take a look into the hunting vs. killing debate from a hunter's perspective. Let's use a critical lens to analyze and deconstruct the meaning of hunting and also killing. What are the differences between hunting and killing? Where do the differences lie? What are the signs of both a "hunter" and a "killer"? Let's start the investigation by looking at hunters.

A Hunter
Hunters, first and foremost, have totally different motivations, thought processes, and core values than a "killer" does. The fundamental values of a hunter affect the way he/she views the sport. A hunter's beliefs and values prompt actions that are direct indicators that the individual is a true hunter. Over time these fundamental differences are outwardly manifested in the activities in which hunters engage. For this reason, you will find hunters involved in activities in which you will never see "killers" involved. These belief-motivated actions can be noticed both in-season as well as during the off-season.

In the off-season a hunter still enjoys many aspects of hunting. This is because being a hunter doesn't come for a season and then leave, its not seasonal, it's a way of life. Some examples of these off-season activities are those such as "shed" hunting where finding a deer's shed antlers is the goal, or with training any hunting dogs that a hunter may have, doing off-season scouting, competing in target shooting competitions and/or calling competitions, attending trade shows, moving deer stands, building duck blinds, practicing calling techniques, researching, planting and maintaining food plots to help with the health and nutritional diet of the deer, turkeys, ducks or other game in the hunter's area, or even watching hunting TV shows. 

During the season a hunter doesn't merely look to harvest anything that walks through the woods, but rather is selective about the game that he or she does choose to harvest. A hunter won't shoot more meat than he or she needs in his freezer. Hunters also help less fortunate people by donating deer meat to them. It's common to find hunting clubs or deer processors working with local organizations supporting the needy. A hunter takes pride in being able to watch an animal mature over time and is challenged to hold the game in their area. A hunter also has a true appreciation for nature and the patterns found within nature denoting intelligent design from above. Hunters grow to appreciate the stillness of being in the middle of the woods, field, swamps, etc where one can momentarily elude the business and noise of everyday life. Sitting on the ground, in a stand, or in a blind offers one the time and place to ponder the wonders of the universe or anything else that may come to mind. The serenity hunters find out in nature can't be found in too many other locations and gives some hunters a natural high.  This tranquil and peaceful place is where the hunter remains until he/she either encounters the game or the end of the hunt. Sure, a hunter wants to harvest an animal, yet he/she still enjoys the hunt whether an animal was harvested or not. When the game does arrive, whether it is a duck, boar, turkey, deer, etc hunters enjoy the instant rush that comes over us. The instant rush of adrenaline, rather than the kill, is what gets hunters hooked.

A hunter also has the discipline to watch their game for hours and never pull the trigger. When a hunter does pull the trigger, it is a calculated moment that has been in the making for some time rather than being a moment that randomly happens by chance. Harvesting an animal is the culmination of many factors some of which are: off-season scouting, scent control, successful hunting tactics, food plot, land/game management, successful calling, well trained dogs, and yes, an accurate shot. All of these factors coming together at once is not an easy feat to pull off. Therefore, when an animal is harvested it's the intersection of preparation, patience, and nature. 

Hunters usually have hunting partners with whom they go hunting and spend time. Having a hunting partner is a good safety measure, it helps when any work needs to be done, and offers a chance for fellowship while participating in an activity that both individuals enjoy. It's commonplace to find fathers and sons hunting together. You see hunters also care about passing the tradition on to younger hunters.  Because of the burden to share the sport and experiences in the outdoors, hunters strongly support activities which promote and educate hunting to youth.  Fathers also appreciate the opportunity that hunting gives them to spend time with their children.

To see what happens when a non-hunting, father-son, duo goes hunting and realizes the rush of the hunt and the experience that they'd just had together see the below video

Hunters also get involved with organizations that support their sport and focus on the conservation of the sport so that everyone can continue to enjoy the outdoors. Organizations like Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), Ducks Unlimited (DU), National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF), and the National Rifle Association (NRA) are ones that you'll see true hunters get involved with. These organizations bring a wealth of research, information, and synergy to their respective sport of hunting and work for the greater good of the hunting community as a whole. Hunters get involved with these organizations because the core principles and values of the organizations align with the core principles and values of the hunter. 

The last thing I'll mention is that, due to the strong differences between hunters and killers, you'll seldom find hunters associating with killers, the two just don't mesh. Sure they may bump into each other at a processing plant every now and then, but you won't see them together much other than that. The old saying goes "You are what you hang around" and because of this notion, hunters are careful about the company they keep. Take a look at the people around you who hunt and think about who they do and don't hang around to see if it holds true.

We all have different perspectives, but the above is my perception on what makes a hunter and how you can identify and distinguish a hunter from a killer. Since I've elaborated on what I believe comprises a hunter, now let's look at the other side of the fence. Let's look at characteristics that I believe make up a "killer".

A Killer
A "killer" is essentially the opposite of all the characteristics mentioned above that encompass a hunter. In my opinion, killers give hunters a bad reputation. In the same way that you'll see a hunter involved in specific activities and carrying out certain behaviors, you'll see killers not taking part in certain activities and also engaging in contrasting behaviors. Most of the time a killer's behaviors are in stark contrast to those of a hunter.

In contrast to a hunter, a killer does not appreciate the hunt because the hunt is what stands between them and a kill.  Killers don't genuinely appreciate the wait, the silence, and the necessary time in a stand/blind that most hunters love because a killer doesn't really enjoy the peacefulness of nature, but rather is in a hurry to pull the trigger. 

Killers don't respect the land they hunt on or animals they harvest. They don't mind littering or damaging the land they hunt on because the environment and conservation is not of their concern. Killers are also what we like to call "trigger-happy" and will shoot the first deer, turkey, duck etc. that they see. In the deer hunting world killers live by the motto "If it's brown it's down" because they're not concerned with game management or limits. I remember an instance related to this topic that happened when I was a kid that still sticks out to me. 

In the mid 90's we were at one of our locals processing plants and everyone was talking about deer hunting while the guys were cleaning deer. The environment was the normal, upbeat, good-humored, environment that you've probably experienced before at a processing plant. We had been there about 20 minutes when some guys came up and bought in a very young doe. The deer was so small that it looked like it had just got rid of its spots. At the time I didn't really know what was going on because I was so young, but I distinctly remember the old man that was processing the deer's reaction to the situation. The guys drug the small deer up and immediately the whole processing plant went silent. Tension was in the air and it was thick. I vividly remember the awkwardness of the moment. The guy who shot the deer said he wanted some "tender meat" and that did not go over well at all with the processor.  He gave the guy a death-stare and then shook his head in disappointment to let him know that what he had done was wrong. After that the whole place remained quiet until the individuals who brought the deer in left. Being young, I didn't exactly understand what had just taken place, but my dad explained it to me on the way home. In retrospect, I now respect the processor even more because even he didn't want to make money cleaning a deer that was so young because he respected the game and disliked doing business with a killer.

Another sign to look for that denotes a killer is what they do in the off-season.  Killers rarely participate in, and do not enjoy, the off-season work that hunters love because its actual work and it doesn't involve or even come close a kill. Hunters know that working in the off-season can help their game and also keeps the hunter's flame burning year round. Killers on the other hand may do some off-season work, but from what I can tell, they don't seem to be too motivated about it.

After a killer does harvest a deer, they commonly boast about the kill as if it builds social status whether their animal was a trophy animal or not. Of course a hunter may brag about a nice deer, duck, turkey, etc they've harvested, but they won't go to the extent of self-promotion that a killer will.  A true hunter doesn't need any self-promotion and doesn't thrive on his reputation because to a hunter it's not a competition, but to a killer, it is.

Killers aren't interested in taking others hunting because it only lessens their chances of making a kill. Sure everyone hunts by themselves at some point in time, but (if okay with the hunting club and/or land-owner) a hunter is always open to taking another person hunting, especially a kid because a hunter wants to share the enjoyment of the sport. A killer's viewpoint on that matter is the opposite because he/she isn't interested in sharing the sport as much.  

Killers aren't concerned with adhering to the state/county regulations on game and don't mind breaking the rules because they don't respect the game, land, or sport as much as a hunter does. Due to this lack of adherence to rules & regulations killers will do things such as spotlighting deer at night, shooting before legal shooting time, hunting on land that isn't theirs, harvesting more animals than they are legally supposed to, etc. For whatever reason, a killer seems to feel above the law.

In the above paragraphs I've used a critical lens to compare, contrast, and note my view on the characteristics of both the "hunter" and the "killer". Looking deeper into the debate and deconstructing the meaning from a hunter's perspective provides unique insight with which you have the right to agree or disagree.

   WeHuntSC.com - Epistemology Graph
  Epistemology venn diagram courtesy Wikipedia

The term "Epistemology" refers to one's "way of knowing" and really forces one to ask the question "How do I know what I know to be truth?" Knowledge is derived from the merging of what we know to be true (truths) and what we believe (beliefs). This is demonstrated by the graph on the right. 

Given an epistemological viewpoint, one can be more informed about hunters from understanding a hunter's core values and beliefs. One must know the truths about hunters and understand the sport from a hunter's perspective in order to be knowledgeable and informed in the debate. Looking at hunting from the vantage point of a hunter offers valuable insight for non-hunters and those who are critical of hunters.

Determining whether an outdoorsman is a hunter or a killer is a judgment that can only be made on an individual basis. Stereotyping hunters as blood hungry killers is unfair because many times that is simply not the case. I'm not denying that there are some killers out there. I'm just saying that you can't call us all killers until you get to know us and understand us a little. 



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,


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