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Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew

Duck Hunting ? A day late and a dollar short

I went duck hunting with Marty Smith & his son Josh Smith this past weekend.  I showed up with only myself and a gun and Marty outfitted me with some waiters (which had a hole in them) and some bullets to shoot.  I was a little unprepared I guess you could say, but I did have both of my stamps!  
Marty?s property backs into a swamp which is a creek that is dammed up by some beavers.  It?s been there forever and I used to hunt there with Marty a lot when I was in middle school and high school.  Since college and going back and forth to Europe I hadn?t been able to go in a while, but now I?m back in the game so to speak. 

I arrived to the shed a little early and took some pictures of Marty?s duck hunting home base.  You scan see them below.  It?s an old shed that is just what you would imagine it is and is just right for duck hunting.  I like the feel of that shed...maybe because it throws me back to days when I was kid going hunting with the older guys or maybe because of the antique feel to it.  I've heard many stories told in this shed as we would get ready to go hunting and then talk about how we missed ducks after the hunts.  I assure you that no exaggerations have ever been made in this shed before!

Soon Marty and Josh arrived and we got our gear on and headed down to the swamp.  We got out there before daylight and crossed a few dams.  We had to get out a time or two and pull the boat over and then get back in.  Eventually we paddled up into some cattails and wedged the boat in there real tight.  He?s got some old burlap type of material in the boat that we use camouflage by draping it all over the boat.   We also bent the cattails over the edges of the boat too.  This really helped blend us into the swamp environment which is necessary because ducks eyes are so sharp that it?s critical to be well camouflaged.  

The day before Marty and Josh had shot a mallard, a wood duck, and a teal.  I was hopeful that we would get some similar, good action, but in the end there were only 2 ? 4 ducks that flew in that we could see, but yet they were too far away to get a good shot.  So I think I?m the ultimate jinx or something.  Maybe they'll be better luck next time.

Even though we didn?t get a good shot on a duck, it felt good to be out there in the swamp and to see some ducks fly again.  I?m sure in time we?ll have a blog entry with some ducks on it.  There is just something that is unique about being out their watching steam come off the water and hearing the distant call of a wood duck or a mallard.  It?s a different feel for hunting than you get in a deer stand.  One of those different feelings is the feeling of a wet sock when your waiters have a hole in them!  Having a wet feet in a swamp doesn?t help you stay warm!  Oh the joy, but it was a good experience and a good change of pace from sitting in a tree!

Anyway, I did shoot 2 videos that are up on our YouTube Channel and I have embedded them below. 

360 View of our duck blind setup

Marty Smith calling in some mallards


Some pics from the morning




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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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Rain and the Cold and another Story Told

This weekend turned out to be a pretty good weekend of hunting.  I didn't see a lot of deer, but I did have an interesting encounter.

Saturday morning I decided to get in the stand right across the road from my house.  Let me take a second to describe the location and setup of this stand.  The stand is a lock-on that is 16 feet high, but on the edge of a little ridge.  The road to my house is literally about 60 yards behind the stand.  I can watch the cars go by while in the stand.  If that wasn't enough, my uncle's house is maybe 80 yards to the back right of the stand.  So as I watch cars go by, I can also watch what's going on at my uncle's house.  Before leaving to go get in my stand, I chained my dog up (more on her in a moment).  I got in the stand right at 6 a.m.  Not long after getting in the stand, I thought I heard some deer blowing at me off in the distance.  I thought to myself, "There is no way these deer are winding me".  The only way I hunt in that stand is if there is a Northern wind, which means the wind is blowing in my face toward the road.  Around 6:30 a.m. I hear deer blowing, only this time they are not far in front of me down the ridge.  I thought my hunt was over, which sucked because I expected the rut was on.  After hearing the deer blow a few times, I remembered something I read in a book called 101 Deer Hunting Tips:  Practical Advice from a Master Hunter (Peter Fiduccia).  In the book, Peter talks about what to do if a deer starts blowing at you.  He says you can blow back at the deer.  If I knew where my book was I would quote the actual sequence.  The gist is that you let the deer blow twice and you blow back once, something to that effect.  I blew back at the deer after it blew several times.  I traded a few more blows and the deer finally quit.  Shortly after, I heard a deer grunting and caught a glimpse of a deer moving through and opening in front of me.  I peered through the binoculars and could see horns on the deer's head, but couldn't tell how big it was because it was standing broadside.  While maintaining visual of the deer with the binoculars, I reached in my pocket, pulled out a primos estruous can, and let out at few bleats.  The buck did nothing.  I tried the grunt call, still nothing.  He just stood there broadside and eventually walked behind some trees and I thought he had left the scene.  Soon as he disappeared behind the trees I saw a doe cross the opening.  Right after she left, the buck crossed on her trail trotting and grunting.  That was the coolest thing I have ever seen.  As much as I have hunted, I had never seen a buck chasing a doe and grunting.  Unfortunately, that was my only encounter with deer for the rest of the morning.  When I got out of the stand, I quietly went and grabbed my camera that was down by the little ridge.  I check my camera and found that my dog, Daisy, has been going down to my corn pile pretty much on a daily basis.  On top of the corn, I poured a couple of bags of Buck Grub and apparently Daisy likes it as much as the deer.  However, her visits to the corn pile didn't deter the deer from visiting it as well.  I got a lot of pictures of yearling bucks with does coming out between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., which is a positive sign for hunting the middle of the day.  I only had one picture of a decent size buck, but it was taken at night time.  Let me take a minute to say that even though I only had one picture of a bigger buck at night, it doesn't mean he wasn't out there with the other deer during the middle of the day.  It just means that the bigger buck didn't happen to walk by the camera. 

Saturday evening, I went and sat in the stand overlooking the 2 acre food plot of Biologic.  I had a deer wind me right before stepping out into the plot and ran off.  That was the only deer for the evening.  That night, I met up with Clint and Will to do some brainstorming.  While we chatted, Clint and I drank us a Wild Life Energy Drink.  I thought it tasted good and it definitely gives you some energy.  I think I drank it around 9 p.m. and couldn't get wound down until close to 1 a.m.

Sunday was just a wash, literally.  I sat in the rain and cold all evening and didn't see anything.  My mom and dad think I'm crazy for sitting out in the rain like that, but you can't see the deer if you ain't out there.  So it doesn't matter what kind of weather it is, I'm going to be in the stand!  Even though I didn't see but two deer, I had a blast hunting.  Anytime I can spend out in the woods is a blessing to me, deer or no deer.  I hope to get a lot of hunting done between this coming Thursday and Sunday.  Hopefully my next blog will be me telling you about the monster buck I killed, but we'll see.  One can only hope.  I did get my camera back out and I still have my other camera out that I haven't checked.  Maybe I will have some pictures I think are worth sharing next time.

Happy Thanksgiving,



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Where are my fellow Duck Hunters

Somewhere out there around the state there are some duck hunters getting prepared for this weekend!  Yeah that?s right, you all know who you are.  Make sure your waiters aren?t leaking and the reeds in your duck calls aren?t broken because the clock is ticking!

While I?m no pro at duck hunting, I do enjoy getting out in a swamp and watching the ducks fly in.  There?s just something neat about it, just like there is something neat about watching deer come through the woods? you just have to have more licenses/stamps to hunt them legally, thus incurring more expenses!

It has been a while since I?ve gone duck hunting, but I?m excited to get back out there.  When I was growing up we would go duck hunting in the morning before school.  There were days when we would go hunting with our English teacher and at 6:45 we were chasing ducks for him and then at 8:45 we were taking his tests!  It was quite the contrast and Justin Brooks and I have been known to get a truck ?stuck? in a swamp and show up late to school.  Those were the good ole? days though. 

So if you are a duck hunter, then speak it up on the site, message board, & post your images to the ?Post Your Visuals? page.  I/we are interested to see what you?ve got going on and any bands that you collect.  We are also thinking about having a duck calling competition on the site.  If you think that is a good idea, let us know.  If you are the ?Duck Commander? of South Carolina then prove it to us. 

This coming weekend I will be guided by the self-proclaimed legendary duck hunter Marty Smith along with his son Josh.  Marty has informed me that we may even get into some geese.  Hopefully we?ll get some decent images to show you.  We shall see and my future blog posts will tell the truth of what goes on!



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Bucks Chasing Does, Rain, & Sponsorships

This past weekend was a good weekend to be in the woods.  A cold front with some rain came through, a lot of the leaves are off the trees, and the bucks were out chasing does in our neck of the woods.  I don?t know about everyone else, but cold weather, good visibility, a little rain, and the rut gets me excited to hunt!    

Friday I was able to get a climbing stand out on the ridge top that I?ve frequently written about on this blog.  Saturday morning I trekked it up to the ridge and got in the climber (and yes I fell on the way up the hill).  It was a good cold and crisp morning and I had left earlier than normal in order to drive the truck out, unload the 4-wheeler, drive to the section of the woods where I park, get off, trek up the ridge, then climb up a tree in the climber.  This whole process took me about 25 minutes.  I left earlier to factor in time for all of these necessary routines.  Though, reading what I just typed does sound like a good bit of work, but it didn?t seem like it to me.  I guess that?s because I was excited at all the sign that I?ve seen on the specific ridge. 

By nature, I?m not a climbing stand kind of hunter.  Those things make me nervous and I?m never going to get really high up in a tree.  However, I think climbing the tree in the morning darkness kind of impaired my awareness of how high up the tree I was.  When it started getting light, I started realizing how high I was and then started not to like it too much!  I just don?t see how some of you guys can climb 25 feet up a tree and enjoy it.  I wish I could do that, but I?m just flat out too chicken to do it.  Anyway, I?m up a tree in a climbing stand big enough to hold a fatty like myself and about 20 minutes after daylight I heard some movement coming down the ridge across the way.  I saw brown heading down and in about 10 minutes a doe and her 2 fawns (the spots were gone) came strolling through.  The doe wasn?t big enough to satisfy me and by satisfy me I mean that I don?t want to drag a doe through that stiff terrain back to the 4-wheeler unless it?s a good one.  If I?m going to pull the trigger in there, it?s got to be a good one.  Yes, I?ve got some lazy tendencies   Also, I?m not a big fan of pulling the trigger on a doe when she?s still got fawns with her.

She walked around for a few minutes when she saw me hanging off the side of the tree.  She stared and stomped and stomped.  It was funny.  She knew I wasn?t supposed to be there, but she couldn?t exactly figure it out.  It was almost like she was doing the ?Cha Cha Slide? because she would stomp with her right foot, then stomp with her left foot.  She also did the same repeated head-up/head-down movement seeing if I was going to move.   Here again I wasn?t going to shoot, but I was going to try to get some video of them.  I watched the fawns for a while when the mama was stomping just to see how they react to that.  They definitely knew it meant something was wrong because they locked down and were frozen until about 2 minutes later when the mama bounded off waving her white flag at me.  They followed her out so I was not able to get any video of them.  When she got behind me the fawns were off to my side and I think she saw me move to turn the camera on.

I was texting Adam and Will inquiring as to whether they were seeing deer or not and Adam had some action going on at his place.  So with us in two different cities and the Solunar Forecast saying it was a good day to hunt, we definitely felt like the deer were moving.  Over the course of the morning hunt I heard several gun shots in the surrounding area.  The more and more I pay attention to it, the more I think there is a little something to the Solunar Calendar.  The only exception that I think it may have is if there is a storm or some weather that comes in that would alter a deer?s natural instinct to move on a certain day/time.  Thus, the Solunar Calendar can?t predict the weather and the deer?s reaction to the weather, but more so will give you times when they would move given normal conditions.  Though, this may be obvious to you.

An hour and a half later I hear more movement across the ridge again.  I looked over and all I saw was a lot of deer legs moving down the ridge.  4 ? 5 good sized does where in a group heading down the hill.  They went down and I was hoping they would come up on the side where I was, but in the end they exited out another side.  About 5 minutes later is when something happened that I?ve always wanted to see/hear happen in the woods.  I heard more movement on the ridge again.  This time there was a small buck coming through with his head down and he was grunting as he ran.  I?d never heard one grunt out in the woods before and so it was neat to hear and see.  He was definitely trailing the does and he went down the same path they did and exited without me seeing him as well.   So Saturday morning was a good one to experience and I got to see a lot of deer.  Still no shot, but I enjoyed just being out there and seeing all that happen in nature.  I?ll remember that morning for some time to come.

Saturday evening I went hunting near my house and overlooked another valley, but this time I sat on the ground at the base of an oak tree.  I went in early because it was a really nice looking day to be out in the woods.  I sat in there for 3 hours and didn?t see a thing except a lot of squirrels, but I did enjoy being out there again.  The stillness and quiet of the woods gives me time to ponder things?but I still don?t have them figured out yet so I?ll just continue to ponder.  On the way out I tripped over another log and fell again.  That made 2 falls in 2 days.  Talk about a goof troop!  The previous morning fall was a just fall because of the steepness of the hill and slickness of the leaves.  Though, this fall was unwarranted.  I think I had too many layers of pants on which prevented how high I could get my leg up.  My brain calculated that I could make it, but the actual cankle didn?t make it over.  Fall #2.  Fail.

Saturday evening Adam and I went and visited Evans Deer Processing (it?s in Pageland) to check it out.  Todd has a nice place down there so if you are looking for a processor in Pageland around the state line, consider Evan?s Deer Processing.  After this visit we went over to Wilbur?s house to get some Thermacells & Wildlife Energy Drinks.  Why am I writing about this to you?because you should know that Thermacell & Wildlife Energy Drink are sponsoring every competition on the site & they sent us their products which will be given to the competition winners.  So we have branded the competitions on the site with their logos & noted that the winner now gets more prizes!  It?s getting better all the time! 

Sunday morning my dad and I went hunting in a different section of the hunting land.  On the way in we saw some new scrapes and here again we sat for 2 hours and didn?t see anything.  I think the temperature dropped throughout the morning because it seemed way colder when we left than it didn?t when we arrived.  Though, this could simply be my interpretation or misinterpretation because I was warm when I arrived and maybe it took me that long to get cold again, but I do know that it was cold when we left.

Sunday afternoon I went back behind the house again and sat down at the base of a different tree.  I was in some very thick woods this time.  I had seen some good fresh rubs and wanted to just check them out one time.  I always like sitting in a different part of the woods every now and then to get different scenery.   The change in scenery can come back to get you though if you try to walk out in the night!  It?s easy to get turned around, but if you have an IPhone, the GPS feature can really come in handy  There was a light drizzle going on during the second part of the day and I thought it would be a good day to hunt!  I sat there for a long time and didn?t see anything.  Then right when it was getting dark I had a small doe slip through the edge on me.  I only saw her for two steps and with a flicker of her tail she was gone. The darkness came and I headed out and went to the house.  To top off the weekend hunts, when I pulled out into the road to head home there were 2 deer standing in the field in complete darkness in the pouring rain.  Go figure!

Overall the weekend was a good one.  I saw a lot of deer, had some good relaxing time in the woods, and we secured some sponsors for the competitions.  Oh and the Eagles won again against Strom Thurmond so now it?s back to our 4th round foe Abbeville who we seem to always meet deep in the playoffs.  Man this post got long on me.




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Weekend Recap



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Well first of all, I would like to apologize for my tardiness. It?s the middle of the week and I?m just now writing my weekend recap. I have been traveling a lot for work and haven?t been around a computer. The rain helped me stay in the office today, so let?s make good use with our time.

This past weekend was just bad all around. I didn?t get a chance to put my trail cameras out so I didn?t have any pictures to share on the site, nor did I gain any knowledge of what was roaming in the woods I hunt. And this weather, man it is terrible. Where is the cold weather? I hate when you get in the stand in the morning and it?s like 40°, but by mid-morning it?s 75°. Not only am I sweating profusely because I have too many clothes on, now I have freaking mosquitoes attacking me like crazy.

Saturday morning I got into the stand about 40 minutes before daylight. This particular stand is with-in walking distance of my house, so it doesn?t take me long to get there. However, since it is within walking distance I have to chain my dog or she will be right behind me. I get situated in the stand and within a few minutes I can hear the deer moving around me. I?m thinking, "Man this is going to be a good morning. The wind is right in my face and the deer are up and moving. This is perfect!" Wrong. Shortly after daybreak, the wind started swirling. One minute it?s blowing in my face and the next it?s blowing on my back toward the bedding area. Luckily, I had brought a Tink?s Doe Estrous bomb. So I dispersed it to hopefully mask my scent and attract any curious bucks. About 30 minutes after the bomb had finished dispersing, I decided to do a sequence of calling. Not even five minutes after calling I heard something coming from my right down the deer trail. As I was turning to get in position, I caught a flash of brown. Now my heart is pumping!! All I could do was imagine how big this buck was going to be. It was the size of my dog because it was my dog. Here came Daisy with her nose in the air, winding the doe estrous that I had recently put out. She didn't stay long, so I figured something could still happen during the rest of the morning. Oh no. Daisy ended up coming back down several more times. My hunt was shot.

For the afternoon hunt, I decided to try something a little different. The stand I chose to hunt overlooks a two acre plot of a mixture of Biologic products. I placed a decoy in the edge of the food plot right in front of me. I lit a Rut Smoking Stick by Tink's and placed it upwind of the decoy. That way, any human scent left on the decoy would be masked by the scent from the smoking stick. I was in the stand less than 30 minutes when I caught something coming out of the woods right beside my stand. It was a bobcat. I went from hunting deer to bobcats within a matter of seconds. One bobcat down, but no deer. Since I shot the bobcat so early, I decided I would sit the rest of the evening out. Who knows, anything can happen! It was getting pretty dark and I was getting ready to leave, but I decided to scan the field one last time with the binoculalrs. I spotted what I thought was a deer walking away from me on the left edge of the plot. So while I was watching the deer in the binoculars, I was reaching for my grunt call. Before I could reach the call, I realized the deer was actually walking toward me. Not only that, it was a Nice Buck!!! Now my heart is pumping for the right reason, not because of my lovely dog. The buck spotted the decoy and I thought he was going to head straight to it. So I dropped the binoculars to grab my gun. When I looked up, I couldn't find the buck! He walked into the high grass and I don't know if he laid down or what, but I had no clue where he went. Now it is getting dark and it's time to get out of the stand, but I DO NOT want to show my presence to this buck. He would never come back if he saw me getting out the stand. So I sat until pitch black, then I called my Dad to come drive his truck into the hayfield adjacent to the plot. That way the buck would be spooked away by his truck, not me. I don't know if that was the smartest thing to do, but I guess will find out.

Sunday morning I went back to the same stand as Saturday morning. No luck. I didn't even hear anything moving. The evening wasn't any better. I went back to the 2 acre food plot stand and guess what I saw, another freaking dog! So as you can see, I had some bad luck all around this past weekend. On the bright side, I did see a nice buck. So I know they are out there, just need a little luck. I did get my trail cameras out this weekend, so hopefully I'll have some good pics for you guys soon. I don't know if I will get to check it this weekend because I'm headed to Charleston to see my wonderful girlfriend.

Let's move on to college football. If the Tigers can take care of the Cavaliers this weekend, they will face the Yellow Jackets in the ACC championship. Unfortunately, my Gamecocks let another one slip away. See I'm what you would call a hybrid. I grew up a die hard Gamecocks fan, but decided to go to college at Clemson because of the engineering. Now I pull for both teams. So who will I pull for Saturday November 28th, them Gamecocks! I got to give quick shout outs to Sadat Chambers and Justice Cunningham representing them Eagles.

Good Luck Hunting, Be Safe, and God Bless,



Seeing deer, scouting land, & waiting for the right one

This past weekend was pretty exciting in the woods.  The deer were definitely moving and the bucks are marking their ground with every corner I turn. More and more leaves keep falling increasing visibility in the woods which is a good thing!  Though, still not many deer are going to the corn in the places where we?ve got it out.  Acorns still seem to be the food of choice?or at least that?s my perception.  The recent rains made crossing the creek more fun and made for some wet areas in the woods.  I guess the make 4-wheel-drive for a reason though!  (As the truck sits at the house with mud all down the back)

On the way in Saturday morning we saw a really neat scene.  As we were crossing the small creek in the truck, there was a big owl just sitting perched up on a branch that overhangs the creek.  I stopped the truck and we looked at him for a little bit.  He stared us down and then when we moved again he flew off.   It was a neat start to the hunting trip.  When I arrived to the stand it was early and still really dark.   I sat in complete darkness for longer than usual before it got light.  There was a lot of movement going on behind me which I thought to be deer, but given the complete darkness, I wasn?t sure what to make of it.  Not knowing what is behind you or its proximity to you can work on your nerves a little bit.  Sure enough, about 10 minutes later I heard a blow and what sounded like about 3 deer to take off running the leaves.  This all happened before daylight. 

For the next 2.5 hours I merely watched leaves fall on top of the corn that I have out and watched about 7 squirrels go wild in the woods.  I think the squirrels are in rut right now...lol! It was warm out there as well.  I even got bit by a mosquito at one point.  On the way out we noticed several scrapes as we could obviously see better because of the sunlight.  The bucks were and are working the area.
We went back in the woods during mid-day to look at some different areas.  This particular plot of land has a little bit of everything on it, corn fields, soy bean fields, creeks, ponds, flat lands, and some very steep hillsides.  It?s a very unique area to have all of those features in such a relatively small stretch of land.  So we scouted out some new areas of woods and I walked along a ridge and was interested in the other side.  I almost fell several times as I worked my way down the hill, jumped a creek, immediately back up the other side of the hill on a steep incline, then jumped a barbed wire fence, and finally got up to the other side of the hill.  Also, I saw something neat on the barbwire fence.  I saw an acorn that had fallen and gotten hung on a barb in the fence.  I imagine the chances of this happening are very low.  So, I took some pics of it.  Check it out.
The big rub on the hill  
After I regained my breath (cause the trekking up and down the small valley got me tired) I walked around the crest of the hill.  There are pines and cedars on top of the hill.  It?s a pretty scene as you stand at the top of the hill because to your right, left, & in front of you is nothing but a steep drop off down to where two creeks connect below.  The journey there is so rugged that you have to really want to be at that spot.  Anyway, as I walked up the hill I noticed a huge scrap in front of a cedar tree on a flat spot on top of the hill.  It was a fresh scrape, as in that morning fresh.  I also saw a huge rub on a tree.  As I walked around I found more rubs on smaller trees.  I felt like I was on an island out in the middle of the woods that not many people had been to, but there was obviously a buck in the area.   Since I saw so much positive and fresh sign in there, I decided to come back to that spot later that afternoon and just sit down on the ground to see what I could see.
When I returned I made the journey again only this time carrying all my stuff with me.  Since I had seen a lot of scrapes on the hilltop, I decided to spray my boots down with some doe estress scent.  I put some ?hunter?s cologne? on both of my boots right when I got off the 4-wheeler.  That doe estress is one of the best smelling scents to have ever come across my nose and I can see why buck are attracted to it.  Yeah right, man that stuff stinks 
Down the hill, cross the creek, up the hill, cross the fence and I finally found a decent spot on the ground.  I sat down overlooking the steep hillside to the right.  I leaned on a pine tree and watched more leaves fall as these hills are covered in trees.  I sat for some time and heard random sounds in the leaves that were similar to what squirrels make.  It was only ever so often though.  Since it was so steep I couldn?t see what was directly below me, but had a better vantage point for the hilltop and the opposite hillside on the other side of the creek.  After a while I noticed a flicker of white to my right.  Since I was sitting on the ground my visibility was limited.  There was also a cedar tree that had fallen over right beside me so the green of it gave me cover, but also constrained my vision.  At first I thought it was the flicker of a squirrel?s tail.  It was about 15 yards away.  A few more flickers and then a small doe popped her head up and looked straight at me.  She repeatedly moved her head up and down up and down trying to fake me out and see if I?d move.  I just held still though.  The doe finally got confident and walked in front of me.  I could have hit it with a pine cone!  It strutted very cautiously in front of me.  She knew something was wrong, but since I didn?t move she couldn?t figure it out.  Me smelling like estress probably messed her up too.  I heard every step she took as she went down the hillside.  I even heard her slip and fall down the hill.  It sounded like she took a decent fall before she regained her balance and got back up.  Eventually the sounds of her steps indicated that she went on down the valley towards the creek and the echoes of her steps faded into the woods.
  The fresh scrape I saw on the hill
About 20 minutes later, it was getting close to being dark.  I saw a movement across the creek on the other hillside.  I was scanning the woods on this side of the creek when I saw a movement of brown out of the corner of my eye.  I turned and focused in more with my eyes and I saw a big body across the way.  Just the size of his body got my heart beating.  He took two steps and was back under some cover and I couldn?t find him in the scope.  I believe this was the big guy who has been rubbing on the trees and is responsible for some of those scrapes.  As I was scanning the other hillside with the scope, I heard a stick pop behind me.  I turned and looked and another doe was 5 yards behind me crossing the top of the hill.  It was like deer were all around me, but I couldn?t do anything about it.  This doe was too small as well + the fact that I?m not pulling the trigger on anything in there unless it?s worth it.  Dragging a deer up down these hills will be a workout if I ever have to do it.  So I?m being selective out on the remote ridge.  
Soon enough it was dark and I headed on out.  I fell once coming down the hill just like the deer did, but at least I didn?t fall into the creek.  Again the Coast Head light made it easy to see in the woods and so I eventually made it out safely.  I will have a stand up in there before long and hopefully I?ll see big boy again and be able to get him in the scope.  
I?ve always heard that big deer hold in thick places that are hard to get to.  Maybe that is the case.  We shall see in due time!

And the Eagles won again? on to the 3rd round and Strom Thurmond for the second year in a row.


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The Cold Snap

This past weekend we were in the woods a lot.  We hunted, scouted some new land, and moved two stands.  The Solunar calendar forecasted this weekend to ?Average?, but I think the fact that we?ve had a few days of cold weather made this weekend better than ?Average?. 

Friday morning I was in the woods before daylight and the moon was so bright that the trees were actually casting shadows in the forest.  It was neat to see.  It was crisp and cold out.  The weather was perfect.   I didn?t see any deer, but I did see some squirrels and a wood pecker.  That woodpecker had the brightest red head I?ve seen.  Our corn is still sitting out there not being eaten too much at this point.  There are still tons of acorns out and about for the deer to munch on.  About 3:30 on Friday afternoon I went walking in another section of woods that we hunt on and I found 2 good rubs.  I bent down to take a picture of the first rub when I heard a loud blowing sound.  I looked up and all I saw was white!  There was a deer about 50 yards from me up the hills in the woods.  I couldn?t see if it was a buck or a doe, but I do know that it was big enough to be shot!  I couldn?t believe that a deer was out there walking around at this time of the day?but then again maybe it was bedded down and I jumped it.  With two rubs, multiple scraps, and seeing a deer at 3:30 in the afternoon, all signs pointed to this being a good location.

  The rub I saw on that big tree

Saturday morning I was back in the woods at a different stand in some thick woods on another ridge between pines and oaks.  About 30 minutes after daylight I had a small bodied deer come ?sprint-jogging? through the woods.  He wasn?t burning through there, but he wasn?t just trotting either.  He had his nose down and was on a mission as if he was going somewhere.  I believe he was trailing a doe and he didn?t care who knew it.  I heard him from way out as he didn?t have his mind on being stealth or quiet.  He passed through the woods very loudly crackling leaves as he went by.  He came by about 40 yards out from me and never raised his head.  He stopped for a split second behind a tree and then kept on trucking.  I only got to see him for a few seconds, but he was so small I wouldn?t have shot him ( or better said? shot at him) if I could have.  Though, it was good to see some action in the woods.  I grunted a few times later on with no luck or response from other deer in the area.

Then we all met up and started working in the woods.  We took 2 stands and 2 corn feeders down and moved them to new locations.  We always say that we don?t do enough of this kind of stuff?scouting out areas and putting stands in new positions that is.  I think it?s true too!  We ought to work harder and be more persistent with it, but we just get busy with other things in life and let it slide.  So as we were putting the second stand out we walked through the woods in an area that has some steep hills.  This was back near the area where I jumped the deer on Friday.  Though this time we walked and scouted a whole lot more area than I initially had on Friday.  We crossed a creek and went up to another side of the hill when we found a nice rub on a large tree.  No small buck did this.  I took a picture of it and we continued scouting.  We?ve got a stand not too far from that area so we are still trying to figure out what to do with that area of the woods. 

Saturday afternoon we went back out in the woods on a totally different track of land where we frequently see coyotes and foxes.  We had 3 people and we didn?t see anything.  We did see a huge track in the sand as we walked in though.  It was a bit warmer on Saturday afternoon.  When it got dark we went to leave and we stopped by the game-cam to see what had been going on by the climbing stand.  The climbing stand is positioned in some planted pines and there are two huge scrapes right beside it.  After taking the card out of the game-cam, we now know what is making those scraps.  This buck or (bucks) is working this scrap line.  Will thinks that these are two different bucks, but I think the images are of the same buck.  What do you think?  So thanks to Bushnell, we know that there are some quality deer working the area.

A close up shot of the image

Sunday afternoon I was back in Pageland on a different stand.  I sat there and heard acorn after acorn fall to the ground and the squirrels were having a field day.  Right as the sunlight started fading, I saw a flicker of white up the hill from me about 60 yards out.  It was a deer, but I couldn?t tell if it was a buck or a doe due to the dense forest between us.  I have a ?gun-cam? strapped to my gun and the first thing I did was to turn it on.  The lens is strapped to the barrel of the gun and the actual recording unit is inside of my pocket.  That deer stood in one spot on the hill for about 10 minutes before it moved.  It was moving its head up and down, up and down, up and down.  I think it was rubbing on a little tree over there.  Finally, the deer started heading into the clearing where I was.  This deer had a dark coat on him in comparison to the ones I had seen previously this year.  It was a small 4-point buck.  I knew I wasn?t going to shoot him, but hoped for at least some good video footage to put on the site.  So I put my gun up and followed him through the woods.  He walked 5 yards behind our pile of corn and didn?t even give it a thought.  He went out of one thicket, through the clearing, into another thicket and he was gone.  I filmed him for 4 minutes and 15 seconds.  When I got home I looked at the footage and he was too far out for the gun-cam to get a clear shot of him.  I?m going to zoom in some more on that camera and hope for a better video shoot next time. 

So that was the weekend in a nutshell?oh and we did win our 1st round playoff game against Mid-Carolina.  All in all I think the cold weather has the bucks out and about more now than in the past.  Hopefully we can catch that big one out during the day time at some point.




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A lot of time in the woods but no meat in the freezer!

It seems I?ve been hunting a lot so far this year, but don?t have anything to show for it.  Missing a doe, letting small does & fawns walk, and letting a few young bucks stroll through makes for exciting times in the woods, but doesn?t help my freezer out.  Can anybody else feel my pain?  

I think there is a time in every deer hunting season when I feel like the quality/larger deer are smarter than I am (or maybe it?s just me).  We get good images of deer on the game cam at all hours of the day and night.  I come home from football games and see them eating in the yard, looking in my mail-box, and along the roadside.  They are out and about all around the clock except for when I?m hunting.  Hopefully the rut will get them out at some different hours of the day soon enough.  
Also, this year there seems to be a never-ending supply of acorns.  Are any of you noticing the same thing?  We?ve got corn out, but the deer are not hitting it too hard right now because they are eating all the acorns.  Hopefully the supply of acorns will lessen as the season goes on and it gets a little colder.  
We?ve also had some neat new images posted to the site so be sure to check them out.  If you have any ideas or suggestions for the site or want a WeHuntSC.com sticker, just let us know and we?ll try to accommodate your wishes.


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