Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
I recently went hunting with one of our duck bloggers, Gavin Jackson, and when we were hunting I noticed something unique on his gun. Gavin had a put a very small vinyl WeHuntSC.com decal on the barrel of his gun! Creativity. Of course I liked the innovation and took some pics of his setup.
Pic of Gavin?s gun
Turns out that Gavin had Josh Johnson of J-Graphix to create this for him. Josh works with us a lot on graphics and can also help you out if you would like some vinyl WeHuntSC.com decals for your gun barrel too!
Below is a quick video of the images of the decals on Gavin?s Gun
If you would like to put some of these on your gun, just contact Josh Johnson and he can assist you!
The 7 day Waterfowl season is not going as I planned, but I have definitely learned my lesson. This past Saturday, as most of you know, was the opening day for ducks here in South Carolina. Nick and I were excited to get out on the water and try to harvest a few ducks, but due to poor planning and time management, our season hasn?t gone as planned. We don?t like to hunt rivers too often due to the crowds there, so as part of our strategy for duck season Nick and I get on Google Earth and scan the Francis Marion government woods for locations where ducks would reside such as swamps, ponds, etc. When we find a location that looks good we mark the coordinates and punch them in our hand held GPS, ride out to the area, and check it out. Before the season started we executed this plan and marked some spots we wanted to check out. Due to poor time management by Nick and me, we only got around to 3 of the 7 spots we marked down. The days got closer to the season and eventually opening day arrived and we still hadn?t checked out all our previously identified spots. So we grabbed our guns and headed out to one of the spots on Saturday afternoon. (Saturday morning I was unable to hunt because I went to my girlfriend?s North/South game) Well to make things better there wasn?t any water in the swamp we selected to hunt. We had just wasted a trip so we left to visit a spot we knew had water, but a lot of people hunted it and we roosted some ducks. The next morning we went back to the same location, and again, poor scouting got us. The birds were flying all around us but not where we had set up. We didnt kill any birds that morning either. Though, the next morning I went back and set up were we had seen the birds coming out of the roost the day before. On this hunt we finally killed some birds! We ended up with 2 Drakes and a hen.
Throughout all of this we still had fun chasing ducks around in the swamps. One thing I did learn is to get all my scouting in before the season is in!!! We still might not kill any, but at least we know where the birds are lol.
If anyone is into filming there hunts you need to take a look at Deer Ridge Innovations Camera Mount. It simply attaches to your shotgun, rifle, or bow and you can film anything you shoot at. In the clip below I used it in my duck hunts, and it worked very well! I?m pleased with the purchase and suggest it to anyone trying to self-film. I self-film my deer hunts with a portable camera arm, but this Mount is going to be much easier for me to setup and use in my future hunts. I?m sure y?all will see more videos from me while I use the Deer Ridge Camera Mount.
Deer Hunts This Past Weekend
Trail Camera Bucks This Past Weekend
We are excited to announce that we are hosting the first annual WeHuntSC.com predator competition! South Carolina?s first predator competition is made possible due to some great sponsor donations and enthusiasm from some local predator hunters. We continue to push to accommodate all hunters and species and this is another step in that direction.
The winner of the predator competition will receive some great prizes from our sponsors:
In the first year of this competition we are only going to have 1 winner who will take home all prizes, but in future years we are working to have first, second, third, and ?big dog? winners. In short, as we grow we will continue to expand the prize levels.
Since there is no exact season for hunting coyotes, this competition is structured somewhat differently than our other competitions. This competition will take place over one weekend and will culminate in a ?check-in? at the Sportsman?s Warehouse in Columbia, SC. The competition will not require any posting of pictures to the web site. Hunters can hunt in teams of 3 or less and the winner will be chosen based on a scoring system where coyotes, bobcats, and foxes bring in different amounts of points. See the competition rules & regulations for more info.
Also, YOU MUST SIGN UP BEFORE THE COMPETITION STARTS TO BE ELIGIBL E TO PARTICIPATE! So be sure to register your team! If you have any questions regarding participating or sponsoring this competition, please contact Chip Humphries at [email protected].
We hope to see you at the check-in!
A while back I told Daryl Hodge of Wrecking Crew Guide Service that if he ever had an open spot on a trip that I?d love to go with them and get some video of one of their hunts. Well, Daryl contacted me and said he had room so I told him that I still wanted to go. Daryl said that he would let me know what time I needed to meet them sometime on Friday. We were on the way to play Strom Thurmond and Daryl texted me and said that I needed to meet them at 4am Saturday morning. As I was on the bus I started doing some figuring and it didn?t look good for the amount of sleep that I would be getting Friday night. The Eagles won again and we ended up getting home at 2am in the morning. Since I had to drive a little ways to meet Daryl and the rest of the Wrecking Crew I had to get up at 3:15. I set my clock and took an hour nap and then got up and hit the road. Needless to say I was struggling, but I was still kind of pumped from the game so I was able to make it, plus it was opening day so I had to soldier up.
We were obviously in some kind of a valley and there were creeks at the bottom with some flooded areas as well. We had 6 people in the bottom and we got there in plenty of time so that we wouldn?t be rushed. I didn?t have any waders so I stayed on the side of the creek closest to the trucks and the rest of the crew crossed the small creek and set up on a small island. They scattered out to cover more ground and we had about 80 yards worth of swamp covered with shooters. We hoped to keep the ducks on their toes from both ends of the creek! There were trees everywhere and it was pretty thick. It wasn?t like the open scenario over water that you might anticipate, but rather was more like hard woods with creeks running through the bottom.
Before it was daylight we could hear them coming in already. I tried and tried to get some footage of them coming through, but I?m not quick enough and the lighting was too low to get birds on camera. Blake did some calling and the birds periodically came in around us. You could even hear the wood ducks splashing the water when they landed in various parts of the creeks. The sound of them landing was louder than I imagined it would be, but I think it was because of the angle they had to take to get to the water since the trees made them come from a more vertical angle.
Every couple of minutes I heard a ?BOOM? coming from one end or the other. Where I was setup gave me the closet view of Blake. I kept trying to get him on film, but he kept hiding behind trees and made it tough on me! Though, I was able to get a few shots of him throughout the morning. And yes, as you would imagine, Blake did the calling for the team throughout the morning! I guess it doesn?t hurt to have a world champion duck caller in the swamp with you.
After a while of shooting the action slowed down and it was time to go find some birds. In total, Daryl said that they shot 7, but we were only able to find 4. Sometimes it?s just tough to find those birds and I mean we searched high and low! I think one of them went under water and grabbed a root. After the birds were all rounded up it was picture time. Daryl, Blake, Robbie & his daughter posed for some pics in the swamp and then we headed back out. Daryl and Blake had to be down at Schofields in Florence for a show that morning so we didn?t have time to stay in and wait on any mallards.
It was a good trip and a great opening day in the swamp. I was dragging by the time I made it home, but I?d do it again if I could! So a big thanks to Daryl Hodge and the Wrecking Crew for letting me get in the swamp with them.
Below is a video collage of the trip
The below blog is a guest entry by J.D. Bonnette
The wind was slightly blowing in various directions, the rut was in full swing, and daylight was burning fast. I had just gotten permission the day before to take my brother-in-law, Jamie, to a new honey hole. Jamie and I have been hunting a lot this year and he was determined to take a deer with his rifle. He had taken deer while dog hunting with a shotgun, but never with a rifle. We had a big buck run some does by us a week or so prior to this hunt. Also, the Saturday prior to this, Jamie shot at a big doe while dog hunting and missed. All of that was enough to make him lose some sleep for a few days.
I picked him up at 3 that afternoon and we were on our way. Got to the stand about 3:30 and spread some doe urine around to spice up the place a bit. The setting had us sitting in cleared pines with head high dog fennel all over with a small food plot with corn scattered about 40 yards from the stand. 15 minutes into the hunt the wind stopped completely?you could hear a pin drop a mile away. For the next hour and a half nothing except birds moved in the area. The sun soon dropped behind the trees at 5:15 and that?s when the pace picked up a bit. We started to hear shuffling and the occasional stick breaking. Finally, I saw a tail flicker in the tall brush. We had already agreed that Jamie would shoot a mature doe or a decent buck. We sat there for a little while, but nothing popped out. I started to wonder if the flicker was a bird or some other little critter. My initial instinct was right?it was a deer. It started coming towards the corn through the dog fennel and I could tell it was past mature doe/small buck size. Jamie got the .243 up on the rail and aimed. The deer popped out just past a small pine and looked straight at us. CLICK!!! I almost passed out when I realized that he still had the safety switch on the little single shot rifle on safe! I reached out and flipped it over, popped the hammer back again and??BOOM! The deer turned and bolted for cover. ?Were you on him?? I said. ?Right behind the shoulder, I know I hit him good.? Jamie replied. ?You better have hit him good, I don?t feel like trailing one all night!? I said with a slap on his shoulder.
We climbed down and commenced the fun part of deer hunting, trailing blood. I was certain the deer hadn?t run far after finding a good splatter of blood right where he shot him. Good blood here, little here, good blood there. You never realize how tough deer really are until you trail one for 70 yards pouring blood from a double-lung shot. While we?re looking for this deer, Jamie loses a boot sole. Now he?s got one boot and one moccasin on his feet and I got a good laugh at his expense. Shortly thereafter I found him! A nice 5 point buck weighing about 120 pounds! It might as well have been a 10 point that weighed 250 pounds for all I cared. I was happy as a pig in slop! This was the 7th hunt we had been on and finally success! On the way out, we stopped by the landowner?s house to show him the deer. He told us that Jamie could hunt that stand for the rest of the year if he wanted. The land-owner quoted ?Hunt it like it?s yours.? So guess where we are going to be every chance we get now?!?!
Many of you are probably wondering why two grown men shooting a young buck is such an awesome event, so allow me to explain. Jamie ?Stickman? Cornwell was an up and coming horse trainer and jockey for almost 10 years. He had won a few big races in Maryland and was becoming known as a very persistent and tough horse jockey. He was traveling up and down the East coast and ?Stickman? was well on his way to becoming a very successful jockey. Jamie was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in March of 2009. Tumors were found in his lungs at the same time and there was no possibility for surgery. He has undergone chemotherapy for a little over a year now and there have been no decreases in the size of the tumors. There are other treatment options that are going to be put in place now to try and fight off the cancer. God will take Jamie when he is ready for him, until then, he?s gonna be dropping the hammer a couple more times! It?s sharing hunts like these that make it that much more special.
The first day of season has finally arrived and man was I pumped! We?ve had two great mornings of feathers flyin? and shells slingin?. We?ve seen many ducks and fired many shots. The first season always starts a little slower, but as the temperature drops the ducks will continue to fly south to our great state.
Just to tell you a little about our first few mornings, our first morning, we decided to hunt a little beaver hole that we planted Japanese millet in a couple of months ago. We hadn?t taken the time to go to watch them fly in yet, but we knew they were there. (That being said, please scout every duck hole you plan to hunt before you hunt it.) We got in the water right at shooting time and got set up on the dam. Last year, it was one of our most successful shooting spots. This year, the ducks were flying from a different direction. Oops! We learned our lesson. We watched about twenty or so ducks fly in, but all we could do was watch. We could never get a shot on them. It was still a great hunt. We killed a few woodies, but next time we will be more prepared.
The second morning we decided to go to what we call the ?Big Beaver Swamp?. We had a quite a hike, so we got an early start. Unfortunately, when we finally got to the blind, we realized the beavers had been over working themselves and the water level was higher than we expected. We treaded on through and the water got closer and closer to the top of my waders. I decided to hunt from the beaver dam which was a bad choice to make. My buddy, Richard, decided to tough it out in the tree blind. It was finally ?shooting time? and I couldn?t see a thing or shoot in a safe direction. I decided just to call the ducks in and let Richard do all the shooting.
The first pair of ducks that flew in were green wing teals and he dropped them like a sack of hot taters. I was impressed so I just continued to call and let Richard continue to shoot, since he had the safest shot. We watched a bunch of mallards circle us, but they never committed to flying in toward us. Finally, some more woodies and teals came in on him and he let the ol? Remington sound off again. He shed a few feathers but no duck. He redeemed himself after that by knocking down a pair of drake woodies. I was thoroughly enjoying myself but pretty upset that I didn?t get to help him out. We broke the dam a little to get the water level down. Next time, I will be getting in to help him out. Hopefully, it will continue to be a good week of duck hunting and early morning breakfasts with friends. I can?t wait to see how it turns out.
So get out your Winn Tuck lanyards and get your LCC calls in tune, and go out and have some fun. Be safe. Be prepared. And don?t forget to enter the Waterfowl Competition!
What if the deer would've come out 10 yards further down the plot? What if I would've just had my gun already propped on the shooting rail? What if the deer would've kept walking toward the decoy? What if my gun barrel didn't get caught in the burlap? These were the questions running through my mind moments after blowing a perfect chance to harvest a nice 9 pt. Let's rewind?
This past weekend, I had the privilege to sit in the deer stand a few times. Saturday morning didn't offer any luck even though I felt like I was in the perfect setup. I called Clint to see if he wanted to film me hunting over the Tecomate Seed Food Plot on the power line Saturday afternoon. We decided were going to setup a buck decoy and use a rut smoking stick by Tink's. I placed the decoy and smoke stick about 60 yards down the plot. About halfway between the decoy and the stand, there was a fresh scrape on the edge of the food plot. The wind was blowing in our face at an angle, which was good considering the deer should be coming out in front of us. The deer we have been seeing have been coming out close to the scrape or at the very bottom of the plot. It was around 3:30 pm when we finally got situated in the tower stand. Clint and I were whispering what we hoped would happen and just texting people on our phones, trying to kill time until the ?golden hour? arrived.
Since there hasn?t been much rain, the squirrels were making a ridiculous amount of noise in the leaves to our left and right. Around 4:40 pm, the sporadic scampering from the squirrels had ceased and a rhythmic pattern of steps started resonating from the hardwoods to our right. I instantly looked at Clint and said ?That?s a deer!? Adrenaline suddenly rushed through my body and heightened my senses. I could hear every twig snap and every leaf crackle as the deer approached. He was walking right towards our stand! As the deer approached the food plot, he was so close that we couldn?t even see him. At this point, Clint and I were so excited that we literally felt like puking. Finally, Clint saw some antlers moving below us. Since I was in the right corner of the stand, I didn?t see the deer until he was a step away from entering the food plot. First thing I spotted was antlers. So I started taping Clint on the leg for him to let me know if it was a shooter. Clint gave me a thumbs up!!! It was game time! The deer was so close we had to be extremely quiet in our movements. I gently sat my binoculars on the floor and started to get my gun raised. By this time, the deer had spotted the decoy and had taken a few steps toward it. Perfect! I was thinking the deer was going to head straight for the decoy and Clint was going to capture the magic. The deer suddenly got spooked. He paused, turning his ears in every direction trying to pick up the slightest noise. I was frozen! I still hadn?t gotten my gun raised. The deer started walking toward the woods instead of the decoy. It?s was now or never! I quietly, but frantically tried to get my gun positioned on the shooting rail. The deer was just a few steps from disappearing into the woods when my gun barrel got tangled in the burlap on the top railing. As I untangled the barrel and clicked the safety off, the deer darted for the woods. BANG!!! ?Did you get him!?!? Clint whispers. My heart sank. I just had the greatest opportunity to take a nice buck and failed. I?m pretty sure in my rushed state of mind; I shot over the deer?s back at 15yds! We sat until dark and then got down to make sure I didn?t hit the deer. We didn?t find any sign of the deer being hit. This was the greatest hunt, with the worst outcome, in my life.
The image of the buck spotting the decoy & getting all stiff-legged
Even though I missed the deer, I had to show my family this awesome hunt. So when I got home, I played the footage for my dad, mom, sisters, and brother-in-law. As soon as the buck came into the screen, my sister was like I can?t believe you missed that nice buck. Great! Here we go, time for the clowning to commence. Then my dad chimes in, ?That deer about licked your barrel!? Now I?m trying to defend myself by describing what is happening behind the camera. My dad said he was going to get in that same stand in the morning. I said that was cool because I could just film him. He said that I wouldn?t have to worry about that deer again if he came out on him because he would ?put him to sleep?. So Sunday morning we headed back out to the tower stand. After getting in the stand, my dad couldn?t be still. His back was bothering him and he was on a bucket seat that didn?t have any back support. He kept squirming around and occasionally stood up. By this point I thought there was no way we are going to see a deer. So I just started playing on my phone and started texting people. Suddenly dad whispered ?Don?t move! A doe just stepped out.? By the time I get the camera turned on and zoomed down the plot, two more does stepped out. None of these does where on high alert like a buck was with them, so I immediately tell dad to pick one out and shoot. Before he can put the binoculars down and grab his gun, there were six does in the food plot. Three of these does are at least 120 lbs. Dad got his gun on the shooting rail and we pick out which doe he is going to shoot. ?Ready?? he whispered. BANG!!! ?Haha? I chuckled. The deer bounded off. Dad asks ?Did I hit her?? Then you hear me kind of laugh and say ?I don?t know?. I started picking on him because that is the first deer I?ve ever seen or heard of my dad missing. For some reason, he placed the cross hairs on top of the does back and shot over the top of her. I was like why would you do that, she was only 140 yards out. Then I realized that was the first deer my dad had ever attempted to shoot with a rifle. We decided to get down and check for blood just to make sure. As I waited for my turn to climb down the stand, I glanced back down the food plot and another deer had just walked out after all the commotion. I started whispering to dad to hand me the gun, but obviously he didn?t hear me. By the time he finally handed me the gun, the deer had run off. Now it was time for dad to get clowned by the family. Luckily for him, it was only mom there. So all he got was, ?I can?t believe ya?ll missed those deer.?
Even though pops and I were 0 for 2, those were two of the best hunts I?ve experienced in my life. I have to give special thanks to Mckenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag, Atsko Scent Elimination Products, True Timber Camo and Tecomate Seed. Without the Mckenzie Scent Fan Duffle Bag and Atsko?s Scent elimination products, I don?t think Clint and I would?ve ever been able to get that close to the 9 pt. To be in a stand that is about 12 feet high and get within 5 yards of a buck like that speaks volumes for these two products. True Timber has great camo patterns for our area and the material is quiet. I will be purchasing more from them soon! Tecomate Seed just keeps bringing these deer in. We haven?t hunted that stand much, but now we have seen 3 or 4 bucks on it and a lot of does. So I highly recommend you guys try these products.
Below is the video of my first hunt
Below is the video of my dad?s hunt
These are 2 hunts I'll never forget!
As you know we?ve been videoing many of our hunts this year. This is my first year attempting to hunt and video at the same time and it?s a lot to manage at once if you have a deer come out on you, but it?s very fun! The reward is worth it if you can pull it all off. I?ve yet to scare a deer away by bumping the camera or making noise while trying to video, but I think it?s inevitable. At some point?I?m going to spook a deer by moving around too much trying to video, but I?ll keep taking my chances with it though because it?s fun to watch and talk about with friends after the hunt.
Probably like most hunters, we have a couple different stands in the woods?some are box stands, some tower stands, some climbers, some ladder stands, etc. (I try not to get in lock-ons because I?m scared of them and heights) With a couple of different stands it seems like we should be getting some good footage from different viewpoints. Though, I got to thinking about that and noticed a trend in my hunts. I am most frequently going hunting in the stands that I can film from easily. Sure this may make for good footage, but what about the other stands that are in good locations, but are just difficult to film from? I have been opting not to hunt in them and electing to hunt in the more spacious stands because I can fit my tripod in them. Well this will no longer be a problem!
Last week I went to Lowes with my wife and her parents and while the ladies looked at paint my father-in-law and I walked around the store looking to devise a way or find a product that would allow me to mount my camera to the stand. Since my tripod will let me take out the center piece of it and turn it into a monopod (just one rod extending from the camera instead of 3) I had some room to get creative. Essentially I needed something to get this small pole attached to the railing around my stand, but it needed to be quiet, small, not get in my way when hunting, easy to carry in, and strong enough to hold the weight of the camera. After we walked a few circles around the store we finally found just the thing we needed.
We were in the hardware section and picked up some different types of clamps and looked at them. It turned out that Irwin made a product that was the perfect fit! I ended up getting a two-pack Irwin Quick Grip Bar Clamp and I?m glad that I did. Of course we had to test it out in the store first to make sure it would work, so we grabbed a flag pole and clamped it to a bracket on the metal of one of the isles in the store to simulate our task and ?voila? we were in business. Since the grips have rubber padding on them they are very quiet and you only have to squeeze the grip to make it tighten up so the whole process is very stealth. The grip is small and fits in my bag easily, is very lightweight, and can hold way more pounds of weight than my camera weighs. I was excited about it in the store, but still wanted to ?field-test? it and make sure that it would work. Oh and from the guy in the hardware section?s reaction to my explanation of what we were trying to do?I think we may have been one of the few who?ve ever bought clamps in hopes of using them to video deer hunts!
The next morning I went into a stand that I haven?t hunt out of much and took my new ?camera-arm? setup and was eager to try it out. I sat down in the stand and within 5 minutes I had my camera mounted on the railing around my stand and had done so quietly and the camera had full swivel and tilt. What I did wrong on my first trip in was that I clamped it down to where the slider was on the inside of my stand. This lessened the space I had to move my gun around a little bit, but I got it right on the second trip in and have been pleased with setup ever since!
Every time I go hunting someone usually asks ?Did you see anything? and I?m sure the same probably happens to you. Videoing your hunts allows you to them what you saw instead of trying to describe it to them in words. You may be thinking about trying it?and if so, I encourage you to give it a shot. This is my first year filming and we?ve been having a lot of fun with it. If you decide to try to film, there are a lot of decisions that you have to factor into videoing a hunt and one of them is the ?camera-arm? situation. If you can?t take a tripod to all of your stands then you?ll have to think about it at some point. Unless you only hunt out of lock-ons (that don?t have railing going around them, then I suggest you spend $15 at Lowes and give a clamp a try. It is cheap, gets the job done, and will save you from spending more than you should on a camera arm.
A quick view of the set from my I-phone
The next day I gave Adam the other clamp from my two-pack and he?s already used it once and is going to be able to film more of his hunts now!
Now I?m glad that my in-laws wanted to go look at paint after all :-)
Lowe?s ? Let?s Build Something Together
The first day of duck season is just around the corner. There are many emotions that come along with the few weeks prior to opening day.
Excitement and anticipation are on the top of the list. There always seems to be that feeling of ?unfinished business? as this day approaches also. I have spent the last few weeks preparing for the second best day of the year. (The first being my anniversary, of course.) I have been planting the swamps and building the blinds, but there is still that feeling in the back of my mind that I?m not quite ready. But ready or not, the season is almost here- and I can?t wait. Time for me and the ducks to have a little fun!
From the scouting time I have spent in the swamps, I hope the birds continue to fly like they have been. If so, we will be wading into a good season. I hope to have some great stories to tell after next week. Hopefully all our hard work will pay off. I want to give a special thank you shout out to all the eager beavers who have kept our swamps full- you have helped make this season possible and keep up the good work.
Grab your waders, decoys, calls and guns and be ready to rock and roll. Read the rules and abide by them. Be safe and have fun. Don?t forget to enter the Waterfowl Competition. There are lots of cool prizes to win!