Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
As I posted earlier this year, the right to bear arms has been a popular issue in our nation?s capital. Today the case of McDonald vs. Chicago was held in the Supreme Court and the outcome was a big win for gun owners.
As I mentioned in the previous post, anything having to do with guns and legislation, the NRA would be all over. The same is true with this court case as well. The executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre has a good post on the NRA home page about the ruling. He says it a whole lot better than I can so I?ve posted his remarks on it below.
The following is being re-posted from the NRA?s web site and are the words of Wayne LaPierre
The Pee Dee Deer Classic is an annual event that is put on by the guys at Moree?s Hunting Preserve in Society Hill, SC. The Pee Dee Deer Classic is South Carolina?s largest deer hunting expo with tons of exhibitors, displays, merchandise, and information. This is the 17th year of the event that brings deer hunters from across the state together. Though, this event is not only for SC deer hunters, but for deer hunters everywhere. So all you NC hunters that look at the site feel free to come on down. It?s just a hop skip and jump down 95 right to Florence.
Event details Name: Pee Dee Deer Classic Host: Moree?s Sportsman?s Preserve Event Website: http://www.moreespreserve.com/deer_classic.html Admission at door: - Adults $8.00 - Children 7 ? 12 $3.00 - Children 6 and under ? FREE Location: Florence Civic Center, Florence SC Create directions to the Florence Civic from your location Parking: - Free Event Layout: If you?re interested in you can view the booth layout. From the looks of the diagram it looks like there is going to be a bow tournament of some kind outside.
Some of the WeHuntSC.com crew will be attending the event and, as we did with the Sportsmen?s Classic, we will give a post-game-review blog entry of the Pee Deer Classic here on the site. So if you can?t attend we?ll try to give you a glimpse of what it?s like on the inside.
Technology, dynamic applications, mobile devices, and the web are crawling into many aspects of our lives. We have been, and still are, observing the intersection of technology and hunting. Hunters are broaching the technical realm and are incorporating technology into the ways we hunt a little more every day. The modern hunter realizes that technology can be beneficial if he/she is open to it.
Technology is used in different aspects of hunting, for example, the game camera. The latest game cameras are GPS enabled and some can even post pictures to an online database that can be accessed and controlled remotely. My dad used to be critical of my openness to technology and make comments like "It's just another one of those gadgets that you like to mess with". Though, a couple of weekends ago he went with me to put a game camera up and is eager to see what pictures come from it! This is just one example of the integration of technology and hunting and I'm sure you can easily think of a few.
Mobile devices. Mobile devices and smart phones are really changing the way we do things and in some ways changing our culture. Let me give you an example of how a mobile device was beneficial to me out in the field last season. Last year I was hunting in a new location and had a deer walk in on me right at dark. I had to sit in the woods a long time before the deer passed by so as to not spook him away and give away my location. Since I was hunting in a relatively new location, and it was dark, I got disoriented as I tried to find my way out. Right as I began to switch into panic mode I remembered that my mobile device had a GPS application in it. So, I turned my I-Phone on and used the GPS/map feature to find my way out. I was glad that I had my phone and that specific application with me on that occasion! Though, there are also a lot of other useful apps for hunters on mobile devices such as GPS-Lite, the compass app, and Primos even has an app that makes all kind of game calls such as the sounds of turkey, deer, ducks, and many others.
Hunters also use the web to communicate, share information, learn, and to compete in competitions on WeHuntSC.com! With the increasing acceptance of HTML 5 and the popularity of YouTube (and video in general) the amount of hunting video, blogs, and outdoor driven applications on the web and mobile devices will continue growing. The advancement in tools for creating dynamic apps combined with the emerging technology oriented outdoorsmen paves the way for more applications that will show up in the future of hunting in various forms. Location based technologies also offers beneficial functionality for society and eventually it will be incorporated and accepted by hunters. While hunters of the past did not have technology available, it's just a matter of time before every hunter is using some sort of technology or application to give them a better edge hunting.
If this were not true, you wouldn't be on the internet, on a hunting site, and reading this blog!
I usually leave the blogging to the other guys and spend most of my time putting the competitions together, but last weekend I had an experience that I wanted to share with everyone. I went on our annual deep sea fishing trip in North Carolina with some friends and my father. This is the 14th year that we have gone with the same group of guys and we had a blast. It?s a ?guy?s weekend? that we look forward to every year and this year would continue the trend. We all work in the building material business so it is also a day where no one can get a hold of us by phone. This, of course, doesn?t happen much more these days.
We left out of the docks on the Tuna Fever with Capt. Billy Maxwell at about 5am. After a 2 hour run we put the lines out and said some prayers. It only took 10 minutes before we had 3 tight lines with polls bending over. I jumped up and hooked up in the side chair. Billy yelled out ?Amber Jacks? and, as you can see in the video below, they were nice size.
After getting three amber jacks in the boat it was off for more trolling for fish. It was almost an hour later when 3 rods bent over again. I didn?t get the opportunity to hop in one of the chairs this time, but Big Ed (my father) just happened to already be in one. Billy yelled out ?I think we got some Tuna? and those where the word that I wanted to hear. I don?t know about you, but Tuna is the #1 fish on my hit list. I love to eat it cooked, raw, and on sushi. As you can see on the next video they were nice size. I can?t remember all the details, but I Big Ed wanted to take a nap after bringing this tuna into the boat. It wore him out.
After about 1 ½ hr of trolling Capt. Billy asked if we wanted to take a hr ride to a spot he thought would be great for Dolphin. At this point we were ready for a change of pace so we said ?LET?S RIDE?. Oddly enough, there was big patch of grass just floating in the water. We started trolling beside it and we could see the dolphin under the grass just waiting on something to swim by. Too bad what swam by next had a big hook in it! We started catching fish about 5 minutes after we arrived. It was so fast and heavy I didn?t have time to get any video. We limited out (60 fish) within 15 minutes. I have included the last video below of our catch lying out on the dock. As you can see, we had a good day.
If anyone of you are interested in taking a trip like this I would like to recommend the Tuna Fever with Capt. Billy Maxwell http://www.tunafever.com. Billy is all about catching the most fish and having the best time while on the water. Like I said before we have gone 14 straight years now and we keep coming back to Billy. Give him a call; you?ll be glad you did.
This past weekend I was down on the Santee all weekend long and man was it hot! I think the sun may hang a little closer to the earth down there because I sure did get burned. Also, I think there are some different kinds of bugs down at Santee that we don?t have around Pageland. Have you ever seen anything unique at Santee?
While I was down there I spent some time talking with the guys in the bait shop at Randolph?s landing about cat fishing, hunting, but mostly about alligator hunting. I have no idea about hunting alligators so I had a lot of questions and they sure did give me some good information and they also told me some good stories. From what I can tell, it sounded like fighting an alligator can be a tough, long battle. It also sounded like you better know what you?re doing before you go.
The crew in the bait shop started telling me about the regulations and process a person must go through just to be able to hunt alligators. Some of the guy?s couldn?t agree about the exact process so I looked it up on SCDNR?s web site. It turns out that there is a detailed process to it and there are several guidelines to follow. In retrospect, I think the complexity of the rules may have been the reason for their disagreements (or maybe it was just because people are used to hearing lies in a bait shop), but they were all close.
From DNR?s web site you can see that DNR divides the state up into 5 different ?units? with only 4 of the units having a gator season. The units with gator season are the areas of South Carolina that are coastal or near large lakes. SCDNR only issues 1,000 tags leaving each unit with 250 gator tags and those tags must be applied for. The application fee is $10 and if you get selected there is a $100 alligator hunting permit so to alligator hunt you need to have your mind and billfold right! Gator season runs for one month. It starts on the 2nd Saturday in September and goes til the 2nd Saturday in October. If you?d like to know more or see the rest of the guidelines for alligator hunting in SC, you can find information at SCNR?s site.
The "units" that SCDNR has in place for gator hunting
Back to the bait shop?the guys told me the story of last year?s biggest gator. Randolph?s landing is located right beside the dam. Just behind the dam is an area called the ?bar pits? where they say gators are frequently found. The crew in the bait shop said that last year a guy caught a huge gator that was about 14 feet long. They said that the man who caught the gator was fishing with his wife and was in a large john boat. They said he had to fight the gator for some 4 hours to get the gator to shore. They couldn?t remember the weight of the gator, but they said it was really heavy. I wish I could have seen that one. I bet it was a sight to see and to think of fighting something for 4 hours?he must have been tired.
On a side note, they said that there is a correlation with the distance (in inches) between an alligator?s eyes and the length of the gator. For example, if there are 4 inches between the gator?s eyes, then the gator is 4-feet long, if there are 10 inches between the eyes equals a 10 foot gator, etc, etc. I thought that was a neat trick to know, but it may be common to you!
The weekend at Randolph?s was a good one and was hot! If you?re a gator hunter and you get some tags be sure to check out the bar pits and be sure to take a pic of whatever you get and post it to the site. We may be down there again during gator season so if you?re planning a trip, let us know? we might come and film it.
Also, the guys at the landing were nice enough to let me leave some stickers in the bait shop just in case you?re in the Santee area and would like some WeHuntSC.com stickers.
As you know from reading our blog entries, we are putting food plots in at a few different locations with one of those locations being a ?remote food plot?. The location is deemed as ?remote? because it?s in a location that a tractor can?t access?i.e. back deep in the woods. This specific food plot is placed in some planted pines that have recently been ?5th rowed?, that is the lumber guys have removed some rows of the pines and they are now thinned out. To prepare the ground we used Tuffline?s GroundHog MAX and then we came back in and planted some Tecomate Seed Lab Lab Plus.
Since planting the seed, we came back and put out some Milorganite to keep the deer off the food plots for a few weeks while the food plot products grow. We also put out some ?exclusion fences? last week. We?ve had some rain and now the plants are starting to grow as you can see from the images in this blog.
Now that the plants are getting good root systems established and are starting to grow, we went back in and put down some ?Triple-17? fertilizer. We wanted to wait to put the fertilizer down until the plants started to grow, but we didn?t want to let them get too tall before we went back in so as to not damage them. Most of the plants were just a few inches off the ground so we didn?t hurt them. The 17-17-17 fertilizer is made up of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, and Potassium which will all help the plants grow even more. It?s kind of like getting some supplements from GNC and taking them for weight lifting in hopes of getting the best results.
There is rain forecasted for the upcoming week, so I?ll be excited to see how the plants continue to grow with the fertilizer now on the ground. Also, I?ve got a game camera out over the plot now, but there are still no animals walking through. Though, keep in mind that this is the intended scenario. The reason we used Milorganite was to temporarily keep them out so the plants will have time to establish. In the coming weeks the Milorganite will start to wear off and hopefully some deer will start to come through.
Today I finally got the chance to ride up to our hunting club and check out my food plots. I have not been able to check on them since we put the seed in the ground so I was eager to see if any growth had taken place. When I arrived to the area of my food plots I was surprised to see how well the products had grown over the past 3 weeks! The rain sure has been a big help. This particular area is about 2 acres in size and we had previously disked it up and planted some seed. We also built corn feeders and placed them in our food plots. Nothing wrong with giving them options!
As a web developer and a hunter I find myself taking on two contrasting identities and, often times, bouncing back and forth between the two. When I?m with my co-workers I?m the ?web guy? with a country accent and when I?m with my hunting buddies I?m ?the guy who spends too much time up in city working on computers?(which is not really workin)?! You may be just like me, the guy who makes the commute to work in the city and returns back south chasing deer, turkeys, and anything that will bite a hook on the weekends. If you are, then you'll be able to empathize with my sentiments that follow. Accordingly, no matter on which end I find myself, I end up receiving a hard time from both my fellow hunters and co-workers. Though, I?ve come to appreciate both sides (and the hard time that they give me).
To help me illustrate what I?m describing a little, let me tell you a story about one of my friends from the city. I frequently find myself talking people from Charlotte into coming down to Pageland and ?letting their hair down?. (My dad says I ought to work on the Pageland Chamber of Commerce). I have a friend who is a New Yorker that now lives in Charlotte and I talked him into coming down to the country for a day. I took him fishing and we spent a few hours on the pond and really didn?t catch much. Towards the end of the trip I asked him what he thought about fishing. His response kind of caught me off guard. I expected him to be critical of my guiding abilities and to talk smack to me. Instead he replied saying that he really enjoyed fishing. I thought he was being sarcastic and I asked him why and he responded ?Do you hear the birds? and I said ?yes?. Then he noted to me that he never hears the birds where he lives in the city. He went on saying how he didn?t know of any pond that he could go fishing in that was close to Charlotte. He commented on how he really enjoyed the peacefulness of just floating on a pond simply because it wasn?t something he gets to do often and that it was relaxing to him.
Earlier that same day I had taken him out to a shooting range and it was his first time shooting a rifle, shotgun, and pistol. He actually hit the bull?s-eye on his first shot with the rifle, but it did bloody up his brow a little. He was even able to hit some skeet as well. He did go home with a nasty bruise on his shoulder too. Thinking he would talk junk to me about his shooting experience, I asked him how he felt about shooting and he responded that he really enjoyed it as well. He spoke of shooting the rifle and the immense moment of silence right before he pulled the trigger. He talked about the power and intensity that is packed into those few seconds of silence and yet how he didn?t even hear the gun go off. Yes, he learned and had a new appreciation. He thanked me for bringing him to shoot and for allowing him to get a new perspective on guns. He even took the target with the hole in the bulls-eye back to his house to show off!
From my friends responses it appeared that the moments he experienced "out of his element" were invaluable to him and helped him gain perspective. I believe this is the case because lessons learned when you find yourself seemingly out of your element and somewhat vulnerable offer the most room to grow. The things that hunters find commonplace were new learning experiences and good memories for my friend. He was open to coming down and, as any country boy would do, we tried to get him ?countrified? as much as possible... and it was fine by him. His normal identity is that of a city boy (who at first holds a gun on his shoulder as if it were a surface to air missile launcher). By coming down and living the life of a country boy for a day, he learned and benefitted from real-world experiences that derived knowledge that you can?t get from a book.
My friend found himself in the middle of a day that was outside of his normal environment. As I thought about his experience and how he was so grateful and appreciative, I reflected on my own life and realized that my ?normal? is being caught in between these two environments. Going back and forth between the identities is my "normal" and I?ve learned to appreciate it. I like to, how do they say, ?get in where I fit in? and that?s about all anyone can do. Though, to ?fit-in? in the contrasting environments takes a little vulnerability and openness with the end goal being to learn about the other side and yes, to learn about one?s self.
Not surprisingly, one?s identity is directly linked to what they do and the activities in which they are engaged. I'm engaged in more than one activity which leaves me actualizing multiple identitities. Though, it is only from the perspective of the fragmented identity (i.e. living the experiences of both worlds) that I am able to draw a true appreciation and understanding for both sides. Because I?m not always in the city, I appreciate certain aspects of a city life such as being able to go somewhere where nobody knows me, or the ability to get to almost any type of store relatively quickly, or being able to work with an organization that has a large scale web site who can offer me employment. On the flip side, because I?m not always in the country, I appreciate going to a restaurant and knowing the locals, or the winding country roads that are free of major traffic jams, being able to get out in the woods and work with my hands...and, as my friend said, to hear nature around me. The fragmented identity sharply brings into focus the advantages and disadvantages of both sides, allows me to see if and when the two converge, and in doing so brings on diversity and broader horizons. Had I never spent a good deal of time in the city, I wouldn't appreciate the country...and vice versa.
It's not too bad being a ?webneck?.