Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
Just wanted to let you know that if you?re going to be around for the Pee Dee Deer Classic this weekend in Florence, SC then be sure to know that Schofield?s Sporting Goods is also having their annual sale. Schofields is located just down the street from the Pee Dee Deer Classic and they are having some great sales, giving away a Benelli shotgun and some boots, + they?ve got 2-time SC Duck Calling Champion, Blake Hodge on hand to do some calling for the crowd.
Hope to see you at either the Pee Dee Deer Classic or Schofield?s Hardware sometime this weekend!
See the Event Flyer
It?s that time of year again. The sun is hot, the days are long, and the start of hunting season is still a couple of months away. Now is the time that I like to start scouting and finding out where the deer are in my area. In some instances this can be a difficult task, but I do a few things to try to make this task easier.
One of the biggest problems I face is trying to find new stand locations for the fall. I know that some of my favorite spots will produce deer just as they have in previous seasons, but it seems that every time I am in the woods I often wonder what is going on in the next section of woods over from my stand. There are so many good places to hunt that I wish I could sit in all of them at the same time, but obviously that?s not possible! I choose the stand that I think gives me the best chance for action and I hope I make the right decision.
One of the best ways I have found to help with this problem is to scout in the off season and keep scouting into and through deer season. In my opinion, trail cameras are a must for anyone who is serious about killing the big ones. You can set them up in various areas and they help a lot with the questionable spots because you can quickly find out if deer are working that area. This information helps me decide if I should hunt in that area. Game cameras will also help me see exactly where the deer are moving when they change from their summer patterns to their fall patterns.
Another great way to scout deer is to put out some sort of bait in front of your trail cameras. This will give the deer a reason to go in front of your camera. Otherwise you would just have to be lucky to get a deer to walk in front of your camera. One of the best baits to use is corn. Mineral licks and other attractants are sure to work as well but I trust corn the most. In the game zone I live and hunt in corn can be used all the way through hunting season. If you do not have or cannot afford to use trail cameras the next best option for scouting is to get out and see firsthand where the deer are going. I still use this method even when I have the trail cameras up and running because it gets me out of the house and gets me fired up for the upcoming season. I try to be careful not to spook the deer though because it may cause them to change up their patterns if they feel that their old pattern has been compromised.
These are just some of the scouting techniques that I like to use. I hope that they will help you on your next scouting adventure and if you have any questions, want some advice, or have a different way of scouting feel free to comment on this blog. I appreciate any comments and will respond as soon as I can!
For those of us who love to read, there are a few good books that help shape our lives. When I come across a book that I truly love, I am not one to read it once and set it aside. I like the familiarity of a book that I've come back to time and time again over the years. It doesn't matter to me that I know how the book ends, because it's not the destination that matters... it's the journey itself that gives me joy.
There is no book that I've read from cover to cover more than Robert Ruark's classic The Old Man and the Boy. If you're a sportsman and a reader and have not read this book, then you really need to drop everything and go get a copy. The choices that Ruark made in his life were often tragic, and he died far too early, but the glimpses of his early life that he gives us in this book (and, to a lesser degree, in The Old Man's Boy Grows Older) are nothing short of magic. No outdoor writer before or since has come close to giving us the gift that Ruark gave us when he wrote this book. I make sure to read the original book once a year, and I read Grows Older once every two or three years.
I also hold his book Horn of the Hunter in high esteem, since it deals with African safari, which is another passion of mine. In this book, Ruark gives us the details of his first safari in brutal honesty, from the highs to the lows. Though not nearly as good as his Old Man books, Horn gives us a glimpse of the man that Ruark became, and his love for Africa shows through in every page.
When it comes to more modern books, Joe Hutto's Illumination in the Flatwoods provides an absolutely facinating look at the wild turkey. In this book, Hutto comes into possession of a clutch of turkey eggs, which he incubates and hatches, and then joins their "family", walking with them in the woods and even roosting with them on occasion. A must-read for turkey hunters.
For Christian men, I have to recommend the books of John Eldredge; particularly Wild at Heart. Eldredge and his books have literally changed my life, showing me how to live with an understanding of what Christianity really means and what it is to live in what he calls the "larger story." In 2008 I attended Eldredge's "Wild at Heart Boot Camp" in the mountains of Colorado, and although I was sick for most of the weekend, I went away from the conference with a different outlook on my spirituality.
The Preseason - A Chapter from Deer Hunter's Devotional
?The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever.? Psalm 121:7-8
As August arrives, the heart of the Sportsman begins to stir. He knows that fall will not be far behind, and with it comes the opening of the hunting seasons. There is much work to be done before the fields and forests are ready for opening day. Food plots will have been planted and tended throughout the summer, but there are still many other things left to do.
The grass along the sides of logging roads will need to be bush-hogged, and the summer rains may have eroded the roads themselves, cutting deep channels into the soft red clay. Growing trees may have pushed some of the permanent ladder stands out of position, causing them to tilt in uncomfortable directions. Some of the trails will have been blocked by fallen trees, and there is always brush that needs to be trimmed.
With so much physical labor to be accomplished, it's easy to forget that we should do some work in the spiritual world as well. The Lord has given us this incredible wilderness to enjoy, and it's important that we remember to thank Him for it and to offer prayers for a safe and successful year in the deer woods. Mixing prayer and deer hunting ? or even pre-deer hunting activities ? is a wonderful thing, and this year I intend to do more of that than ever before.
I can remember one season a few years back when I went down to my lease in late August. I drove to every stand on the property and prayed over them all, asking that the men who hunted from each one would remain safe, that they would enjoy their time in the woods, and that they would see the hand of God as they spent time in His creation.
Stopping at every single stand that I could find, I asked that the men's thoughts would turn to God as they sat silently in the woods waiting for deer. I asked that each stand be productive and that the men who hunted from them would use wisdom as they saw deer and decided whether or not to make the shot. Though I am telling you about this now, I did the whole thing in secret, praying ?in my closet? as Scripture instructs us to do. I did this not only because it seemed like a good idea, but because I saw it as a way of getting closer to God.
We have thirty or forty permanent stands on our lease, so you can imagine that praying over each one was an all day job. And so it was, but it also gave me the opportunity to get rid of any wasp nests that had been built into the corners of our box blinds, and to mark each stand on my GPS. This year I'm going to pray over my stands again, and as I do that I will take time to notice the direction that each stand is facing and will make a chart that will help me choose which stand to hunt according to which way the wind is blowing on a given day. I see no issue with being productive both spiritually and physically at the same time.
Some of our deer stands are starting to get old, and many of the wooden ladders are weakening. As I visit each stand during the preseason, I'll inspect the ladders for loose nails, hammering them back into place or adding new nails if necessary. Prayers for safety are particularly important at the older stands, and I will be diligent in asking God that no one get hurt in one of them. We haven't had an accident on the lease yet, and I don't want this year to be any different in that respect.
As I finish my day of prayer on the lease, I will stop at the main gate and ask for God's blessing upon the land as a whole. I'll ask that we continue to have access to this beautiful piece of property, and that we would use it in such a way as to glorify Him. I'll ask that He guard our coming and going on the property this year, and that He protect us from harm. There are dangers like rattlesnakes, coyotes and bears on this property, not to mention the occasional trespasser. I'll ask that God protect us in our encounters with any of them.
I'll close by asking that He bless even the animals themselves, growing majestic racks on the bucks and good size and health on the does. I'll ask that the turkeys have a successful breeding season, and that the birds and squirrels are plentiful. I'll even pray for the eagles that have nested in the pines across the road from the lake.
All of this is a way of connecting with both the Lord and the environment. Remembering God in our hunting endeavors draws us closer to Him. Paul instructs us to pray without ceasing, and praying over your stands and your deer woods are a good way to implement this. Walk with God not only in your daily life, but in all of your activities. You?ll be glad that you did.
ACTION POINT: Pray over the stands on your deer lease this year. Pray specifically for safety during your hunts and for a bountiful year. Pray for men to come to Christ as they see His hand at work in the incredible world of the outdoors that surrounds them.
Hey folks, my name is Sean Jeffries, and I'm glad to be a part of WeHuntSC.com! I want to thank Clint for giving me a chance to write for the site, and I'm looking forward to sharing my outdoor experiences with you. In this first entry I'm going to tell you a little bit about myself and what you can expect in my writings.
I'm 44 years old and live in Clover,SC. My wife and I have been married since 1998, and last year we had our first child on the day after Thanksgiving. We named our son Paul after the Apostle, whose writings I have always loved. I'm a computer programmer for a living, and have been with the same company since 1992, although our company name has changed a couple of times over the years due to various mergers and acquisitions.
I've been hunting deer since 1985, but got my start with birds and small game a few years before that first deer hunt. I grew up in a small neighborhood outside of Charlotte in what was then pretty far out in the country. My street bordered the Rea farm, and a few of us neighborhood boys used to sneak out into their fields and woods to shoot at birds with our BB guns. It was obvious from an early age that I was into guns and hunting, so my dad gave me a little H&R 20 gauge shotgun for my 13th birthday.
That gun sat in the closet for close to a year. It was mine, but we only went out and shot it a handful of times. Then, one September afternoon, the phone rang. On the other end was a friend whose back yard sat perpendicular to my own. He was my age, and of all of the kids in the neighborhood, the two of us were the ones that liked hunting more than just about anything else, and we had previously spent a lot of time together in the woods with our BB guns. This young fellow shared a name with a famed Scottish poet: Robert Burns.
When I answered the phone that day, Robert asked me if I wanted to go hunting. "Sure," I answered, "but I don't have any BBs." "No," said Robert. "With shotguns." I paused for a second, excited. "Let me ask my mom," I said.
Mom and I had a conversation which ended with her calling my dad to get his permission for me to go hunting with Robert. Dad gave it, and thus started my first real hunt. Robert and I hunted squirrles that day on a little seven acre tract of land that his father owned. I don't remember whether or not we got anything, but man, I was hooked.
My first deer hunt took place during my Christmas break from college in 1985. Robert and I went to a tract of land in Weddington, NC that he had permission to hunt on. We didn't see any deer that day, but I saw plenty of tracks, and I knew that this was something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I went back to college when the break ended, and Robert went on to start his own business selling tree stands. He's still in that business today, and in addition to my day job as a computer programmer, my passion is writing books about hunting.
In the mid-90s, I started a website called "Sean's Outdoor Almanac". There weren't many websites around in those days, and mine was one of the first personal hunting sites on the net. Over the years it morphed into a site called "Wingshooters.net", and on that site I have documented every one of my hunts going back to the year 2000.
I'm also a Christian, and you'll be hearing a lot about that in this blog. For many years now I've felt like my calling has been to minister to Sportsmen in one way or another. That calling has led me to begin writing a series of books that fall under the title of "Hunting for the Heart of God". The first book, Deer Hunter's Devotional, was published late last year just before my son was born. My two other books are secular in nature, but both deal with hunting.
In 2007, I went on my first safari to Africa. That safari was documented from start to finish in a book called Eight Days in Africa. My other book is a collection of stoies and essays on hunting, and is called Always Take Your Rifle. All three of my books are available in print and on all major eBook platforms. You can also order signed copies directly from my website at the Wingshooters Store.
In addition to the three books that I've already published, I'm currently working on the next two entries in the "Hunting for the Heart of God" series. The first is a novel called The Cabin, which is set in the world of the outdoors and deals with spiritual warfare. The second is another devotional entitled Daily Bread for Deer Hunters. From time to time I'll be posting excerpts from my books here in this blog.
The WeHuntSC.com is crew is happy to announce that published author, outdoor enthusiast, and fellow developer Sean Jeffries is going to be blogging with WeHuntSC.com! Sean is a fellow South Carolinian hunter who has been able to hunt in various places around the world. It?s not that often that you meet someone as diverse as Sean so we?re really looking forward to what he?s going to bring to the blog-o-sphere here on the site.
I won?t ?steal Sean?s thunder? telling you about his experiences, but I?m sure he?ll bring a lot to the site. Sean is a published author with several publications under his belt and if his blog entries are as good as his books then we?ll all be in for a treat! Sean is a man of Christian faith and his faith shows through in his life and manuscripts.
Join me in welcoming Sean to the site
The WeHuntSC.com crew is excited to announce that Evan Peterson will be blogging on WeHuntSC.com! Evan hails out of Blythewood, SC and is very passionate about the outdoors and hunting. Evan is an aspiring outdoor TV show host and is very connected in the industry.
We recently met with Evan and from speaking with him one can feel the energy and motivation he has towards hunting and the outdoors. We look forward to the good hunting stories, experiences, and videos that Evan will bring to the site in the coming hunting seasons. Join us as we welcome Evan to the site and to the blogging crew.