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Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew

2011 Deer Season - My Opening Weekend
   WeHuntSC.com - Camera videoing the doe in the soybeans
  A pic of the camera videoing the doe in the soybeans
I was able to go hunting this past weekend for my first hunt(s) of the 2011 deer hunting season.  I?d been itching for deer season to get here for some time and it finally arrived.  The weather has been hot lately, but this weekend a cool front moved in and I was hopeful that the drop in temperature would have the deer up and moving. The day before the hunt it was in the 90?s and it was right at 60 degrees in the stand on my first hunt. I don?t particularly like to be sitting in a stand and sweating the whole time so this new cool weather was very welcomed by me.
I went hunting with Jeremiah Johnson in Chesterfield County.  Jeremiah is always posting big deer to the site and he?s obviously got a knack for spotting the big boys and handling them when they arrive.  If you watch the site for a period of time, sooner or later you?ll see Jeremiah posting pics of some good deer.  I looked forward to our hunt and was just hoping to see anything.
We got up in a tower stand that overlooked a 2-laned food plot that was right beside a cut-over before it got light.  The wind was blowing pretty well and it felt good in the stand. It felt like the fall finally! Jeremiah and I whispered some and he told me where he usually saw deer coming from so that I could keep my eyes peeled and help him spot any movement.  As soon as light started coming through the trees we heard some clucking from behind us. There were turkeys all around us and they were clucking and purring from the roost. As it got a little bit lighter out we could see a turkey in a tree not far from us.  Shortly we saw a turkey fly down beside us, then another, and before we knew it we had 3 turkeys on the ground. One turkey was out in front of us in the food plot picking at soy beans (or bugs on the soybeans) and the other two were walking through the woods to our right. I got some good footage of the turkeys on the roost and in the plot. It made for a neat sunrise, but it was still cloudy and very windy.
We?d been sitting there for a while just surveying the cut-over and food plots when Jeremiah said ?Look, there?s a deer?. A doe got out in the food plot as quick as I could turn my head. I looked back and sure enough a doe was out in the food plot munching on soy beans.  I cut the video camera on and started filming. To our surprise the doe was by herself. I couldn?t believe that this doe stayed out in the food plot for over 45 minutes eating.  She sure must have been hungry and she surely left with a full belly!  
WeHuntSC.com - A closeoup of the doe eating soybeans in the food plot
As this deer browsed the food plot I taped her walking her way through the soy beans.  We had no intention of shooting this doe because Jeremiah was looking for a large buck and this doe was probably too much on the small side to be harvested.  As the doe ate Jeremiah and I whispered about how the doe may have had a fawn, but that the prevalence of coyotes in the area may have gotten the fawn at some point. Obviously one will never know, but usually does are traveling with younger ones at this point of the season. 
This deer stayed out in the food plot for an extremely long time and I was able to get some great video footage.  At one point we had a turkey in one shooting lane and the doe in the other lane. I panned the camera from both lanes to get a view of both of the animals there at the same time.  The doe slowly worked her way toward our stand and she stopped to eat and was ?winding? once or twice when the wind blew really fast.  She was definitely a little hesitant given the circumstances of the morning.  We watched the doe and video her for some time. Eventually I guess she got full and headed back into the cutover. She disappeared as quickly as she arrived once she stepped into the cutover. We caught one more glimpse of her half-way through the cut-over and then we didn?t see her anymore.
The below video is 17 minutes long...the doe gets closer over the course of the video. Close-up shots at the end.
We had no intentions of shooting it.
It was a great morning to be out in the woods. The weather was great and we saw some turkeys and a deer.  It was a good way to start the season.
Thanks again to Jeremiah for letting me tag along on the hunt.

WeHuntSC.com - Buck with weird rack eating soybeans    
Buck with weird rack eating soybeans  
I went hunting a couple more times over the weekend and didn?t see anything on two of those hunts. It was very surprising to me because I figured with this cool front moved in that I would be seeing more deer, but as you know, it doesn?t always work out the way you think it will.  I finally saw more deer on Sunday afternoon.  I went and sat in a different soybean field that I?ve hunted several times before.  Again the conditions seemed perfect and on my way in I noticed how much higher the soybeans were in this field. The soybeans came up to my ribs in places as I walked through the field.  This was both good and bad.  Good for the harvest, but bad for seeing deer!
After sitting in the stand for a while and posting several tweets on Twitter.com/WeHuntSC I saw a flicker of brown way off in the distance just over the edge of the soybeans.  Sure enough it was a 4 pointer that looked to still be in velvet, but it was so far off I couldn?t tell.  After zooming in I could see that this deer had more than 4 points and some of the points seemed awkward looking. I?m not sure what?s going on with this deer?s rack, but it definitely looked unique.  I watched (and filmed) this deer eating soybeans for 30 minutes.  All of the footage looked exactly the same so I cut it down to the best 4 minutes I could extract.  
As with the doe above, I had no intention of shooting this buck.  It wasn?t big enough and we?re trying to manage game on this land as well.  As I watched the deer I was wondering what I would do if that would have been a bigger buck.  I thought a bigger one may be trailing not too far behind him?at least I was hoping so.  I came to the end conclusion that I wouldn?t have tried to shoot the deer because it would have been an ill-advised shot.  It was really far out and there?s no way I could have gotten the bullet there without going through a ton of soybeans and they would definitely slow it down and alter its course. If it would have been a huge buck it would have driven me crazy, but I still would have had to suck it up and be disciplined.  
Here?s the footage of the buck eating soybeans
Overall it was a good opening weekend to deer season. To me, seeing any deer is a successful hunt whether or not I harvest one on the hunt!

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Hello all! Just a short entry before I take off for the weekend festivities.  Well, the weather is getting cooler (and almost down-right cold today in the Upstate) and I can feel fall! Bow season officially came in yesterday for me but I will not have a chance to go this weekend. How many of you have been and have you had any luck? I'm excited to get the season off to a start!  College football is in full swing and deer season has arrived.  This is the most wonderful time of the year!  

'Babes, Bullets, & Broadheads' Logo  

I am also excited to announce that I was one of the girls all over the country who got selected for the 'Field Staff' position for the women's outdoor company: Babes, Bulletts, and Broadheads. This awesome company represents/encourages women in the outdoors and our goal is to educate and get more women and children involved in the great outdoors. I'm so excited for this opportunity (and all the free gear I get too!). If you get a chance check out the webiste and if you have a Facebook account 'Like' the page to support us!  We appreciate it! 

Wish you all the best this season! 


Introduction to Game Management

WeHuntSC.com - Intro to Game Management

         WeHuntSC.com - Tecomate Seed
  WeHuntSC.com - BuckYum

As you are most likely aware, Tecomate Seed & BuckYum have partnered with us on a blog series we've dubbed "Intro to Game Management". We want to go ahead and throw down the disclaimer NO WE'RE NOT PROS, WE'RE NOT BIOLOGISTS, OR ANYTHING CLOSE TO IT!  We're just some good ol' country boys and we hope to learn more about game management through our field trials, research, interviews, and these blog entries.

We're calling the series "Intro to Game Management" because it's an introduction of the concept of game management and it's just as much as an introduction to us as it is to anyone else. We're not trying to teach game management, but rather through this series we're journaling what we're learning about game management as we try to take the right steps in managing game on our land. We don't have tons of money to throw around, but we do have some elbow grease and sweat equity that we'll put in and hopefully it will pay off. Again, we're on a learning mission here and are merely documenting what we learn.

Throughout the series we hope to interview some people who do really know what they're talking about to give some pointers on game management so that we can derive some take-aways or best practices for managing game. Hopefully this information will be valuable to you just as we hope to gain knowledge as well.

We feel that raising awareness for Game Management in South Carolina will help out the future generations of hunters and potentially the overall quality of deer in our state.  We all want a quality deer herd in our state and to reach that goal there must be a shift in the culture of hunters and the way we view hunting and game management. This blog series is just one step in the cultural shift.

Thanks for joining along and if you have some information or even want to write a guest blog along the way feel free to chime in. After all this is a resource for everyone so if you want to contribute you are more than welcome to!



Tecomate Seed & BuckYum partner with WeHuntSC for Game Management Blog Series

WeHuntSC.com - Intro to Game Management

  WeHuntSC.com - Tecomate Seed
  WeHuntSC.com - BuckYum
Last year we did the Tecomate Seed Food Plot Journey where we documented a year's worth of food plots from a beginner's perspective.  We learned a lot through that journey and we're continuing to plant food plots this season with hopes of learning more and creating an environment from which we'll grow quality deer. Though, this year the series will go further than food plots.
Installing and having Tecomate Seed food plots is one of the ways we hope to create a good environment for the deer in our area, but that's not the only steps we're taking and it's not the only facet of game management. We?re also going to throw in some mineral sites and give our deer a supplemental feed. The supplemental feed we'll be using is called BuckYum and boy do the deer love it! We put some out at the end of last year and the deer literally had it gone within days.
We?re going to be explaining more about the Tecomate Seed products as well as giving more details about BuckYum in future blog entries, but for now we just wanted to communicate the news of the blog series.
We're pumped to learn more and hope that in some way this blog series will help you as well!

Food Plots, Yellow Jackets, & Epi-Pens
  WeHuntSC.com - Yellow Jacket
  These are not fun!

This past Saturday we set out to do some work on our deer lease. We met early and headed out with a tractor, two 4-wheelers, a spreader, and several other tools to get the job done. I?m going to be blogging about a lot of this in an upcoming series, so I won?t get into too much detail, but I did want to post this to share a portion of the story.

We had worked all day long.  My shirt was soaked, my eyes were burning from the sweat getting in them, swarms of gnats seemed to love my eyes and ears, and I was as hot as I could be. We were closing out our work for the day with cutting some shooting lanes near a small food plot we?re working on.  We were all spread out and were cutting lanes back towards a central point where we envisioned putting a ground blind. I was cutting with a machete and was slowly throwing the briar laced branches to the side.  I took a step towards a small pine and took a swing at the branch. I felt the small dirt hill beneath my boot (yes they were snake boots) kind of collapse. I didn?t think anything of the dirt packing down beneath my foot?it just seemed like a soft spot in the sand that we?ve all stepped on at some point or another. 

About a millisecond later, I realized that the seemingly ?soft? sand hill that had just collapsed beneath my foot wasn?t loosely packed for no reason. I had a sharp burning sensation on my left index finger. I looked down I saw a yellow jacket just digging in on my finger. I took a swipe at it and then started feeling a sharp burning pain on my right knee followed by a burning on my right cheek. I realized what was happening and started high-stepping it out of there.  I was yelling and moving faster than I have moved in a long time! I began taking my shirt off when I felt the burn coming from my elbow, but I still hadn?t gotten the yellow jacket out of my left index finger yet, but I ripped it out as fast as I could. I started swinging my shirt in circles over my head I was running toward the trucks.

I guess I should back up and say that I?m allergic to stings. I found this out years ago when a bee stung me. That was back in the early 90?s and we had to rush to the doctor because I started swelling up and was having trouble breathing.  Since that time I?ve been stung once here and there with nothing really coming from it.  I guess over time I outgrew it or maybe being bigger and older allowed me to handle it better?at least from one sting.  It became apparent this past Saturday that having 6 stings quickly brought back that very same allergic experience.  Mr. JE was working with us and he knew that I was allergic to being stung and quickly followed me up the hill.  Afterwards he told me that he saw the yellow jackets coming out of the ground and chasing me. I had stepped directly on the yellow jackets? hive.

We jumped in the truck and headed directly to CVS to get some Benadryl because this is what I typically take after I get stung.  It normally does the job.  As we rode to CVS I could feel the cold chills running through my body. While sitting in the CVS parking lot waiting on Mr. JE to return I felt a stinging on my left leg. I knew what was happening and shortly thereafter the people in the CVS parking lot saw me shimmying out of my pants into nothing but my undies. I?m sure it was funny from an outside perspective, but by this time I was burning from the stings and could feel my skin getting tight around all the stings on my body and there wasn?t too much funny about it on my end. 

When Mr. JE returned he noticed I had lost some clothing since he?d entered the store and I told him that I still had one yellow jacket in my pants. I drank as much Benadryl as the directions allowed and we left heading to his house.  About half-way through town my tongue started feeling fat and numb. A few blocks later I felt my throat getting tight. Shortly thereafter we arrived to Mr. JE?s house and we had decided to redirect to the Urgent Care in Monroe.  I knew I?d have to put my pants back on if I wanted to enter the Urgent Care with any dignity and so I put my pants back on. When I stuck my leg into the left pants leg of my britches a yellow jacket flew out in the truck! I opened the door and shooed it outside and it kept ramming the window trying to get back in. Yes it was still mad, but luckily I got it out without suffering another sting.

Mr. JE turned the caution lights on his truck and we made it to Monroe in record time. I walked into urgent care barefooted, but with my pants on and just hoped there wasn?t another yellow jacket hidden away in some cuff of the pants.  I was quickly admitted and got a shot within minutes. All in all I had about 6 stings and my finger was so fat I couldn?t bend it any more. The doctor wrote me a prescription for an Epi-pen and we headed back to Pageland. My stings have been stiff and swollen for several days after.

Needless to say my day turned out to have a different ending than I anticipated and the swelling and irritated skin is just now returning to normal (5 days later).  I never expected to encounter a whole yellow jacket hive and end up in an emergency so if you?re allergic to stings like I am let me be the guinea pig on this one and save you from embarrassment and a possible emergency! I?ll be sure to have my epi-pen with me on future outings in case I happen to find another hive unexpectedly.  Luckily for me I had help with close by and we wasted no time in getting to some help, but as we know this always isn?t the scenario.  There?s no denying that seeing me running and yelling like a wild man in the woods was a comical scene as well as me being in the CVS parking lot in my underwear and boots.  However, the situation could have not ended up funny if a couple variables in my situation had swung the other way.  Next time I?ll be prepared because snake boots don?t stop yellow jackets!



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