Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
I just wanted to post a quick blog and relay some news. I was recently contacted by Billy Dunlap, publisher of two online news papers in the Clinton and Laurens areas. Billy was interested in re-posting our blog entries in a newly opened outdoor portal of his web sites. I checked out the two sites GoLaurens.com & GoClinton.com to see what was going on and it seemed like a good fit.
Billy and I exchanged some emails and I think it?s should be a win-win situation for everyone. Billy has already posted two of my blogs on his sites and will continue to do so. Hopefully this will give his readers more outdoor content as well as help promote our site more in his area of the state.
In the midst of football and all the food plot work, I was able to go hunting some this past weekend. The first two times I went, I sat over the remote food plot hoping to catch something coming through, but nothing stopped by. Though, on my second trip in I did have one blow at me just as I was getting situated in the stand. I was not happy to spook a deer and give away my location, but at least it was a good sign that deer are in the area. I?ll have to be quieter the next time I go in there.
As you know, it has still been really hot and humid out there which equals sweat which equals mosquitos. All I can say is ?Thank God for Thermacell?. I sat out in the heat 3 times this past weekend and didn?t get one single mosquito bite! Thermacell is definitely a must-have product. If you?re reading this and have never used a Thermacell, then you?re missing out.
What can I say?Derek has inspired me, so this year I?m carrying a video camera with me which gives me something else I?m trying to learn how to do! Hopefully I can get some good shots of deer without spooking them by knocking the camera over or clicking any buttons. Already I?ve learned that you have to have your ducks in a row to carry everything you need for your hunt + the camera & tripod out to the stand in one trip. It?s just one more thing to carry, but when you do get deer on camera it?s really worth it to be able to share the videos with everyone because people always ask ?Did you see anything? and instead of trying to explain the setting to them, I just show them the video now!
The first two hunts I went on this past weekend were in the morning and I went out to the remote food plot. On my last hunt of the weekend I chose a different scenery and went out to a freshly cut corn field. My hunt over the corn field was an afternoon hunt. The corn field is so big that sometimes you can see deer and not be able to shoot them due to their distance. I hoped to get a deer, but more so, I just hoped to get some footage. You know how it is when you try something new?you?re all gung-ho about it, so I was fired up about getting any kind of footage.
I got to the stand and found a small wasp nest and a ton of ants waiting on me. After fending all that off the best I could, I got situated and ready. I sat for a long time and was texting my friends seeing what was going on with them. The sun slowly started to set and as it did the light was just slapping me in the face. I had to squint and sit awkwardly for a while just to keep the sunlight from blinding me. After the sun went behind a cloud and got a little bit lower, I was able to sit normally and see clearly again. It was ?that time??you know the time when you expect deer to walk right as the sun starts to set.
I was scanning the field and way off, I mean way off, I saw a flicker. Instant pulse-rate increase. It was a deer and it was about 350 yards out. I zoomed in with the camera and could barely see it due to the remaining corn stalks, crests of the hills, and distance. I was excited to see some activity, but disappointed that it was so far off that I couldn?t get any decent film or shoot. The deer browsed the field a little then returned to the woods. Shortly after that, I noticed something brown moving through the field to my left. When I looked up I saw a whole group of deer walking out about 200 yards from me. I tried to zoom in and out in the video to demonstrate how far out they were. The group had about 5 ? 6 deer in it and I went to grab my camera and position it to video the deer then CLANK?some kind of metal piece on the tripod dropped off and hit the bottom of the stand. I just knew that I had blown it, but luckily the deer didn?t hear anything. I had to re-gather and get the camera in position. In a few seconds, I got the camera up and zoomed in to see the deer. At this point my gun was still across my lap. The deer were so far out that any touch of the camera made the camera bounce and become difficult to see. It looked to be a group of does and so I filmed them for a little while. I was debating on trying to pull a shot off at that distance, but decided to film them for a little while first.
After filming them for a little bit, I finally decided to shoot. I thought about it and I had my doe tags and everything so why not give it a whirl. I put my gun up and was looking through the scope. The whole time I was trying to pick out which one had the biggest body. The last thing I wanted to do was shoot a young buck or a small doe. At that distance, it was challenging to figure out which one had the largest body. Also, I knew I would have to aim a little high if I was going to have a chance because the deer were way out and the bullet would drop at that distance. Side note: I?m shooting a 243.
These deer were walking and browsing and, to my surprise, some of them started lying down in the middle of the field. I had never seen this before and was kind of amused by it. I thought maybe the first deer was lying down to scratch her back or something, but then another laid down too. I didn?t know if they all planned on lying down, but I figured I better not waste any more time. I went back into the scope and picked out the lead deer because it had the biggest body. I aimed high and pulled the trigger. I saw the fire come out the end of the gun and then the remaining deer scattered. You can see them jump up in the video. I chambered another shell and watched the others run from the field. I sat there for a little bit, calmed down, and then went walking to see if I could find any blood. I really didn?t expect that I could hit a deer from that far out.
I walked over to where I shot and didn?t see anything and then I walked a little further and saw a doe lying on the ground. I couldn?t believe I hit the deer at that distance. It turned out that my shot was high indeed as I hit the doe in the neck. We weighed the doe at the processor and it weighed exactly 100 lbs, but dragging it all the way across that field I could have sworn that it was heavier.
The video turned out to be darker than it was in reality of the setting. I guess the lens of the camera couldn?t pull in all ambient light, but nonetheless, you can see in the video that the light source began to lessen as I filmed the deer. If you watch towards the end, you can see the deer lying down and then you can hear the shot (at the 10:40 mark of the video) and see them jump up and scatter. The deer I shot was actually out of the frame of the video.
In the end it was good to get a doe and get on the board. Last year I missed a doe broad-sided at about 30 yards out and this year I got one a little over 200 yards out with the same gun? it?s better to be lucky than good any day!
My first hunting experience is one for the books. My dad and I, along with several of our friends and family, were glad to be out on my first deer hunt. The eager young man that I was, climbed into the multi-person deer stand, which my papa built for us, with my dad. It was a luxury stand- ten by ten with a couch and cup holders, which I didn?t see the huge importance of at this stage in life. I not so patiently waited for what seemed like an eternity to have my chance to get my first kill. After thirty or forty-five minutes, it finally broke daylight. We were scanning the field below looking for the monster buck! My dad quietly whispers to me, ?I see one.? ?Where? Where? Where? Where? I don?t see it!? I didn?t quite whisper back to him.
Well, I decided it was best for me to climb out of the sixteen foot home away from home into the five foot tall weeds to get a closer look at this supposed deer. My dad recalls me creeping through the weeds like Rambo. Finally, I saw the deer. He was about twenty yards from where I was standing. I pulled up my twenty gauge single shot youth model?BOOM! I got him!
Words can not express the adrenaline and excitement I felt at that moment. Something happened, the deer didn?t move. I knew I had shot him but he didn?t budge! As I examined this massive beast in front of me, I could see the hole in his shoulder. Then I could see the styrofoam coming out of this hole. Then I noticed the plastic horns.
?It?s a dog gone fake deer!? I yelled up to my dad. Then I kicked him! At least then he fell over.
My dad climbed down to have a look for himself. He walked his distraught son, whose first buck was a 6-point piece of styrofoam, back to the truck. Once he disarmed me, he let me in on his secret. He had set me up.
I don?t remember if I was mad or sad, probably both. But it?s a story I will never forget. I look forward to one day telling this same story to my son, after I get him too!
All hunters have a story to tell. Those stories bond us together.