Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
The below is a guest blog submitted by Dan Berkholder
I have a kind of funny story to tell. My wife and I have been married for a long time. We have met a lot of new people, and it seems like every time we meet someone, they ask us how we met. Each time this happens, we kind of look at each other, and wait for the other person to pipe up first. We didn?t meet in the most normal of ways. I was out hunting with a few of my friends. We were all dressed in our camo and blaze looking for deer in the early part of the season. We had hiked in to this area four or five miles with our packs on, and thought that there was no chance we?d run into anybody else. We came up on some deer tracks and followed them deeper into a thick wooded area. As we followed the tracks, they became fresher. We knew we were getting close. Not long after, we had found him. This deer was going to be the next trophy of someone in the group. Only 75 yards out she stood. I looked down my rifle scope, and began to line up my shot. Before I could get my crosshairs on the deer, I heard a gun shot. The shot didn?t sound close enough to be anyone I was with, but it wasn?t far away, either. I looked around at my friends. Nobody even had their guns in their hands. I asked if any of them took a shot, and they all said they were waiting for me. I looked back down my scope at where the deer had stood. He had dropped. Someone else had taken my deer out. I was furious. As I continued to stare in disbelief through the scope on my rifle, I watched two other hunters walk into the clearing and examine the shot. As I realized I was looking at another human being down my scope, I decided to put my gun away and pull out my binoculars. I wasn?t able to see much, so I decided I?d go and give those hunters a piece of my mind. When I got to the hunters, I realized I wasn?t going to be able to say anything rude. The one who had taken the shot was a girl about my age. She was hunting with her father and couldn?t be more proud of her kill. I congratulated her on the kill, even though I was quite spiteful, and told her that I could have taken that deer out with my eyes closed. She said ?You?ll have to show me that next time we go hunt together.? The rest, as they say, is history. We are now happily married with two children. Our relationship was built on hunting, and it?s a tradition we?ve kept alive. We take our kids hunting with us as often as possible. Author Bio: Dan Berkholder is the Online Hunting Product Manager at Sportsman's Warehouse. He enjoys edible landscaping, and is a devoted big game hunter.
The below blog entry was submitted by Jimmy Bradley of Pageland, SC
I?m like many people reading this blog entry. I?m just a good ?ol country boy from a small town and I love to hunt. I spend my time chasing deer, turkeys, and everything else around South Carolina. I?ve hunted in South Carolina all my life and I?ve never paid to go on a guided hunt before, but my recent trip to Iowa was my first exception. I was really excited to be going and, as you may imagine, I also had a lot of concerns because I had no idea what I was getting into.
It was a long trip to arrive to Iowa, but the whole time my mind was thinking of the hunts that potentially lied just ahead of me. When we arrived to the lodge I was very pleased with the place, it looked like a picture out of a magazine! The rooms had two bunk beds along with two private showers and a bathroom. I looked at the craftsmanship of the beds and noticed that they were uniquely built. An Amish guy local to the area of the hunt had built the beds and he also built a huge dining table along with a lot of trim work on the inside. The hand crafted wood work was really nice, almost to the point of artwork. As one would imagine, there were plenty of nice deer heads on the wall and around the fire place too. It was what you would imagine in a quality hunting lodge.
Tom Bomell was our guide and he was also the main person who set up all the trail cameras on the property. He did plenty of scouting and research and had several monster bucks on film for us to look at on the computer before we even arrived to the lodge. It was very important for us to know what animals were on each farm so we could look for specific deer. Tom worked very hard taking us out to the stands and picking us up after the hunts. He was also a very big part of why our trip was so nice! On a side note Tom was very proud of some of the nice bucks his son has taken. He showed us some pictures of two awesome bucks that his son had recently taken one. He son shot a really nice buck with his bow. I can?t blame him for being proud about those and I?m glad he shared those images with us.
Our host was a gentleman named Brenton Clark along with his wife Rachel. They were very friendly and were always ready to help us in any way they could! Brenton really takes pride in getting his guests trophy bucks and he and his wife do everything possible to ensure guests have a good experience. Their hospitality was part of what made our trip special.
Every morning we had a buffet breakfast usually consisting of eggs, bacon, ham or sausage, and pancakes. They made sure we didn?t hunt on an empty stomach! For lunch we would have a lighter sandwich type meal. Since we hunted from day light to dark we carried our lunch with us out on the hunt. At supper time we returned back to the lodge and met in the dining room for another great meal and everyone talked about the day?s hunt. We all discussed what happened on our hunts and we usually had a lot to talk about!
The hunting was as good as it gets. We hunted out of nice, huge box blinds with heaters in them. These stands overlooked corn fields, soybean fields, and several types of planted food plots. It was not uncommon to see 30 + deer a night in these fields! After being in a stand for the first 30 minutes of the first day, I knew I wasn?t on my typical kind of South Carolina hunts.
They also had ladder stands and lock-on stands that overlooked trails and food plots. The guide took us in every morning and he would either pick us up at lunch or at night depending on whether you wanted to hunt all day or not. I wanted to get the most out of my trip so I hunted all day long on 4 of the 5 days we were there.
There were a total of 13 guys in two different camps and we had 5 deer killed over 140 inches and one that went 166! Then we had another 2 guys miss and one made a bad shot and just winged the front leg on another buck. Some great deer were harvested while we were there.
I should mention that we also had a camera man with us at the lodge. One of the best parts of my our trip was meeting editor and camera man Nathan Delong! He works with Lee and Tiffany Lakosky and the show ?The Crush? with Lee and Tiffany! Nate lived only a half a mile from the lodge we stayed in and was like one of the family there. It was a pleasure to meet him and he gave his testimony with us and shared his story of how he became a part of the show. He also told us all about Lee and Tiffany and how hard they work to make their farms so good. He told us how they work from day light to dark on their food plots and also how strict they are on what they shoot! He told us about the various food plots they plant. He also told us that Blake Shelton is a hoot in camp and always ready to make you laugh! My friend Tony said he could have sat and talked to Nate all day!
I saw 16 deer the first day of my hunt, 3 of which were good bucks, and I was in hog heaven. I saw 3 bucks and 2 does the second day and on third day I saw 21 deer! The third day brought 5 bucks and 2 of those were over 140 class, but I could not get a shot! On the fourth day I saw 15 deer and had a nice 130 class 8 point walk by me at 30 yards! On the final day I saw one doe on the morning hunt then we changed farms and went to one that had not been hunted for the afternoon hunt. This location had two stands on it and I went to the bottom stand and at 4:15 had a 170 class buck called the ?Big 10? come out 40 yards from the other ladder in the field! Yes I was SICK!!!!!! He never came my way though because he got busy chasing a doe and left with her! My heart was in my throat. It was an awesome experience in the woods.
Over the course of my trip I never pulled the trigger. Even though I did not kill a deer this was still the greatest time I have ever had deer hunting! It was so amazing to sit in a stand and know at any time you could see the deer of a lifetime. The owner and his wife made every effort to see that I killed a deer and it just didn?t come together. The food, the lodge, the hunts, and the hospitality was awesome and I?m already scheduling my trip back next year. If you are looking for a hunt let me know they only take a certain amount of hunters and it fills up fast. The cost to hunt is $3,500.00 and the tag is like $590.00. Yes, it is a lot of money, but it is also a chance to have a hunt of a lifetime.
Going on a guided hunt to somewhere you have never been is hard and it keeps you wondering the whole time did I make the right decision? Well I can honestly say in my case I did and I was very pleased with the whole experience!
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The below entry is a guest blog from a friend of mine from Nova Scotia, Mr. Gifford Watkins
When I was a seminary student at Southwestern Baptist Theological School (Fort Worth) I took at job as an intern at Park Cities Baptist Church. After working there a few weeks I got to know the mailman, who said due to his recent divorce he had extra room in his house. I thought since most of my life was in North Dallas it would be a good idea so I moved in. My fiance at the time thought it would be ideal for us to spend Thanksgiving at their ranch in South Texas. As I packed a weekend bag, I heard the door slam and the footfalls of my new housemate. I really didn't know that much about him at the time, but after I mentioned heading to a ranch for the weekend, he asked if I was going hunting. I said I was not planning to, I didn't have a gun, or bullets, or a license to hunt in Texas, to which he said, "Puh, you don't need a license, do you want to borrow a gun?" I asked what sort of gun and that was when the fun began. His name was Troy. Troy led me to a wall in the living room where he pushed and out came a door; the door to his cache. A huge steel cabinet with decals I cannot describe (Death from Above might ring a bell with some) was unlocked and inside, was well, the inside. I chose a Smith and Wesson .41 caliber hand cannon with a scope and 6 bullets; three hollow points and three full metal jackets. I loaded these into a stainless steel carrying case and headed out the door.
I would like to introduce you guys to a personal friend of mine, Gavin Jackson. Gavin is a childhood friend of mine that resides in Jefferson, SC, which is where we grew up. He fits in very well with the WeHuntSC crew because he has a great passion for the outdoors. If he isn't working or hanging out with his family, he is in the woods hunting or fishing. Gavin is like me, it's not as much about killing the animal, but the work and homework you put in beforehand. To me, that is what true hunting is all about.
Gavin is going to help us blog about deer, turkey, boar, coyote, and ducks, but he will mainly be blogging about duck hunting and coyote hunting. He said those two are his favorite types of hunting. I just got off the phone with him a little while ago and you can tell he really loves to duck hunt and coyote hunt. By the time he finished describing duck hunting and coyote hunting, I was ready to go and I don't really hunt either. Anyways, I will let you guys learn more about him when he post his first blog tomorrow. We are thankful for him helping us out and we look forward to reading about his hunting experiences this year. Good luck hunting and be safe!!!
I create sub-folders and number every blog entry that I write just to help keep things organized. With all the video, images, and text if you don?t keep it organized things can get hard to find. It just appeared to me that I had written 99 blog entries thus far. I periodically give site growth/metric updates and so figured I might as well give a site update since the 100th blog entry is here.
In football we always said "The big eye in the sky don't lie" which, while grammatically incorrect, still carried valuable meaning. This saying meant that we knew someone was filming practice or the game and that eventually we would all be sitting down with the coach and would watch the film to see what really happened on various plays. In the web world, the "Big eye in the sky" is the analytics program that runs in your site's background tracking your site's metrics. The "Big eye in the sky" always told the truth about your performance on the field and so do the metrics denote the true success of your site.
With that said, I feel we?ve made considerable progress with the growth of the site. As deer season is approaching, the numbers are already starting to climb. As many of you know, we started this site last September just for fun and have essentially done minimal marketing. It?s mostly been word of mouth, some bumper stickers, and a couple of T-Shirts. Considering the low-budget marketing, I think the growth of the site is pretty impressive?at least from a web developer?s standpoint. To have over 100,000 page views within just less than a year is a good sign and is definitely more than I initially anticipated.
So here?s the metric breakdown and some other info?
Metrics and Info (from Sept ?09 ? Aug ?10)
At the time of this 100th blog entry we are one month short of being up one full year and have had:
I mentioned the numbers have started to climb as we approach deer season?here?s an image extracted from the metrics demonstrating what I mean.
The Top 10 cities in SC that visited the site were as follows:
* I will also add that for about a month the link to our site went semi-viral in Finland due to this blog entry. So everyone from Chesterfield downward was outdone by the Finns! Hyvva Suomi!
Searching for WeHuntSC.com via Keywords
The YouTube Channel
In sum, I?ve written 100 blogs (with this entry being the 100th) and I hope you have enjoyed at least some of them. It?s neat that we cross the 100,000 page views at a time close to the 100th blog, though I don?t think they are exactly related to each other. We?ve come a long way since last September, but we?ve still got plenty of ground to cover. Though, keeping it in perspective? it?s all in fun! I?m interested to see what happens on the site this upcoming deer season with the images, competitions, videos, and ?yes? with the analytics!
I hope you enjoyed the videos because I know I had a good time making them. I look forward to sharing more hunts and videos with you in the upcoming year.