Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
There is more in the air than just a little chill. There is an excitement that only the opening of duck season can bring.
This year, we have an added element to amp up the fast approaching season. On November 5, 2011, Sandhills Ducks Unlimited would like to invite you to the 1st Annual Conservation Banquet held at Windy Hill Manor in Pageland. The night will begin at 6:00 pm with a buffet dinner served at 7:00 pm. A live auction will start between 8:00 and 8:30 pm. There will be a silent auction, many door prizes and raffle prizes. There will also be an all you can eat BBQ buffet and an open bar. The auction will consist of DU premium artwork, many guns, hand carved decoys, several hunts, sculptures, knives, jewelry, hunting accessories, and greenwing merchandise. Wrecking Crew Guide Service and Quack ?Em Back Duck Calls & Merchandise will also be set up as vendors at the banquet. Blake Hodge, duck and goose calling champion, will be giving a calling demonstration. It will be an entertaining evening with family, friends, fellowship and lots of fun!
All proceeds benefit the conservation of wetlands across America. Since 1989, DU has conserved nearly 160,000 acres across the Palmetto State, investing more than $40,000,000.00 in South Carolina projects through DU and its partners. During the past year we conserved 2,034 acres through conservation easements and habitat restoration projects on Santee National Wildlife Refuge, ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge, and Botany Wildlife Management Area.
Saturday, November 5, 2011 6:00 pm
Windy Hill Manor
158 High Point Church Road
Pageland, SC 29728
$35.00 single ticket / $65.00 couple ticket / $20.00 greenwing ticket
*Includes annual membership
Tickets may also be purchased online here.
For more information, please contact me at (843)622-4938.
We look forward to seeing you all there!
The 7 day Waterfowl season is not going as I planned, but I have definitely learned my lesson. This past Saturday, as most of you know, was the opening day for ducks here in South Carolina. Nick and I were excited to get out on the water and try to harvest a few ducks, but due to poor planning and time management, our season hasn?t gone as planned. We don?t like to hunt rivers too often due to the crowds there, so as part of our strategy for duck season Nick and I get on Google Earth and scan the Francis Marion government woods for locations where ducks would reside such as swamps, ponds, etc. When we find a location that looks good we mark the coordinates and punch them in our hand held GPS, ride out to the area, and check it out. Before the season started we executed this plan and marked some spots we wanted to check out. Due to poor time management by Nick and me, we only got around to 3 of the 7 spots we marked down. The days got closer to the season and eventually opening day arrived and we still hadn?t checked out all our previously identified spots. So we grabbed our guns and headed out to one of the spots on Saturday afternoon. (Saturday morning I was unable to hunt because I went to my girlfriend?s North/South game) Well to make things better there wasn?t any water in the swamp we selected to hunt. We had just wasted a trip so we left to visit a spot we knew had water, but a lot of people hunted it and we roosted some ducks. The next morning we went back to the same location, and again, poor scouting got us. The birds were flying all around us but not where we had set up. We didnt kill any birds that morning either. Though, the next morning I went back and set up were we had seen the birds coming out of the roost the day before. On this hunt we finally killed some birds! We ended up with 2 Drakes and a hen.
Throughout all of this we still had fun chasing ducks around in the swamps. One thing I did learn is to get all my scouting in before the season is in!!! We still might not kill any, but at least we know where the birds are lol.
If anyone is into filming there hunts you need to take a look at Deer Ridge Innovations Camera Mount. It simply attaches to your shotgun, rifle, or bow and you can film anything you shoot at. In the clip below I used it in my duck hunts, and it worked very well! I?m pleased with the purchase and suggest it to anyone trying to self-film. I self-film my deer hunts with a portable camera arm, but this Mount is going to be much easier for me to setup and use in my future hunts. I?m sure y?all will see more videos from me while I use the Deer Ridge Camera Mount.
Deer Hunts This Past Weekend
Trail Camera Bucks This Past Weekend
Blake at full draw just to watch the big one walk away.
After taking a break from all of the practicing for upcoming duck calling contests, my dad and I decided to spend a little time in some of our tree stands in search of a nice buck. I have started archery hunting and have been leaving my Ruger behind at rest in the gun case.
My dad and I decided to hunt in a two-man ladder stand alongside some hardwood ridges. The deer have always traveled through that section in years past. It?s also a great chasing stand for those big boys in search of some ladies.
Around 9 o?clock that morning, we heard footsteps behind the stand and new exactly what it was. As my dad peeked through t he corner of his eye to check out the intruder, he saw the horns. A dark horned, wide 6-point had made his way up the ridge silently and unseen. The buck was just out of bow range but slowly approaching the perfect shot. Just as I was gathering my bow, some coyotes started howling and that buck wasn?t thinking twice about staying around. As he fled the woods, I came at full draw and tried helplessly to stop him just hoping for a shot. The coyotes were just not in our favor that day.
Being the determined hunters my dad and I are, we were not giving up just yet. We hurried out of the woods and headed to grab some lunch. After eating and messing around town, it was already time to be heading back out into the woods. This time it was all on me. I was going to be in one of our best spots! I would be carrying my Bear Apprentice bow and my climber. As I inched my way up the hardwood, my dad was making his way out to his spot. It wasn?t long before the sun starting creeping below the trees and I started getting twitchy! I mean?I don?t know about you guys reading this, but when that sun goes down?my spirits go up!
Well like I said?as the sun dropped, my target was making its way towards me. At 7 o?clock a 7 point appeared on the hillside about 70 yards away. When he finally got up around 40 yards, I came to full draw. At about 30 yards, he gave me a perfect broadside shot. I took the chance and stopped him. I didn?t know the exact yardage, but I was close! I thought he was at 35 yards and put my 30 yard pin on his back. When I released the string?my arrow flew right over his back, just grazing him. You guys know what I was thinking, but the Lord gave me another chance. My 7 point then turned and licked his back where my muzzy had grazed him. This time there was no missing involved and my second arrow stuck him and we were on his trail.
WOW! What an experience! If you don?t bow hunt then you need to give it a try. All I can say is ?adrenaline?.
Good Hunting Blake
Last night the wife and I went down to the Lancaster County Ducks Unlimited banquet. We had a really good time and hung out with fellow WeHuntSC.com blogger Gavin Jackson and his wife and some other friends from around the Pageland area. The event was packed with waterfowl hunters and there were tons of prizes on hand being auctioned off, won, and bided on.
We arrived to the event and walked around looking at all the items that were on display. There were some nice paintings, decoys, a corn-hole set, clocks, mail-boxes, and a really nice shotgun too. Everyone was mingling and looking at the items on the tables trying to figure out what they wanted to bid on during the auction. Fellow WeHuntSC.com blogger and world champion duck caller Blake Hodge was scheduled to do some demo calling at the banquet as well.
Around 7:15 the guy emceeing the event got on the microphone and said that it was time for Blake to do some calling for the crowd. The emcee told the crowd about all the awards that Blake?s been winning and Blake made believers out of everyone there. He really made those calls sing! Everyone in the room went quiet while Blake was calling and after he finished everyone gave him a big round of applause. While Blake was calling you could see people in the audience shaking their heads and looking at each other as if to say ?I can?t believe how good he is?. The emcee tried to lure Blake into coming hunting with him so that he could use his calling abilities to draw some birds in, but Blake gave him a quick no and the crowd laughed at his quick response. Imagine being 14 and getting up in front of a crowd of grown-ups who?ve been hunting way longer than you and showing them how to call. I imagine it could be a little intimidating knowing that everyone in the room was going to critique your style. Though it didn?t faze Blake and he did really well.
The gun of the year
Shortly thereafter it was time to eat and everyone munched down on some Jo Jo?s BBQ which was really good. Then came the auction where the prizes get bided on and sold. All of the money gets donated to Ducks Unlimited so the hunters don?t mind spending their money on the products plus it?s a tax write-off. When the emcee got going I couldn?t believe how fast he was talking. He was rolling his tongue and speaking faster than Bone Thugs n Harmony can rap! It was pretty impressive to hear.
The clock started inching toward 10 and the wife looked at me and I knew what that look meant. We had to leave and get back to Rock Hill. We left as the last product was being auctioned off. It was a really neat experience and if you?ve never been to a DU banquet you should check one out. I believe Gavin said that Chesterfield County may be having one in the future too. The Ducks Unlimited organization runs deep and has roots everywhere so most likely there?s an event happening near you sooner than later.