Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
Hello everyone! It's been a while since I have posted and just this past week something hit very close to home. The article below happened right across the river from our hunting land in Laurens County. We have killed a few hogs on our own land so this was very scary. My Dad called the Laurens County Department Health Department to confirm this and called our Game Warden we are friends with who said this type of disease 'brucellosis' is all over the state of South Carolina with hogs. I highly recommend you all read it and take the necessary precautions when hog hunting. What are your thoughts?
Man Hospitalized With Illness After Hog Hunting Trip
Another deer hunting season has come and gone and now it?s time to vote this year?s deer competition winners. Thanks to everyone who participated and posted pictures. Keep in mind that the 5 finalists are selected by a committee and only pictures that had the date in them were considered. The selections were based on the biggest deer, best picture combination. Now the winners will be determined by your votes.
This September weather has been brutaly hot and really tested our endurance and love for the sport. Though, with plenty of crackers, gatorade, and bug spray, we've managed to do pretty good this season. We were able to get some more youth interested in the sport of waterfowl hunting while having their parents spending more time in sporting good stores, purchasing their needs, and some of their wants! We worked with them in the field, discussing firearm safety, decoy placement, conservation, and of course "calling". As we always say, youth are our future!
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.
Hey y?all! Let me start by introducing myself. My name is Jamie Barnes, I?m 25 years old and yes I am a huntRESS. When asked to start blogging for Wehuntsc.com I jumped at the chance. The world needs more huntresses and I was eager to share my outdoor adventures with you all!
I grew up in Greenville, SC as one of three girls (my poor Dad, bless his heart). I am considered to be the ?country one,? out of the girls and probably the biggest Clemson fan you will ever meet. My two sisters are the type who loves clothes, fashion, etc., but for me I prefer to be a little outdoorsy. I?m not your typical girl. Sure I love to look cute, wear cute things, etc., but I love nothing more than to be outdoors. Hunting, fishing, being around animals, watching the sun set on a fall evening in the woods, country music, camo, anything John Deere, my dog, Jimmy Buffett, laughing, and Clemson football/sports are some of my favorite things.
I received my undergrad degree from the best college in the world, Clemson University (Go Tigers!) with a BA in Psychology. I then tortured myself and went against my religion when I was forced to go to "that other school" in the state to get my Masters degree in Social Work (MSW). Currently, I am a counselor for kids with mental health issues for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.
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.
After a successful first weekend of turkey season hunting with Mr. Puette I was looking forward to, and hopeful about, the next weekend I would be able to turkey hunt. The weather had been tricky a little lately, but it turned out to be a nice day on Saturday. I would be venturing out with Jason Love and Mark Turner trying to track down some gobblers. And after seeing the pic of JDHeatmag?s snake that struck at him, I went and got me some snake proof boots so I was ready to roll.
We met and headed out to the hunting land. We got there a little later than when I had arrived the week before. We parked near the entrance and headed out. We walked in along some really white looking sand which made our journey in really stealth. We were listening as we walked in hoping to hear a gobble from afar. We made it in near to the area we would be hunting and we stopped and listened for a bit. We gave the turkeys plenty of time to call if they were going to call. We held up at the edge of the woods in hopes of not spooking the birds by walking in early. The crows were calling and owls were hooting, but we hadn?t heard any turkeys. Jason made some louder calls with his crow call and still nothing responded. The initial thought was that the turkeys were deeper in the woods.
We walked further into the woods and set up. Mark put two hen decoys out while Jason put a short blind around the area where I would be sitting. We all sat at the base of 3 different pine trees. Jason was to my right and Mark was to my left. Mark had a better angle on the decoys and better vision. Both Jason and Mark brought their guns just in case the turkeys came from either direction, but Mark was the ?shooter? as he was kind of out on a point overlooking the cleared out area of the woods.
As we sat down we listened for a while and Jason randomly called. We still heard no gobbles anywhere. Even though I don?t know a lot about turkey calling, Jason?s calling was sounding really good to my ears. Our senses were on high alert as we listened for any sound and scanned the floor of the woods looking for movement. About 15 minutes after we had been sitting there all of a sudden a loud sound came from behind us and to the right. The area behind us and to our right was thicker and difficult to see through, but the sound we heard was a great sound to hear! We heard the wings of a bird flapping as the bird came out of the tree. A turkey had flown down to the ground and he was close enough for us to hear his wings, but yet we couldn?t see him and he had never gobbled. I say ?he? because I?m assuming/hoping it was a big ol? gobbler. When we heard this it got us fired up, but still we couldn?t figure out why we hadn?t heard anything. I looked at Jason?s and Mark?s faces and I could tell they were paying close attention trying to figure out what was going on. They both knew we had a bird somewhere near us that was on the ground and that wasn?t making a sound.
We continued to sit patiently and waited on anything to clue us into where the bird was. He had to have heard our calling if we were able to hear his wings fly down to the ground. After a while both Jason and Mark started calling?some overlapping each other and sometimes right after each other. It sounded really good and sounded like multiple turkeys in the woods calling out. They didn?t over do it, but made enough sound to entice any big boy to come on over.
A couple of minutes later we heard a stick pop really close behind us. At first thought this was kind of a jolt that makes you cringe because you know something is there and you really can?t move to see what it was. It didn?t take long to figure out though. We heard a dog growling! Two dogs had run through the woods and when they saw the decoys they started growling at them. Jason saw them first and when we heard the growl we all turned around to see what was happening because they sounded mad and in a hurry! When we quickly turned around and made commotion the dogs got scared and high-tailed it out of there. And that was pretty much the gist of our hunt. We left shortly thereafter.
After talking about the situation we think the dogs are in that area and are bothering the birds. This may be why the bird never gobbled? because he had been chased by a dog before! Who knows, but it was a frustrating end to a good hunt! I had some really good footage of the guys calling and the setup and I was just waiting on the turkey to get in the picture too, but it never happened.
We started walking back out to the trucks. On the way out we saw some turkey tracks in that same white sand that we had walked in on earlier. Jason even noticed a turkey track that had stepped in Mark?s boot track. This meant that a turkey had crossed the same path that we walked in on and had done it after we went in the woods. The turkeys were in the area?and so were two punk dogs!
Mark headed home and as Jason and I rode back we figured we give another area a shot. We drove down the road and saw 3 different turkeys out in random fields as we drove. The turkeys were moving and we hoped for better luck and a hunt without dogs interfering! We arrived to a new location and walked down the edge of the woods alongside a dirt road. There was a field up ahead to our left that where we believed some gobblers were out strutting. So we set up in the edge of the woods hoping to call the turkeys our way instead of going out in the open and spooking them.
Me wearing CrossOver Camo on the 2nd Hunt
We sat down in some white oaks that were really near a creek bed. Jason sat to my right again and we both leaned on two oaks that were side by side. This time we had the Jake Intimidator set up hoping to cause a reaction by showing movement simulating a tom puffing up. We had him lying beside a hen decoy. We sat there and Jason started calling. We listened and listened and never heard any gobble. We were waiting patiently to hear a turkey when out of our left we saw a flicker. The flicker ended up being the movement of a doe just across the dirt road. I instantly turned the camera on and moved it to film the deer. This doe was the first of 5 deer that were heading our way.
I knew that we would have to be extremely still because the deer were coming our way. It was nearly 9:30 in the morning and the sun was out and it was shining right in there faces. The wind was blowing across our faces which meant the deer would have a tough time smelling us because they weren?t down-wind of us. The bad part was that I had my arm extended all the way out to my camera and the deer weren?t in a hurry. These deer slowly walked across the dirt road and came up the embankment where we were. It seemed to be 3 does with 2 yearlings. They walked closer and closer as they browsed the ground for stuff to eat. When they got closer one of the does saw the decoys and she didn?t like it. She started stomping the ground and got all tensed up. If you?re a deer hunter then you?re familiar with this site. I still couldn?t believe the deer got this close to us without detecting us yet.
Jason and I were whispering to each other this whole time. He said that he was going to start calling the turkey call just to see what would happen. Surprisingly when he started calling the turkey calls it didn't instantly scare the deer off. I think it may have calmed them some, but they were still in question of the decoys, but it seemed to relax the one just a bit. This whole time I was getting some great footage of these deer?and my shoulder and arm were shaking and burning about kill me!
A few minutes later I think the deer knew something wasn?t right and they bounded off back across the road. It was difficult to keep them all focused in the camera the whole time they were there. Just looking at the video you would think it should be easy, but when you?re sitting in the woods having to look in the small screen finder that was at a terrible angle for viewing since the camera was turned hard and to the left, it kind of made it difficult. Also, I?m normally able to smoothly move the camera head around when pivoting, but the I didn?t want any extra movement so the pivots are kind of jumpy because I didn?t want to spook the deer off.
So you?ll see more deer than turkeys in the video below, but nevertheless ? it was a good time in the outdoors and that?s what it?s all about!