Blog Entries from the WeHuntSC.com blogging crew
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!
For more information check out http://www.seiaoutfitters.com
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!
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!
As I drove down an old farm road the other day I was immediately reminded that deer season is just around the corner. Velvet antlers caught my eye as a young buck stopped at the sight of the four wheeler. As the buck slipped into the thicket I sat there for a few minutes and soaked in the silence. It was then I decided to make a detour and head down to one of my favorite spots in the woods.
I entered the old oak hollow and followed a trail that lead to a spot that my Dad and I discovered some twenty years earlier. On top of a little knoll we found the perfect funnel area for deer to travel between the two adjacent crop fields. It didn't take long for Dad and I to nickname the spot "The Acorn Stand". I can still picture the first time I eased through those woods by myself when I was twelve years old. Not much has changed about the spot over the years except for that stand that Dad and I put up. It has started to look like a retired prize fighter over the past several years. Standing only a meager eight feet tall in its prime the stand seems to have shrunk and it now stands with a distinct sway to one side. I was hesitant about climbing it that day but as I reached the top it was as if I had just sat there for the first time all over again. Mother nature and time have put a beating on this stand but the stand still had that feel that made it my favorite spot from the first time I hunted it.
My detour that day to my favorite hunting spot was not only to reminisce but also in anticipation of the upcoming season. This season only a couple hundred yards away from where I made my first memories in the deer woods another young hunter will climb into a stand with the hopes of a successful hunt. The young hunter is my cousin JD. JD will be twelve this coming season and after taking him last year on a hunt I could tell that the passion that caught fire when I sat in "The Acorn Stand" twenty years ago was there for him as well.
I'm not exactly sure how the season will go but as I sat in my favorite spot that day I thought about how fun it was going to be to walk with JD on this journey of his first deer season. JD has been helping me get ready for the season and I know he's pumped. My goal is to help guide him through the ups and downs that a young hunter goes through and also to teach him as much as I can about the things I've learned over the years. Another goal is to try to capture as much of his season on video so one day JD can watch it unfold over and over again. So with all that being said wish JD luck and say a few prayers for the cameraman. I think this season will be a special one.
Just wanted to let you know that if you?re going to be around for the Pee Dee Deer Classic this weekend in Florence, SC then be sure to know that Schofield?s Sporting Goods is also having their annual sale. Schofields is located just down the street from the Pee Dee Deer Classic and they are having some great sales, giving away a Benelli shotgun and some boots, + they?ve got 2-time SC Duck Calling Champion, Blake Hodge on hand to do some calling for the crowd.
Hope to see you at either the Pee Dee Deer Classic or Schofield?s Hardware sometime this weekend!
See the Event Flyer
I just wanted to drop a quick blog entry to let the waterfowlers on the site know that Schofield?s Hardware in Florence, SC is hosting another outdoor sales event on November 20th, from 10 ? 4pm. The event will feature Echo Pro-Staffer and professional South African hunter, Trevor Lake along with Blake Hodge representing WinnTuck and Daryl Hodge representing Drake Waterfowl. If this event is anything like the last one, then you?ll want to be there and be in the mix!
Once Daryl and Blake get out of the swamp they?ll be there in no time to help with this day of huge store sales, calling demos, and even a turkey cooking seminar! If you?re into duck and/or goose hunting and want to get in on some good deals and meet others in the waterfowl industry (or if you want to learn how to cook a turkey), this would be a good event to attend!
If you are able to come by, be sure to stop by and say hey to Blake and Daryl!
This is a guest blog entry by Ben Sullivan
Ben Sullivan has been one of my life-long friends and in the past few hunting seasons he?s started getting into hunting. Ben hunts in the Coastal area of South Carolina down around Georgetown. Last weekend Ben got his first deer and it was a very nice buck! Since this was his first deer, a huge buck, and a good story, I asked Ben to give us some info about his hunt and I would post it here on the blog. Ben gave me a brief summary of his first hunt and how it went down.
Last week we had a large tropical storm move up the eastern seaboard and it got really wet here on the coastal region. Wednesday night my buddy Luke and I were planning on bow hunting the next morning since the tropical storm was moving up north. We thought the bucks would be up and moving after three days of heavy rain.
We hunt on roughly 2000 acres in Georgetown, SC and after the tropical storm about 1200 acres of the land was under water. We woke up on Thursday and saw that the rain had stopped and there was a nice breeze (for Georgetown) in the air. Luke texted me around 6 am and said that the weather was perfect and we needed to get in the woods. My favorite bow stand was under water so we decided to sit in the tower stand instead (one of the highest spots on the facility). This was the first time I sat in the tower stand. I had pics on 9 other stands and we didn?t expect this spot to be much of a producer; therefore we didn?t put much effort into it other than putting out corn.
We were sitting in the tower stand just looking and at exactly 9:15 a huge buck walked out. It took him about 4 seconds to get broad sided and give me a clear shot. I didn?t waste any time taking the shot and the deer fell on the spot. Luke?s inclination to go out that morning was dead on the money! We got down out of the tower stand and took the pics that you see below.
We saw 4 other decent size bucks moving that day while we put out corn at the other stands on our property. I?m excited that we have let them walk for 2 years in a row and our management practices are proving beneficial. Another interesting note is that we get a lot of game-cam pics, but the deer I shot had never been captured on camera. It appears that we will have quite a few shooters this year.
Congratulations to Ben on his first deer...a very nice buck! I don?t know if I?ve ever seen on that big in the woods before, but I hope to!
Hello I?m Blake Hodge from Lancaster, SC and I?m glad to be able to share my hunting experiences with you here on WeHuntSC.com. I'm 14 years old and attend Buford High School in Lancaster County. Even though I'm only 14, I have 11 years of hunting experience all which have been with my dad Daryl. Speaking of my dad, I help with his waterfowl guide service here in SC. You can check us out at WreckingCrewGuideservice.com for more information. I also, travel across the United States hunting waterfowl, competing in calling contests, and working waterfowl hunting shows for my sponsors.
Waterfowl hunting is my true passion, but I enjoy deer and turkey hunting also. I've been fortunate enough to have harvested 24 deer and 9 wild turkey so far. I also have played baseball, football, and basketball, but have put those on the back-burner for the love of the "Great Outdoors".
Since duck hunting is very near to my heart, I?m very passionate and involved with Ducks Unlimited and we just happen to have an event coming up really soon. On October 7th, Lancaster County will be having their annual fall banquet and if you've never been to one, you surely have been missing out. It's for a great cause so check out www.Ducks.org for more information on that. It's just another way to get out of the house and enjoy great food, great prizes, and make new friends like myself.
See the: Lancaster County Ducks Unlimited Chapter Event Flyer for more information
So a big thanks to the WeHuntSC.com crew and to all of you for having me as one of the new bloggers. It's definitely going to be a ride on the wild side so "Buckle Up".
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!
We?ve blogged about it, we?ve tweeted to the Twitterverse, we?ve posted some flyers, and this weekend is our Hunter?s Night Out. We?ve got our ducks in a row and hope to see you at the event. Just a quick recap of what?s going on.
We?re hosting 3 representatives that will speak about game management and food plot creation/maintenance. Each individual is going to give a presentation that lasts about 30 minutes or so with room for questions at the end.
Those 3 representatives are:
Yes, we?re going to feed you and we?re going to start eating around 5:30 so be there and be ready to eat. We are going to eat spaghetti so don?t wear your best shirt! The event is free of charge.
Be sure to get a ticket when you get there? you just might win a Thermacell!
We're also raffling off a ground-blind and some goodies. You can buy a ticket there if you want.
Event Location: First Baptist Church 203 Pigg Street Pageland, SC 29728