Airing My “Dirty Laundry”
Jan27

Airing My “Dirty Laundry”

As Written for Waccamaw Outdoors Magazine   Years back, I never thought much about my husband’s hunting clothes and gear. I was very involved with my real estate career and being a hands-on mom, so hunting was not at the top of my priority list. At the time, my husband was primarily a duck hunter and each season, he would grab his coat, waders, hats, gloves, and mask until there was not much left of him I could see. When he returned from each hunt, he would hang up his gear, throw his coat in his closet, and not require much help at all with cleaning his hunting clothes. Life was simple. But things have changed around our house! Since hunting has become a huge part of my life, I am very involved with everything to do with hunting and that includes taking care of our hunting clothes and gear. We just returned from our first duck hunt of 2017 and with freezing temperatures, there were lots of layers of wet and dirty hunting clothes. With the effort it takes to care for hunting gear, you would think those camouflage clothes were made of strands of green, brown, and black spun silk. It has become quite a ritual. After a hunt, our clothes are separated into piles sorted by degrees of dirt. “Why don’t you just throw them all in one load?” my husband asks. “They’re hunting clothes!” Nope, not me…base layers are separated from outer layers, socks and gloves never meet up with hats and face masks, and well, I think you see where this is going! I always use scent killer hunting detergent to wash everything, even items slightly associated with hunting including base layers, middle layers, and on it goes. Even if we are duck hunting and knowing the birds don’t care about how we smell, this is what I do. I do it because it assures me these hunting clothes are never subjected to regular laundry detergent. I have a great sense of smell, so I usually hang my husband’s heavy coats outside to air them out. He likes being outside by the fire at the hunting camp and the lingering smell of smoke is no longer allowed in his closet. Luckily we have a lot closets, so my hunting clothes have their own place. And since I am a Prois Apparel & Gear Staffer, I have a pretty sizable hunting wardrobe. I am very particular about what I wear and I am very careful to avoid camo clash…the dreaded mismatched outfit that you sometimes see hunters wear. It’s that look when you say –...

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A Marksman in our Midst … Seth Franco
Jan25

A Marksman in our Midst … Seth Franco

I grew up in Oklahoma, way out in the middle of nowhere, on the Oklahoma/Kansas state line. I was introduced to firearms at an early age by my grandfather. I can remember, as far back as three or four years old, sitting on the back deck shooting a Ruger 10/22.  I spent every waking moment with him absorbing every lesson from tying the proper knot for bass fishing, to identifying the different animals by their tracks while hunting. To this day,  my love and appreciation for firearms and the outdoors still rages on.  Competitive shooting didn’t become a big part of my life until about two years ago,  when I decided to enter a local 3gun match and put my skills to the test. It was an eye opening experience which sparked a newfound love for shooting.  Since then, I’ve spent many hours and thousands of rounds of ammunition honing my skills for the next competition. Only recently did my dedication pay off, when I entered a new televised shooting competition.  I heard a radio ad talking about an amateur shooting match called the American Marksman.  I did a quick Google search, registered, and was off the following weekend to shoot a local qualifier.  Out of 5 states I qualified in the top 80 shooters and was invited to shoot a regional match at the CMP Talladega Marksmanship Park.  It was a two day match compiled of several firearms and calibers. After the second day, I shot the fastest time on the 100 yard rifle stage, which gave me the top point lead and landed me a seat at the Nationals. The American Marksman Nationals was a 37 shooter, combined division battle. I managed to come out of the first day with the second highest point lead and a stage win.  It wasn’t until the second day that we shot head to head double elimination rounds that brought the total number of shooters to 10. A hiccup in a precision rifle stage ended my run for 1st place, but just making it there was a victory in itself.  No prize could amount to the awesome people I got to meet and true friends that were made during the competition. I currently work for my stepfather’s construction company and am a part time firearms instructor.  When I’m not working or tackling different projects around the house,  I spend a lot of my time practicing for my next competition.  I typically don’t see the shooting range until the weekend, so I use my weekdays to practice dry firing, reloading, or drawing from a holster.  The competitive side is what drives the...

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She Was Born to Hunt- Guest Blog
Jan08

She Was Born to Hunt- Guest Blog

Down by the Riverlee… In the fall of 1998 the little township of Socastee, South Carolina welcomed a baby girl home. It was obvious from the start this little girl would be fiercely independent. She was always quiet as mouse and her big brown eyes were busy observing and learning.  Riverlee Grace Weaver was named for the place her parents met…on the river. Her Dad wanted to call her River but her Mama, being a southern girl, insisted they dress it up with “lee” on the end. Where Riverlee was most comfortable was in the woods. Her Dad was a passionate hunter and where her Daddy was, there was her Mama. At the time she was born they were members of Winyah Archery Club in Georgetown, South Carolina. At three weeks old Riverlee had already spent the weekend at the hunt club with her parents.   Nearly every weekend during hunting season for her entire formulative childhood, Riverlee spent in a hunt camp. Her Daddy took her with him when he sat nearly from the time she could walk, knowing he had no plans of shooting a deer, but taking the opportunity to share the joy of the quietness with her. Riverlee was an expert at stillness. She could sit for hours without making a peep, still as a statue with never ending patience, just waiting for something to show. A deer, a raccoon, a turkey, a rabbit, a hog…it didn’t matter in the beginning. At seven years old she shot her first deer.  As she got older, she began refining her skills. She moved into bow hunting with ease and embraced the challenge of luring the deer in close enough for a good shot. When she was thirteen she called out to her Mama that she was going hunting someplace close to home. This was not unusual. It was typical to see her backside leaving the yard with her bow in hand and backpack strapped on. This particular night she came home with quite a story! As she was walking to her stand she happened to walk up on a doe. The doe never saw her, which is a testament to her stealthiness, so Riverlee dropped immediately into the background as this doe nibbled on her acorn snacks. Over the next few minutes, thirteen year old Riverlee successfully stalked and harvested this doe with her own bow. Dad did have to help pull her out of the woods though! While she loved hunting in general, she preferred bow hunting. She and her family began traveling to expand her hunting portfolio. Gobbler Down! She took her first turkey with...

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Let’s Get This Giveaway Started!!
Jan07

Let’s Get This Giveaway Started!!

I have not been able to take the smile off my face…I recently had a very good duck hunt and I am in a great mood!  Bird hunting has always been challenging for me and I think now that I have my “hunting contacts”  worked out, I will continue to do well.  I will remain humble and hope that my next hunt will be just as successful.   To celebrate this memorable duck hunt, I am offering an amazing giveaway to one of my subscribers! It is absolutely one of my favorite books … Rice & Ducks.  No, it is not a recipe book!  It is a treasured best seller  that covers the history of our beloved Coastal Low Country and how the the rise and fall of the rice plantations influenced the habitat  not only for waterfowl, but for all other native species of the Palmetto State.  The author, Virginia Christian Beach,  traces 200 years and brings to life the men and women who toiled in the rice marshes and those who became unimaginably wealthy.   This book will not end up tucked away on your bookshelf…it will be read from front cover to back cover.  You will marvel over the rare photos and maps and recollections from interviews and personal journals and letters. The best part is the proceeds will go toward protection of the northern breeding grounds and protection of migratory bird habitat in the Carolina Lowcountry Instead of choosing a random subscriber, I have decided that I will award this very special gift to one of my subscribers who leaves a comment on my blog.  Winner of the 2014 Gold IPPY Award, this book is certain to be one you will be very proud to own.  The winner will be drawn on Feb 29th. All you have to do is subscribe to my free blog and those subscribers  who leave a comment after reading any of  my blogs will have their name entered in a random drawing.  I really appreciate your support so much!  Good luck! Share this:FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogleRedditLike this:Like...

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January Apologies ….
Jan06

January Apologies ….

Now that the dust has settled and the cobwebs have cleared, I realize that I probably owe a few friends an apology. Missed birthday wishes, unreturned texts, and invitations passed up pretty much sums up my last few weeks of deer season. I could blame it on the holidays or my busy work schedule, but I am now admitting that I was totally obsessed with deer hunting.  It’s not like I did not have many hunts, as there were plenty. Nor was it an off year since I harvested two bucks and a doe. Looking back, I realize that I was on a mission to hunt every opportunity that came my way.  I was feeling that dread that comes over you when your favorite season (next to turkey hunting)  draws to an end and you can’t believe it will be another 8 months until you can experience  the insatiable thrill of hunting whitetails. There were so many amazing hunts this season. When I was not seeing deer, I was seeing hogs and I have to admit with three deer and three hogs down all with clean shots,  I have a lot to be happy about.   Since deer season drew to a close, I’ve had a great duck hunt and, I have a quail hunt on my schedule for February.  So yes, I have moved on and I finally can clearly see that I can and need to control this impassioned desire to hunt.   After all, it is only a couple of months till my “other love” rolls around… turkey hunting! Like deer season, turkey season has a way of gripping you like a viper on a mouse.  When you are not in the woods, you are thinking about it.  When you are not thinking about it, you are asleep.  Now that I am no longer in denial of this impending problem, I am going to be very careful not to repeat the same pattern I had with deer hunting.   I promise I will not become that hard to recognize shadow of a person who looks more like a tree than a human.  I assure you my friends, I’ll be there for you when you need me and that is not just turkey talk! Share this:FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogleRedditLike this:Like...

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