Camp Pheasant
Feb09

Camp Pheasant

    You never forget a good hunt, but meeting amazing people at camp is even more memorable. My hubby and I have so much fun on these great hunting getaways.  We are always reminded of this whenever we gather up with other like minded people. I love meeting people from all walks of life as each person has a story and no two are the same.  What bonds us together as hunters is a connection to the nature around us and our passion to preserve and to protect it through conservation. For me, I look forward to the fellowship whenever we get together with other hunters. I really enjoyed meeting John Boy this past weekend at DW Outdoors in Mullins, SC.   For those of you who may not know him ( probably not many don’t know him), he is a nationally syndicated radio personality – John Boy & Billy The Big Show.  Thank you John Boy for that great shout out about Camo365 to your two million listeners!  My blog stats blew up for several days!!!           The kitchen bursts with trays and trays of amazing food,  The room filled with laughter and talk quiets to  complete silence as the blessing is asked before our meal.  We show our appreciation for the harvest and sit down to enjoy a gorgeous southern supper. Southern home cooking on steroids is my favorite way to describe the amazing spread prepared by the staff at  DW Outdoors! Thank you Jeff, Frank, & Wyman!!         It was a great day in the field and always thinking about the next shoot!!!         Share this:FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogleRedditLike this:Like...

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Porcupine Encounter! Guest Post!
Feb01

Porcupine Encounter! Guest Post!

When I first posted this picture on social media, I got a variety of comments about it. Some people ‘got’ it and realized how unique the photo was and how it was pretty cool that I was that close to a porcupine. Other people made comments like: “What happened after the picture?” (with the assumption that I shot it after the encounter). Basically it all boils down to time and place; if this porcupine was within a half mile of my farm and the dogs, I would have most likely taken alternative actions. Pests are pests, but porcupines don’t go looking for trouble.   They’re just trying to find their next meal, which this guy proved when he cowered at our approach. I think it would be awfully boring if we didn’t see porcupines in the trees, or magpies calling their crew together over a newly discovered carcass in the bush, or even muskrats swimming through a small water pot in a pasture. If it’s not directly harming me or my animals, it can stay (with the exception of skunks and raccoons.   My hatred for them has been a lifelong struggle as a chicken, pheasant and waterfowl owner).  I’m not saying I’ve never disposed of a porcupine because I’d be lying!  I’m also not a fan of them around the farm yard, especially when my overly curious horse got too close to one.  Let me tell you, pulling 57 quills out of the muzzle of a 1200 pound horse who is trying to stomp you with his front feet while ripping out strands of barbed wire fencing in the meantime, is not my idea of a good time. However, this particular porcupine was within a mile of the south Saskatchewan River, and no where near any farm yards. This great photo op came about when my brother and I were out moose hunting one afternoon and on our way back to the truck, we came across this young porcupine in a stubble field who was just cleaning up some grain that was thrown over by the combine. He wasn’t hurting anyone or anything.   He was just minding his business enjoying his supper. My favorite comment: “You’re lucky you didn’t get stuck with a quill” (I was at least 2 feet behind this guy).  There is a common misconception that porcupines can “throw” their quills… they can’t! The only way that a quill can be extracted from the body of a porcupine is from direct pressure on the quill causing the barbed end to pierce the muzzle/paw/etc of the animal and therefore being released from the back of...

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Crab Chowder!!! Amazing Recipe by Leslie Crawford
Jan26

Crab Chowder!!! Amazing Recipe by Leslie Crawford

I know it sounds impossible, but sometimes after a big crab boil (which is the best dinner around, even if it does make for slow eating…), we have leftovers. Gasp! After your cleaned crabs are boiled, first and foremost, you gotta pick em. Which isn’t nearly as fun when you’re not stuffing your face…. but still totally worth the effort! So now you have fresh caught, deliciously boiled, and clean picked lump blue crab meat. What to do? Crab cakes come to mind first… but that seemed a little too typical for me. Too easy. I was looking for something out of the box. Plus, yesterday was a cold and drizzly day, so I knew a soup would hit the spot!   So, here’s the skinny on making your own delicious pot of crab chowder: Which, by the way, is not a “skinny” soup. This is a full fat, delicious comfort food soup. Crab Chowder Recipe Boil the carrots and potatoes: The first thing you’ll want to do is peel and chop 3-5 medium potatoes (I used red potatoes because that is what was in my pantry) and 3 large carrots, also chopped. Place these in a soup pot and add just enough stock to cover the potatoes and carrots well, but don’t make them swim! Cover, turn the heat on med/high and let them boil. Fry up some chopped bacon: Now you’ll need 5-10 slices of bacon, chopped into bite-size pieces. Fry these up in a large skillet until they reach your preferred crispness level. These will be served as a topping for the soup. I got mine a little too crunchy for my tastes, but that’s ok! Now, drain the bacon pieces on a paper towel and forget about them until setting the table. Sautee onion, celery, garlic, and mushrooms: To the bacon grease, add one large diced onion and about 3 stalks of chopped celery (which I was out of…boo) and let them cook until the onions start to get clear. Now add a Tbsp of chopped garlic and some chopped mushrooms if you have them (I was also out! Eeek!). Let this cook another minute or so until it smells fragrant. Make a roux, like a gravy: Now while you’re grease is still hot (but don’t let it start smoking!) you’re going to add flour, in a less than exact manner, as if you were making white gravy… Add a little at a time (1-2 Tbsp) and start whisking. You want the grease to be soaked up by the flour, but not be quite as cakey as mine was (I was a bit heavy-handed with...

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HELLO 2018!!!
Jan03

HELLO 2018!!!

Ringing in the New Year was different than what I had planned.  In keeping with past years, we had planned on hunting the last day of the year and the first day of the new year.  Our New Year’s Eve hunt was bitter cold but that did not keep us from enjoying our sit in the woods watching nature.  From my stand, I was entertained by a beautiful Red Tail Hawk,  three huge gobblers, and a “herd” of does.  A spike and a 4 pointer also stopped by as I sat taking it all in. My hubby and I both had a great hunting season and between the two of us, we harvested enough venison for the year so we made the decision to pass on taking another deer this season.  With that in mind, we opted out of our New Year’s Day traditional hunt. Instead of waking up at 3 am, we slept in until 8 which is rare for us.  We used the day to celebrate the beginning of a new year with an amazing Eggs Benedict brunch and Champagne.   I prepared a venison roast for the crockpot which would be our dinner later in the day.  I loved sitting  by our fireplace,  spending most of the day in my PJ’s!! But with lots of football to enjoy, the couch was the place to be as I snuggled in with a book in hand and my best friend at my side.  This most restful day was what we both needed, and for that I was so grateful. Subscriber Winners of the Antler Oyster Knife! This antler oyster knife was handcrafted and offered by artist, Jenny Hanna of Midnight and Magnolias https://www.etsy.com/shop/MidnightandMagnolias I  want to take this time to thank each and everyone of my subscribers and followers for an amazing year.  Your support means so very much to me since I find a lot of pleasure writing about my passion for hunting.  Here are the winners of my most recent giveaways: Adda Mae Dillon, Summerville, SC, David Kramer, Greenville, SC and Pat Robertson, Columbia, SC.  All were recipients of an Antler Oyster Knife!  Congratulations!!  I have a lot of South Carolina subscribers but I have also had many other winners from other states in the past! Thank you all and wishing you a Happy 2018!!!     Share this:FacebookTwitterPinterestGoogleRedditLike this:Like...

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Me and My Beretta!
Jan01

Me and My Beretta!

If this sounds a bit familiar, you may recall that I wrote a blog post called “Me and My Benelli” a couple of years ago. There I go again . . . falling in love with another Italian shotgun. Embracing my Italian roots (I am of 100% Italian ancestry), I have long been drawn to these wonderful shotguns. My 12-gauge Ultra Light Benelli has been a wonderful gun and is serving me well with its versatility. I love it for hunting turkeys, ducks, doves, and clay shooting with its semiautomatic action. The fact that it weighs less than 6 pounds is a great advantage in every situation. However, there are many occasions where having a gun with a break-open action is preferred. I have attended events where you are required to have a gun with a break-open action for safety reasons on and off the field. If the action is open, there is no possibility of a shell being fired unintentionally. After much research, I started focusing on the Silver Pigeon V over-and-under 20-gauge shotgun. You might think I was gaga over the gorgeous walnut oil-finished stock and its hand-inlaid gold game scenes on the sides of the action. Or, maybe it was the oval on the stock where I can put my initials or family crest that turned my head. Yes, those Italian gunmakers know how to make you swoon! OK, the sheer beauty of Beretta may have had a thing or two to do with it, but I honestly think that I was drawn to this shotgun, as I believe it will be a gun that will satisfy my quest for quality and durability. This gun will surely be one that I pass down to the next generation of hunters in my family. I am thrilled that my daughter Caroline loves to shoot clays, and I also have three granddaughters who, although very small, share my love for anything relating to hunting, especially wearing camouflage clothes. Being a member of Back Woods Quail Club, I have had the pleasure of taking some clay shooting lessons from Ken Podraza of 2XL Shooting Sports. I was excited to learn that Ken now offers shotgun fittings and stock modifications, so I was quick to give him a call to help me get my gun fitted. Ken is certainly a perfectionist, and I learned so much from him about my new gun. “As a shooting instructor and shotgun fitter, I see many people interested in finding that perfect shotgun. A shotgun should feel balanced, swing smoothly to the target, and have the shooter’s eye aligned down the rib of the barrel...

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“Hunting” for Love in All the Right Places!
Dec14

“Hunting” for Love in All the Right Places!

    Being a hunting couple offers endless possibilities.  For us, it is a perfect way for us to celebrate our anniversary.   Each year, we return to one of our favorite hunting destinations, Deerfield Plantation.  Having a December anniversary could not be better.  I personally love cold weather and here in South Carolina,  you are never really sure what weather you will have in early December.  Well, it was just what I had hoped with morning temps in the 20’s and along with that, rain and wind.  For me, the elements bring a lot to the hunt and I come prepared with proper clothing thanks to Prois with their full line of women’s hunting apparel!  When we arrived, the cloudy overcast day offered a beautiful backdrop for  a quick photo shoot. Our awesome guide, Patrick was the designated photographer and the gorgeous grounds where the 19th century hunting lodge is located  could not be more beautiful.   I loved the colorful leaves glistening with rain and the mist in the air as we strolled the pretty tree stand next to the cabin,  It was a great way to get prepared for a long afternoon sit in our deer stands. Our little cabin was warm and cozy and as we left all our cares at home, we sunk into big leather chairs and sipped hot cocoa.  Our backpacks were double checked for everything we might need and the anticipation was high expecting the whitetails to be moving with the cold temps. When I am in my stand, I try so hard to be quiet and still while scanning constantly for any sign of movement.  Likewise, the deer are constantly on the lookout for movement and signs of trouble.  Does are always on guard putting their heads down to eat and jerking them up fast to see if anything changed or moved.  You know they are looking directly in your eyes as you lock a stare, afraid to blink as to give yourself away.  I feel like I am in a mannequin challenge as I struggle to maintain my perfectly still position.  The does eventually move on.  When I am not looking for deer,  I am looking at the beauty of the woods around me.  Here are some of the views from several stands I hunted while I was in camp. The leaves of the underbrush are still holding onto some of their beautiful leaves and look bright against the grey bark of the bare trees.  It was so cold that steam rose up from the trees when the sun came up in the early morning hours making it look like the...

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