Friday, January 19, 2018

Jeff Foxworthy coming for 2018 SE Wildlife Expo

Jeff Foxworthy in 2012 at Wine, Wheels and Wildlife
The longest weekend of the year for wildlife enthusiasts is coming back strong in 2018, with a slew of new events and TV star power too. Charleston welcomes the best wildlife artists to town on Valentine’s Day weekend for the 36th year, especially for those who love sporting art that depicts our outdoor heritage. The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition, better known as SEWE weekend, brings together a range of folks from serious art collectors to dog handlers, looking to spend a few hours or a few days focusing on the outdoors lifestyle.
Local artist Scott Penegar sculpting a bobwhite quail in 2018

The first full day of SEWE begins on Friday February 16 when all exhibiting locations open at 10 a.m. and remain open until 6. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy is well known for his redneck jokes and his successful career as a TV show host, but did you know that he is also a sketch artist? Foxworthy makes his first trip to town for SEWE in 2018 and he will host a Question and Answer session about where he finds the inspiration to create his art. The chance to engage with Jeff Foxworthy in this setting will allow him to share his knowledge and passion for the outdoors with SEWE patrons.

Looking Forward to New Events in 2018
Another new event for SEWE in 2018 is the Discussion on Longleaf Pine Preservation taking place on Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Garden And Gun Magazine offices. Bill Palmer is the CEO of the Tall Timbers Research Station, and he will be on the panel of experts that talk about longleaf management practices and the relation to bobwhite quail recovery. TallTimbers hosts a Field Day each year in South Carolina for landowners interested in quail habitat, and this event hopes to reach a similar audience. This event costs $20 and includes cocktails.

To read the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian

To view past blog entries from SEWE Sunday click 201720162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

To view blog entries from the 2017 35th Anniversary of SEWE click Birds Of Prey - Jeff Corwin - SEWE Gala - Feathers and Flocks 

Excited to report on the Inaugural ACE Award at SEWE 2018

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Trusty Toyota Tacoma Truck Records Rare 500,000-Mile Mark

Keeping It In The Road for 500K Miles
With the onset of the new calendar year, 2018 should be the year that multiple milestones are achieved for the humble blogger with a passion for the Lowcountry Outdoors. This blog began in January of 2009, meaning that the 2018 campaign will be my tenth year of coverage for all manner of outdoor events, sporting endeavors and the pursuit of conservation. Almost every mile of that journey came behind the wheel of my 1998 Toyota Tacoma pick up truck, a 4-cylinder 5-speed auto that I have been able to maintain over the years as reliable transportation. It wasn't a foregone conclusion that I would reach 500,000-miles in this truck, but I am comfortable that it came in 2018, after 20 years of history as the sole owner and driver of this Tacoma.

Oil Change at 500K - You Betcha!
My Lodging while Quail Hunting at a Lowcountry Plantation
Most of these miles are highway miles, traveling between town and country for work, and I have always told folks that the truck drives smoothest when in 5th-gear. My Tacoma has not been 'babied' though, but it has not ever been mistreated either. Driving this truck around on our family farm means that dirty, muddy and dusty conditions are always present, and changing the air filter on this truck is a regular duty just like changing the oil filter. One time I drove the truck out into a cutover corn field to retrieve a deer, and that field was plenty rough to drive over, and I ended up taking a corn stalk through the radiator. A trip to my auto mechanic for a new radiator was the solution, yet most of the original equipment on this Tacoma is still in place.

The feeling of driving a vehicle that wants to keep on truckin' is special, and friends marvel at its endurance, even while they are changing vehicles. I am not sure when the passage of time will demand a change for myself regarding transportation, but for now I plan to stay the course with the Toyota that is already part of my narrative from the Lowcountry Outdoors.

To view pas blog entries from my Trusty Toyota Tacoma click on 450,000 miles - 400,000 miles - 350,000-miles

To view past blog entries from my New Year's Eve Toast click on 20172016 20152014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009   
The Morning After Hurricane Matthew in Charleston

Saturday, January 13, 2018

2018 Duck Hunt in Frozen Bootheel of Missouri

Duck decoys frozen in place - and slippery walking!
We tried to land ducks in a pothole opened via axe
With rain in the forecast, which is a surefire way to loosen up areas of frozen ice, we headed into the bootheel of Missouri (after Arkansas) to hunt ducks in the small town of Gobler. This portion of the Mississippi River delta is flat, and very fertile farming ground. Ricefields and other grainfields stretch as far as the eye can see, and it is prime duck habitat. The local farmers have learned that they can lease pit blinds to avid duck hunters in order to increase and diversify revenue after the harvest. We booked a room at a hunting lodge that was built on farmland not far from where we would hunt.
With the ice frozen about 6-inches thick, our guides had carved out a hole only about 6-feet by 6-feet for us to try to attract the ducks. Decoy spreads and motion decoys are set up on the ice all around the water hole, and the goal is to get any ducks to come land right in the water, or maybe come close enough to shoot at. This system worked well enough for some to harvest a few ducks. Hunting conditions were tough, but locals were using trolling motors, ice eaters, axes and shovels to try and keep a patch of open water.
Elk Chute Hunt Lodge in Gobler, Missouri
Interesting nickname and just West of Memphis
It was painfully clear that we missed the thaw that everyone had longed for, but our window to visit was coming to a close, and we did the best we could. Visiting other states to hunt migratory ducks is a hobby for hunters who enjoy the pursuit of waterfowl. Each state can charge a separate hunting license fee, but in general it is quite a blessing to be able to move around and chase the ducks. This trip yielded lots of information that can be applied to future duck hunts to the Midwest, to revisit old hunting grounds and to make new friends. 

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about duck hunting with Drake Field Experts click on Filming 2016 Migration Nation TV show September Geese - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2014 S.C. State Duck Calling Champion

To view past blog entries about hunting ducks in the Midwest click on  Filming Ducks Unlimited TV show 

To view past blog entries for late January duck hunts click 20172016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

 To view past blog entries about hunting wood ducks click 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

To View past blog entries from Mossy Oak Gamekeepers Magazine click Fall 2017 Spring 2016 Winter 2016 - Fall 2015 - Summer 2015 - Spring 2015 - Winter 2015 Fall 2014 - Summer 2014 - Spring 2014 - Winter 2013