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Yikes, 23 degrees and soaking wet is not my idea of fun. Smart thinking duck hunting buddies, save friend who fell into Lake Iamonia . . .

Friends Matt Schimpf, Chase Spears and Jace Grissom frequently brave the early morning winter chill to go duck hunting.

But the Chiles High School students would rather keep the excitement to bagging their feathered prey and avoid mishaps like what happened Tuesday morning.

When the trio took off from the Bull Headley Landing in northeast Leon County headed to their hunting spot, it was dark and cold. Temperatures read 23 degrees.

They were riding for about 40 minutes headed to Beetles Cove on the north side of Lake Iamonia, Matt said, and had reached within a quarter mile of their spot when trouble struck.

“We were looking for our spot with a flashlight and that’s when (Jace) slipped on some ice on the boat and fell off,” said the 17-year-old. He had the keys to my truck in his pocket.

“They got hooked on the side of the boat, as he fell in. My keys were frozen on the side of the boat.”

Jace, 16, was in full gear, wearing waders, extending from his feet to his chest. Time was of the essence.

“I jumped over the decoys and slapped the handle of the trolling motor to turn it around,” Matt said. Chase started using a push pole to head toward Jace.

“We picked him up and brought him into the boat,” Matt added.

This is quite possibly the most adorable photo of a pet anyone can post. Why is everyone freaking out? Carson Wentz defends bird hunting after social media reaction . . .

Injured Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz thought he was posting an innocent enough photo, wishing happy birthday to his beautiful dog.

But since he did it on Twitter, he should have known better.

On Monday, Wentz posted then-and-now photos of his dog, writing, “Happy 5th Birthday to Mama Henley! We’ve been through a lot in 5 years. Best dog and hunting buddy I could ask for!”

As you can see, the picture of Mama Henley now has her proudly posing in front of a stack of birds, presumably ones she and Wentz caught together.

Which of course led to at least one person noting that the photo with the birds, “might cause offence” from someone in an influential position.

But Wentz wouldn’t hear it.

“Appreciate that, but offensive and controversial? Two of the main things I tweet about are Jesus and hunting. That’s what I’m passionate about and that won’t ever change!,” Wentz replied. “When you love something, you talk about it! Stay convicted about it and don’t worry what others think!”

As NBC Sports Philadelphia notes, some states, like Arkansas, encourage the killing of certain “nuisance birds” like light geese that harm farms and destroy habitats for other animals.

Wentz tore his ACL last month, dealing the Eagles’ playoff hopes a huge blow. Carson and his older brother, Zach, have their own YouTube channel, “Wentz Bros Outdoors,”where they post videos of their hunting exploits.

Illegal hunting is not hunting at all. Rapid City man pleads guilty to illegally hunting lions . . .

RAPID CITY, S.D. (AP) — A Rapid City man accused of illegally hunting mountain lions by baiting them with dead deer has pleaded guilty.

The Rapid City Journal reports 39-year-old William Colson VI recently pleaded guilty to four misdemeanors related to prohibited hunting and unlawful possession of a big game animal. Each offense is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,000 fine.

It’s against state law to bait lions, as well as to collect, possess and transport dead deer without permission from state wildlife officials.

 Colson was charged in February along with Rapid City resident Mason Hamm. Hamm’s case is ongoing. He’s due in court next month.

Colson also has pleaded guilty to illegally possessing lions and deer in a related case. He’s to be sentenced in both cases next month.

I am a proud supporter of Texas Exotic hunting ranches. How hunting rare, exotic animals in Texas increases their value . . .

LEAKEY – Cedar Hollow has forested hills, spring-fed ponds and no predators – everything a sambar, Pere David’s or barasingha deer could possibly want.

The giraffes can’t escape the valley because the hills are too steep. The brush is so dense that the shy bongo antelope are only seen when they visit the watering hole.

Houston businessman Dan Allford’s idyllic 1,000-acre Central Texas ranch is home to 13 exotic species from around the world. But to pay for the ton of feed a day needed to keep them healthy, and to maintain a balanced herd, he must sell 5 percent of the animals a year, the amount predators would take in the wild.

“I enjoy taking care of some of these endangered or extinct-in-the-wild animals,” he told me during a tour. “But I simply couldn’t afford it any other way. By selling these animals to collectors or hunting ranches, it pays for the other animals and keeps three people employed here full time.”

Allford’s hobby is part of the $1 billion exotic wildlife business in Texas, the target of intense opposition from animal rights activists. While few would question the right of ranchers to buy, sell or even shoot sheep, goats or cows born on their property, the Endangered Species Act tightly controls what a rancher does with a rare African gazelle or Chinese deer born on the same ranch.

Very sad situation for these two hunters.  Unlike the story above, it’s quite possible these two were unable to survive an unfortunate accident. Virginia hunters missing on James River . . .

JAMESTOWN, Va. — The search for two missing Central Virginia duck hunters turned into a recovery effort Friday afternoon, according to Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries spokesperson Lee Walker. A K9 Unit and a drone were being used to in the effort to recover the men who were reported missing after their 16-foot john boat never returned to the Jamestown Yacht Marina Wednesday evening.

A Virginia State Police helicopter discovered the hunters’ capsized boat Thursday afternoon, but the hunters — identified by family and friends as Kyle Englehart and Austin Savage — have not yet been located.

“Austin and Kyle are very hands on and very experienced hunters and boaters,” Austin’s brother Nathan Savage said. “Something doesn’t add up because they’re so experienced.”

Englehart and Savage went out Wednesday night to repair a broken duck blind before the winter storm hit Virginia.

When they did not return, workers at the marina notified the Coast Guard. That was at 1 p.m. on Thursday.

Their empty boat was discovered three hours later, near Hogg Island, Coast Guard spokesperson Corinne Zilnicki said.

Hunting clothes are evolving and becoming a necessary part of the hunt. Realtree EDGE Camo Pattern Combines Proven Concealment with DesignRead more:

COLUMBUS, Ga. -( Camo pattern leader Realtree introduces its most pioneering pattern to date – Realtree EDGE. This new pattern embraces distinctive qualities designed to disrupt the human form while sticking to its roots by offering realistic natural elements that ensure unmatched concealment.

“The new Realtree EDGE pattern is unique in its design and arrangement,” said Realtree President Bill Jordan. “This pattern features an abstract background with realistic limbs and leaves in the foreground to allow for seamless concealment in a variety of hunting environments. Leaves of varying shades and colors create a random pattern, and a variety of crisscrossing branches with highlights and shadows disrupt the vertical silhouette of the human shape.”

Lately the claim of so many camo patterns developed in this digital world is that disruption of the human form is more important than blending into the hunting environment.Read more:

Realtree EDGE is the only pattern that accomplishes both with natural features that match the hunter’s surroundings arranged in a way that erases the human form.

Learn more about the new Realtree EDGE camouflage on their website. And, as always, be sure to FIND THE ANTLER logo within the pattern to make sure you’re purchasing the world’s most effective and trusted camo patterns.

It takes years to accumulate the hunting gear you love. Lots of trial and error involved and it sucks for someone to just take it. Police Investigating Theft of Hunting Gear From TV Hosts . . .

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Police in Mississippi are investigating the reported theft of hunting equipment from the hosts of a Sportsman’s Channel hunting show.

Bow Life TV host Levi Morgan says in a video posted on the show’s Facebook page that their hunting gear was stolen from a truck parked outside a Vicksburg hotel earlier this week.

Deputy Police Chief Bobby Stewart told the Clarion Ledger that Vicksburg police investigators were reviewing surveillance video from the hotel. Stewart says the hosts’ truck was parked out of a camera’s view, but another truck was seen entering and leaving the area around the time of the theft.

Morgan says the stolen gear included safety vests, boots, arrows and filming equipment. He says they had stopped in Mississippi on their way to Louisiana.

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  1. It’s Lake Iamonia, with a capital I (eye), NOT Lamonia. Us locals pronounce it like ammonia, NOT eye-ammonia. Grew up hunting ducks there. Just so you know.

  2. Getting dumped in the water in cold weather seems to me to be exceptionally lethal.

    Not just the low water and air temps, but you’re wearing *heavy* winter clothing that takes time to get out of that will drag your ass down *fast*.

    Some fishermen down here in Florida have a lightweight CO2-cartridge inflatable vest over their shirts for emergencies. They ain’t cheap, though…

    • I got one of those auto-inflatable vests that I wear whenever I go boating. When I was a kid my dad would always make me wear the big goofy orange life jackets every time we went fishing. If you believe in safety enough to carry a gun and/or wear your seatbelt, you should also have enough sense to wear a life jacket any time you’re on the water.

    • My old man and his off spring could swim like fish. But not with waders, hunting vest and heavy winter clothes. He would not wear hip waders and would not allow us to wear them either.

      We wore the knee high muck boots. You can slip out of them a lot quicker and easier than hip waders.

      I don’t waterfowl these days but I’ve always got a pair of the muck boots in my 4runner for those wet day hunts.

  3. I had a friend who broke through the ice on a pond while we were hunting geese. He was wearing waders and they filled up with water, dragging him down. He was fine- we just lost touch after college, hence the past tense. Luckily, the water was only about armpit deep, but it was really hard to get him back out.

    • Shooting holes in his waders would have made getting him out easier. The water would have drained.

  4. “Illegal hunting is not hunting at all”
    Damned right it isn’t, Liberte. I get real tired of the correlation gun bigots try to draw between poachers and law abiding hunters. A poacher is NOT a hunter – they lose all claim to that title and should be shunned by any who aspire to be worthy of being called a Hunter.
    There is a very good reason the Texas anti-poaching program is called Operation Game Thief. 1-800-792-4263 to report poachers.

    • Nope, it’s definitely still hunting. Are we gonna be like the left and redefine established terms to our liking? “Hunting equals sportsmanship plus legality” sounds mighty close to “racism equals power plus prejudice.” Did hunting not exist before the United States enacted our first hunting regulations? What was it called when our Ice Age ancestors baited smilodons with horse carcasses? Or when they scared a herd of aurochs to stampede off the edge of a cliff?

      • The difference is there’s 350 million people in the US, and 7.2 billion on the planet now. If we just say fuck it and let everyone bag as many animals as they want, when they want, there will be none left.

      • There are many things our ancestors did to survive that would be either morally questionable or illegal today. That is not the world we live in now.
        If I were a game warden who had just caught someone poaching whom I knew was in a bad financial way and was merely providing for his family, I’d be tempted to give him a pass – but we should not equate that hypothetical case with what this poacher was doing with a mountain lion… the decision to strip him of the title Hunter is not literal, it is moral. I hope you knew that.

      • I agree. Illegal hunting and poaching are both, by definition, hunting.

        I also like how this is in the same digest as an article about hunting laws harming certain animal populations. Sometimes the illegal thing is the right thing. All “sportsmanship” hunting laws are wrong in my opinion. Hunting laws should only be about wild life management.

  5. Hahaha for the duck hunters and the poachers. the picture of the dog with an over limit of geese gets a big thumbs down too. Hope they all get what they ask for. It would be nice if the exotics on these ranches got loose and introduced a deadly disease to the cattle and everything dies, that would be nice.

    • If the pile of geese was illegal, why hasn’t he been arrested yet?

      If the pile of geese was legal, you should crawl back under the rock you came from.

    • Who’s your farmer? Are you 100% self-reliant? Are you as pure as the driven snow because your food comes from a shelf? If SHTF you’d be helpless and dead within 2 weeks. Here’s hoping!

  6. Speaking of hunting dog puppies, Liberte, I’m anxiously waiting for postings on the progress of the GSD hunting companion you mentioned you were getting. As a fan of GSD’s, and convinced that they can do anything any other breed of dog can do, only better, I really want to hear about how they develop as hunting dogs.

  7. Property Rights people.

    If its on my land, I will shoot it, sell it, or make it to wear silly hats as I see fit.

    • You can say that all day long. But actually doing so will get you placed in jail, unless it’s a nuisance critter like coyotes or pigs.

  8. How fortunate I am to have a hunting buddy prettier than the girl pictured. Put together as well too. Unfortunately she’s my youngest daughter.

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