2017 Hunting Trips Reports


12/16/17 Guided Inland Duck Hunt

Four hunters and one spectator (five total participants) had a great time at the 12/16/17 Guided Inland Duck Hunt with Roy Ethridge on a pond near Cameron.  A limit of 24 ducks (including 16 scaups and eight ring-necks) and one common merganser were bagged.  The morning started off slow – we didn’t see the first ducks until 10 minutes after legal shooting time.  But when they started to come in, boy did they come in, in groups of up to six. The hunters hunted from a metal and cedar tree blind.

12/9/17 Guided Inland Duck Hunt

Four hunters had a good time at the 12/9/17 Guided Inland Duck Hunt with Ricky Ethridge on a pond near Cameron.  Thirteen ducks were bagged including ring necks, scaups, and a redhead.  Over 100 ducks landed before legal shooting time.  When the hunters could shoot the ducks came in in groups of up to six.  The hunters hunted from layout blinds.  It was 28 degrees when they started hunting.

12/2/17 Self-guided Inland Duck Hunt

Four hunters had a good time at the 12/2/17 Self-guided Inland Duck Hunt at Lake Stillhouse Hollow in the Union Grove Wildlife Management Area.  We bagged eight ducks, including a canvasback hen, two ring-neck drakes, three green-winged teal (two drakes and one hen), a drake American widgeon and a redhead hen).  We also killed two other ducks but couldn’t get to them because the water that fell in was too deep and wounded another that escaped by diving.  We saw several other ducks that didn’t come within range.  We were treated to a glorious sunrise.  This was our best self-guided duck hunt since 12/21/13 (almost four years)!

11/18/17 Self-guided Inland Duck Hunt

Four hunters had a good time at the 11/18/17 Self-guided Inland Duck Hunt at Stillhouse Hollow Lake in the Union Grove Wildlife Management Area.  We saw several flights of ducks but only a few came within range.  Ken Miller got off a shot at three ducks that zoomed by him.  A flight of four came in low but behind us so we couldn’t get off a shot.  As we were gathering the decoys there was a lift off of about 100 ducks from the lake, with several heading our way.  Colin Jackson managed to get to his gun, load it, and get off a couple shots.  No ducks were interested in our decoys and calling.  There was a lot of flooded brush that we had to contend with, which probably made our decoys harder to see.

10/14/17 White-wing Dove Hunt (San Saba)

Twelve FCS hunters mostly enjoyed the nice breeze, scenery, and fellowship at the 10/14/17 White-wing Dove Hunt on the Evans Ranch near San Saba as the dove that were there on 10/1/17 had migrated (probably due to the recent cold fronts).  Most FCS hunters did not fire a shot.

10/1/17 White-wing Dove Hunt (San Saba)

Fifteen FCS hunters had a good time at the 10/1/17 White-wing Dove Hunt on the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  There were a lot more birds and some larger groups.  The best action was in the trees on the south end. The hunters that hunted there limited very quickly.  Most hunters got a limit.

9/24/17 Dove Hunt (Falfurrias)

Two hunters hunted on 67 acres property near Falfurrias on 9/24/17 that has two tanks and goat weed.  Michael Armstrong and his son got 13 on the Sunday afternoon hunt.  They were advised not to hunt the mornings and skipped those hunts.  They were going to hunt on Monday afternoon but were rained out.

9/16/17 White-wing Dove Hunt (San Saba)

Twenty 0ne FCS hunters and guests had a great time at the 9/16/17 Dove Hunt on the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  About half the group got a limit and the average was around ten birds. The birds were flying mostly from the river to the field and hugging the western tree line. There were mostly small groups of birds.  A few large groups flew over later in the day. The wind picked up making the shooting more challenging.  The longest lull in the action was about 15 minutes.

9/15/17 – 9/16/17 Guided Teal Hunt

FCS had a great teal hunt with Rayce Jenkins in Provident City.   The five hunters including Ian Daniels, Tom Burke and three generations of Letzerich’s (Dan, Neville, and Coulter).  In fact it was Coulter’s first hunt, and he nailed the first bird solo.  We got 11 birds total, though we could only recover 10.  Lots of singles coming in and groups of high flyers passing us by.  The flooding gave them lots of places to land that weren’t in front of our hunters.

9/9/17 Dove Hunt (Uvalde)

Eleven hunters had a great time at the 9/9/17 Dove Hunt near Uvalde on Tony Arce Jr’s property.  Considering it was the second weekend of the season, the birds were flying better than expected.  They were still sporadic enough that no one got their limit during the morning hunt.  Art Barrera harvested eight, Ron Burgi and his son (Joey) had about a dozen between them, and the rest of the hunters had between 0 – 5 by the time we broke for lunch.  After lunch, we had a Bible study on the Book of Acts, Chapter 5: 12-19.  The hunters then returned to the field for the afternoon hunt.  Art doesn’t know exactly how they fared during the afternoon hunt as I had to leave due to a family medical emergency back home.  However; it sounded as if everyone was able to harvest more birds.

9/2/17 White-wing Dove Hunt (San Saba)

Thirteen FCS hunters had a good time at the 9/2/17 Dove Hunt on the Evans Ranch near San Saba.  Most hunters got around 10 birds, but at least three got a limit.  The hunt was steady with a few large groups occasionally.  Mostly singles or two at a time.  The longest lull in the action was around 15 minutes.  Lamar Denney shot his first nine birds with his .410 and then switched to a larger gauge.

4/23/17 – 4/25/17 Semi-guided Hog Hunt

Fifteen participants enjoyed the 4/23/17 – 4/25/17 Semi-guided Hog Hunt at the Independence Ranch near Gonzales.  Rich Beitel got the first pig from a stand on Day 1.  Bob Zambrano got the last one on Tuesday morning.  In total they harvested 25 pigs – everyone got at least one.  Michael Armstrong shot the largest at 240 lbs.  Several were over 200 pounds.  They saw axis deer, red deer, elk, watusi cows, and turkeys.  Ian Daniels led a devotional on Proverbs.  A great time was had by all!

4/21/17 – 4/23/17 Self-guided Hog Hunt

Six participants mostly enjoyed the scenery at the 4/21/17 – 4/23/17 Self-guided Hog Hunt on Charles Batts’ ranch near Junction.  Sam Martin killed three piglets that still had their umbilical cords on them and hit their momma during a search for shed antlers, but we couldn’t find her.  We saw axis deer, whitetails, and turkeys.  Randy Rowley led a devotional on being In Control.

3/27/17 Guided Upland Bird Hunt

The 2017 FCS Upland Bird Hunt was a great success.  Hunting on 3/27/17 with Schumann Brothers Outdoors near Dime Box, members Burl Fulenwider, Bret Mercer, Michael Armstrong and guest, Andrew Armstrong, harvested 7 Pheasant, 4 Chukar, and 28 quail (39 birds).  It was comfortable day with cloudy skies , mild breezes, and temps in the 70’s & low 80’s.  The morning hunt concentrated on quail while the afternoon hunt on pheasant and chukar.  Multiple great shots were made by all hunters placing the birds at impossible odds to escape; especially with hunters Burl, Bret, and Andrew.  Even our guide, Mike Schumann, was impressed with the shooting exhibition.  It was a very satisfying day for four hunters enjoying our creator’s creation.

1/27/17 – 1/29/17 Self-guided Coastal Duck Hunt

Five participants had a challenging time at the 1/27/17 – 1/29/17 Self-guided Coastal Duck Hunt near Port O’Connor.

We launched Champ, Randy Rowley’s bass boat, on Friday at Charlie’s Bait Camp and tried to take a cut out to Espiritu Santo Bay but ran aground three times.  We then gave up and drove back to town and launched at Froggie’s Bait Dock.  We headed south and took the cut to Dewberry Island.  The closest we could get the boat to shore before it ran aground was about 75 yards away, so it was a long haul with all of our stuff.  We moved the boat about 75 yards further down the island.  To hamper things there was a 24 MPH north wind and the mud was very soft close to shore.  Both Randy and Burl Fulenwider got stuck.  A few ducks flew by and Ken Miller bagged a redhead and lost another when it dove, but no birds were interested in our decoys.  With the wind pushing the boat further into the shallows, it was quite a chore to get it free from the bottom.

On Saturday morning we hunted near Little Mary’s Cut off of Barroom Bay.  We were able to get the boat a little closer to shore before it beached, but not much.   It also rained lightly.  We had a few ducks come by and about three came into the decoys.  Randy bagged two redheads and Ken got one.  We hunted close to the same spot that afternoon and Burl bagged two redheads and Binh Chu bagged one.

When the alarm went off at 4:00 AM on Sunday we decided that we were too tired to hunt and slept in.

We didn’t see nearly as many ducks as we usually see off of Wilson’s Cut between Port Aransas and Corpus Christi and didn’t kill as many either, with only seven bagged.  We talked to several locals and heard stories that there were a lot of ducks there until about two weeks ago when the big freeze hit (they probably went further south).  This was probably our last trip to Port O’Connor for ducks using Champ.  In addition to seeing only a few ducks, we got stuck several times in the shallow bays.  Randy’s plan of following bay boats around in his deeper drafting bass boat in the dark led to several of those groundings.  As the saying goes, “Live and learn.”

1/14/17 Guided Inland Duck Hunt

Three men (Robert Rumbarger, Neville Letzerich and his father) hunted on Saturday, January the 14th with Jack Chamberlain of Tenney Creek Outfitters at his place near McMahan.  The men hunted a pond until about 9:00 AM.  The weather was terrible – wet and cold.   The hunters knocked down eight ducks – mostly gadwalls but also some diver ducks and a hybrid duck that looked part black bellied whistling and part blue bill.  Jack is a very good guide with lots of knowledge and a good manner and care toward the customer.  The volume of birds was slow to medium.  Most of the good shooting happened before the sun was fully up.


1/7/17 Self-guided Inland Duck Hunt

Four participants (plus Mr. Murphy) endured 16 degree temperatures (a new FCS record) at the Union Grove Wildlife Management Area on Lake Stillhouse Hollow.  We walked about 1/2 mile in and hunted to the east of Union Grove Road.  That was because Randy Rowley’s boat failed to start.  We couldn’t even get it to start jump starting it with Ryan Rowley’s truck (it later proved to be bad battery cables).

For the first time we were greeted by ice on the water along the banks and at exposed vegetation.  Randy missed the only duck that came into our spread.  We also had a flight of pintails zoom by right in front of us, but by the time we saw them and got our guns on our shoulders they were already out of range.

1/2/17 Self-guided Inlad Duck Hunt

Four participants mostly enjoyed the scenery and fought Mr. Murphy on Belton Lake.  We launched at Iron Bridge Park, which proved to have about a foot of water followed by two feet of mud and a hard bottom below that.  We made it about 20′ from the ramp before giving up.  We then went to Owl Creek park, but a sign said the park was closed.  We then went to Leona Park and proceeded to Owl Creek.  We set up and had one flight of ducks fly by, but they were too high and too far away.  We should have brought our fishing poles, as several bass hit the top of the water near our decoys.

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