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Feb
19

2018 – Fishing Reports

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Categories : Fishing Reports
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Feb
14

Bass Rotation

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The following is a rotation list for largemouth bass fishing on Lady Bird Lake and Lake Pflugerville.  I, Randy Rowley, can take up to two fishermen on my boat (three, counting me).  As my boat’s motor is no more (it went kaput and I sold it for parts), we will use my trolling motor only for these trips.  I usually fish at least once a month during non-hunting months (February through August), but will not guarantee a set number of times.  We will fish with artificial lures.  I’m willing to fish part of the time with live or dead bait, but everyone in the boat will all fish with live or dead bait or none of us will (as the boat needs to be moving for artificial lures (most of the time) and it shouldn’t move when fishing with minnows (as movement will drown the minnows)).  If one guy is trying to fish with live or dead bait and another guy is trying to fish with lures then one or the other will be unhappy.

Bring your freshwater fishing license, rods, reels, lures, cap/hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, and snacks/drinks.  If you need to borrow an item(s) let me know (before we leave).  We usually stop at a Whataburger on the way to the lake.  We also might stop for lunch on the way home.

Trips will usually be six to eight hours, counting travel time, unless the fish are biting well, in which case we may decide to fish later, or if they’re not biting well or at all, in which case we may decide to quit earlier.  We’ll split the truck.  There is also often a per person park entrance fee (usually $5 each) or a boat launch fee that we will split (no more than $5 each).

Fishermen who want to participate must sign, if they have not already, a lifetime FCS Liability Waiver.

After a fisherman goes on a fishing trip I will move him or her to the bottom of the rotation.  If I contact a fisherman and he or she cannot go I will contact the next person on the list.

Being on this rotation is a privilege and is not a FCS membership benefit.  I can and will remove a person from the rotation for any of the following reasons (this list is not all inclusive):

  • Not fishing in a safe manner, including deliberately not following my instructions during a fishing trip.
  • Not paying your fair share of gas and park entrance fees/boat launch fees.
  • Not paying for items (that are not yours) that you broke or lost (including losing lures that you borrowed).
  • Not helping during a fishing trip (including not helping get the boat back on the trailer).
  • Indicating that he or she will attend a fishing trip and then not showing up.
  • A pattern of being more than a few minutes late.
  • A pattern of canceling at the last minute.
  • Not returning my phone calls and/or emails.
  • Not complying with the FCS Fishing Rules during a fishing trip.

The following people are on the Bass Fishing Rotation list for the 2018 season:

  1. Jeff Cates
  2. Ryan Rowley
  3. Chris Rowley
  4. Jim McGee
  5. Roland Olivarez

The following people are on the Master Bass Fishing Rotation list:

  1. Bill Smith
  2. Flint and Harrison DeShazo
  3. Jeff Cates
  4. Dustin Rhodes
  5. Ryan Rowley
  6. DaLee Trevino
  7. Jeff Peterson and son
  8. Burl Fulenwider
  9. Chris Rowley
  10. Jim McGee
  11. Rex Yokum
  12. David Lesser and sons
  13. Nathan Hoeft
  14. Roland Olivarez

Lure recommendations

Topwaters – walk the dog lures like Heddon’s Zara Spook, Zara Spook Jr., or Zara Puppy or Xcalibur’s Spittin’ Image; poppers like Heddon’s Chuggar Spook or Hula Popper, Storm’s Rattlin’ Chug Bug, or Rebel’s Pop-R; torpedo lures like Heddon’s Baby Torpedo; and Buzz baits like Booyah’s Buzz Clacker.  Colors – bass, shad, chartreuse, bone, and clear.  For lakes with a lot of grass (such as Bastrop, Decker, and Fayette) you can add frog colored topwaters or plastic frogs such as Lunkerhunt Lunkers, Strike King KVD Sexy Frogs, Scum Frogs (including the Scum Frog Popper) and toad style baits such as Stanley Ribbits.

Lipless crankbaits – Rapala Rattlin’ Rapala, Xcalibur Xr75 , Strike King Red Eye Shad, hard swimbaits, etc.  Colors – bass, shad, perch, red (best in spring), and chartreuse (best in the summer). Crankbaits – Norman Little N, Strom Wiggle Wart, Strike King KVD 2.5 or Pro-Model 3XD, Rapala Shad Rap, Bandit 200, and similar.

Deep divers include Norman’s DD-22, Strike King’s 5XD and 6XD, and Bomber’s Fat Free Shad.  Same colors as the lipless crankbaits.

Jerk baits (stick baits) – Bomber Long A, Rapala Husky Jerk, Rapala X-Rap, Smithwick Rattlin’ Rogue, and Storm Thunderstick.  Same colors as the crankbaits.

Spinnerbaits – white, yellow, chartreuse, combo white/yellow or white/chartreuse, watermelon (green), red (in the spring), and black/blue or black/red when it’s dark or there is a heavy overcast.  I prefer spinnerbaits with two blades over one.  The type is not that important but I tend to prefer the Colorado blade.

Soft plastics – Zoom finesse worms, flukes, crawdads, lizards, or baby brushhogs, Berkley power worms, crawdads, or lizards, Senko worms, Yum Dinger worms, Big Bite worms and grubs, Grandebass rattlesnakes, and Roadrunner’s with grub tails.  Colors depend on the time of year and such things as if it’s overcast of sunny.  The general rule is darker colors work best when it’s overcast and during the winter.  Lighter colors work best in the fall, spring, and summer and when it’s sunny.  Some of my favorite colors include Smokin’ Green, Watermelon, Watermelon Red, June Bug, Red Bug, Red Shad, Motor Oil, Pumpkinseed, Dark Blue, and Camo.  Zoom’s Baby Brushhog in pumpkinseed is a good choice for Travis in the fall.  Lizards and crawdads in pumpkinseed are good in the spring.  Frogs like Ribbits, Scum Frogs, and Strike King’s KVD Sexy Frog are good in early morning in grassy areas or lily pads.  Soft swimbaits are good in the grass.

Line Recommendations

It depends on the reels that you are using.  Generally for spin cast reels you don’t want to use anything heavier than 10 lb. mono.

For baitcast and spinning reels: Topwater rod/reel – mono 12 – 15 lb. test.  The exception is fishing with frogs, in which case 20 – 50 lb. braid is the best (to cut through weeds, lily pads, etc.; braid also floats).

Crankbait/spinnerbait/jerk bait (stick bait) rod/reel – flurocarbon (preferred) or mono 12 – 15 lb. test. Soft plastics rod/reel – braid, fluro, or mono.  Fluro or mono- 12 -15 lb. test.  Braid – 20 – 50 lb. test (braid does not have the same thickness as mono of fluro (20 lb. braid = 6 lb. mono).

Let me know at randywrowley@gmail.com (my preference) or at 512-922-2484 if you would like to be added to this rotation.  You do not have to be an FCS member to be added to this rotation.

Categories : Bass Rotation
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Feb
10

Upcoming Events

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 2/17/18 ‘Copperhead Clay Bowl’ NSCA Sporting Clays Tournament

FCS will participate in the ‘Copperhead Clay Bowl’ Sporting Clays Tournament at the Copperhead Creek Shooting Club in Marble Falls on Saturday, 2/17/18. There is an online registration form (pre-registration is requested, not required). The main event (100 targets) price is $70. We can have groups of up to five but must have a group of at least three (not all have to be FCS members). We may have time to shoot a practice round of skeet. Note that if you are not a National Association (NSCA) member you will be shooting Hunter (or Shooter) Class, which means that you will not be eligible to win any prize money, nor will your score be posted on their website. Membership with the NSCA is $40 per year. There will also be a 50 Target 5-Stand Event, 50 Target Side Event, and Concurrent options. Please RSVP to Bruce Crockett at bmc55@att.net, 512-244-1555 (Home), or 512-970-7797 (Cell). You can also email or call him if you have any questions.

2/24/18 ‘Promatic Open’ NSCA Sporting Clays Tournament

FCS will participate in the next Capitol City Trap & Skeet Club (8707 Lindell Lane, 512-272-4707) sporting clays tournament on Saturday, 2/24/18. There is an online registration form (pre-registration is requested, not required). The main event (100 targets) price is $70. We can have groups of up to five but must have a group of at least three (not all have to be FCS members). We may have time to shoot a practice round of skeet. Note that if you are not a National Association (NSCA) member you will be shooting Hunter (or Shooter) Class, which means that you will not be eligible to win any prize money, nor will your score be posted on their website. Membership with the NSCA is $40 per year. There will also be a 50 Target 5-Stand Event, 50 Target Side Event, and Concurrent options. Please RSVP to Bruce Crockett at bmc55@att.net, 512-244-1555 (Home), or 512-970-7797 (Cell). You can also email or call him if you have any questions.

1/27/18 ‘Promatic Open’ NSCA Sporting Clays Tournament

FCS will participate in the next Capitol City Trap & Skeet Club (8707 Lindell Lane, 512-272-4707) sporting clays tournament on Saturday, 1/27/18. There is an online registration form (pre-registration is requested, not required). The main event (100 targets) price is $70. We can have groups of up to five but must have a group of at least three (not all have to be FCS members). We may have time to shoot a practice round of skeet. Note that if you are not a National Association (NSCA) member you will be shooting Hunter (or Shooter) Class, which means that you will not be eligible to win any prize money, nor will your score be posted on their website. Membership with the NSCA is $40 per year. There will also be a 50 Target 5-Stand Event, 50 Target Side Event, and Concurrent options. Please RSVP to Bruce Crockett at bmc55@att.net, 512-244-1555 (Home), or 512-970-7797 (Cell). You can also email or call him if you have any questions.

3/3/18 Guided Upland Bird Hunt

FCS will have its next Guided Upland Bird Hunt on 3/3/18 with Schumann Brothers Outdoors at the old Dismukes/Bieberstein Ranch near Dime Box.  They have 900 acres of blackland prairie covered with native grass and short brush, post oak savannah with improved pasture, lightly wooded uplands, and heavily wooded bottomlands – an ideal match for upland birds like quail, pheasant and chukars.

This will be a full day hunt starting at 9:00 AM and ending at 5:00 PM.  You can choose from 18 quail, 9 chukar, or 6 pheasant, or a mixture of all three.  As with all ranches in Central Texas, these will be pen raised birds.  The price is $250 per person (he has gone up on his price).  Tips are highly recommended.  A 20% tip is $50.

The hunt includes:

  • Kids (15 years old & under) hunt FREE with paid adults
  • FREE shooting lessons
  • Sporting clays and bird processing included (lunch not included)
  • Hunting dogs will be provided.  If you would like to bring your well-trained (for upland bird hunting) and well-mannered dog you can but only one or two dogs can come.  We must clear your dog with Schumann Brothers and the other hunters if you want to bring a dog.

There is a discount for additional packages of birds.  A three hunter minimum is required.

We had several highly successful hunts with Schumann Brothers Outdoors (see the below pictures).

http://fcs-texas.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/021613_Upland-Bird-Hunt_Dimebox-300x200.jpg.pagespeed.ce.wBsTIBxTIV.jpghttp://fcs-texas.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/020913_Dimebox-Bird-Hunt1-300x225.jpg.pagespeed.ce.lUgxRzE0wV.jpg

We can take eight hunters and are full.  Contact Randy Rowley at randywrowley@gmail.com (his preference) or 512-922-2484 if you would like to be added to his will-call list, in case someone drops out.  Also contact Randy if you have any questions.

3/10/18 Sporting Clays Shoot

Our next monthly Sporting Clays Shoot will be on Saturday, 3/10/18, from 9:00 – 11:00 AM at the Capitol City Trap & Skeet Club. The gates open at 9:00. We will gather by the front door of their clubhouse at 9:05.

We will shoot their six station – 50 target Corporate/Hunter course, which is their easiest course (or a 12 station – 50 target Corporate course, if available). You can shoot singles, report pairs or true pairs… or you can follow the menu at each station which is a mix of true pairs and report pairs. We keep score just for fun and keep a history log on the website so you can see how you have improved over time. We will brag about our scores, and pass around the excuses and catch you up on our near-term planned events.

RSVP to Bruce Crockett at bmc55@att.net or (512) 970-7797. You can also email or call him if you have any questions.

Approximate schedule:
9:00 AM – Sporting Clays
10:45 AM – Scores and announcements
11:00 AM – Depart (Or, stick around and shoot 5-stand, skeet or the main course.)

Who should come: Members and guests, including ladies and youth, both new shooters and experienced. We usually have from 10-20 participants, and we break up into groups of 4-5. Note that the larger the group, the longer it will take to shoot. We recommend all shooters be at least 10 years old. For youths, we suggest a 20 gauge that fits the child (if a youth shoots a .410 he or she will probably miss a lot and may get discouraged). We often have new shooters and delight in teaching others what we have learned.

Cost and what to bring: Each 50 round course is $21.65/person (includes tax). If you don’t have a shotgun you can shoot with one of us and use ours (just let Randy know that you don’t have one). Most of us shoot 12 gauge, but 20 gauge is good also. Capitol City requires eye and ear protection (available free of charge at Capitol City). They sell shotgun shells if you need them (but you can get them cheaper at Academy, Wal-Mart, etc.). You’ll need to bring three boxes of shells if you plan to shoot both sporting clays and 5-stand/skeet. Randy recommends Winchester Game Loads/Federal Game and Target Loads/Estate Dove Loads/Rio Game Loads/Remington Sure Shot Heavy Dove Loads/Winchester Heavy Dove Loads/Estate Dove and Target Loads. All of which are sometimes available at Academy, Wal-Mart, etc. 1 oz or 1-1/8 oz loads and 1250-1300 FPS and 7-1/2 or 8 shot work well. They all sell for $5.50-7.00/box. All six are great dove/quail loads in addition to being good clay target loads. If you’re a dove/quail hunter, Randy recommends that for you shoot sporting clays with the same load that you use to hunt dove/quail. This enables you to develop consistent leads for similarly sized targets. Most of the targets on their Corporate/Hunter course are designed for skeet chokes, but improved cylinder (IC) works just fine.

In the event of rain: Light rain – we shoot. Heavy rain – we stay home.

3/28/18 FCS Banquet

Where’s the beef?  No problem with the 2018 FCS Family Banquet.

Bring your family for a delicious steak, seafood, chicken, etc. dinner, fellowship, and listen to guest speaker TJ Greaney.  TJ is an outdoors writer, photographer, and radio show host.  His articles have been seen in newspapers and magazines across America and his radio show here in Austin has been the #1 rated outdoor show in Texas for years.  His passion for the outdoors includes bass fishing, deer hunting and hiking peaks in the 14,000’ range.  His passion for family and the outdoors is only eclipsed by His love for Jesus.  His heart and mission is and sharing both the outdoors and Jesus with kids.

Founder: Kids Outdoor Zone (KOZ)
Host: The Outdoor Zone Radio Network
Member: National Coalition of Men’s Ministries
Member: Fatherhood CoMission
Past President: Texas Outdoor Writers Association
We will also pass out several certificates and the 2017 Sportsman of the Year award.

Details:

Date and Time: Wednesday, 3/28/18, 6:30 – 8:30 PM

Address: Texas Land & Cattle restaurant, 14010 U.S. 183 B, Austin, 512-258-3733

Menu: your choice from menu.

Dress: causal.

RSVP requested.  We need to spend $200 (about 15 people) in order to keep the room reserved.  If you don’t RSVP we won’t know if we’re going to have enough diners to keep the room.

RSVP to: Michael Armstrong, DO
Ph: 512-673-7966
e-mail: mlarmstrong32@gmail.com

Also contact Michael if you have any questions.

4/24/18 FCS Meeting and Chili Dinner

Our next FCS Meeting (social activity) will be on Tuesday, 4/24/18, 7:00 – 9:30 PM at Mr. Charles Batts’ home (9706 Bordeaux La., Austin, 512-258-8773 – Home, 512-750-2225 – Cell).  The meeting will feature a chili dinner.  The cost for those who do not bring chili will be approximately $5/person.  RSVP to Randy Rowley at randywrowley@gmail.com (his preference) or 512-922-2484.  Let him know if you are going to bring chili.  Also, contact Randy if you have any questions.

Schedule:

7:00 PM – fellowship and eat dinner

8:00 PM – president’s report, upcoming events, and short devotional

8:30 PM – DVD

9:30 PM – depart

4/13/18 – 4/14/18 24-hour Sporting Clays Shoot
Our Annual 24-hour Sporting Clays Shoot at the 74 Ranch near Campbellton will be on 4/13/18 – 4/14/18.  The cost is $300.00 per person for Friday noon to Saturday noon(double occupancy).  Single occupancy is $375 per person.  This includes 10 – 12 hours of shooting, four fantastic meals, and lodging.  The cost does not include your shotgun shells.  The average shooter shoots three to four cases of shells (40 boxes = $237.72 if shooting the Winchester Game Loads, available at Academy ($5.49/box plus tax).  Figuring in your share of gas the total trip cost will be around $550, if you shoot four cases of the above or equivalent cost loads. You may want to spread out the cost of the shells over the next 10 weeks.
We will arrive shortly before noon Friday and unload.  Lunch will be served, and then it’s off to the range in golf carts.  You can shoot as much as you like until dinner time.  You may shoot after dinner as well, but usually we have had enough shooting for one day.  The next morning starts with a super breakfast, followed by shooting, and another great lunch.  We will depart the ranch after lunch.
One ounce 12 gauge loads are recommended as are either Past recoil shields (available at Academy), Bob Allen recoil shields (available at Wal-Mart), or Browning Reactar gel pads (they can be inserted in a Browning vest or harness, that are both designed for it; and are available at Cabela’s) are wise investments.  Shooting gloves, such as the Bob Allen Shotgunner (a mesh glove that is available at Cabela’s) are also recommended as your gun will get very hot!
A round of 50 clay targets on the Sporting Clays course at Capitol City costs $21.65.  If you were to shoot 20 rounds (40 boxes or four cases) at Capitol City it would cost you $433.  For $250.00 at the 74 Ranch you get 20 rounds or so, four first class meals, and lodging equivalent to Best Western or La Quinta!  This is as much sporting clays shootingin 24 hours as we normally do in almost two years at Capitol City (if you shot every month)!
The 74 Ranch has the following benefits:
  • Over 300 target combinations
  • 15 stations – minimum 4 traps per station
  • 75 Auto LaPorte Traps with Remotes
  • 20-foot, 40-foot, and two 100-foot Towers
  • 3 stations over water
  • 3 stations with targets 30 yards below your feet
  • Golf Carts
At the 74 Ranch, we also don’t keep score (like we do at Capitol City) which speeds things up considerably.  At Capitol City we usually rotate shooters after every 8 – 10 shells.  At the 74 Resort Ranch we usually rotate after 2 – 3 boxes!  At the 74 Ranch you can literally “park” at a station until you figure it out.  Several of our members can testify how this has dramatically improved their shooting.
RSVP to Bruce Crockett at bmc55@att.net or 512-970-7797 by 3/14/18, so we can finalize our arrangements with the 74 Resort Ranch.  There is a maximum of eight shooters and we presently have seven commitments.

Late April/Early May Semi-guided Hog Hunt

FCS will have a Semi-guided Hog Hunt with Tenney Creek Outfitters, near McMahan (15 miles east of Lockhart) in late April/early May.  We hunted with Tenney Creek on 5/20/16 – 5/21/16.  We killed one hog and missed two others.  They charge $75/night (unlimited hogs).
Some of their feeders have lights on them.  He also has lights for hunters to use at his feeders that do not have lights.  You might also hunt at an area that presently doesn’t have a feeder.  At our 2016 hunt there we hunted at a small field next to several wallows.  The minimum number of hunters is two and the maximum is six.  I presently have two hunters who are interested.  You can hunt with gun or bow.  Hunters clean their own pigs (but they will clean a pig for you for a fee – which will depend on the size of the hog; it is doubtful that it will approach the $1/lb. fee at Independence Ranch).  Tenney Creek also does not provide meals, so eat dinner before you hunt and breakfast after your hunt.  It is recommended that you also bring snacks and drinks.
 
Randy Rowley will contact the ranch owner again in mid-April (they’re only booking quail and turkey hunts right now until mid-April).  He’ll try to book a Friday night/Saturday morning in late April or early May.  Please RSVP to Randy at randywrowley@gmail.com (his preference) or 512-922-2484.  He will also need a leader for this hunt (he won’t be going on this hunt as his spare pennies go towards guided duck and upland bird hunts).  A deposit may be required.  If you RSVP, let Randy know what Fridays/Saturdays in late April/early May that you cannot hunt.  The maximum number of hunters is six and we have four commitments.

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Event participants are expected to follow the FCS Rules of Conduct.

Event participants will be required to sign FCS liability waivers for events that involve risks if they have not already done so.

For directions to FCS events use this map.

FCS membership is not required in order to participate or attend FCS events; however, if you are interested here is how to join.

Members and guests, feel free to bring your spouse, child, and/or a friend (but RSVP for him, her, or them and pay in advance, if required).

People who are 18 years of age or older are considered to be adults for purposes of figuring out a person’s share of lodging, food, gas, etc.  For dividing up food costs, for example, minors may be treated as adults, depending on their size (e.g., a 14-year-old boy who eats as much as a man will be charged as a man, and not as a child).

The event coordinators are told dozens of things each work day.  They also are told numerous things pertaining to FCS each week.  With the amount of information that they receive they will inevitably forget some of it.  Therefore, it is much better for you to RSVP via email than to call them.  (If you call them, please follow it up with an email.)  Some events have space limitations and the event coordinators have to ensure that we do not bring too many people.  Please help them to prevent overbooking by emailing your RSVP to them.  Also, if you text them be sure to let them know who you are.

Be aware that for events where we have a limit on the number of people that we can take that the hierarchy preference is as follows:

  1. Supporting members
  2. Spouses and minor children of supporting members
  3. Members who are not current with their dues
  4. Spouses and minor children of members who are not current in their dues
  5. Guests
  6. Spouses and minor children of guests

To quote the old American Express TV commercial “Membership has its privileges.”

Categories : Events, Upcoming Events
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Feb
05

2018 – FCS Meetings Reports

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Categories : Meetings Minutes
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Feb
05

Event Planning Distribution

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Here is the list of which officer will oversee which events for 2018.

Randy Rowley will oversee planning, promotion, and reporting of the following events:

  • FCS Meetings (six events)
  • Guided Upland Bird Hunt (one event)
  • Ministry Event – Wild Game Dinner (one event)
  • Self-chartered Bass Fishing Trips (12 events; Randy’s bass rotation is in effect)
  • Self-guided Coastal Blasts and Casts (Duck Hunts and Bay Fishing Trips) (two events)
  • Self-guided Dove Hunts (San Saba) (five events)
  • Self-guided Hog Hunt (one event)
  • Self-guided Inland Duck Hunts (eight events; Randy’s duck rotation is in effect)
  • Semi-guided Hog Hunt (one event)

Total = 37 events

Bruce Crockett will oversee planning, promotion, and reporting of the following events:

  • 24-hour Sporting Clays Shoot (one event)
  • Sporting Clays Tournaments (19 events)
  • Sporting Clays Shoots (12 events; one includes a youth group)

Total = 32 events

Ian Daniels will oversee planning, promotion, and reporting on the following events:

  • Guided Inland Waterfowl Hunts (five events; three guided inland duck hunts, a guided goose hunt, and a guided teal hunt)

Total = 5 events

Daryl Shipper will oversee planning, promotion, and reporting of the following events:

  • Chartered Freshwater Striped/Hybrid Bass Fishing Trip (one event)
  • Self-chartered Bay Fishing Trip (one event)

Total = 2 events

Art Barrera will oversee planning, promotion, and reporting of the following events:

  • Self-guided Uvalde Dove Hunts (two events)

Total = 2 events

Michael Armstrong will oversee planning, promotion, and reporting of the following event:

  • FCS Banquet (one event)

Total = 1 event

Grand Total = 79 events

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Feb
05

2018 – Shoot Reports

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Categories : Shoots Reports
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Jan
27

2018 – Hunting Reports

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Categories : Hunting Reports
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Jan
27

Duck Hunt Rotation

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Categories : Duck Rotation
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Dec
30

2018 – Ministry Events

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Categories : Ministry Events
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Dec
30

2018 – Banquet Reports

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Categories : Banquets Reports
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Dec
30

2017 – Shoots Reports

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Categories : Shoots Reports
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Dec
16

2017 – Hunting Trips Reports

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Categories : Hunting Reports
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Dec
07

2017 – FCS Meetings Reports

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Categories : Meetings Minutes
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Nov
02

Duck Hunt ?’s

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General
What are the appropriate stamps needed?  Texas Migratory Bird Stamp ($7) and Federal Duck Stamp ($27).  Both are available at Academy, Wal-Mart, etc.
Is the ammo steel shot?  Do you need specific chokes rated for steel or do chokes usually handle steel shot without issue?  Yes, non-lead (toxic) shot is required.  You can buy chokes that are designed for steel shot or use regular ones.  If you do the latter, know that your choke will behave as a tighter choke (e.g., improved cylinder will behave as a modified).
I wear a size medium shirt (and a 40L suit), would you still suggest large waders?  I suggest that you get boot-foot waders (with a built in boot) rather than stockingfoot waders that requires a shoe be worn over the stockingfoot, as your feet will get a lot colder with stockingfoot waders, plus it’s hard to find stockingfoot waders in camo.  Boot-foot waders are sized by shoe size; however, you can get them in regular and stout.  For boot-foot waders either get breathable or neoprene.  I wear my breathable ones when it’s not as cold.  I wear my neoprene ones when it’s colder.  Wearing neoprene waders when it’s not cold outside will result in you being too warm and sweating a lot.  So if you only buy one pair of waders get breathable ones, as you can always put more clothes under them.  Here is a pair that Academy sells – https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/magellan-outdoors-mens-tredlite-400-breathable-wader#repChildCatid=4783074.  Be aware that they only have 400 grams of Thinsulate in the boots, so you might need to wear two pairs of hunting socks if it’s cold.  Regarding socks, either get a liner sock that wicks away sweat and cover it with a wool or similar sock or get one like the Ingenious that is a liner sock on the inner wall and wool/nylow/Olefin/Lycra Spandex sock on the outer wall.  (They’re more than 50% off right now at Cabelas.)
In terms of camo hunting clothes, besides a vest and hat, are you suggesting camo pants and camo shirt and/or camo sweatshirt as well? Do jeans and a normal shirt/sweatshirt not work?  Whatever you are wearing that the ducks can see needs to be camo or the game is over.  Here is what I typically wear – http://fcs-texas.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/121915_Coastal-duck-hunt_1.jpg.  Here are more pictures – http://fcs-texas.org/photo-gallery/hunts-duck/ (some of the guys are wearing jeans or shorts but those pictures were taken after the hunts).  I wear wading pants and/or sweats under my waders.  You can wear jeans, but you’ll need ankle gaiters to keep them from rolling up on you.
I don’t have a camo gun (I have a wood stock, black alloy frame).  Is that an issue, or is a specific camo-patterned shotgun required for duck hunting?  Camo is best, but I hunted with a wood stocked/matte barreled shotgun for years with no issues (although if you do it for long in salt water you’ll probably have to get it re-matted).  Fresh water is not nearly as hard on guns as salt water is.
Do I need a sling for my shotgun or a waterproof floating gun case? A sling is very helpful for carrying your gun on walk-in hunts, which are usually at least a mile one-way. You’ll be carrying a bucket/stool, gun, blind bag/vest, and decoys, so the more things that you can sling over your shoulder the better. You can get the hardware at McBride’s and they’ll install it for you. You can get the sling cheaper elsewhere. You won’t need a floating case, as we won’t be going on my boat. A sling with a neoprene or nylon outer shell, such as a Claw or a Yukon are designed to keep your gun from slipping off your shoulder.
How many ducks do hunters (e.g. beginner like me) usually get (and what is the limit)?  As we usually can’t tell who shot which duck we simply take the ducks harvested and divide them by the number of hunters.  So, if six hunters kill 24 ducks everyone will bring home four.  The limit is six ducks/hunter/day.  Specific species have specific limits.  For example redheads have a two duck per day limit per hunter.  The guide will keep track of which species have been killed and will let the group know how many of each species can still be shot.
Guided hunts
How much do guided duck hunts cost, typically and how long do they last (what hours/are they overnight trips)?  $125 for the guides that we have been using the last two seasons, not including tip (usually 15 – 20%).  They’re morning hunts.  We usually stay in a motel (double occupancy) the night before (about $50).
How much ammo does one need to bring?  No more than three boxes for ducks.
Is there someone in FCS you could point me to as a good hunting buddy, given that I’m a beginner?  Or is that not necessary for this hunt?  Yes, the hunt leader or I will team you up with someone.  For example if you hunt with Rayce Jenkins you’ll be hunting from a pit blind (a hole dug in the ground with a metal box put in it).  You’d be shoulder to shoulder with other hunters.  They’d tell you when to shoot.  With Ricky Ethridge we sit on buckets/stools and spread out a lot more.
Self-guided hunts

What is the duck hunt rotation?  I let the guys on the rotation know when I’m going to hunt next and ask who can go.  I then look at the list and the first three guys on the list who responded get to go (I can only fit three guys in my truck; plus you really don’t want a bigger party than that as the party will be too hard to hide).  For example, if five guys say that they can go on 11/18/17 I’ll then take the first three who are listed on the rotation.  After the hunt they go to the bottom of the rotation.

Do I need a sling for my shotgun or a waterproof floating gun case?  A sling is very helpful for carrying your gun on walk-in hunts, which are usually at least a mile one-way.  You’ll be carrying a bucket/stool, gun, blind bag/vest, and decoys, so the more things that you can sling over your shoulder the better.  You can get the hardware at McBride’s and they’ll install it for you.  You can get the sling cheaper elsewhere.  You won’t need a floating case, as we won’t be going on my boat.

For more information, see my Duck Hunt Rotation web page.  It has lots of information, including which shells to buys, which chokes to use, etc.
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Rules of Conduct

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2012 Hunting Trips Reports

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Trip Checklist

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Trip Plan

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Trip Plan (contributed by Mark Dillow, embellished by Randy Rowley).

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