Two Special Youth Deer Hunts Set
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in cooperation with MeadWestvaco will be conducting two special youth deer hunts at Walworth in Orangeburg County on October 22 and December 3.
Eight youths per hunt will be selected to participate in the special hunts. No application fee and no hunting license is required for the hunts. Completed applications must be received at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) office in Columbia by 5 p.m. on Wednesday for the October 22 hunt. Completed applications must be received at the Columbia DNR office by 5 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 18 to be eligible for the drawing for the Dec. 3 hunt. For further information, call (803) 734-3898. Applications are available from the Columbia DNR office at 1000 Assembly Street at the Rembert C. Dennis Building or the DNR website at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/hunting/huntyouth/youthdhunt.html
To be eligible for the special youth deer hunt, applicants must meet the following requirements:
* Applicants must be between the ages of 10 and 15 inclusive at the time of the hunt;
* Both experienced and new hunters who wish to apply for these hunts must return a completed application that includes a questionnaire about their hunting experience.
* A parent or legal guardian must provide written permission for their child to participate;
* A parent, legal guardian or other responsible adult must provide transportation for each youth to and from the event;
* Preference will be given to applicants with limited hunting experience and opportunities for participating in hunting.
All DNR Youth Deer Hunts will be on Saturday mornings and will conclude at 11 a.m. Before each hunt, a DNR biologist will conduct a brief discussion of deer biology and the role of hunting in wildlife management. DNR staff will also provide comments regarding sportsmanship and hunter ethics. There will also be a thorough review of firearms safety. Rifles with telescopic sights are recommended. More detailed instructions and directions to the hunt sites will be provided to applicants who are selected. Please contact DNR biologist Willie Simmons with further questions regarding safety, supervision at (803) 734-3898 or E-mail SimmonsW@dnr.sc.gov.
All youths who participate in the special youth deer hunts are made aware of the Take One Make One program. This is the DNR's youth/young adult hunting and shooting sports mentorship and recruitment program. It is a statewide program designed to get young people involved in a variety of outdoor activities throughout the year by assigning participating youngsters to carefully selected mentors. This year's dates are set and are published in the DNR's Rules and Regulations booklet. You can also find out more at the Take One, Make One Website at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/education/tomo/index.html
"We feel that one of the best ways to recruit new hunters is for youth sportsmen to encourage one of their friends who doesn't hunt to accompany them on the hunt, " says Simmons. He also says the goal is to introduce the new hunters to the challenges, thrills and enjoyment associated with hunting, "Equally as important, we also want to make sure that this introduction is done safely and ethically."
The Walworth tract is managed under MeadWestvaco's Ecosystem Based Forestry Program to produce wood fiber for mills and to provide opportunity for the multiple uses on forestland. The property is approximately 3900 acres in size, 1800 acres of the tract are in MeadWestvaco's Recreational Leasing Program (leased to hunt club) and the remaining 2100 acres consist of a MeadWestvaco Public Relations hunting area. All 3900 acres have been under a Quality Deer Management Program, since the early 1990's. A three and half year old deer on Walworth will generally weigh 180 pounds with at least eight points and a antler spread of 18 inches.