South Carolina Deer Hunts for Mobility Impaired Hunters

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Mobility impaired hunters will again be treated to a unique opportunity to attend a special deer hunt this year on 21 private tracts of land in Laurens, Newberry, Spartanburg and Union counties. This popular hunt is scheduled for Nov. 3-4 and will consist of hunting on both Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.

Applications for this special hunt are available from: Union DNR Office, 124 Wildlife Drive, Union, SC 29379, telephone (864) 427-5140; DNR Columbia office, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, telephone (803) 734-3886; or an application can be downloaded from the DNR Web site at Completed applications must be received at the Union DNR Office by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 18 to be eligible for the drawing.

These special hunts are co-sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) but will be hosted by a number of very generous landowners and managers that include the Belfast Hunt Club (Lee Walsh), TCA International Inc. (Otis Taylor), Quaker Creek Farm (Dr. Wallace Boyd), Pitts Place (Wade Pitts), Mudlick (Cecil Duffie), Woollen Farm (Dr. Claude Woollen), Carroll Hunt Club (Phil Lucas), Southern Timber Associates (Steve Frantz), Campbell Property (Harold Campbell), Blackmon Farm (Charles Blackmon), BD Properties (Lon Alexander), Longbeard Timber Co. (Dr. David Weir), Cowford Land Co. (Dr. & Mrs. Don McClure), The Clinton House Plantation (Chris Grant), Fuller Gray Farm (Bryson Thomason), Beulah Creek Hunt Club (Ron Roberts), Sugar Flat Hunt Club (Tim Howard), U. S. Sportsman’s Hunt Club (Wayne Garner), Mountville Plantation (Bubba Axon), Sundowner Farms (Robert Small Jr.) and Comer Farm LLC and Hunt Club (Keith Comer Jr.). The Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, South Carolina Disabled Sportsmen, International Paper Co., Georgia Pacific Corp., South Carolina Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers Association, South Carolina DNR’s Take One Make One program and the Spartanburg Gun Club all support this event financially, provide personnel assistance during the hunt or assist in various ways.

All participants will be invited to a barbecue lunch at Quaker Creek Farm in Laurens County at noon on Friday prior to the hunts. After lunch, everyone then disperses to his or her assigned hunt sites. Although lodging is available at certain hunt sites, private funding has been obtained to assist in providing motel rooms for those individuals who really need them. After the Saturday morning hunt, all participants will be invited to shoot sporting clays in the afternoon at the Spartanburg Gun Club in Spartanburg County. Those participating in this activity will need to bring their own shotgun and shells (target loads) along with safety glasses. Hearing protection and clays will be provided.

Applicants for these hunts are carefully screened and are restricted to persons who are permanently and severely mobility impaired. These include only those who are permanently confined to a wheel chair, persons permanently requiring the use of mechanical aids (walker, braces, etc.) to walk, or persons with complete single or double leg amputations. Each hunter may be accompanied by one other person who can participate in a non-hunting capacity.

Gerald Moore, DNR wildlife biologist in Union, said: "Aside from the opportunity to hunt deer on some of the most well-managed and exclusive properties in the Upstate, another important benefit of these events is the opportunity to develop friendships and fellowship among those who have similar disabilities. We are pleased to cooperate with the various hosts and sponsors of these hunts in assisting those people who are able to take definite steps to pursue their outdoor interests in spite of their disabilities."

Moore encourages all qualified mobility impaired persons interested in hunting to apply. "Since these hunts are on private land and not public Wildlife Management Areas, a WMA permit is not required," he said, "and there is not any application fee or other costs. It is certainly a great opportunity, and all mobility impaired sportsmen and sportswomen should try to take advantage of it."