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March 25, 2010

First woman to arrow Africa's 'Big 5' featured
at Sportsmen's Classic March 26-28 in Columbia

The 26th Annual Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic will be held at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia March 26-28. Doors will be open from noon to 8 p.m. Friday, March 26; from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, March 27; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 28. Featured this year is Joella Bates, the first woman in the world to arrow Africa's Big 5.
Bates realized a lifelong dream in 2009 when on a month-long safari she arrowed the Big 5 (lioness, elephant, Cape buffalo, white rhino, leopard). She'll conduct seminars at the Ellison Building on her 43 years of hunting and fishing experience and 19 years of archery and bowhunting. Among her many accomplishments she spent 13 years as a naturalist, wildlife officer and fisheries manager. She won five 3-D Archery World Championship titles and was inducted into the Outdoor Channel's Circle of Honor. She is also trained to compete in 1,000-yard rifle shooting events.
New and returning major attractions for 2010 are Dennis Stratton (Creating the Great Hunt Experience with Children), Roark Ferguson (conservationist, herpetologist, and wildlife adventurer) and Frank Addington Jr. (Have Bow Will Travel).
Also new this year, live entertainment in the midway with Nashville singer/songwriter Mike Stewart. Stewart, an Aiken native, spent more than 20 years in Nashville where he wrote million selling songs for such greats as Ronnie Milsap and The Pointer Sisters. Mike has recorded with Hank Williams Jr., Vince Gill, Travis Tritt, The Judds and many others. Mike Stewart with special guests Shameless Dave and the Miracle Whips will perform two shows on Saturday, March 27, noon and 2 p.m.
For more information on the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic, call the DNR Columbia office at (803) 734-4008.
Admission to the 2010 Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic is $6 and parking is $2. Seniors 60 and over get in for $5 while children 10 and under are admitted free. Visitors bringing five canned-food items for Harvest Hope Food Bank receive $1 off admission. Join us as we celebrate and thank our Veterans for their service at the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic on March 28. Free entry for those in military uniform and $1 off admission for any veteran with proper ID.
Classic-goers will find hundreds of exhibitors on site with the latest fishing, hunting and outdoor equipment for show and sale. Also in 2010 will be the Fifth Annual S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Archery in the Schools Tournament. The tournament is a culminating event for the Archery in the Schools program and 1st place teams in each category will be eligible for the National tournament. The DNR's education staff and volunteers will be on hand to help kids catch a catfish at the highly popular SC Reel Kids Fishing Pond. DNR's Take One Make One trailer with air rifle and electronic shooting ranges and Bass Tub fishing technique demonstrations will also be at the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic.
The Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic is sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, WIS-TV, WCOS Radio, SportsTalkSC, Professional Printers, Huntin' the World—Southern Style TV, eXmark and The State Newspaper.

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