Dec. 2, 2013
Upstate mobility impaired hunts were a big success in 2013
A unique partnership among private landowners, hunt clubs and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources provided individuals who are severely mobility impaired an opportunity to go deer hunting again this year at some of the most well-managed and exclusive private tracts of land in the Upstate.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) handles the publicity, application and notification processes for these hunts, but the private landowners who host mobility impaired hunters on their property are providing this great opportunity.
During 2013, two special two-day hunts were held at 47 host sites in Cherokee, Laurens, Newberry, Spartanburg and Union counties. Participating in the hunts were 141 hunters, and they harvested 43 deer (19 bucks and 24 does). There is no application fee or other costs to participate in these hunts.
Applications for the 2014 Upstate hunts will be available in early summer, but those interested may contact the Union DNR office at anytime to get on the mailing list for an application. The office address is Union DNR Office, 124 Wildlife Drive, Union, SC 29379 and the telephone number is (864) 427-5140. An application may also be downloaded in early summer 2014 from the DNR website. Information about becoming a host is also available from the Union DNR Office.
The U.S. Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Regiment in Greenville arranged for several servicemen injured in combat within Iraq or Afghanistan to attend these Upstate events. Outdoor activities such as hunting can provide immense physical and psychological benefits to injured service people as they transition back into civilian life as well as to other individuals who, as a result of an illness or accident, are forced to adjust to a new lifestyle that drastically restricts their mobility.
Hunt participants at these mobility impaired events must meet one of three, very specific criteria: Applicants must be (1) permanently confined to a wheelchair; or (2) permanently require some type of mechanical aid (walker, braces, canes, etc.) to assist them in walking; or (3) have had a single or double leg amputation. Each participant can bring someone to assist them in a non-hunting capacity, and all hunting is conducted from ground blinds.
The first hunt this year was conducted on Oct. 25-26 at sites in Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties. All hunt participants, their assistants and hosts met at Tyger Ranch in Union County on Friday for an outstanding barbecue lunch. After lunch and prior to everyone dispersing to go hunting, a number of hunt participants won some very nice door prizes that included gift certificates, shotguns, rifles and various other items.
The list of hosts accommodating hunters during the 2013 Upstate hunts included the following individuals and organizations:
* Cherokee County
Arcon Land & Timber, LLC – Wayne & Judy Cooper
Cedar Ridge Hunt Club – Dan White
* Spartanburg County
Campbell Property – Harold Campbell
Magnolia – George D. Johnson, Jr.
Jimmie’s Creek Farm – Stewart Johnson
Tri G Gun Club – Dr. George Graham
Riverside Hunt Club - Sam Shackelford III
Cross Anchor Hunt Club – Darrell Merchant
Booger Den Hunt Club – Larry Cook
Diamond D Hunt Club – Herbert Skerjanz
Gordon Farms – John W. Floyd
Little Tyger Hunt Club – Wayne High
Weir Property – Dr. David Weir
* Union County
Beulah Creek Hunt Club – Ron Roberts
U. S. Sportsman’s Hunt Club – Wayne Garner
Tyger Ranch – George D. Johnson Jr.
Padgetts Creek Reserve – Donnie Loftis
Rabbit Road Hunt Club – Donnie Loftis
Laura Lyn Farm – Steve Koskela
Triangle 113 Hunt Club – Walter Oates
Fairforest Timber Company – Frank Sistare
Chufa Ridge Farm – Bob Jeter
Ridge Runner Hunt Club – Jack Lister
Pea Ridge Hunt Club – Ty Cheek
Strike Eagle Ranch – Mark Carroll
Smith Property – Debby Giesen
The second hunt was conducted Nov. 1-2 at sites in Laurens and Newberry counties. All hunt participants, their assistants and hosts met at the Clinton National Guard Armory in Laurens County on Friday for an outstanding barbecue lunch. After lunch and prior to everyone dispersing to go hunting, a number of hunt participants won some very nice door prizes that included gift certificates, a rifle and various other items.
* Laurens County
Quaker Creek Farm – Dr. Wallace Boyd
Pitts Place – Wade Pitts
Woollen Farm – Dr. Claude Woollen
Southern Timber Associates – Steve Frantz
Blackmon Farm – Charles Blackmon
Fuller Gray Farm – Bryson Thomason
Sugar Flat Hunt Club – Tim Howard
Hawks Nest Hunt Club – Tom Hawkins
Triple S Hunt Club – Dave Schemm
Hurricane Hunt Club – Dr. Derrick Wessinger
Johnson Farm – Steve Johnson
Pacolet Milliken Enterprises – Danny Roach
Brownlee Farm – Chip Brownlee
Laurens County Wild Turkey Federation – Jimmy Forbes
Mill Creek Farm – Paul Tollison
Benjamin Property – Ricky Childers
* Newberry County
Belfast Hunt Club – Lee Walsh
The Scott Place (TCA Timberlands) – Otis Taylor
Lester Estate – Terry Cotney
Belfast WMA – Gary Stephens
Mudlick Lodge – Mr. & Mrs. Roy Jones
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