NEWBERRY COUNTY — 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.
SCDNR handles the publicity, application and notification processes, but the private landowners who host mobility impaired hunters on their property are providing this unique opportunity. There is no application fee or other costs to participate in these hunts.
Hunt participants at these events must meet one of three 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. Almost all hunting is conducted from ground blinds except in cases where a hunt participant may have a prosthesis and can safely climb a ladder stand.
During 2016, two special two-day hunts were held at 53 host sites in Cherokee, Laurens, Newberry, Spartanburg and Union counties. Participating in the hunts were 157 hunters, and they harvested 34 deer (18 bucks and 16 does).
All hunt participants, their assistants and hosts met for bluegrass music and a barbecue lunch for the first hunt at Tyger Ranch in Union County and for the second hunt at the Clinton National Guard Armory in Laurens County.
Union County had the following organizations and individuals hosting mobility impaired hunters on their land on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29:
Allen Farm – John Odell
Beulah Creek Hunt Club – Ron Roberts
Brown Property – Austin Payne
Chufa Ridge Farm – Bob Jeter
Delta South WMA – Steve Cobb
Fairforest Timber Company – Frank Sistare
Fowken Farm – Kegan Roberts (Norris Fowler)
Hickory Hills Hunt Club – Gordy Darby
Laura Lyn Farm – Steve Koskela
Pea Ridge Hunt Club – Ty Cheek
Rabbit Road Hunt Club – John Carson (Donnie Loftis)
Stone Property – Steven Stone
Triangle 113 Hunt Club – Walter Oates
Trophy Buck Hunt Club – Terry Shockley
Tyger Ranch – Hunter West (George D. Johnson, Jr.)
The following Newberry County hosts participated during the second hunt on Nov. 4 and Nov. 5: included the following individuals and organizations:
Belfast Hunt Club – John McCauley
Belfast WMA – Gary Stephens
Lester Estate – Terry Cotney
Mudlick Lodge – Mr. & Mrs. Roy Jones
The Scott Place (TCA Timberlands) – Otis Taylor
Applications for the 2017 Upstate hunts will be available in early summer, but you can contact the Union DNR office at anytime to get your name on the mailing list for an application.
Information about becoming a host is available from the Union DNR Office at 124 Wildlife Drive in Union. The telephone number is 864-427-5140. An application can also be downloaded in the early summer from the DNR website at www.dnr.sc.gov/hunting/mobilityhunt.