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I read in last week’s Advertiser where the Edgefield Town Council approved the return of the Little Briar Creek Archery Club to harvest deer in the town of Edgefield. This disturbs me greatly. I am totally in favor of bow hunting programs to control deer numbers in towns and urban areas. They work when done properly. But the way it has been handled in Edgefield has me rubbed raw.
First, the Little Briar Creek Archery Club is from Georgia. There are equally good clubs in South Carolina, including a longtime- and well-established club right here in Edgefield County – the Horn Creek Bow Hunters. I am sure South Carolina bow hunters are as qualified as Georgia bow hunters, and they would be happy to comply with reasonable regulations and reporting. Why should the bow hunting be limited to a specific out of state club and not include South Carolina, and qualified, bow hunters?
Does the RETURN of the Little Briar Creek Archery Club to harvest deer in Edgefield mean they hunted here last season? Why didn’t I know? As a bow hunter for 59 years I did my best to learn about bow hunting in Edgefield, to no avail.
I talked to the mayor, Ken Durham, several times, and my councilman, Herbert Yarborough, twice I believe and suggested a meeting with me about the bow hunting in Edgefield. I wanted to know what they planned, and believed I could offer constructive advice. They agreed that we should meet, but that was apparently political diplomatic speak. No meeting was scheduled.
What are my qualifications to offer advice? I have a BS degree in Forestry and a MS degree in Wildlife from Auburn University (a major university). I was elected to Phi Kappa Phi, the top honor society at Auburn.
I have professional and wildlife experience with the U. S. Forest Service, International Paper Company, and the National Wild Turkey Federation. I have law enforcement experience with the Edgefield County Sheriff’s Department.
For 13 years I was the regional wildlife biologist for International Paper Company on company lands in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia, I also ran their customer relations program. I ran many controlled hunts, including bow hunting. I was responsible for leasing more than 4,000 acres to the Winyah Bow hunters in the late 60’s. The club is still in existence. I was a member and assisted them in getting started and continue as a strong lasting club. They still consult with me occasionally.
I was two time president of the South Carolina Archery Association and was cofounder of the South Carolina Bow Hunters Association (now the Bow Hunters of South Carolina). My membership is number one. I have been an officer in a number of archery clubs, usually president. I established the Auburn student chapter of The Wildlife Society, and was its first president.
In talking with the mayor in the past he said he chose the Little Briar Archery Club because a friend of his at work was a member. This member sold the mayor that the club members had credentials of the bow hunter education program. I agree that this is necessary, but I assure you that Little Briar Creek is not alone in this qualification. All of the clubs I know, and they are a considerable number, are equally qualified.
I was on a committee that assisted Bill Wadsworth in putting together the original bow hunter education program, the one that is still in effect. He said he had to start somewhere for qualified bow hunters and instructors, so the people that helped would be first ones. I was among that group to be first.
As the vice president of the South Carolina Bow Hunters Association I was the main person that got the National Bow Hunters Education Program to assign the responsibility of bow hunter education to the South Carolina Bow Hunters Association and to get South Carolina to accept it as valid bow hunter education. The cards are issued by the state.
Since then I have taken the bow hunter education program twice. I believe all of this qualifies me in bow hunter education.
As a bow hunter I was the second one from the South to earn the prestigious Master Bow Hunters Medal from the National Field Archery Association, the largest archery association in the country. I killed deer with the bow and arrow for 44 consecutive years until multiple myloma cancer and an accident stopped the streak.
I have kept abreast of some of the successful urban bow hunting programs in the U.S.
As an archery competitor I have won one national championship and placed 2nd, and 3rd, in several others. This included the several type of archery, including 3 D archery. I have won a number of SE regional championships, and have won numerous state championships. I believe this qualifies me as a competent bow hunting shooter, better than most.
In Georgetown, SC, I had a JOAD junior archery club. The club won a team national championship and a boy won the individual championship. Also, some of the boys and girls won sectional and state championships. Several of the boys bow hunted with me and killed deer and other game.
But apparently, the mayor and my councilman did not want to hear this and my advice
I have been a resident of Edgefield for more than 36 years and apparently I cannot bow hunt in my own town.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and are not necessarily those of The Edgefield Advertiser.
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