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#06-158 June 19, 2006

Bear hunters clean up Jocassee, build bench at scenic overlook

The South Carolina Bear Hunters’ Association recently spent a day picking up trash over a large portion of Jocassee Gorges, and constructed a rock bench at the scenic overlook at Laurel Fork Mountain.

The trash pick-up along 30 miles of roadside and bench construction was one of many events that the South Carolina Bear Hunters’ Association holds each year to give something back to the local community in which it hunts.

The bench was built at the popular “North Carolina Overlook” at Laurel Fork Mountain, which is onBear hunters construct a bench Horsepasture Road east of Jumping Off Rock. The bench was placed there not only to give a resting place for local hikers and visitors to the area, but also to help beautify that particular site.

Each year, the South Carolina Bear Hunters’ Association sponsor youth deer, dove and raccoon hunts with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The group also sponsors the “Outdoor Dream Foundation” where a child with a terminal illness is taken on a hunting trip.

The South Carolina Bear Hunters’ Association works with DNR to conduct bait line surveys to estimate the black bear population in the mountains. The group also works with DNR in gathering data for mast surveys in the area.

“These hunters live by a code of ethics and strive to come up with good ideas to let the people in the community see the positive things that hunters do,” said Robert Chapman, president of the South Carolina Bear Hunters’ Association.           

Anyone wishing to become a part of the South Carolina Bear Hunters’ Association may contact Robert Chapman at (864) 878-9063. Interested persons may also attend the group’s monthly meetings on the first Monday at Holly Springs Fire Department at 7:30 p.m.           

Find out more about black bears in S.C. by checking the Black Bear Project Website.

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