A youth hunting event sponsored by SC Department of Natural Resources, Quality Deer Management Association, Southern Pines, Pioneer, Healing Springs, and Tree Top Hunting Clubs of Bamberg County was held on October 7, 2006. The event included both morning and evening hunts at the hunting clubs and mid day festivities at Collin’s Deer Processing in Sweden, SC with 49 youth and approximately 150 adults from across the state participating.
Twelve young hunters participated last year, but this year the number grew to 49. A total of 14 deer were harvested by the youth and for many it was their first deer.
The Take One Make One (TOMO) program, operated through the SC Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Law Enforcement Division, specifically targets youth and young adults who have not experienced a previous shooting or hunting activity, but welcomes any participants. Participants are paired with volunteer hunting club members and private landowners who sponsor and actively participate in a year-round hunting, fishing, and shooting sports mentorship program. For more information on TOMO, to enroll as a student, or for information on how to become an adult sponsor and mentor visit http://www.dnr.sc.gov/education/tomo/index.html or call (803) 734-3995 in Columbia or toll free 800-922-4301.
The event was coordinated by Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA). Organizer Bruce Compton of Pelion was pleased with this year’s turnout, “I wanted to implement a youth day at Southern Pines Hunting Club, where I am the vice president. Last year we combined with Pioneer Hunting Club and QDMA and this year Tree Top and Healing Springs Hunting Clubs joined us so the youth would not have to pay anything. Adult members went out of their way to pick up needy and special needs children from all across the state and bring them down for a good day of fellowship, fun and good instruction in safety and hunting ethics.”
DNR Sgt. Lynwood Kearse coordinates the TOMO program, “I have seen both parents’ and students’ faces light up as they learn about and enjoy the natural resources that our state has to offer,” said Kearse. “I am just happy to be a part of the learning process.”
Everyone met at Collin’s Deer Processing located on the Charleston - Augusta Highway in Sweden for a grilled dinner. QDMA officials spoke about hunting safety and deer management along with providing brochures and other hunting information. DNR also conducted a hunter education course.
Special thanks to the following for providing food and prizes free of charge in support of the event: Collin’s Deer Processing, QDMA, SCDNR, Enterprise Bank of Denmark, Ace Hardware of Lexington and West Columbia, Golden State Foods Foundation, McDonalds of Denmark, Terry Sandifer Farms of Blackville, Southern Pines, Pioneer, Healing Springs, and Tree Top Hunting Clubs of Bamberg County.