Thursday, March 31, 2011

Family Circle - Big Announcement

Besides the fact that the 2011 Family Circle Tennis Tournament is set to begin, Daniel Island will play host to the World Team Tennis competition later this summer!

World TeamTennis Finals headed to Charleston, S.C.

Family Circle Tennis Center to host WTT Finals Weekend, July 22‐24, 2011

NEW YORK, N.Y. (March 28, 2011) – The 2011 World TeamTennis (WTT) Finals are headed to

the “Best Tennis Town in America.” The Family Circle Tennis Center in Charleston, S.C., will

host the 2011 WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO, July 22‐24.

The WTT Finals Weekend is the culmination of three weeks of intense coed team tennis

competition featuring some of the biggest names in tennis playing in the WTT Pro League

presented by GEICO. The three‐day, season‐ending event will include WTT Conference

Championship matches and the WTT Finals. In 2010, the Kansas City Explorers captured their

first championship and the King Trophy, named after WTT co‐founder Billie Jean King.

The road to Charleston begins on July 4 when the 36th season of the WTT Pro League kicks off

and runs through July 21, with the top two teams from each conference advancing to the WTT

Finals Weekend. The Eastern Conference Championship will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, July 22,

with the Western Conference Championship set for 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 23. The

Conference Champions face off in the WTT Finals at 5 p.m. on Sunday, July 24.

Tickets for the WTT Finals Weekend presented by GEICO go on sale April 4 at 10 a.m. EDT.

Weekend packages range from $50 to $150, with single session tickets $15‐$55. Tickets are

available through the Family Circle Tennis Center Box Office at (800) 677‐2293 or through

Ticketmaster at (800) 745‐3000. Tickets can be purchased online at


The city of Charleston was recognized last year as the “Best Tennis Town” in America by the

United States Tennis Association. The Family Circle Tennis Center is one of the premiere tennis

facilities in the U.S. and is the annual home of the popular WTA event, Family Circle Cup (April


To view my blog about the Best Tennis Town click here.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Beidler Forest in Audubon Magazine w/Video

Francis Beidler Forest is undergoing a fundraising campaign to replace their existing boardwalk which has become in need of repair. The boardwalk allows anyone and everyone to penetrate the swamp and explore its natural beauty. Local birders may recall that Jeff Dennis served for six years on the Board of the Charleston Audubon Chanpter in the 1990's. Let's hope that the new boardwalk campaign is a big success! Here is a link to the feature article on Norm Brunswig in the Jan./Feb issue of Audubon Magazine.

PhotoByAudubonSociety: The cover pages of the feature article show a prothonotary warbler (in yellow) and Norm Brunswig (in field khaki).

Video on Francis Beidler Forest, a Ramsar wetland of International Importance right here in the Lowcountry Outdoors

Video on Project Prothro, an ongoing project to study the prothonotary warbler

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hunter Mock of Allendale - Deer Video

VideoByJeffDennis: 10-year old Hunter Mock of Allendale is still on Cloud Nine about his trophy white-tail. This video was shot at the 2011 Palmetto Sportsman Classic.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Danner Pronghorn GTX snake boots - Video

One of the most essential gear choices of turkey season is the right snake boots. Danner boots has been making quality products since 1932 and their camo waterproof Pronghorn boots are some of the most comfortable around. Since they lace up in the front, they are easy to take on and off, meaning that a boot jack is not necessary. Learn more about their products by watching this really neat video at

PhotosByJeffDennis: New and used photos of the Danner Pronghorn GTX snake boots

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2011 State Youth Coon Hunt

PhotosBySCDNR: Reba Hughes of Orangeburg won First Place in the Junior Division; Trey Knopf of Barnwell won First Place in the Senior Division; Madison Whetstone (with little sis in pink) of Cope won the Sportsmanship award for the Junior Division after falling in a creek and shaking it off before going on to help a fellow competitor locate a tree'd coon! ; Devin Adams of Walterboro won the Sportsmanship Award for the Senior Division

To view past blog entires for the State Youth Coon Hunt click here.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

LOLT 2011 Annual Member Picnic at Lavington Plantation

The Lowcountry Open Land Trust continues to celebrate its Silver Moon anniversary of 25 years in existence and the membership made a return trip to Lavington Plantation, which rests on the banks of the Ashepoo River in the heart of the ACE Basin. A beautiful sunny day greeted those who came to eat oysters and barbecue while drinking in the serenity of a property that has been placed under the protection of a conservation easement. A fellowship of caring landowners was present as the LOLT members seem to know and understand the importance and urgency of conservation and preservation in the Lowcountry.

To view my blog about the 2011 LOLT Annual Meeting click here.

PhotosByJeff Dennis: DNR's Michael Paul Thomas and J.P. Jones were on duty to provide hunting and fishing instruction for the next generation of conservationists; It seems everyone was treated to a hayride through historic Lavington; Elfie and Dr. Pete Von Lehe enjoyed the oysters and the talk about the upcoming turkey season; The Ashepoo River winds through the ACE Basin as seen from the dike

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Lowcountry Hunt - Closing Meet

The Lowcountry Hunt, founded in the Spring of 2006, completed its 2011 fixture card with its annual closing meet at Airy Hall on a beautiful sunny Saturday afternoon. With the mission of conservation central to the activities of the Lowcountry Hunt, this group of fox hunters moves with ease between some of the oldest and grandest plantations in the Lowcountry. The big excitement of the meet came when a coyote was flushed in the woods by the hounds, which then pushed it towards Bennet's Point Road and Ashepoo plantation. The Whippers-In performed their job admirably as they turned the hounds back into the drive while avoiding the traffic associated with the St. Patrick's Day celebration being conducted at Bennett's Point. To visit the website for the Lowcountry Hunt click here.

To view my blog entry on the Closing Meet from 2010 click here.

PhotosByJeffDennis: The weather vane atop the stable is adorned with the figure of a horse; A hound runs by a young fox hunter; the whippers-in return to the field with the hounds ahead of them; an exhilarating run after a coyote calls for some relaxation time in the sun

Friday, March 11, 2011

Custom Turkey Call Maker Steve Mann - Story and Video

I met Steve Mann in the Fall of 2010 and found him to be a sincere individual who makes custom turkey calls of the highest quality, having learned the trade from the late Neil Cost. This ten-minute video allows some insights into his workshop and call making mentality.

To read my story in The Charleston Mercury click here.

PhotoByJeffDennis: Steve Mann demonstrates his call

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Citadel makes DU's Collegiate Sweet 16 - Again

For the second year in a row the Citadel's chapter of DU has made this prestigious category:

Ducks Unlimited announces its Sweet 16 listing of top-producing college chapters throughout the nation. The following list of chapters made it into the elite group out of nearly 120 DU collegiate chapters.

To qualify for the "DU Sweet 16," chapters needed to raise more than $11,000 in grassroots income during the 2010 calendar year. Collegiate chapters throughout the country have raised more than $513,680 this year, with $290,650 coming from the Sweet 16 chapters.
"Ducks Unlimited's university program has become a critical part of our overall fundraising effort. Not only is it vital from a direct financial perspective, but it's also a source of organizational awareness and a strong and consistent volunteer base," said David Schuessler, DU's national director of grassroots fundraising. "The volunteers who make up these 16 college chapters are the future conservation leaders of not only DU, but all conservation efforts in the country. I personally thank them for their efforts."

To view past blog entries about Ducks Unlimited in S.C. click here.

To view my blog entry for the 2009 Sweet 16 click here.

Aggieland Chapter
College Station, Texas
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, N.C.
University of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Milw. School of Engineering
Milwaukee, Wis.
Wilmington, N.C.
East Carolina University
Greenville, N.C.
Purdue University
West Lafayette, Ind.
Bemidji State University
Bemidji, Minn.
Mississippi State University
Starkville, Miss.
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, Colo.
Iowa State University
Ames, Iowa
Citadel Ducks Unlimited
Charleston, S.C.
Louisiana Tech Dawgs
Ruston, La.
Auburn University
Auburn, Ala.
University of Arkansas Razorback Chapter
Fayetteville, Ark.
Kansas State University
Manhattan, Kan.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Charleston makes Ducks Unlimited 'Best Of' list

Charleston, S.C. was chosen the ninth best urban city for duck hunters in the latest Ducks Unlimited magazine.

James Card wrote.... Located in the heart of South Carolina's wetland-rich Lowcountry, Charleston has long been a hub for sportsmen in general and waterfowlers in particular. The neighboring ACE Basin, where the Ashepoo, Combahee, and Edisto rivers flow into the Atlantic Ocean, is one of the largest remaining undeveloped estuaries along the East Coast. The region also supports up to 50 percent of the Atlantic Flyway's dabbling ducks, including pintails, gadwalls, blue- and green-winged teal, and resident mottled ducks. "This is a key conservation area for DU," says regional director James Meadows. "More than 100,000 acres of wildlife habitat have been protected by private landowners who have donated conservation easements to DU."
Some of the best duck hunting in the Charleston area is found on private duck clubs that are intensively managed for waterfowl and other wildlife. But there's also an abundance of public land near town. Along the coast, Bear Island and the Santee Coastal Reserve WMAs offer excellent public hunting for those lucky enough to draw a blind. And 45 miles inland is the Santee Cooper WMA on Lake Marion, where DU and partners have restored prime habitat for waterfowl.

"Duck hunters should put in for the WMA draw hunts," Meadows advises. "They offer some pretty phenomenal hunting."

To view past blog entries about Ducks Unlimited in S.C. click here.

To view the entire article click here

To read about my attending the 2005 filming of DU TV in Oklahoma click here.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Tree Farm - 2010 Volunteer of the Year / VIDEO

The 65th Anniversary of the S.C. Tree Farm program was commemorated by a Legislative lobby day at the statehouse in Columbia on March 2. Approximately 50 Tree Farm representatives gathered at 8 a.m. to get in a full day of activities, with an equal balance of landowners and forestry professionals attending. As one part of the day-long event, I was awarded the Master Tree Farmer program 2010 Volunteer of the Year for my work raising awareness about forestry in Colleton County and the ACE Basin. To read more about these efforts please visit my website at and click on the PL-ACE button. As a small private landowner and advocate for the natural resources of the Lowcountry, I will continue to showcase the positive aspects of the outdoors. Special thanks go the the House and Senate for passing a resolution in support of the S.C. Tree Farm system's contributions to the forestry industry. For more information on the S.C. Tree Farm click here.

To view past blog entries about prescribed fire click here.

Special thanks go to Sen. Chip Campsen for recognizing my Volunteer Award from the floor of the Senate, and for being a champion for sportsmen and conservation.

PhotosByJeffDennis: Rep. Chip Limehouse recognized me at the press conference in the capital rotunda and is here with Denise Bonnette, the S.C. Tree Farm Committee Chair; the Tree Farm logo is universal nationwide; members of the Tree Farm green shirt team await the press conference; the Volunteer award plaque was a very sturdy and attractive wood product - most fitting for a Tree Farmer!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

2011 Salkehatchie Longbeards Banquet

NWTF State Chairman gives a chapter award to Rusty Kinard

Stutting toms in bronze on the live aucti

Ed Floyd and Elizabeth Holland are regulars at NWTF
The 2011 Salkehatchie Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation held their 13th annual Hunting Heritage banquet on Feb. 26 in Walterboro. The chapter was recognized with the third place award in the "Best of the Best Local Chapter" category, at the recent NWTF National Convention in Nashville. This is always a great fundraiser for wildlife conservation in South Carolina.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Jan./Feb. 2011 Birding Journal observations

January was quite cold for the entire month, having already seen snow flurries in December and overnight temps in the 20's a real taste of winter came to the Lowcountry outdoors. The FIRST goldfinches to show up this year arrived on January 19, 2011. The FIRST cedar waxwings arrived on January 29, 2011. Bird sightings at Snipe Hill included a great blue heron, northern flicker, mockingbird, cardinal, towhee, chipping sparrow, tufted titmouse, carolina chickadee, yellow-bellied sapsucker, white-breasted nuthatch, red-bellied woodpecker, hairy woodpecker, white-throated sparrow, Canada geese, carolina wren, bluebird, dove, blue jay, wood thrush and the ubiquitous turkey vulture.

For my Nov./Dec. birding blog entry click here.

PhotosBy Dr. Patrick Dennis Sr. : Egret, cardinal, red-bellied woodpecker with red-winged blackbird