|Clarendon Plantation guide Shawn Moss|
with Disabled hunter Fred Specht and his 8-point
Deer hunting season fervor reaches new heights in October with the arrival of cooler weather and the rut. It’s no coincidence that the annual Wounded Warrior and Wheelchair Deer Hunt is scheduled during this time of peak whitetail activity so that the participants have the best chance for success. One U.S. serviceman shot an 8-point buck during his first ever deer hunt, while a total of sixty hunters were able to spend time among the bountiful natural resources found in the ACE Basin.
|Warriors sign in for a hunting guide and NRA gift bag|
The hunt schedule began with a patriotic flag-waving parade for a convoy of wounded warriors down the oak avenue at Nemours Plantation at 11 a.m. on Monday, October 27. The Nemours property is home to a Wildlife Foundation whose mission includes hosting this special deer hunt, acting as the hub before a network of ACE Basin properties serve as the spokes where the invited guests can go hunting. A catered lunch and pairing each hunter with a local hunting guide are the next order of business.
|Eric Forgacs and his First Ever 8-point buck|
Several speakers followed the invocation but hunt founder Mark Peterson and wife Holly were singled out for special recognition. Peterson is a member of the Lowcountry Chapter of Safari Club International (SCI) and has been the driving force behind the hunt during its entire ten-year tenure. Having been involved with the hunt as a guide, a volunteer and a member of the media I can share that Peterson has been hands on with every facet of the event.
If ice and soda were lacking for meal time, it was Peterson out soliciting grocery stores and business owners to pitch in. Helping our wounded warriors during their time of recuperation is a worthy cause, and others are quick to pitch in, but it is Peterson who raised awareness whenever and wherever it was required. Mark and Holly were each presented a plaque from SCI and also a framed photo collage covering the history of the event.
|Kay Merrill and Ernie Wiggers from Nemours Plantation|
A Marine color guard from Parris Island presented the flags while a Marine quintet played the national anthem, and everyone was ready to get in a deer stand early on that Monday afternoon. In the end there was 24 deer and 2 hogs harvested by the hunters, but they each were a part of the 25th Anniversary of the ACE Basin as they traveled to private lands to hunt. One of the hallmarks of this event each year is the generosity of the plantations to allow these hunters access to properties that are teeming with wildlife.
To view the entire article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
To view past blog entries about the SCI Wounded Warrior deer hunt click on year: 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009.