Thursday, February 28, 2019

Beech Hill Trail Bridge Repair at Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary

City Of Walterboro Parks Crew at Beech Hill Trail Bridge
Exploring the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary just got a little bit more interesting, with restored access to the Beech Hill trail. Readers may recall a report from December sharing how winter viewing in the swamp is much improved with the leaves off the trees. Also in the report was how part of the bike path was closed due to regular maintenance repairs to the boardwalk. The Beech Hill Bridge repairs are now complete and City of Walterboro Parks Director Ryan McLeod wants Colletonians to hike into and enjoy the interior Beech Hill loop.
On a cool February morning, with 50-degre temperatures and light cloud cover, I met up with McLeod and Parks Superintendent Riv Temple near the Beech Hill Trail. The closest parking option is the kayak launch parking lot at Jeffries Blvd. and Ivanhoe Road, right by the new sign for the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary. A short walk along the wide shoulder on Ivanhoe, provides a safe path to the Beech Hill trail, which has is paved to improve bike riding. It’s less than a half-mile walk to the Beech Hill Bridge, but what anyone can see is that the swamp begins to change over into a climax forest that remains in pristine condition.

“We are excited to say that the Beech Hill Bridge is back open,” said McLeod. “The work we did here is part of a new maintenance plan where each section of the boardwalk will be checked on a 5-year rotation. One thing that is different from the past is that we used screws in the wood repair, which will allow easier access in the future for spot repairs. The old plan of using nails is a little more haphazard since nails can pop up under seasonal temperature stress to the wood.”

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries from the Walterboro Wildlife Sanctuary click on Wet Winter Weather 

To view past blog entries about hardwood bottomlands click on Congaree National Park - Hunting Wood Ducks - Hunting Wild Turkey 

To view past blog entries about trees click on Laurel Oak Disease - Dendrochronology  

Friday, February 22, 2019

2019 SEWE Sunday - Gone To The Dogs

Rescue Dog and his plea for support
The Southeastern Wildlife Exposition is very dog friendly and the attendees are grateful to have their company. Retriever demonstrations are routine, but the social interactions at the venues can provide the priceless memories that can cement the SEWE experience with outdoor enthusiasts.

To view past blog entries from SEWE Sunday click 2018 201720162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009

Pink dog vest and blue water in the USA

2019 Sheep Herding display

Dog CHOMP way up in the air

2019 SEWE - Garden and Gun Cocktails and Conservation

Sporting art at the Garden and Gun offices
Mike McShane and Travis Folk lead the discussion
The Southeastern Wildlife Expo team renewed their partnership with Garden and Gun magazine in 2019, with a lecture on the sporting landscape. A panel of experts, including Nemours Wildlife Foundation, delivered their expert opinions beginning with the history of rice culture, all the way up to the modern NAWCA funding act. The question and answer session revealed that the same challenges are being faced on both the West Coast and the East Coast, with waterfowl conservation a keystone for many other species of wading birds, shorebirds and endangered species like the whooping crane.

To read the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries from the Garden and Gun Conservation and Cocktails click on 2018.

2019 Flyer

Rice Kingdom map on display

2019 SEWE - Dog and Horse Gallery Sporting Expo

Catering my Michael's Steakhouse
The Dog and Horse Gallery on Church Street upped their game by embracing fox hounds from the Lowcountry Hunt at their quaint gallery during SEWE. Fox hunters dressed in their pink coats and horse riding attire galloped into history, making this usually small gathering swell to a packed house. Whether stopping in after dinner, or heading out to other events, the guests appreciate the hospitality of gallery owner Jaynie Spector.

To view past sporting exhibits at Dog and Horse click on 20182012 - 2010 

Guests Ubering in and out of the gallery

Going to a black tie affair from the gallery

Old friends from high school celebrate SEWE

2019 SEWE Gala at Belmond Charleston Place

Jack Bennett and friends enjoy the SEWE gala
The premiere wildlife art auction and social scene unfolds each year on the opening night of the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition. The 37th edition of SEWE was no different with artists from all around the United States displaying their artwork at Belmond Charleston Place Hotel. On this night VIP patrons, politicians and art collectors mingle before the high-end live auction featuring sporting guns and trips to resorts such as Barnsley Gardens. Live music, game dishes, and the open bar serve up the right mix for those who love the outdoors.

To view past blog entries from the SEWE Gala click 20182017 - 2016 - 2015- 2014 - 2013,  201220112010, or 2009
Gila monsters and snakes are welcome at SEWE

Point dog ice sculpture and the Burwell's

Artist Van Keuren Marshall and wife from Summerville
2019 SEWE Featured Artist Lou Pasqua

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

2019 Colleton Clemson Extension Advisory Committee Meeting

The Colleton Advisory Committee on Feb. 1
Fourteen members of the Colleton County Clemson Extension Advisory Board met on Monday, February 4 to discuss upcoming events. An extensive discussion regarding a needs assessment for 2019 included the top issues facing Colleton County and how the Clemson extension can address these issues. Residents can request assistance from the extension regarding forestry, gardening, wildlife management and youth-oriented 4-H programs. Connecting with the local community requires partnerships and outreach and the Clemson extension is ready to lead by example.
Good Stuff coming up in 4-H program
Alta Mae Marvin chairs the agribusiness team at the Colleton Clemson Extension and she brought the meeting to order, after thanking colleague Marion Barnes for providing a pot luck supper. Barnes will be holding a feral hog workshop in March, and an agriculture tour on May 23. Marvin reminds attendees that the Master Gardener program hosts a brown bag lunch once a month to discuss seasonal plantings. Earth Day on April 22 will raise awareness about planting trees with the extension office providing seedlings.

Karissa Ulmer is the Clemson Extension Director for the Savannah Valley District, encompassing multiple counties. Ulmer stated that the budget approval process is underway this time of year from the S.C. state legislature to the Colleton County Council, and that any voice of support from the public for Clemson extension would be helpful. Ulmer’s family resides in Colleton County and her son Garrett serves as the S.C. 4-H State President, and will attend the National 4-H conference in Washington D.C this April.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries from this meeting click on 2017 - 2016 

To view past blog entries about Agribusiness in S.C. click on Pasture Grazing - Beginning Farmer Program -Woodland ManagementOctober Flooding - Hugh Weathers -  Tree Farm Lobby Day -  Benton's Peanuts - Fresh On The Menu 

Thursday, February 7, 2019

2019 Turkey Season Draw Hunt Deadline

Planning ahead for a draw hunt can help to tag a tom turkey
Deer, dove and duck seasons have just wrapped up, and Punxsutawney Phil’s Groundhog Day prediction is for an early spring. Small game season remains in effect for February, but warming temperatures can end hunting plans before a specific calendar date arrives. Big game hunters are already dreaming of full strut toms and opening day of wild turkey season on March 20. Turkey populations are lower than average in many places across the state right now, but certainly not everywhere. Turkey draw hunts on Wildlife Management Areas can provide an extra opportunity to hunt and the February 22 deadline for online applications is approaching.
The public lottery hunt program is administered by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, providing access to hunt public lands managed for all wildlife. This program is well suited for hunter recruitment, serving those who do not have hunting access elsewhere. All applications are processed online on the SCDNR website, and hunters can choose between five properties in the multi-site draw hunt. There is a non-refundable fee of $5 per applicant, and if drawn a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) permit is required during the hunt.

Three of these public hunting properties are in the Lowcountry including Bonneau Ferry WMA, Donnelly WMA and Santee Cooper WMA. The remaining two public hunting properties in the Midlands include Belfast WMA and Wateree River Heritage Preserve. These same five properties also offer a separate youth only turkey draw hunt lottery, requiring a separate application. No turkey hunt is ever a sure thing, but access to these properties is limited and a high quality experience in the outdoors is more than likely. All hunters, including youth, are required to have turkey tags in their possession, and they can be ordered by calling 1-866-714-3611.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries on draw hunt applications click 2014

To view past blog entries on turkey hunting click Grand Slam - Mark Prudhomme - Eddie Salter - Tony Chachere H.S. Strut 

To view past blog entires about the Turkey Season Opener click 20162015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2010 - 2009