|Youth Hunter at the Bench Show Photo Op|
The formula and successful idea for getting youth involving in the heritage of hunting came way back in 1994. That’s when David McKee with the S.C. Coon Hunters Association and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources began a partnership that is still going strong in 2019. The 25th Anniversary State Youth Coon Hunt on February 24 in Hampton County celebrated sportsmanship during the hunt and honored the organizers.
|David McKee (left) and April Atkinson (right) mark 25 years|
A key point of the rules of competition is that no raccoons are killed, and that guns are not allowed at the hunt. Coon hunting stresses another partnership agreement, the one between a hunter and his coonhound. Involving youth with outdoor sports is admirable, but educating them about dog handling and dog ownership can also be just as important. These responsibilities include keeping a coon hound ready to hunt via feeding, watering and training the canine, and all are lessons that can be applied down the road of life.
|It's a family affair too!|
The youth hunters must hunt in regional qualifiers in order to be selected to compete in the state hunt. A points system administered by judges in the field scores how a hunter identifies their dog’s bark when they strike a coon trail or bay and tree a raccoon. There are two age classes at this hunt including Juniors age 12 and under, and Seniors age 13 – 17.
To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.
To view past blog entries from the Grand American Coon Hunt click on 2019 - 2018- 2017 - 2016- 2015 - 2014- 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010