The S.C. Department of Natural Resources, private individuals and area hunting clubs are co-sponsoring several youth deer hunts in the Piedmont region this fall. The deadline for applying for the hunts is Monday, Sept. 16.

These events in Laurens, Spartanburg, Union and Cherokee counties will be a part of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Take One Make One youth mentoring program.

Applications may be obtained from SCDNR offices in Union (864-427-5140), Columbia (803-734-3886) or on the SCDNR website at www.dnr.sc.gov/hunting/huntyouth/youthdhuntapp.html.

Special youth deer hunts are scheduled at the following sites:

Oct. 19, Laurens County, Brownlee Farm

Oct. 19, Laurens County, Johnson Farm

Nov. 9, Spartanburg County, 10 Point Hunt Club

Nov. 9, Spartanburg County, Yelton Farm

Nov. 9, Spartanburg County, Horseshoe Falls Hunt Club

Nov. 16, Union County, Laura Lyn Farm

Nov. 16, Union County, Chufa Ridge Farm

Nov. 16, Cherokee County, Broken Arrow Hunt Club

Dec. 14, Laurens County, The Clinton House Plantation

Dec. 14, Union County, Trophy Buck Club

These events are for youth between the ages of 10 and 15 who would like to go deer hunting this fall but don't have anyone to take them. The hunt will be carefully supervised with a responsible adult becoming the child's mentor and helping teach them how to hunt effectively, safely and ethically.

"We are specifically looking for young people who have an interest in hunting but don't have anyone to take them," said Gerald Moore, an SCDNR wildlife biologist. "These special hunts are designed for a growing number of youth today who don't have a parent, relative or close friend that hunts and can provide them proper exposure to the hunting experience. As a result, many of today's young people are missing out on a challenging and enjoyable recreational activity."

Participants will be required to complete a short training course on gun safety and go to the rifle range and fire the gun they will be using during the hunt. Appropriate firearms will be provided for those who need them. An adult will accompany each youngster at the rifle range and during all hunting activities. Lunch will be provided by ATDO Ministries before the hunt for all youth and their parents.

There are no costs associated with these special hunts, but parents or a guardian must provide written permission for their youngster to attend and must sign a liability wavier form and provide transportation to and from the event. Young sportsmen and sportswomen who think they might like to attend one of these special youth deer hunts this fall are encouraged to write or call for an application today.