In cooperation with a number of private landowners and hunt clubs, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources is co-sponsoring a handful of youth-only deer hunts in the state’s Piedmont region this fall, as part of the department’s Take One Make One program.

Youngsters between the ages of 10 and 15 are eligible to apply for the hunts, which will be Oct. 17 on the Brownlee and Johnson farms in Laurens County, on Nov. 7 on Horseshoe Falls Hunt Club in Spartanburg County, on Nov. 14 on Laura Lyn and Chufa Ridge farms in Union County and Broken Arrow Hunt Club in Cherokee County, on Dec. 5 on Yelton Farm in Spartanburg County, on Dec. 12 at the Clinton House Plantation in Laurens County and the Trophy Buck Club in Union County.

There are no costs associated with these special hunts, but parents or a guardian must provide written permission for their youngster to attend and sign a liability wavier form and provide transportation to and from the event. Youngsters interested in participating in one of the hunts are encouraged to apply before the Sept. 14 deadline. Applications can be obtained from the SCDNR offices in Union (864-427-5140) and Columbia (803-734-3886) or by downloading from the SCDNR website at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/hunting/youthhunting/docs/2015youthupstatereg1.pdf.

"We are specifically looking for young people who have an interest in hunting but don’t have anyone to take them," said Gerald Moore, a wildlife biologist with SCDNR. "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 hunts for all youth and their parents.