Mobility impaired hunters will again be treated to a unique opportunity to attend two special deer hunts this year on about 40 well-managed and exclusive private tracts of land in the Upstate.

The hunts are scheduled for Oct. 26-27 in Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties and Nov. 3-4 in Laurens and Newberry counties. Applicants can apply for one or both hunts. No application fee or other costs are associated with these hunts.

Each hunt will consist of a noon lunch and hunting on Friday afternoon and Saturday mornings. After the noon lunch on Friday, everyone will then disperse to his or her assigned hunt site.

These special hunts are co-sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which will handle the application process, notification of successful hunters and other correspondence.

Applications for the special hunts are available from: Union DNR Office, 124 Wildlife Drive, Union, SC 29379, telephone (864) 427-5140, or from the DNR Columbia Office, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, telephone (803) 734-3886. Applications can also be downloaded from the DNR Web site at Completed applications must be received at the Union DNR Office by 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 24 to be eligible for the drawing.

A number of very generous landowners and managers will accommodate hunters on their properties this year during these special hunts. During Oct. 26-27 hunts in Cherokee, Spartanburg and Union counties, the Cherokee County landowners and managers are: Dr. Darwin Keller of Keller Property and Bruce Randolph of Badlands Hunt Club.

Spartanburg County landowners and managers are: Stewart Johnson of Jimmie's Creek Farm; Dr. George Graham of Tri G Gun Club; Harold Campbell of Campbell Property; Steve Wood of BD Properties; Dr. David Weir of Longbeard Timber Co.; Dr. and Mrs. Don McClure of Cow Ford Land Co; Keith Comer Jr. of Comer Farm LLC; Lamar Fuller of Bull Run Hunt Club; and George D. Johnson Jr. of Wylie Fork Creek.

Union County landowners and managers are: Ron Roberts of Beulah Creek Hunt Club; Wayne Garner of U.S. Sportsmen's Club; Al Bullington of Tyger Ranch; Donnie Loftis of Padgett's Creek Reserve; Donnie Loftis of Rabbit Road Hunt Club; Terry Shockley of Trophy Buck Hunt Club; and Steve Koskela of Laura Lynn Farm.

During Nov. 2-3 hunts in Laurens and Newberry counties, the Laurens County landowners and managers are: Dr. Wallace Boyd of Quaker Creek Farm; Wade Pitts of Pitts Place; Dr. Claude Woollen of Woollen Farm; Phil Lucas of Carroll Hunt Club; Steve Frantz of Southern Timber Associates; Chris Grant of The Clinton House Plantation; Charles Blackmon of Blackmon Farm; Bryson Thomason of Fuller Gray Farm; Tim Howard of Sugar Flat Hunt Club; Tex Small of Sundowner Farm; Tom Hawkins of Hawk's Nest Hunt Club; Jim Barnes of Riveroak Properties; Chuck Bagwell of Enoree River Hunt Club; James Pitts of LPW Hunt Club; Dave Schemm of Triple S Hunt Club; and Dr. Derrick Wessinger of Hurricane Hunt Club.

Newberry County landowners and managers are: Lee Walsh of Belfast Hunt Club; Otis Taylor of The Scott Place (TCA); Cecil Duffie of Mudlick; and Donnie Loftis of Loftis Hunt Club.

A number of organizations are also co-sponsoring these events and provide financial support, personnel assistance during the hunts or assistance in various other ways. These co-sponsors include the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, Georgia Pacific Corp., Carolina's Fence Association, South Carolina Disabled Sportsmen, Paralyzed Veterans of America, Sprinkle Prosthetics, the Wounded Warrior Project, South Carolina Wildlife Law Enforcement Officers Association, South Carolina DNR's Take One Make One program and the Spartanburg Gun Club. A significant number of volunteers are also involved in these hunts, and their individual personal assistance is vital to the success of these events.

Applicants for these hunts are carefully screened and are restricted to persons who are permanently and severely mobility impaired. These include only those who are permanently confined to a wheel chair, persons permanently requiring the use of mechanical aids (walker, braces, etc.) to walk, or persons with complete single or double leg amputations.

Each hunter may be accompanied by one other person who can participate in a non-hunting capacity. This year at each of the hunts some severely injured and permanently mobility impaired servicemen and servicewomen will be accommodated in cooperation with the Wounded Warrior Project. Additional information about the Wounded Warrior Project is available from its Web site at

"Aside from the opportunity to hunt deer on some of the most well-managed and exclusive properties in the Upstate, another important benefit of these events is the opportunity to develop friendships and fellowship among those who have similar disabilities," said Gerald Moore, DNR wildlife biologist in Union. "We are pleased to cooperate with the various hosts and sponsors of these hunts in assisting those people who are able to take definite steps to pursue their outdoor interests in spite of their disabilities. We encourage all qualified mobility impaired persons interested in hunting to apply. It is certainly a great opportunity, and all interested sportsmen and sportswomen who are mobility impaired should try to take advantage of it."