Fort Jackson deer hunters take aim: Sportsmen head on post for year's hunting season
September 22, 2010
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- Fall colors, cooler weather and shorter days signify hunting season is here, and enthusiasts are heading out into the woods around Fort Jackson for some relaxation and a little action.
Deer hunting season, which began Aug. 15 and runs through Jan. 1, is drawing hordes of sportsmen to the installation to harvest this year's bounty of bucks and does.
"It is nice to be able to get out into the woods," said Donald Randolph, a former Soldier and current Army spouse who spent Monday morning at Fort Jackson bow hunting for deer. "Hunting is just part of it. It is good to get out."
Fort Jackson game wardens open up designated areas each day for bow and rifle hunting. Areas include training areas in and out of the cantonment areas, as well as far out on the backside of the installation. Lotteries to use a limited number of tree stands are 12:15 p.m. daily at Heise Pond off Semmes Road.
"Fort Jackson is a really good spot to hunt deer. It just takes a little patience, skill and some luck," said Todd Ledford, a contractor on post. "It is a great way to see Mother Nature, relax and watch wildlife."
Every year, about 200 whitetail deer are harvested at the installation on about 100 square miles of huntable training areas. Other hunting opportunities on Fort Jackson include waterfowl, turkeys, doves and small game. Waterfowl season begins in mid-November and runs through Jan. 31; small game season began in August and ends in March.
Staff Sgt. Joe Androyan, a drill sergeant with Company C, 2nd Battalion, 13th Infantry Regiment, hunts at Fort Jackson whenever he can get some time off.
"There are a lot of deer out here. I have been hunting in a lot of places and Fort Jackson, while it isn't the best in the country, it is a very nice place to hunt," he said. "I just really enjoy being out in the woods."
A Fort Jackson hunter must possess appropriate South Carolina hunting licenses, as well as a Fort Jackson hunting permit. Each hunter must also obtain a Hunter's Education Card. Those licenses and permits are available at Marion Street Station. Weapons must also be registered through the Directorate of Emergency Services.
A hunter education course is also offered by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources at www.hunter-ed.com/sc/. During the 10-hour hunter education course, students receive classroom and hands-on experience in hunter safety, ethics and basic conservation and wildlife management principles.
Permit fees for Fort Jackson are $35 for a combo permit, which allows the hunting of large and small game, waterfowl and fishing. State licenses are $6 for big game such as deer and $12 for small game, such as squirrels or turkey.
Before setting off into the woods, hunters must go to the check-in station at Heise Pond off Semmes Road. Available hunting areas change daily and maps for that day's area are located at the check-in station.
Game killed on Fort Jackson must be brought to the Heise Pond check-in station. The station has facilities for skinning and dressing deer, carcass disposal and freezers for temporary storage of meat.
"While hunting is a great way to get out and enjoy the outdoors, it is also a very cost-saving way to fill your freezer with meat," Randolph said. "I take my deer meat to a meat processor that can turn it into beef sticks, sausage, links and bacon. You name it."