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South Carolina championship-qualifying youth raccoon hunts

Youth coon hunts sponsored by the S.C. Coon Hunters Association (SCCHA) and participating regional clubs and chapters will begin in October and continue throughout the fall and winter, culminating with the South Carolina Youth Raccoon Hunting Championship, hosted by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). The championship hunt is scheduled for March 2, 2019 and will be held at the SCDNR’s Webb Wildlife Center in Hampton County.

The regional club-sponsored hunts are all qualifying events for the state championship and are designed to teach the participants ethics and sportsmanship through participation in low-intensity competitive events. The top two hunters in each age bracket (Juniors: 12 and under, and Seniors: 13-17) and the Sportsmanship Award winners in each age group will qualify for the state championship hunt. Two $500 scholarships will be awarded at the South Carolina Youth Championship hunt, for the first-place finisher in each age group. Two additional $500 scholarships will be awarded based on participation in the qualifying youth hunts listed above. Proceeds from the sale of SCCHA personalized license plates fund the organization’s scholarship program. For additional information about the scholarships or other programs of the SCCHA, visit the group’s website at: www.sccoonhunters.com.

Competitors in the series are allowed to hunt in as many regional youth hunts as they choose, and all events are free of charge. In accordance with competition hunt rules, no raccoons are killed during the competition and guns are not allowed on the hunt. Interested youth hunters and their parents or guardians should contact the sponsoring clubs (see below) for information regarding specific hunts. Each hunter is responsible for bringing a dog to the hunts, and need to be able, with minimal assistance from an adult, to acknowledge when his or her dog “strikes” and “trees.” Points are awarded by judges based upon the order that the contestants interpret their dogs’ barks to identify when the dogs strike a raccoons’ trail and when their dogs have treed a raccoon.

Dates, locations and contact information for the series of regional youth coon hunts are listed below (bench shows are at 4 p.m. and hunts begin at 6 p.m. for all events)
Youth coon hunt dates, locations and contacts
October 20 – Black Creek CHA

Hunt Address: 1924 Cashua Ferry Road (Highwy 34), Darlington, SC 29150
Contact : Andy Harrelson; (803) 778-0061
November 3 – Red Hill Houndsmen

Hunt Address: 757 North Martintown Road, Edgefield, SC 29824
Contact: Wayne Agner Jr; (803) 215-9911
November 10 – Saluda County CHA

Hunt Address: 509 Center Springs Road, Saluda, SC 29138
Contact: Will Deloach 864-992-8804 or wdeloach@saludaschools.org
December 8 – Hell Hole Swamp CHA (UKC State Youth Championship event)

Hunt Address: 5681 Walker Road, Georgetown, SC 29440
Contact: Floyd Lambert (843) 344-1528
December 15 – Lancaster County CHA

Hunt Address: 2891 South Rocky River Road, Heath Springs, SC 29058
Contact: Joel Henson (803) 283-7815
January 12 – Orangeburg County CHA

Hunt Address: 510 Holstein Road, Bowman, SC 29018
Contact: Doug Shuler (803) 682-0418
January 26 – Norway CHA

Hunt Address: 2811 Bonnette Road, Norway, SC 29133
Contact: Mendell Miller (803) 707-1861
February 2 – Whitmire CHA (AKC State Youth Championship)

Hunt Address: 18193 Hwy 176, Newberry, SC 29108
Contact: Steven Cromer (803) 944-2255
February 9 – Summerville CHA

Hunt Address: 200 Coon Hunters Lane, Ridgeville, SC 29472
Contact: Ed Kimmons (843) 619-5265
March 2, 2019 – State Championship at SCDNR’s Webb Wildlife Center*

Hunt Address: 1282 Webb Avenue, Garnett, SC 29922
Contact: (803) 734-3609
*Hunters must qualify at a regional event to participate.