South Carolina youth coon hunts to start around the state

Youth raccoon 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 7, 2020 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.

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.

Each potential participant should contact the sponsoring clubs for information regarding specific hunts and to sign up:

Black Creek CHA
Hunt Address: 1924 Cashua Ferry Road Hwy 34, Darlington, SC 29150 Contact Person: Andy Harrelson, 803-778-0061
Bench Show: 4 p.m.
Night Hunt: 6 p.m.

Nov. 2
Red Hill Houndsmen
Hunt Address: 757 North Martintown Road, Edgefield, SC 29824
Contact Person: Wayne Agner Jr. 803-215-9911
Bench Show: 4 p.m.
Night Hunt: 6 p.m.

Nov. 9
Saluda County CHA
Hunt Address: 285 Old Andrew Coleman Road, Saluda, SC 29138
Contact Person: Wayne Agner (803) 637-6219
Bench Show: 4 p.m.
Night Hunt: 6 p.m.

Dec. 7
Lancaster County CHA
Hunt Address: 2891 South Rocky River Road, Heath Springs, SC 29058 Contact Person: Joel Hinson 803-283-7815
Bench Show: 4 p.m.
Night Hunt: 6 p.m.

Dec. 14
Hell Hole Swamp
CHA Hunt Address: 5681 Walker Road, Georgetown, SC 29440
Contact Person: Floyd Lambert 843-344-1528
UKC State Youth Championship
Bench Show: 3 p.m.
Water Race: 4 p.m.
Night Hunt: 6 p.m.

Jan. 11
Orangeburg County CHA
Hunt Address: 510 Holstein Road, Bowman, SC 29018
Contact Person: Doug Shuler 803-682-0418
Bench Show: 4 p.m.
Night Hunt: 6 p.m.

Jan. 25
Norway CHA
Hunt Address: 2811 Bonnette Road, Norway, SC 29133
Contact Person: Mendell Miller, 803-707-1861
Bench Show: 4 p.m.
Night Hunt: 6 p.m.

Feb. 1
Whitmire CHA
Hunt Address: 18193 Hwy 176, Newberry, SC 29108
Contact Person: Steven Cromer, (803) 944-2255
AKC State Youth Championship
Bench Show: 4 p.m.
Night Hunt: 6 p.m.

Feb. 8
Summerville CHA
Hunt Address: 200 Coon Hunters Lane, Ridgeville, SC 29472
Contact Person: Ed Kimmons 843-619-5265
Bench Show: 4 p.m.
Night Hunt: 6 p.m.

The State Championship Hunt will be March 7 at the *Webb Wildlife Center, SCDNR.

Contact: (803) 734-3609. *Hunters must qualify at one of the regional hunts to participate.