Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saluda River Archery Club Tournament

Primitive craft display and demonstrations by L. Woodrow Ross

Jeff Stewart, Inman, SC, bowyer prepares to shoot through chronograph to check arrow speed.

PSE archery team (far left is pro staffer Robert Horton, far right on back is regional rep. Tony Valentine and to his immediate right is Saluda River Archery Club owner Russell Cooper)

Photos by: L. Ross

Saturday, June 25, was a fun day for local archers. About one hundred archers gathered at Saluda River Archery Club at 521 McNeely Road, Piedmont, SC 29673 for a great day of competition. There were no losers, as it was a day of fun and camaderie.

Most of the archers shot compound bows, but there was a good representation of traditional bows with most being recurves.

Jeff Stewart of Inman, SC, was there to demonstrate his recurve bows. They reached more than 200 mph through the chronograph, which is pretty fast for a traditional bow. My longbow only clocked 156 mph.

Gene Cunningham and I had a primitive craft display of flint knapping, hand make bows and arrows, natural fiber hand-made cordage, atlatls and darts, and demonstrations of fire starting with bow drill and flint and steel.

Local shooters interested in shooting at Saluda River Archery Club should contact Russell Cooper at (864) 230-8744 for information.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hagood Mill - Historic Upstate Site

Blacksmith Griz Hockwalt shaping a piece of steel that will be a paring knife.

Local character with 'possum Historic Hagood Mill, water powered grist mill

Ancient Dodge flatbed pick-up

Photos by: L. Ross

Hagood Mill, near Pickens, SC, is an upstate landmark. It has been designated as a historic site and every third Saturday of the month, craftsmen, musicians, vendors and the curious public gather for a day of entertainment and educational exhibits and events.

The agenda is always different. The same exhibitors are not always there, the musicians change and you never know what you will see. The constants are the historic mill structure that grinds corn on the one day of the month. They produce white and yellow grits and corn meal and the demand is always great.

There is a huge rock formation near the creek that courses through the property and I has a large number of indian petroglyphs on it. A building is currently being erected over the stone to protect it for current and future generations. In addition, by enclosing and controlling the lighting, the viewing of the petroglyphs will be improved. Some are cut very shallowly into the rock face and an oblique light will improve visibility.

The blacksmith shop is a new addition, but is set up to represent primitive techniques, just as used in the early days of our state. Griz Hockwalt demostrated metalworking with basic bellows to heat coals, hammer and anvil to produce some excellent tomahawks, knives and other utilitarian and art pieces.

You can often find a flint knapper, bowyer, quilt makers, bluegrass musicians, gospel musicians, various vendors and a gift shop to offer entertainment, products for sale and a day that you will find educational as well.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

S.C. Waterfowl Association - 2011 Update

Dear SCWA Supporters,
I hope everyone is having a great start to the Summer. I wanted to take a moment to provide you with an update the programs of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association.

David J Wielicki - Executive Director

Wood Duck Production ProjectWood Duck Logo
The nest box checking season is underway. SCWA waterfowl biologist Stuart Cochran and field technician Matt Huggins have started checking nest boxes. The nesting season was off to a great start with good Spring wetland conditions across the state. However, the recent high heat and dry spell could have a negative effect on late nesting and brood survival. We will keep you posted on nesting results. If you are interested in starting a wood duck nest box project give Stuart Cochran a call at 803-600-0742 or email him at
Waterfowl Population and Habitat Update
Despite our dry conditions the Prairie duck factory is enjoying near record water levels, especially in North Dakota, Southern Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In late July the US Fish and Wildife Service will publish their waterfowl breeding population and habitat survey results. I expect this year to be one of the best since the surveys began. This should result in large Fall flight of waterfowl with a liberal waterfowl season for all four flyways. The MRP Logofinal season dates will be set in late August. I look forward to keeping you posted.
The waterfowl habitat at our Wildlife Education Center is in great shape thanks to the installation of a new irrigation system. We also installed hog proof fencing to keep wild hogs from damaging our waterfowl crops in our major habitat areas. Three weeks ago we released 3,000 mallards at the Center. We are working hard with Frost Waterfowl and project cooperators across the state to release over 40,000 mallards this summer.
Chapter Banquets
Chapter Banquets are right around the corner. Our first banquet is in Columbia on Saturday, August 13 at the Medallion Center. Chairman David Stanley welcomes anyone who would like to attend or make a contribution to the event. He is always looking for more chapter committee members. David and his committee of dedicated volunteers are working hard to achieve number one chapter status for 2011.
The Summerville banquet is set for Saturday, August 27 at the Dorchester Senior Center. Larry Wells and his committee are looking forward to a great event.

For more information about upcoming events or toFour Color SCWAbecome a part of one of our committees, please visit our website!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Saluda River Rallly

Kayakers having fun at Saluda River Rally on June 4th and 5th

Anderson Parks and Rec. Dept. booth and archers Danielle Worthen and Robert Horton

Danielle Worthen shooting at deer target

The above photos by L. Ross are only a few scenes of the fun time for attendees at the Saluda River Rally at Dolly Cooper Park, sponsored by Grady's Great Outdoors of Anderson and the Anderson Parks and Recreation Department. The event featured river kayaking, float tubes, archery with Saluda River Archery Club and PSE Archery represented. Russell Cooper owner of Saluda River Archery Club and Robert Horton, PSE Pro Staffer were there to help novice archers learn more about the sport.

There were a great number of exhibitors and the fun included bluegrass music and on Sunday, at the culmination of the float to Piedmont, SC, free BBQ was provided by the Saluda River Grill.

The Anderson Parks and Recreation Department has been working with local businesses and outdoor enthusiasts to establish a kayak/canoe trail on the Saluda River and provide easy access and egress points at strategic places along the river. The river is a natural resource that has been underused and many people do not realize the natural beauty along the river and the opportunities that it provides.

Sharon Nicometo, Project Coordinator for the Parks and Recreation Department told of a young man in a wheelchair that came and took his first kayak ride. He was thrilled with the experience and the sense of freedom that he felt on the water. This was truly an inspirational story.

Danielle Worthen, the young lady in the archery photos above, is only 11-years-old and she is an example of getting involved in outdoor sports early. She began to call turkeys when she was only 3 and won her first contest when she was 4. She is currently the North Carolina state champion. She is also the only female from South Carolina to compete in Bassmasters. Way to go Danielle!

It was a great couple of days and many people had their first exposure to the river that is so close to much of the upstate population.