Tips and tricks for Lowcountry bucks

By Matt Winter

Published in Tideline magazine, September/October 2013 edition

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Photograph by Matt Winter

Those Hammond boys sure are serious about deer hunting.

Over their combined decades of rifle and bow hunting, rumors have circulated about how far Don and his son, Scott, are willing to go to outwit old bucks and does. One seemingly tall tale involved placing fake hunters in tree stands so that deer would get used to the shape of a person moving in the trees.

“Yes, I have absentee hunters,” Don recently admitted with a grin. Continue reading

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Talking Turkey

By Matt Winter
The Post and Courier

Scott Hammond, 31, has been calling and hunting wild turkeys since he was 8. He’s bagged about 75 gobblers so far, and tagged out — shot the maximum five birds allotted per hunter per year — each of the past 11 years.

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Scott Hammond

Impressive stuff, considering most Lowcountry hunters would be proud to score just one mature bird each year. Continue reading

Lowcountry waterfowling

By Matt Winter

Published in Tideline magazine, November/December 2012 issue

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Photograph by Matt Winter

Ask most good ol’ boys and they’ll tell you the pecking order of Lowcountry hunting goes like this: Deer, then turkey, then waterfowl.

Just about anybody can hunt deer, whether on a small piece of private land, a big hunting club or deep in the Francis Marion National Forest. You just need a shotgun or rifle, the right licenses and some camouflage (and blaze orange on public land).

Turkeys are lot harder to hunt and a lot harder to find. You need more camo, turkey calls, ground blinds and special shotgun chokes and loads. You also need a good bit more know-how and access to relatively unpressured forest land.

Waterfowl hunting? That’s a different beast altogether. Boats, blinds, calls, waders, decoys and a good retriever are just the start. You have to gear up for an amphibious endeavor in cold weather and navigate a complicated web of federal and state regulations. Just identifying your prey is tough — recognizing a deer is a lot easier than telling the difference between a mottled duck and a ringneck zipping over your head in low light.

Continue reading