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Outfitter Name Buckhaven Plantation
Hunt Date November 1997
Quarry Wild Boar, Whitetail Deer
Total Cost $200 (includes lodging and transportation to hunt location)
Length 1 day
Terrain Woods, swamp
Health Easy.   Very short walking distances
Explanation The zero star rating is given for the absolutely apathetic nature of the staff, the poor accommodations, and for the fact that we sat in town in a broken down truck for four hours during prime hunting time.  No discount was offered, nor were any type of amends made.
How the Hunt is Conducted
The guide drives you into the swamp, where they have stands placed about every 50 yards.  Most stands watch over corn feeders, since baiting is legal in the South Carolina lowcountry.  For my evening hunt, the guide simply scattered some corn around my stand, which, in my opinion was useless.  

You are expected to skin and butcher your own animals, although there are processors in the area who will do this for you.

My first impression of the camp was "what have I gotten myself into".  The base camp was an old general store that had been converted to a hunting lodge.  The smell of the place was terrible, like raw meat.  The lodge was very dirty, with hunting gear strewn everywhere, beds placed rag-tag throughout the entranceway, and a bunch of drunk hunters eating fish in the kitchen.  At the time I took this hunt, I liked beer.  But a hunting camp is not the place for it, or liquor either.  

There were a half-dozen hunters, loud and drunk, sitting in the kitchen eating when we arrived.  The guide was asleep on the couch when we got there.  One of my first questions was "what animals are legal shooting?"  His answer was "any deer you see", and "only male pigs".  Wake-up was supposed to be at 4:30.  At 4:00am, the guide's son stomped through the cabin shouting "Time to get rugged".  The guide himself went home for the night.  

The morning hunt consisted of the guide driving us into the woods, pointing out the locations of the stands he wanted us on, and telling us to meet back at the truck at around 10:30am.  My stand was a very comfortable elevated box blind in the woods.  I saw only small deer out of this stand.  My two partners saw nothing.  When asked why I didn't shoot the deer, I told the guide that I didn't want a spike; I was after a quality deer that would make both good eating and a nice trophy.  

After the morning hunt, we drove to town for lunch.  The transmission in the hunting vehicle (a two-wheel drive Ford van) went out on the way in, so we had to get a ride back to the camp.  We did not get back into the woods until 4:00pm (the sun sets at 6:00 this time of year).  We drove right by several of the guide's other clients on their stands on the way in.  They weren't impressed.  

For the evening hunt, we were on stands 5 - 7 miles deep into the swamp.  I did see 13 pigs, but they were all young, only around 30 pounds each.  The guide was two hours late picking me and my buddies up on our respective stands, leaving us to wait in the pitch black swamp, listening to the alligators belch and the pigs grunt.  Not that that wasn't fun in and of itself...

This hunt is definitely not recommended.  The hunting area itself is great, but the guide has no concept of conservation.  He will tell you that any deer is legal shooting, when he should be concentrating on harvesting only quality bucks and an equal number of does, leaving the peaheads to grow.   If you want to hunt this area, I recommend (blindly, having never hunted with them) either Bostick or Boggy plantations.

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