The Savannah National Wildlife Refuge held its 22nd annual deer hunt for the mobility impaired Oct. 31-Nov. 1. Thirteen hunters harvested a total of eight deer, including an 18-point, non-typical deer shot by Frankie Steele, of Batesburg, S.C.
“I’ve been coming here for several years and hope to keep coming,” said Frankie. “It’s a really great event for myself and other mobility impaired hunters.”
Day one of the hunt yielded little action for Frankie, but on day two at around 9 a.m., everything changed.
“The buck stepped out of the woods at 15 yards, and I knew immediately he was a really good deer,” said Frankie. “I had to wait a few minutes but finally was able to put a shot on him at 40 yards with my slug gun, while he was quartering away from me.”
Frankie made his shot count, and the 18-point, 166-lb. buck hit the dirt.
Russ Webb, who is the Savannah NWR Manager and has been with the refuge for 28 years, felt like the hunt was a real success for all hunters, staff and sponsors involved.
“(The hunt) seems to get better every year. Over the years, we have seen some really big deer taken on this hunt, and Frankie’s was no exception. He’s a really great guy, and I’m tickled for him,” said Russ.
Russ mentioned that a lot of work goes into management of the property, hunt arrangements and so forth, but it’s all worth it when it’s time to hit the woods and everyone gets to have fun.
“Several local businesses have jumped on board and really made this event happen. They provide meals to all of our hunters and help sponsor the event,” Russ said. “Jimmy Moore, a local taxidermist, has even mounted several deer at no charge to hunters, including Frankie’s buck.”
Hunters interested in participating in next year’s hunt can apply online at fws.gov/refuge/savannah.
“I encourage anyone interested to go online and check out everything we have going on at the refuge. We work really hard to create some great hunting opportunities, and we love to see people come out and enjoy it,” said Russ.