I am not bashful about telling anyone who will listen what a dismal season 2015 has been for me in my home state of Georgia. So, when my good friend Thom Jorgensen gave me a call and asked if I would like to hunt Hogs and Deer with him in South Carolina the week before Christmas it only took about 2 seconds to say “yes”…..make that “Hell yes!!!”.
Andrew Harper owns a large tract of land in Allendale County South Carolina that encompasses approximately 3000 acres of planted pines, creek drainages, swamps and five miles of Savannah River frontage. On this tract of land Andrew operates “Wild Things”, a hunting opportunity for Traditional Bowhunters to pursue wild hogs year round and Whitetail deer when in season. I had hunted this property several years ago when it was operating under a different name. I had wanted to hunt it again since, but hadn’t made the time to go. Since assuming operations, Andrew has invested a lot of money to better the experience for those who book hunts with him and it is a top notch place to hunt. The week I spent hunting Wild Things was the best out of state hunting experience I have had to date bar none. By the end of the week, not only was I sad to see the adventure come to an end, but I wasn’t completely exhausted and there was an added comfort knowing all I had to do was to wash my dirtied hunting clothes and empty a cooler into my freezer once I got home.
I was impressed the moment I got into camp. There were two medium-sized buildings backed by a beautiful lake with a bridge/walkway that spans a small body of water. The first building is the bunkhouse. Inside, I found a large meeting area with two couches, a large center table, bow and gear racks on the walls, and a small refrigerator for soft drinks and snacks. Moving towards the back of the bunkhouse was the bunks – eight total – with fresh linens, pillows, and a blanket with plenty of room for my six-foot-plus frame. I found plenty of room to stow my clothes for the week, beneath the lower bunk. There were two full baths beyond the bunks with even more storage space. The entire building had central air and heat, plus plenty of hot shower water courtesy of a tankless heater. Exiting through the back door revealed a large covered patio complete with six rocking chairs for late evening tall tales overlooking the lake.
The second structure was the lodge. All meals and some of our best conversations were served there at the large dining room table. Andrew is set up in the lodge to cook large meals for up to eight hunters. The commercial grade stove was always busy from made-to-request eggs, bacon, and sausage in the mornings, to spaghetti, soups, ribs, and other wonderful meals in the evenings. There was always a pot of coffee ready to drink, and if coffee wasn’t your choice, there were soft drinks and bottled water. We even had beer and wine courtesy of hunters that were in camp, so while these beverages are not provided hunters are not discouraged from bringing their own and enough to share so long as they are enjoyed in moderation. I never once felt hungry the entire week’s visit.
Walking into the lodge, I was warmly greeted by Thom and subsequently introduced to Andrew who immediately made me feel right at home. Within minutes of chatting with Andrew I felt I’d known him for years. He has that “southern gentleman” quality that just makes you feel right at home and comfortable in his presence. He offered me a meal right off the bat, and after a quick sandwich, I was ready to start planning an afternoon hunt.
Thom suggested I hop in the “gator” and ride with him to swap memory cards on some trail cameras and get re-acquainted with the property. We discussed options for the afternoon hunt during the ride and decided to hunt two stands located fairly close to one another since we would be the only two hunting at the time. I told him to pick one and I’d take the other. I would have a nice 150 pound sow on the ground in less than an hour.
The rest of the week was pretty much just as exciting as that first day. There would be nine shots taken at game by week’s end, resulting in two hogs and one deer hanging in the meet cooler. Not bad for a “traditional only” camp with only four hunters participating that week.
Despite unusually warm weather, one day of hard rain, and one day of high winds, it had been a hunt to remember and one that I will be sure to repeat very soon. I left camp on Saturday and the four-hour drive home was mostly spent trying to figure out how I could make another trip by April. If you like seeing lots of game, having miles of mixed habitat to scout and stalk, and enjoy great food and warm hospitality, I HIGHLY recommend you give Andrew Harper a call and schedule a hunt at “Wild Things”, his contact information can be found on his website. I can practically guarantee you won’t be disappointed. – Steve
Please watch for several more articles coming in the next few weeks surrounding events that occurred during the hunt at Wild Things and if you speak with Andrew please let him know that you heard about him from Simply Traditional.