BY KATHY PICKENS
The Greenville Standard
The 26th annual Fort Dale Deer Hunt was held January 11-13. Fifty hunters harvested 56 deer in this year’s event consisting of a two-day hunt guided by local landowners and culminating with an awards banquet.
The 2024 Bo Stevenson Memorial Big Buck Award went to Bill Bach who brought in an eight-point with guide Henry Ellis. The heaviest doe award (127.8 pounds) went to Stephan Rehlinger of Florida, with guide Chris Turner.
The banquet was catered by Wintzell’s and featured live music by Two of a Kind locals Rosie Till and Curk Mosley.
Hunters, sponsors, and other banquet attendees were able to participate in a variety of raffles and door prize opportunities.
Among the approximately 75 total prizes were multiple guns, a Big Green Egg, Yeti coolers, binoculars, scopes, ground blinds, a pallet of Triple Grip corn, and other hunting accessories.
Club president Gantt Hartley and raffle emcee Mack Russell made a special presentation honoring Andy “Beefy” King as he stepped down from heading the skinning crew for the past 25 years.
Over its long history, the proceeds from the deer hunt have been used to benefit the Fort Dale family in different ways including supporting the academic needs of the students.
The group recently helped purchase new curricula for 4th-6th grades. They also continue to help Fort Dale students fund dual enrollment courses at Lurleen B. Wallace Community College.
To date this commitment amounts to nearly $100,000 toward completing dual enrollment courses for college credit.
“We can’t thank our team of volunteers enough for the hours of work they put in to make this year’s hunt the huge success it was,” said Fort Dale Deer Hunt officer Judge Ann Steiner Gregory.
“We had guides in the field, students and parents skinning deer, other volunteers baking desserts, and still others asking for sponsorships and other donations.
“We welcomed back many of the same hunters who have been sharing this weekend with us for years, and we made some new friends who have already signed up for next year’s hunt.
“Overall, it was just an incredible weekend, and we can’t wait to welcome everyone back in 2025.”
The 2025 event is scheduled for Jan 10-11. You can contact Fort Dale Deer Hunt on Facebook for more information.