- By Rich Miller
For the past couple of years I have b involved with the South Carolina Waterfowl Association (SCWA). The reason being SCWA is committed to working with members, groups and individuals to enhance and ensure the future of public duck hunting. They also assist private property owners in managing their properties to make them as attractive as possible to waterfowl and other wildlife. SCWA also has a camp in Rimini, S.C. called Camp Woodie that is used to promote and preserve the positive traditions of waterfowling and hunting in general.
I have heard a lot about Camp Woodie over the years but have never been lucky enough to see it. After several years of being on the committee for the Anderson chapter I was invited to attend the annual committee duck hunt this year. I have really had a lot going on, but I couldn’t turn down an invitation to go on a duck hunt. That would be like telling Santa you didn’t want anything for Christmas.
Another committee member and I headed down on Friday afternoon and the plans were to eat, get a good night’s sleep, and then do a little duck hunting Saturday morning. When we arrived, there were already a lot of members already there. The accommodations were awesome; we were to stay in the bunk house that had what looked have about fifty bunk beds in it.
After getting our gear put away we headed to the fire pit to get the details for the next morning hunt and to meet some of the other committee members. That afternoon we met a lot of nice people and had one heck of a meal. They had some great ladies cooking, and the rubs and barbeque were as good as I have ever had.
That night I was pretty restless anticipating the upcoming hunt and was up at 4:30am ready to get in the blind. When I got to the main lodge the coffee brewed and our guide was there waiting on us. We were assigned to hunt the blind known as 8 acre #2, which was a flooded millet and chufa field. Once we were settled in the blind I was excited about the setup we were in with all the food in front of us and the cover that was around us to keep us hidden, it was going to be a good morning. As the sun started coming up we began hearing the quacks and whistles from the ducks in the area. While we were waiting on legal shooting time the only thing that could hurt our hunt happened. The wind started hitting us right in the face. What made this so bad was there were a huge stand of tall pines behind us and with the wind hitting us in the face it made it hard for the ducks to land in our spread.
We did get to see a lot of birds in the air all morning until about 9:00am, but all they wanted to do was tease us a little and then head to another pond on the property. By the end of the morning I was able to knock a few out of the air that got a little too close for their comfort. Some of the guys hunting in the other blinds got their limit, but we had just as good of a time as they did even though a limit was not in our reach that morning.
After the hunt we headed back to the lodge and there was a breakfast on the table fit for a king. The ladies in the kitchen made homemade gravy and biscuits, and I swear those were the best I have ever had.
It was a quick overnight trip and even though the hunt didn’t go as we planned, I did get to check out the camp and see what I have been wondering about for a while. Camp Woodie is a great looking place to send kids for an outdoors learning opportunity. I take my son with me every chance I get, but as soon as he is old enough to attend the camp I will definitely send him to one of theirs. If anyone has kids they want to get involved in the outdoors this would be a great opportunity to plant a seed. They have camps that run from June through August and you can get any information you may need at http://scwa.org/.