LAKESIDE THE GOOD LIFE ON LAKES MARION, MOULTRIE AND WATEREE • DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014
Sounds of a
Champion A master at making duck calls
Holiday Happiness for the hunter
The art of
1 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
fyi CLARENDON COUNTY
411 Sunset Drive, Manning * www.clarendoncountygov.org POPULATION: Est. 34,400 * AREA: 696 square miles COUNTY SEAT: Manning PLACES: Alcolu, Jordan, Manning, New Zion, Paxville, Rimini, Silver, Summerton, Turbeville, Wilson. ELECTED OFFICIALS: State Sen. Kevin L. Johnson Jr.; state Reps. Dr. Robert Ridgeway and Ronnie Sabb; Clarendon County Council Chairman Dwight Stewart Jr.; councilmen Billy Richardson, W.J. Frierson, A.C. English and Benton Blakely; Sheriff Randy Garrett Jr.; Coroner Hayes F. Samuels NOTABLES: Black tennis great Althea Gibson; Miss America 1957 Marian McKnight; Amelia Bedelia author Peggy Parrish; retired State Sen. John C. Land III, Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Glenn Murray; Panama Canal engineer David Gaillard.
515 Walnut St., Camden *www.kershaw.sc.gov POPULATION: Est. 61,697 * AREA: 740 square miles COUNTY SEAT: Camden PLACES: Antioch, Bethune, Boykin, Camden, Cassatt, Elgin, Liberty Hill, Lugoff, Westville. ELECTED OFFICIALS: State Sens. Joel Lourie, Vincent Sheheen and Thomas McElveen; state Reps. Grady Brown, Laurie Slade Funderburk, James H. “Jay” Lucas and Jimmy Bales; County Council Chairman Gene Wise; councilmen Willie L. Mickle, Sammie Tucker Jr., C.R. Miles Jr., Jimmy Jones, Stephen R. Smoak and Tom Gardner; Coroner John
2 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
B. Fellers III; and Sheriff Jim Matthews. NOTABLES: The American League’s first black player, Larry Doby; columnist and Pulitzer Prize winner Kathleen Parker; Broadway performer Samuel E. Wright; singer and songwriter Brook Benton; and professional wrestler “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan.
1437 Amelia St., Orangeburg * www.orangeburgcounty.org POPULATION: Est. 92,243 * AREA: 1,128 square miles COUNTY SEAT: Orangeburg PLACES: Bowman, Elloree, Eutawville, Holly Hill, Rowesville, Santee, Springfield, Vance, Woodford. ELECTED OFFICIALS: State Sen. C. Bradley Hutto; state Reps. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, Russell Ott and Jerry Govan Jr.; County Council Chairman Johnnie Wright Sr.; Councilwoman Janie Cooper-Smith; councilmen Clyde B. Livingston, Heyward Livingston, Willie B. Owens, Johnny Ravenell and Harry F. Wimberly; Coroner Samuetta B. Marshall; Sheriff Leroy Ravenell. NOTABLES: St. Louis Rams player Alex Barron; Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson; Indianapolis Colts player Tim Jennings; Tennessee Sen. Bob Rocker; World Series champion Herm Winningham; Hollywood actress Shawnee Smith; author Stephen Euin Cobb.
13 E. Canal St., Sumter, third floor * sumtercountysc.org POPULATION: Est. 105,517 * AREA: 682 square miles COUNTY SEAT: Sumter PLACES: Horatio, Mayesville, Pinewood, Rembert, Shiloh, South Sumter, Stateburg, Wedgefield, Dalzell. ELECTED OFFICIALS: U.S. Reps. James Clyburn and Mick Mulvaney; state Sens. Thomas McElveen, and Kevin L. Johnson Jr.; state Reps. Grady Brown, Phillip Lowe, Joe Neal, J. David Weeks and Murrell Smith; Council Chairman Larry Blanding; Council Vice-chairman Eugene Baten; Councilwomen Vivian Fleming-McGhaney and Naomi D. Sanders; Councilmen Artie Baker, James R. Byrd Jr. and Charles T. Edens; Coroner Harvin Bullock; Sheriff Anthony Dennis. NOTABLES: Original Drifters member Bill Pinckney; educator and civil rights activist Mary McLeod Bethune; U.S. First Lady (1839-41) Angelica Singleton Van Buren; Gov. Richard Irvine Manning III (1914-18); and Miss USA and Miss Universe 1980 Shawn Weatherly; former New York Yankees second baseman Bobby Richardson; former Superbowl winner Freddie Solomon.
VOLUME 7, ISSUE 5
THE HUNT FOR HOLIDAY HAPPINESS Area retailers help shoppers with upcoming season
FRIGID FISHING: EXPERT DON DROSE gives you an inside look at winter fishing
SOUNDS OF A CHAMPION Elloree man makes award-winning game calls
PAINTING WITH FIRE: Manning man burns art into wood
THE ART OF TAXIDERMY Father shares love of wildlife reproductions with son
CATCH BIGGER FISH in winter months
WHY WE NEED WILDFLOWERS
AVOID TICKS avoid lyme disease
About Us GENERAL MANAGER Gail Mathis email@example.com PUBLISHER Jack Osteen firstname.lastname@example.org ARTICLES & RESEARCH Rob Cottingham email@example.com
Jade Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org LAYOUT & DESIGN Cary Johnson Howard email@example.com
Manon Zamora-Barwick firstname.lastname@example.org PHOTOGRAPHY Rob Cottingham, Jade Anderson and Matt Walsh
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Earle Woodward, John DuRant, Jolie Brown, Deanna Anderson, Marie Mulholland and Randy Burns For ads, call Gail Mathis at 803-435-8511 For stories call Rob Cottingham at 803-774-1225 Cover photo: Hugh McLaurin of Big Lake Duck Calls, photo by Matt Wash, The Item.
from the lake It is December, the month for Christians to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. It is also the season for spending time with family and friends and making memories. Speaking of families, the LakeSide team is a family, and we have worked hard to make this a great holiday edition for you. We have lots of gift ideas for everyone on your list, from “safe” items to those for the men or women in your life (see pages 9-13). Please remember, though, that while everyone enjoys getting a gift, giving is so much better. Why not help someone in need with a gift of time, love or money? You will be glad you did. Also among the magazine’s pages are stories on locals, including an Elloree duck call maker, who is making a name for himself (see page 30). While I am not a duck hunter, I still like to hear the calls. On page 14, read about a father-son team out of Kershaw County, who share their artistic talents through taxidermy, paintings, metal sculptures and more. For the angler, fishing forecasts can be found on pages 16 and 19. Find out what is biting and how to catch it. On a personal note, I would like to thank the Lakeside team for giving you a great magazine, especially Cary, Manon and Rob. I would also like to thank our readers and wish each of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
GAIL MATHIS GENERAL MANAGER
2010 & 2012 Best Speciality Publication
2011 Award Winning Magazine
DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 3
holiday events BERKELEY • CLARENDON • KERSHAW ORANGEBURG AND SUMTER
See your child’s face light up when the 26th annual Fantasy of Lights begins at Swan Lake-Iris Gardens. A million lights and 150 lighted figures will illuminate the world famous gardens beginning with the opening ceremony featuring the lighting of the Floating Christmas Tree. The Sumter Pilot Club started the Floating Christmas Tree as a fundraiser for various organizations in need more than 28 years ago. The Fantasy of Lights is the work of the City Parks and Gardens staff, and the employees of the City of Sumter are behind the creative display. WHEN: 6 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1, lighting of the Floating Christmas Tree; Fantasy of Lights display through Tuesday, Dec. 31 WHERE: Swan Lake-Iris Gardens, 822 W. Liberty St. COST: Free FYI: Visit http://www.sumtersc.gov/fantasyof-lights.aspx or call (800) 688-4748. The Council of Garden Clubs of Sumter’s 64th Annual Holiday House Tour and Tea will feature six homes in Sumter’s historical district all decorated for the season and all within walking distance of Memorial Park. The theme for this year’s event is “An Old Fashioned Christmas in the Heart of Sumter.” In addition, garden club members will host a tea at the Alice Boyle Garden Center, 842 W. Liberty St. WHEN: Tour is 3-5 pm; tea is 3-5 pm COST: The ticket price for the tour and tea is $15; with Sumter Trolley Transportation, the charge is $20. FYI: Call Carolyn Bishop-McLeod at (803) 481-7361. At least 40 crafters are expected to participate in the 3rd Annual Silver Bells Arts & Crafts Show. Toys for Tots will be on hand, 4 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
and event attendees are encouraged to bring a nonperishable food item for donation to the Sumter Food Drive. WHEN: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. Santa will be on hand from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday to pose with those who want to share their wish list. Photo prints will be sold for $5 each. WHERE: Fair Memorial Building on the Sumter County Fairgrounds, Liberty Street. FYI: Call Debra at (803) 983-3235. Do your Christmas shopping at Home for the Holidays Christmas Show. The event will feature arts and crafts, unique gifts, holiday decorating ideas, children’s activities, entertainment, food, business showcases, etc. WHEN: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Dec. 7-8 WHERE: Sumter County Civic Center, 700 W. Liberty St. FYI: Visit the website www. HomeForTheHolidaysChristmasShow.com The 2013 Sumter Christmas Parade will include marching bands, beauty queens, holiday floats and more following the theme “Christmas Around the World.” WHEN: 2-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 WHERE: Main Street COST: Free FYI: Contact the Evening Optimist Club of Sumter at (803) 983-3916. “A Christmas Story” will be shown as part of the Downtown Friday Nights Classic Movie Series. WHEN: 6:30-9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 WHERE: Sumter Opera House, 21 N. Main St. COST: $2.50 with refreshments available at an additional cost. Movie proceeds benefit the Sumter County Library’s children’s programs.
Celebrate The Season Holiday Fair offers families and friends a place to gather and celebrate. Children can enjoy free visits with Santa Claus and loads of fun activities in his workshop. There’s also marshmallow roasting, over-sized holiday cards by local students and live entertainment. The Stony Landing House will be adorned in historical decorations provided by the Town and Village Garden Club. Celebrate The Season’s Holiday Driving Tour features dozens of animated light displays along a route that winds through Santee Cooper’s headquarters and the Old Santee Canal Park in Moncks Corner. The monthlong holiday event is powered with 100 percent green power from Santee Cooper and exclusively uses energy-efficient LED lights. WHEN: 5-9:30 p.m. Fridays-Sundays through Dec. 22 WHERE: Old Santee Canal Park, 900 Stony Landing Road, Moncks Corner COST: Entry to Holiday Fair is included with $5 admission to the Celebrate The Season’s Holiday Driving Tour, Friday through Sunday. Proceeds benefit charities serving Berkeley County. FYI: Call (843) 899-5200 or visit www. oldsanteecanalpark.org. Christmas comes to Cypress Gardens when Santa arrives on a flat-bottom boat in the beautiful cypress swamp for Santa in the Swamp. Enjoy musical entertainment, browse the vendor tables for a unique gift item and enjoy children’s
craft activities and exhibits. WHEN: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 WHERE: Cypress Gardens, 3030 Cypress Gardens Road, Moncks Corner COST: Adults, $10; seniors, $9; free, children 12 and under. FYI: Call (843) 553-0515 or visit www. cypressgardens.info The annual Moncks Corner Town Christmas Parade WHEN: 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 WHERE: The parade will begin at Berkeley High School and end at Main Street Extension. FYI: Call (843) 899-4780 or visit www. townofmonckscorner.sc.gov. The Moncks Corner 2013 Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony will include music from various local performers and a visit from Santa Claus. WHEN: 5:15 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8 WHERE: Unity Park on Main Street FYI: Call (843) 899-4780 or visit www. townofmonckscorner.sc.gov.
Everyone loves a parade, and you have your choice of several. WHEN and WHERE: Saturday, Dec. 7 - 11 a.m. Barrineau, and 4 p.m., Turbeville; Sunday, Dec. 8, Santee, (803) 534-6821; Dec. 12, Bowman, (803) 8292666. The Weldon Auditorium will host “The Nutcracker” ballet performed by Columbia City Ballet.
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 10 WHERE: Weldon Auditorium, 7 Maple St., Manning COST: $25 for orchestra seating and $15 for the mezzanine. FYI: Call the Weldon Auditorium at (803) 433-7469 or online at http://www. weldonauditorium.com. Sponsored by the Summerton Rotary Club, the Summerton Cultural Arts Center will host Yve Evans in Concert. WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12; 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15, Yve Evans with Massed Choirs WHERE: Summerton Cultural Arts Center, 12 S. Church St. COST: $10. FYI: (803) 485-8164. Help collect data on bird populations by joining the National Audubon Society in their 114th Annual Christmas Bird Count. Marked by thousands as a rather enjoyable event, the longest-running Citizen Science survey in the world collects data from more than 2,300 circles to help scientists understand bird behavior, population densities and migration trends. WHEN: From Dec. 14, to Jan. 5, 2014 FYI: Visit the society online at http:// www.audubon.org/Bird/cbc/.
DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 5
Auditorium on South Carolina State University, Highway 601 FYI: (803) 533-0071
Kick off the Christmas season with your family at the Holly Hill Christmas Festival, and follow up with a visit from Santa in the Christmas Parade. Other events include craft and commercial vendors, food vendors, inflatables, a trackless train, a live band, a live Nativity scene and more. WHEN: 3-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6; 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, parade. WHERE: Holly Hill FYI: Contact Teresa Hinnant at (843) 709-3706 or visit the website at www. hollyhillchristmasfestival.com. The South Carolina State University Concert Choir will perform a Christmas Concert. WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12 WHERE: Orangeburg County Fine Arts Center, 649 Riverside Drive COST: Free FYI: (803) 536-4074 Get in the spirit of the season with Orangeburg Civic Ballet’s performance of the “Nutcracker.” WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 WHERE: Martin Luther King Jr.,
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Love a small-town parade? Check out the Small Town Christmas & Elloree Business Association Christmas Parade. WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 14 WHERE: 2714 Cleveland St., Elloree FYI: (803) 534-6821
Find jewelry, stained glass, pottery, food items, handcrafted wood items and so much more at the annual Holiday Sales Show. WHEN: Preview night 5:30 to 7 p.m., Friday, Dec. 6; regular shopping hours, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:30-6 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 18 WHERE: The Fine Arts Center, 810 Lyttleton St., Camden FYI: Call (803) 425-7676. Get the holidays off to a satisfying start with a bowl of stew. A parade, gospel singing and lots of mouth-watering catfish stew top off the fun at the annual Elgin Catfish Stomp. The Blaney Fire Department and some of the local volunteer firemen will cook up and serve some of the best catfish stew you will ever eat. Fried catfish and all the fixings will also be available. There will also be a carnival with rides and games for the
children. WHEN: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 WHERE: Pottery Community Park, corner of Main Street and Green Hill Road, Elgin; parade begins at 10 a.m. at the corner of Main and Bowen streets. FYI: Call (803) 438-2362. Experience the historic charm of South Carolina’s oldest inland city and spread some Christmas cheer to needy children in Kershaw County through the 37th Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes. The Tour is one of the main fund-raising initiatives of The Camden Junior Welfare League. Founded in 1928, The League is an organization of women dedicated to improving the lives of children in the Kershaw County area. Through the years, The League has served the community by providing aid in the form of eyeglasses, medication, warm winter coats, shoes and counseling services to children in need, volunteering with the Fine Arts Center and the Department of Social Services, as well as awarding scholarships and grants to worthy children’s charities in the area. WHEN: 3-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7 WHERE: This year’s tour begins at the Camden Archives Museum and continues through some of the most elegant private residences in the city, all decorated for the holiday season. COST: $12 in advance; $17 on the day of the tour. Advance group rates are available. FYI: For more information on
The League or the tour, or for tour sponsorship opportunities, visit www. camdenleague.org
cars, dancing, music, Santa and much, much more. WHEN: 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 WHERE: The parade begins at Laurens Street and proceeds South on Broad Street ending at the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site. FYI: Call (803) 432-2525 or email email@example.com
Light up your holiday season and join in the fun at Kershaw County’s Lights of Lugoff Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Lugoff Optimist Club. The lights of a nighttime parade are magical for young and old, and the fireworks show will add to the festivities. WHEN: 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13 WHERE: The parade route will begin at the BP Station in Lugoff, travel down U.S. Highway 1 South and then turn right on to 34. All spectators are asked to remain on U.S. 1. Both lanes will be closed off at 6 p.m. FYI: Call (803) 438- 6152 or (803) 4200146 or visit lightsoflugoff.com.
Step back to colonial times and take a break from the hustle and bustle. Interpretive guides in period dress give your family a peek at how the Yuletide season was celebrated in Colonial Christmas in Camden. The KershawCornwallis House will be decorated in seasonal finery as the guides will share holiday customs during colonial times. Play colonial games, write with a quill pen, and sample delectable 18th-century refreshments before you head back to today’s world. WHEN: 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14 WHERE: Kershaw-Cornwallis House on the property of Historic Camden
On the second Saturday of December each year, more than 3,000 spectators turn out for the Kershaw County Christmas Parade which boasts horses, fire trucks, floats, beauty queens, classic
Revolutionary War Site, South Broad Street, Camden. COST: $5 for adults; $3 for children ages 6-12; and free for children under the age of 6 FYI: Call (803) 432-9841. The most unique Christmas Parade, in our neck of the woods, usually held the third Sunday in December, draws thousands of spectators to the tiny hamlet of Boykin to enjoy a country Christmas and see what means of transportation Santa will find. You just never know what to expect at The Boykin Christmas Parade. The parade is open to everyone. There is no entry fee, but donations to support Swift Creek Church are much appreciated. The all-day event will also feature “a road kill barbecue cook off.” WHEN: 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15 WHERE: Boykin, right off S.C. 261 between Rembert and Camden FYI: Call (803) 424-4731 or visit theboykinchristmasparade.com.
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The Holiday Hunt for
Area retailers help shoppers with upcoming season story and photos by ROB COTTINGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org
8 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
bout this time every year, parents, grandparents, kids, cousins, uncles, aunts and friends all seem to have one major task in common they must complete before the last couple weeks of December.
TheEverylisttime the chilly months come around, the shopping
season seems to begin earlier and earlier, quickening onset of stress. Slowly but surely, however, one item at a time gets crossed off the list. Some people are simply more difficult to shop for than others, and picking out gifts feels like a hopeless situation. But if someone on your holiday shopping list is a fan of the outdoors, look no further than your local hardware store. One such store is Simpson Hardware, an area chain that’s been part of the Sumter/Manning community for decades, and like many businesses that market outdoor products, their employees know how to help with your Christmas shopping. Eddy Hyder has been a buyer for Simpson Hardware for quite a while, and over the years she’s developed an insight into what items will be hot for the shopping season.
lids that seal and spill-preventing lips that are ideal for that to-go cup of coffee in the morning. According to Hyder, these tumblers are quite durable and cater to both hot and cold liquids, and for a starting price of about $15, it’s a cost-effective purchase even kids will enjoy as they drink apple cider or hot chocolate on a cold morning. Tervis also keeps aesthetics in mind, offering designs and patterns as varied as any shopper could imagine. Tumblers might not seem like an outdoors item, per se, but even the rugged hunter enjoys a cup of coffee that won’t typically spill in his truck on the way to the deer stand. Though many safe items are ideal for men or women, some might be a little more gender-specific than others. Not to say the gift would be inappropriate for some people of the opposite sex, but it can often be the case.
Typically more for men Pal Boozer has been working at Simpson for more than
10 years, and he says two products in particular are pretty safe bets for any guy, whether he’s the outdoor aficionado or just an average Joe. Pocketknives, Boozer said, are always a safe bet for most men and boys. Most men, especially those from around these parts, are aware of both the practicality of having a pocketknife around and the charisma the right knife can add to a man’s image. Whether it’s a classic Safe items, or merchandise that is generally liked by compact Old Timer, a sleekly designed Gerber or a men or women, are great fall-back purchases if you just camouflage Buck Knife, there are plenty of options to can’t decide what you want to give someone. choose from, and with a seemingly endless spectrum of Fleece pullovers are always a favorite, according to designs, features, blade sizes and prices, shoppers won’t Hyder. They’re stylish, comfortable and perfect for the have to worry much about not finding one suitable as a colder months, and seeing as how most gifts will be given gift. in the latter part of December, the timing is right, as well. Nearly every hardware or outdoors store will carry a Hyder said The North Face, Patagonia and Columbia are large selection including more feminine designs for the among the most popular brands when it comes to fleece offhand chance you’re shopping for a woman. Boozer said pullovers. They might be a little more expensive than the “muddy girl” pattern, which incorporates colors like generic versions of the product, but the quality of these lavender or pink into a camouflage pattern, is particularly brands are tried and true. Some even offer a guarantee popular. that includes a replacement should the product rip or tear. Perhaps the greatest part about pocketknives is the The North Face pullovers generally start in the $65 symbolism they seem to carry as a gift, especially to neighborhood, while Patagonia’s tops start in the $99 younger boys. Most of us boys can remember our first neighborhood. Columbia, a brand well known for its pocketknives given to us by our fathers or grandfathers durability, has fleece pullovers that start out at about $45 when they believed us to be mature enough to carry one. for men and $50 for women. If you’re shopping for a more Don’t miss out on a golden opportunity for a sentimental unique design in your pullover gift, Patagonia is known for moment. having an assorted collection of patterns. An item that seems to always be a favorite around this Another item that both men and women seem to time of year for men is a Carhartt jacket, according to approve of is a Tervis tumbler. These plastic cups feature Hyder.
DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 9
Carhartt offers many different styles of coats that suit the needs of many purposes, but a key element to the longtime staple coat is the multilayered insulation inside. These jackets never fail to keep a body warm, and that reliable practicality sells itself. You’d be hard pressed to find a guy who’ll turn down one of these, which typically start in the $75 neighborhood — a modest price for what many agree is a tough, durable product.
TheOnelady-preferred items of the benefits of shopping in a local
hardware and sporting goods store is that the atmosphere is a little more comfortable for the guy who might be shopping for his daughter, mother or the special lady in his life. It doesn’t really count as shopping if it’s in a hardware store, right fellas? If you happen to find yourself in one of the larger stores in the area, you’re bound to find the selection of gifts catering to women has grown since the last time you noticed. Thankfully, Hyder offered some insight into shopping for women this season — pay attention, fellas. “We have quite a nice selection prepared for this season,” Hyder said. “We’ve brought in whole new lines from popular designers just for the holidays.” Hyder specifically mentioned accessories by designer Lilly Pulitzer, which include tote bags, cell phone cases and other items many women enjoy. Keeping recent fashion trends in mind is a key element in selecting one of these gifts, and Hyder says some patterns are very popular this year. “I’ve typically found that women love items 10 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
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Owning a home is everyone’s dream. And in July this dream came true for Kenneth and Marquisha Vicente. Marquisha said that this is a blessing and she is so happy to be in her new home. This is the 21st home that Clarendon Habitat for Humanity has built in Clarendon County. The HVAC system was donated to Clarendon Habitat for Humanity by Gene’s Heating and Air, LLC. For more information, contact Clarendon Habitat for Humanity, North Brooks Street, Manning, or (803) 433-4189. Also pictured are Gene Floyd and Archie Pierson of Gene’s Heating and Air, LLC.
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featuring chevrons or chevron-like patterns,” she said. “The fleur-de-lis is also doing well this season.” For less fashion-aware guys out there, chevrons are those wide, arrow-looking things without a line down the center. The fleur-de-lis is that thing that kind of looks like shelled corn that you sometimes see on iron gates — just remember the New Orleans Saints symbol, and you’ll be fine. A simple gift idea, Tyler candles are some of the most popular items of the holiday season, Hyder said. They come in hundreds of scents and feature handsomely designed glass that won’t look gaudy or out of place in the house. Starting at about $5 apiece, these affordable candles are an excellent option for anyone shopping on a budget. Another product that seems to always maintain its popularity is the line of Ugg boots. The plush and warm footwear has been around a while, but Hyder said they seem to do well every year. Made in Australia, these fuzzy foot blankets start off in the $130-$150 price range. They might seem pricey, guys, but they’re not much more expensive than that pair of Caterpillar or Wolverine boots you were looking at the other day.
ForOnemen and women of the outdoors of the great aspects of living in the Southeast for sportsmen/women is that something is always in season. With the holidays in mind, many hardware stores will be
12 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
selling shotguns and rifles at big discounts. Sure, some brands and models will cost more than others, but breaking the bank isn’t necessary. Boozer said gun makers offer an assortment of rifles and shotguns that can fit just about any budget. Savage Arms and Remington offer many rifle-and-scope combos at low prices for beginning hunters and even carry lines of youth products that incorporate safety and sturdiness. If guns aren’t an option, Matthews Inc. archery products are definitely making waves, according to Boozer and Hyder. The company offers models aimed at archers ranging in skill from beginner to expert. Matthews even offers children and youth models that come in a wide assortment of designs and colors. Ladies, if you really want to impress the hunters you’re shopping for, snag ‘em a trail camera. Starting at about $40, trail cameras are an ideal gift for any hunter, especially those who hunt the same areas or come home talking about that mythical 12-point buck they think is sneaking around the deer stand when no one’s looking. Perhaps the biggest steals of the winter shopping season can be found in fishing tackle. Hyder said retailers typically put a large amount of fishing equipment on sale during the colder months, providing an opportune time to snatch a new rod and reel or tackle box. It might be winter, but there’s nothing wrong with stocking up for the warmer days of spring and summer. And let’s be honest; the colder weather won’t keep everyone away from the water.
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DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 13
Colt Shirley, owner of Signs by Colt, helps his father judge how the antlers will look on an elk mount. His father, Brent Shirley, owns Brentâ€™s Taxidermy. The two businesses share a building at 209 S. Broad St., Camden.
THE ART OF
TAXIDERMY Father shares love of wildlife reproductions with son Story and photos by JADE ANDERSON email@example.com
14 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
Brent Shirley, left, and his son, Colt, work on a sign in their wildlife art shop. Both have worked in various art forms since their youth.
Brent Shirley, owner of Brent’s Taxidermy in Camden, shows the soft lining inside an elk skin. He would go on to mount the skin along with antlers on a plastic foam form.
lease don’t call them stuffed. “Everybody still calls it stuffing, but it’s not,” Brent Shirley said. “It’s putting skin on a form. It’s an art to making it really fit and really look real. You have to get the eyes right. If they look dead or sleepy, you don’t have it.” The owner of Brent’s Taxidermy has served Kershaw County and beyond for more than 30 years. The 63-year-old has mounted waterfowl, wild hogs, buffalo, bears, caribou, raccoons, deer, elk, foxes and fish. “I do a lot of deer,” Shirley said. “I love to do fish. I paint the color back on. I do it with an airbrush.” While many taxidermists can take nine months to a year to return a large mount such as a deer, Shirley usually prepares them in about four weeks. Smaller game, such as a squirrel or duck, may take more like two weeks, Shirley said. Tony McCaskill brings Shirley driftwood and old rice boards from the coast to mount the smaller catches on. “I’ve been hanging out with him my whole life,” he said. “He’s one of the best I’ve seen. He puts a lot of time and care into it.” In their youth, the two men fished together, and McCaskill now runs a catfishing business.
But Shirley does more than taxidermy. He also draws and paints on wood, canvas, feathers and walls. “We do a lot of portraits of family pets and that kind of thing, but painting feathers is Dad’s specialty,” said Colt Shirley. “I like to do it,” Brent said. “You have to go with the grain. It’s not like wood. It doesn’t all go one way. So you paint one way and then another.” The son’s business, Signs by Colt, is located in the same building as his father’s at 209 S. Broad St., Camden. Like his father, the 30-year-old does more than signs. Colt does custom wraps, metal sculptures, airbrushing and portraits. His sculptures often have a nature theme such as a tree
he made from scrap pieces and donated to a benefit for KershawHealth or a wildlife element such as a patriotic eagle now displayed at a private home off Lake Wateree. “I really enjoy taking a flat sheet of metal and making something three dimensional out of it,” said Colt, who graduated with a degree in graphic design from The Art Institute of Atlanta. Both men also paint murals. They worked together on the train mural for Elgin’s centennial celebration. Colt also completed a historic Camden mural on the side of a paint and body shop in the city and nature scenes on the walls of a local restaurant.
ALL IN THE FAMILY
“We get along pretty well,” Colt said. “It’s always good to have him to help me. We’re both artists, so we bounce ideas off each other on how to make things better.” When Brent was 11, he drew comics from Sunday newspapers. “It’s a God-given talent,” he said. Before long, he branched off to drawing his own cartoons and drawing little animals. An avid hunter, Brent began learning taxidermy when he was 13 or 14. When Brent finished high school, he painted a bulldog mural in honor of his alma mater’s canine mascot at Camden High School. That building has since been demolished. Similarly though, when Colt graduated from Camden High School, he painted a bulldog mural in that building. “I really couldn’t help but be interested in art,” Colt said. “It’s a God-given gift, and Mom and Dad have always been supportive.” Though not a father yet, the married Colt does hope to pass the business on one day. Brent said he hopes so, too. For more information, contact Brent Shirley at (803) 432-5311 or (803) 549-6281 or Colt Shirley at (803) 549-1234 or coltshirley@ bellsouth.net.
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Brent holds up a pair of ear forms he will use for an elk mount. Instead of stuffing animals such as elk, the skin is now stretched over a model.
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DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 15
CATCH BIGGER FISH IN WINTER MONTHS by JADE ANDERSON
old weather does not mean the fish aren’t biting. “With water temperatures cooling down at Lake Wateree, the fishing really heats up,” said Andy Owens, avid fisherman. “As the water temperatures fall into the 50s, the bass fishing may slow down, but the size of the fish usually goes up.” Owens is also the owner of Vengeance Tackle, which is located at 2618 Liberty Hill Road in Camden. Owens recommends looking for rocky areas in direct sunlight or calm pockets protected from the wind. You’ll also need to bring your patience. “A slower, more methodical approach works well this time of year,” Owen said. For this type of fish, he suggests tight-wiggle crankbait such as Shad Rap of the lighter variety. “ Try a lighter jig in the 1/4-ounce
16 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
to 3/8-ounce size with a larger than normal trailer to slow the fall of the bait (and) to entice those really big, sluggish fish,” Owens said. While bass often get all the attention, they are not the only fish in Lake Wateree. The crappie also bite well this time of year, Owens said. Using minnows and small jigs in brush piles of 14 to 18 feet is best for catching these swimmers, he said. Blue catfish will also appear from the murky depths this time of year. “The colder it gets, the better it gets,” Owens said. “Don’t be surprised to catch large numbers of catfish as well as fish in the 20-pound to 40-pound class.” To catch large numbers, use night crawlers and dough baits, he said. To catch the really big fish, use cut bream and shad.
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THE GOOD LIFE ON LAKE MARION, SOUTH CAROLINA
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DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 17
WHY WE NEED
Wildflowers by DEANNA ANDERSON
here are thousands of plant species growing in South Carolina. Often they are simply ignored, weeded out, or mowed down without consideration to the benefits they hold. But wildflowers have benefits that impact us environmentally, economically and personally. First let me clarify: When I speak of wildflowers, I refer to any plant that grows without human intervention, of which some of these may be native species while others are non-native. Non-native species are those that were introduced to an area and some of these can be invasive and harmful to our native species. Native plants are always the top priority in landscape designs so we can avoid the spread of non-native plans. That being said, non-native species do still provide us with the benefits described in this article, just keep in mind we do want to reduce the impact and importation of potentially invasive species. Wildflowers are beneficial to ecosystems because they provide biodiversity, shelter, or food for wildlife. In turn, the wildlife they sustain may also be a “pollinator” that helps in the reproduction of the plant, such as bees. Humans benefit from wildflowers either through direct usage (edible plants or as an herbal remedy) or in direct usage (honey from bees or eating the animals who rely on vegetation as their staple diet). The air we breathe is improved as wildflowers reduce pollution caused from vehicle emissions and recycle carbon dioxide. They help reduce the amount of pollution from storm water since their roots act as filters for contaminants in the soil, and when planted near waterways, they help trap contaminants that pollute our waters. Plants also improve soil structures, prevent soil erosion and help reduce flooding by increasing the soil’s capacity for storing water. Economically, wildflowers improve scenic areas and can increase property value, and if native cultivars are purchased from a local farm or nursery, the economy gets a boost on a local level. Allowing some wildflowers to grow in yards or in 18 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
landscaping reduces the amount of lawn we have, which can mean less mowing, less watering and less fertilizer used on lawns. Medicinally, flowers can help us for various conditions and in a variety of ways such as in teas, poultices, tinctures, infusions and ingestion. Plants can also be used topically, such as rubbing Jewel Weed (Impatiens spp) on an area affected by Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). Edible flowers or fruits can be added to our diets for added nutrients and vitamins or for their health benefits, such as blackberries (Rubus fruticosus) which are an antioxidant and may lower the chances of getting some forms of cancer (however, keep in mind that there are many toxic plants; never consume plants in the wild without being 100 perent sure of what it is). Wildflowers also provide us with a wide array of other uses such as crafts and textiles, dyes, beauty products, oils, gums, resins, latexes, tannins, tool making and waxes and for many they serve as symbols for different cultures symbols. Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes) is a common, and symbolic, grass to the Gullah culture in the Lowcountry of South Carolina because of its use in making Sweetgrass baskets, which provide many families with an income. So, when we are looking at environmental and economical issues we need to think not only of the air we breathe or the water we drink, or to think only of protecting trees and animals, but we also need to remember the often tiny, sometimes inconspicuous, and largely ignored members of the natural world: the wildflowers. Anderson is a published author, and when she is not working full time with the disabilities board of her county she enjoys taking walks or hiking, stopping along the way to take pictures of wildflowers. She is also a mother, a wife and the creator of the Facebook group “Carolina Wildflowers,” which can be accessed at www.facebook.com/groups/scwildflowers. Sources: “Celebrating Wildflowers!” and “Edibility of Plants”
EXPERT DON DROSE GIVES YOU AN INSIDE LOOK AT WINTER FISHING by ROB COTTINGHAM
any things change during the winter: Temperatures drop, trees are all but completely bare, and the days get shorter. The passion many have for fishing, however, is undaunted by the colder days of the season. According to Don Drose, an experienced angler, those people are right to follow their passion, as there’s plenty of fishing to be done. “Typically, you’ll see more action out of the bigger fish as the waters cool,” Drose said. “It’s something I’ve noticed over the years.” Drose mentioned that several species are biting particularly well this time of year. “Perch seem to be biting pretty well at night in many locations,” he said. “Stripers and crappy seem to be doing well, also, but certain tactics seem to be working better than others.” If you’re looking for crappie, Drose suggests heading to Lake Marion instead of Moultrie. He said anglers will find more crappie beds along ledges and stumps in the larger lake. As for stripers, Drose said it would be best to wait for the dropping temperatures to reach deep into the lake. “Fishing for stripers in particular tends to get better once the water temperature drops,” he said. “This is especially true
in the Wyboo and Taw Caw areas of the lake.” The expert angler suggests drifting along the northern end of the lake with live bait, such as shad, shiners and herring. “From what I’ve been hearing, that’s been working quite well,” he said.
While catfish haven’t been as active as at other times, Drose said other fishermen have told him they’ve had some success recently while drifting at night, fishing at a depth of 6 to 10 feet with live bait.
Anglers have been fairly successful in catching largemouth bass lately, some reportedly catching 6- to 8-pound specimens often. Drose has even seen several people pull in 11-pound largemouth bass during recent outings. Something new for this season -- and a reason for anglers to bring along a shotgun -- is a law that will allow sportsmen to shoot cormorants spotted in the lakes this winter. “Cormorants are annoying birds,” Drose said. “They typically feed off of small fish, and they eat a lot of them. For some reason, they tend to overpopulate the area during the winter. They’re not much for food, though, so don’t count on eating them.” Drose said this is the first time he’s ever seen South Carolina Department of Natural Resources officials allow shooting in Lake Marion. “There are rules, of course,” he added. “You’re only allowed to use steel shot and you have to have a permit.” Drose said anglers can acquire a permit through SCDNR. Those interested must attend at least one seminar before they’ll be given a permit for the upcoming cormorant season, which runs from Feb. 3 to March 31. DNR officials will be offering several seminars locally, so contact your local DNR office for more information on the seminars.
DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 19
THE RISE OF
Bayou Chic by MARIE MULHOLLAND
’ve always considered myself a little trendy; definitely fashion conscious. When I was 15 (some years back), I did buy a pair of camouflage pants and a black T-shirt — not for hunting, but because it was the new style (Yes, new in the ‘80s). I have worn red shoes when there was no other red in my outfit. I’m even guilty of once owning Twist-a-beads necklaces. I’ve dabbled with the “smoky eye” and I’m a big fan of the “bold lip.” However, there is a style that has emerged recently that has me a bit perplexed. You’ll find it marching down the church aisle and sauntering down the runway. I heard that a family of four showed up at a state fair all dressed in camouflage and was turned away because they constituted a “gang.” I don’t know much about the situation; maybe they were up to no good, or maybe they were just making a fashion statement. If all it takes to be considered a gang is for a group of people to show up dressed alike in public, then I suppose those of you who like to don your orange to descend upon Death Valley to cheer for your beloved Tigers had better watch out.
20 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
Anyway, back to camouflage. I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around that one. Now, I’m quite the aficionado of verbal irony; I’ve been known to be a bit sarcastic myself. I get poking fun at yourself or your wedding party by dressing them in camo cummerbunds, but it’s a different matter when an industry takes over your signature and takes the joke to a whole new level. You see, camouflage, by definition, is supposed to make you blend in with your surroundings. So, if that’s the case, then for most of us that camouflage would require fast food wrappers and touch screens (like that new watch that’s out). Fashion is supposed to be a way to express yourself, to be hip, to stand out from the crowd. Wearing camouflage to stand out is just ironic, and when the trend really catches on and we’re all wearing it, then no one will stand out. Will we even notice each other? Will we even see each other? Reminds me of that speech – the one where the guy points out that if everyone is special, then no one is special. Wait. It gets better.
So, this camouflage that is popping up everywhere comes in colors, not just the typical greens, browns and beiges donned by our military and hunting friends, but colors like fuchsia and electric blue. Talk about irony. Fuchsia just defeats the purpose, or maybe it is the purpose. I’ve seen this situation before. Kind of like wearing leggings as though they’re pants. Leggings are not pants; they’re basically underwear ... long underwear, like feminine long johns. Nobody wants to see that. Given the choice, I’d take camo over leggings, but not camo leggings. We typically take our fashion cues from the rich and famous, so if Si, Phil, Willie, Jase and Jep can be credited, then my hat goes off to them. In my humble opinion, camo haute couture should be left to lovers of the great outdoors and the famously wealthy, or both, as in the case of the Robertsons from La. (Louisiana, not California). For now, I will comfort myself with the hope that “Hey! This too shall pass, Jack.”
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DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 23
SUMTER 15 SUMTER 15
38 3838 Watch, listen and learn – it’s the format that has allowed 38 professional angler, outdoorsman and businessman Bobsparkleberry sparkleberry by Wilson to learn something new each time he embarks onsparkleberry asparkleberry new adventure, whether he’s fishing, hunting, flying landing landing landing landing his airplane or discussing a business venture. Wilson developed his love for fishing from his father, R.E.“Ears”Wilson. Pack's Pack's Pack's Pack's “I guess I was probably six years old when he took me fishinglanding for the first time,”Wilson said.“I loved the sport right landing landing landing 37 off.” 37 3737 Wilson grew up in Chester County and first experienced fishing on Lake Marion was when he was around 11 or 1111 12 years old. low low Falls Falls low low Falls Falls landing landing “I love it,” he said.“Fishing with my dad and watching him fish was rIMInI great. ” landing landing rIMInI rIMInI rIMInI Wilson said he was taught as a youngster that you eat what your catch or kill. 36 36 3636 35 35 “I still do that today,” he said. “Unless I’m fishing for pan fish, I catch and release. Now35 I 35 will catch fish from time to lonestar lonestar elliott's elliott's lonestar lonestar elliott's elliott's landing landing Carolina landing landing Carolina Carolina king king Carolina king king time for some33 of the older folks in the community who can’t get out to fish anymore. I’ll catch the fish, clean it and retreat retreat & & Marina Marina retreat retreat&&Marina Marina 33 33 33
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Cold weather is here by EARLE WOODWARD email@example.com
ep, it has turned cold, and the last thing any of us really think about this time of the year is riding in a boat or paying a visit to the lake. Wrong! To start with, it’s duck season and there are more than a handful of hearty souls out in the swamps surrounding Lake Marion looking for a nice fat mallard or wood duck to put in the pot. I admit to belonging to their numbers for most of my adult life. My very first duck hunting trip was out of Pack’s Landing back in the late 1960s or early 1970s. I forget which, and it was completely miserable, but I loved it, and I had to go back. On the second trip, I dropped a wood duck and after that, it was on. I spent the next 15 some odd years learning the swamp and learning how to duck hunt. I got pretty good at it, too. Then came the ’80s and the lack of water in the swamp. With no water, there were no ducks. To this day, the duck population has not recovered, and I really don’t think it ever will. It’s so sad, considering what we had and the economic impact it once had on the area surrounding the lake. Every hotel and rental cabin for miles around was rented back in those days. It looked a lot like Stuttgart, Ark., during the middle of their season. Those days are long over and done with, but there are still a few birds to be had. South Carolina Waterfowl Association holds regular shoots on their impoundments just to the north of the lake, and some of their ducks make it out to the
28 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
lake -- not as many as you would think, but enough to make it interesting. There has also been a good population of wood ducks for the last 10-15 years due in large part to SCWA’s wood duck restoration project back in the ’80s and ’90s. Some wild ducks still make it this far south. I saw a pintail on the water last year and have seen ample ring-necked ducks in the last few years. And the migration south has been under way for some time now. I was driving through town during mid-November and saw two ring-necked ducks sitting on one of the many drainage ponds in the Sumter area. I would expect plenty of people have access to mallard chicks, and they are on almost every pond on the area, but ring-necked ducks are strictly wild birds, so for them to be on a pond, they had to have migrated from up north. Given that the migration has been on and given that there is a little bit of water in the swamp, we should spend some time in our boats finding out where the ducks are hiding. Again this year, duck season is split with the first season running from Nov. 23 to Dec. 1, then reopening on Dec 7 and running until Jan. 26, 2014. While the first season has come to a close and the next party has just started, it’s not too late to do some serious scouting. Pack up the boat, take some fishing tackle and a bucket of minnows and go to one of your old standby spots. Hunt that morning so that you can see where ducks are coming from and going to early in the morning. Then try dunking some minnows for some crappie during the middle of the
day. You get to gather information and a nice platter of fillets at the same time. Don’t forget to look everywhere, even the places that you really don’t think are worth your time. The Jack’s Creek area was a real hot spot for years but slowly died an agonizing death when the ducks stopped coming to Santee National Wildlife Refuge. However, over the last few years, a few ducks have been taken from that area again, perhaps signaling a comeback. Also, the open waters in the middle of the lake out from Persanti Island will yield the occasional widgeon and ringnecked. Areas on both sides of the river bank should be explored, and I mean all the way up to the confluence of the rivers, as should the entire swamp. There is a tool available that can help you save some time -- Google Earth. Once downloaded to your computer, zoom in on the part of the lake you wish to search, find the open waters and potholes and then write down the coordinates for each, enter them into your GPS unit and that should take you right to them. We used to have to plunder around the lake and swamp until we found something, but aerial images that give latitude and longitude numbers are a true godsend. Early December can have some very comfortable days for riding in a boat, and the crowds are diminished during the middle of the day to boot. Plan on doing some scouting for ducks, catch a few fish and enjoy a day on the lake. You got something better to do?
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DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 29
Hugh C. McLaurin III holds up one of his award-winning duck calls recently at his workshop in Elloree. In three of the past four years, McLaurin’s duck calls have won the state duck calling championship.
SOUNDS OF A
CHAMPION Elloree man makes award-winning game calls. Story and photos by ROB COTTINGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org
30 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
t some point in time, man decided chasing animals with sharp sticks just wasn’t cutting it. Over time, he developed new tools of the trade. Sticks were succeeded by spears, then arrows, then bullets, and while these items were also used as a means of self defense and as weapons of war, they drastically improved the everyday hunter’s success. All he needed was to lay his eyes on his prey, and the rest was left up to his marksmanship. What if the animal you’re hunting is an elusive prey, hiding among the marsh and foliage of your surroundings? Somehow, you have to flush it out or bring it to you. Wouldn’t it be simple if you could just ... call them? Seems like such an idea is “for the birds.” Exactly. For quite a while, hunters have used calls to attract a number of prey, and Hugh C. McLaurin III is making his claim as the go-to guy in the industry. McLaurin, a native of Sumter who now resides in Elloree, is the owner of Big Lake Outdoor Products, an up-and-coming company that specializes in wild game calls. “Waterfowling has been a passion of mine for years,” McLaurin said. “It seemed only natural to develop something that would help me on my adventures.” That need would eventually lead McLaurin to developing his own designs for duck calls, and in 2008, he began his company using his own designs. “I had one design, the Big Lake Perfect Timber,” he said.
“And I went around pushing it to local vendors. It all took off from there.” While the company began only five years ago, the real story behind Big Lake actually began decades ago, when McLaurin was still a child. “My dad was a fighter pilot stationed out at McEntire (Joint National Guard Base) when I was really young,” McLaurin said. “When I was 7, he and his group were deployed to Europe.” Sadly, Hugh C. McLaurin Jr. would not return from his tour of duty. “He died while flying a jet,” McLaurin said, a touch of sadness in his voice. “Thankfully, I have a good family.” McLaurin’s grandfather, Hugh C. McLaurin Sr., decided to take the young boy under his wing and spent as much time with his grandson as possible. “We used to go out to Big Lake, a private fishing and hunting club, all the time,” McLaurin said. “For 28 years, we spent many, many weekends out there hunting and fishing. It was great quality time that helped me grow as a man.” McLaurin would grow up working on farms until he left to work at the Michelin plant in Sandy Springs, where he was employed for 16 years before returning to the area in 1996 and began farming again. His grandfather passed away when McLaurin was in his 30s. Though the man who began and encouraged McLaurin’s passion for waterfowling has long passed, the experience McLaurin accumulated from all those hunting trips with his grandfather -- and the many more trips taken since -- helped him design very effective waterfowl calls. “The trick with duck calls is, as moisture from blowing them accumulates, they tend to stick,” he explained. “Just about every hunter has experienced this at one time or another. It’s a real pain, so I had to make a design that took that out of the equation.” McLaurin took his time and developed a Mylar plastic double reed that met his standard for replicating the sounds of the treasured waterfowl. And, as far as the reeds not sticking, the product definitely lived up to McLaurin’s hopes.
The Perfect Woodie Miniature is McLaurin’s best-selling product. It comes in acrylic, plastic and cocobolo wood.
“I’ve had hunters tell me they’ve used my calls all season, sometimes even two seasons, and they all say the same thing,” he said. “’Hugh, I haven’t had it stick one time.’” Another thing McLaurin kept in mind was ease of use. As many experienced hunters will tell you, a large percentage of duck calls require a good bit of skill to use effectively. McLaurin decided to simply cut the learning curve. “The way my calls are designed, it’s really easy for someone to just pick one of them up and go,” he said. “They’re really easy to blow. Some calls leave you winded after just a few goes, but mine use 30 to 40 percent less air.” Once he had a solid product to market, McLaurin began developing labeling and packaging for the calls. There was only one problem: The product didn’t have a name. Again, McLaurin thought about it and found an easy answer in his past. “Big Lake,” he said. “It’s where my passion started. It’s where some of the best memories of my childhood took place. It seemed like the perfect fit.” Choosing to name his company after the hunting club he grew up in, McLaurin began marketing his product. Presentation was key. “They really liked that I had a product that was actually in a package with labels and a bar code,” McLaurin said, laughing. “They told me they were used to guys coming in with rough prototypes in plastic bags.” Slowly but surely, vendors such as Rogers Sporting Goods in Kansas City, Mack’s Prairie Wings based in Stuttgart, Ark., and Sportsman’s Warehouse in Columbia began picking up McLaurin’s calls, which now include turkey, goose and duck calls. Most recently, McLaurin landed what many in the outdoor world would consider a huge opportunity. “I just signed a contract with Bass Pro Shops,” McLaurin said. “It’s such a great opportunity, I can’t help but be excited about it.” His products are set for a pilot run at the Bass Pro Shop in Myrtle Beach soon. If the products do well there, the company has agreed to extend McLaurin’s reach, potentially marketing
Every Big Lake Outdoor Products game call comes in a variety of colors and designs, including Carolina and Clemson patterns.
DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 31
the calls nationwide. “It’s the chance of a lifetime,” McLaurin said with a smile. “It’s a dream come true.” While recent success with large companies is greatly appreciated by McLaurin, he hasn’t forgotten those who helped him along the way. “Carl Simpson has been supportive since the beginning,” McLaurin said. “He was among the first, if not very first vendor to pick up my calls. (Simpson Hardware) is still the exclusive dealer for Big Lake in Sumter County.” Big Lake now features numerous models in both full and
McLaurin even offers the “muddy girl” pattern, which features pink camouflage, in his vast array of designs.
miniature sizes. The calls range from $20 to $100 and are made in acrylic, plastic and cocobolo, an exotic wood found in South America that is known for its dark, rich chocolate color. The calls also come in many designs, including solid colors, camouflage and even Clemson and Carolina patterns. McLaurin said his Perfect Woodie miniature, which sells for $19.99, is his best seller. McLaurin’s enthusiasm for hunting extends beyond personal experience and into knowledge gained by reading up on the sport and its history. It would be the past that would inspire a key element of a few of his designs.
Each holding a pair of Canadian geese, Hugh McLaurin Sr., right, and Hugh McLaurin Jr., pose proudly after a hunting trip with Hugh McLaurin III in 1960. McLaurin III was about 6 years old when this photo was taken. His father died just more than a year later.
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“In the older days, hunters used metal reeds in their duck calls,” he said. “Over time, companies moved to plastic reeds for no other apparent reason than cost. I thought on it for a while and decided to try it out.” The results astounded McLaurin. “I really like it,” he said. “It has an ideal, raspy sound to it that more accurately mimics the sounds of ducks. The call of an old mallard hen wouldn’t have a clean, crisp sound to it; it would be very raspy, and that’s what I got with that design.” Along with the marketing success of Big Lake Outdoor Products, the duck calls have also gained much attention in competitions. In three of the past four years, the winners of the state duck calling competition have used McLaurin’s duck calls, such as his Big Lake Force Competition Call. Ed Paul, the youth director at Camp Woodie in Rimini, has been using McLaurin’s calls for quite a while. He won the state duck calling championship this year using Big Lake products. “He’s been good at duck calling for a long time,” McLaurin said. “He won the youth world championship at 12 years old in 1999. This year, he’ll represent South Carolina in the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest in Stuttgart.” In the meantime, McLaurin’s products have been the subjects of articles in magazines such as Waterfowl & Retriever, Gun Dog; Outdoor Life did a feature on the Perfect Woodie. With all the success on the horizon, a lesser man might get a bit cocky, but McLaurin remains humble. “I’m simply grateful,” he said. “I’ve worked hard for it and it’s paying off. But I’ll never forget my place.” The proof of McLaurin’s claim is on the packaging of all his products. Just below the product description and above the company address, it’s printed clearly: “This Business is Dedicated to the Glory of God.”
McLaurin demonstrates how to use one of the duck calls that he makes.
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DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 33
PAINTING N WITH FIRE: MANNING MAN BURNS ART INTO WOOD by ROB COTTINGHAM
34 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
o matter how far away you are from the South or how long it’s been since you visited, viewing the scenery that so many find enchanting is as simple as closing your eyes. Surely you can see them, now: Rusted tin roofs on weathered barns in the middle of a cornfield. Giant oaks dangling Spanish moss from their branches over a nearby creek. A boy walking to the store with his dog in tow. Monolithic plantations shaded by pecan trees at the end of a long dirt road. When we talk about such unforgettable scenery, nearly all of us have heard or used the phrase “burned into my mind.” How about burned into wood? Thomas Blackmon, who lives just outside of Manning on U.S. 521, has decided to do just that. “I want to take images from around Clarendon County historical sites and scenery and turn them into art that will last forever,” Blackmon said. “It’s about re-creating pictures we all have in our minds when we think of the places we’ve been and seen while growing up down here. I want to preserve them before they change or something happens to them.” Blackmon is a pyrographer, which literally means “one who writes with fire.” It’s not exactly fire, per se, but it’s pretty close. Using metal-tipped pens connected to a pyrography machine, Blackmon (very, very) carefully burns images into pieces of wood, much like sketch artists use a pencil. Unlike a pencil, however, the pen tips Blackmon uses must be handled with the utmost caution in regard to its user and the “canvas.” “The pyrography machine turns electricity into focused heat once the power reaches the pen tips,” he explained. “These tips can range from a temperature of 644 to 1,400 degrees Farenheit.” That peak temperature setting is three times hotter than the kindling point of paper, which is estimated to be about 450 degrees, depending on atmospheric elements. That combustibility becomes more apparent when working with softer woods, Blackmon said. “When I’m working with pine, it’s fairly easy,” he said, “but when the tip of this pen hits a pocket of sap, it ignites, and a small plume of fire shoots up from the wood. It certainly tests your reflexes a bit.” Blackmon said another issue involves the wood, itself, which is very unforgiving as a medium. “There’s very little room for error,” Blackmon said. “If it’s a minor mistake, you can sand it out, but if you burn too deep or too hot, there’s not much you can do about it.” To make the image transfer a little more controlled, Blackmon said he prints out the original image and then arranges it over the wood with graphite paper in between. He then traces and shades in the original picture. The pressure from the tracing transfers through the graphite paper and onto the wood, leaving a reference image for Blackmon to guide his pyrography. Regardless of what measures are taken, pyrography is a tedious art form, to say the least. Blackmon said some of his works, such as his birch pendants, take about five hours to complete. His larger pieces, however, take much, much longer to complete. “The big 26-by-41-inch works will take me anywhere from 250 to 300
hours to complete,” Blackmon said. That’s 12-and-a-half days of work for one piece of art. That arduous endeavor is something Blackmon said he definitely admires and wants others to acknowledge. “I love the difficulty of it,” he said. “It’s a challenge, for sure. You’ll stop at a point, realize how much time you’ve spent on it and it’ll hit you: Wow, you really did something. A man once asked if this was done by lasers, and I immediately explained how I did it and expressed the amount of work that goes into one of these pieces. Lasers wouldn’t take long at all; this took hundreds of hours.” The burning question that remains: How did Blackmon get into pyrography? “Well, I was studying for my Ph.D. in international relations and decided to take a break,” he said. “I have a background in art, as well, so I started looking into eccentric art types and was intrigued by pyrography.” Blackmon then spent four months researching pyrography, taking note of certain techniques, the tools used and the different styles of the art form. A year later, his work would catch the attention of other artists, as Blackmon was invited to a Tapps Art Center show in January. He was also a finalist earlier this year in Lake City’s ArtFields festival. The ambitious artist just finished a solo exhibition on display in the Art Corridor at Weldon Auditorium. The exhibit, which included many pieces from the past two years of Blackmon’s work, were on display from October to November, highlighted by a meet-and-greet on Nov. 5. While most people simply pursue the arts as a hobby, Blackmon has chosen to pursue pyrography as a career. “I’ve already registered with the state as a business,” he said. “Canvas prints of my work will be on sale at the meet-and-greet event in November. I’ve got lots of things in the works, including a return to ArtFields, but it’s a passion with which I plan on building a career.”
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Thomas Blackmon diligently works on a recent project, carefully guiding the 600plus degree tip of his pyrography pen along a slab of basswood at his home. Blackmon said it takes several hundred hours to complete his larger works, which include iconic landscapes and buildings around Clarendon County.
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On Lake the
PHOTO PROVIDED / CARY JOHNSON A panoramic view of the pond on Henderson Street one fall afternoon.
PHOTO PROVIDED / NANCY BYER Reflections on Lake Wateree
PHOTO PROVIDED / NANCY BYER A beautiful White Egret waits patiently for its next meal.
PHOTO PROVIDED / NANCY BYER A view from the northern end of Lake Wateree.
Please submit photos to email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Deadline for submissions for the next edition is January 20, 2014. 36 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
PHOTO PROVIDED / NANCY BYER A Great Blue Heron surrounded by a lake of ‘diamonds’ at Lake Wateree.
PHOTO PROVIDED / NANCY BYER A small tree stands alone during a year of severe drought at Lake Marion.
PHOTO PROVIDED / NANCY BYER
A majestic bald eagle watches as the photographer approaches the boat. Extremely wary of us, he flew off a split second later.
PHOTO PROVIDED / NANCY BYER A Great Blue Heron is seen in the late afternoon sun.
PHOTO PROVIDED Terry Hodge III and Emily Vining - show off their catch on Santee Cooper Waters DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 37
38 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
COYOTES by RANDY BURNS Special to Lakeside
immy Methe of Camden loves to spend time on Lake Wateree. Up at 5 a.m. during a recent duck hunting trip, Methe found his concentration disrupted by the howl of a coyote. Such sounds are becoming quite common not only on Wateree, but also on the lakes of Santee Cooper Country and throughout the Midlands of South Carolina. Methe’s knowledge of coyotes goes beyond his experience as a duck hunter. The owner of Nuisance Animal Control, he has been trapping coyotes and other wild animals for about 25 years. “I moved to South Carolina in 1996, and since I’ve been here, the number of coyotes has tripled,” he said. The actual number of coyotes in the state is unknown, according to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Still, SCDNR Wildlife Biologist Jay Butfiloski, who was co-author of a 2004 research project on coyotes, said sightings and the sounds of coyotes have become more common in recent years. “Coyotes are in every county of South Carolina,” he said. “And what we’re seeing is they are now going into suburban and urban areas of the state. We now see coyotes in the Myrtle Beach and Columbia areas.” Butfiloski and other wildlife biologists at DNR provide information and technical assistance to property owners. “We receive hundreds of phone calls most weeks about wildlife from alligators to woodpeckers, and a good number of those are about coyotes,” he said. “We leave it to the private sector to go out and catch the coyotes. They have the specialized equipment to do so.” Methe is one of about 20 licensed wildlife operators identified on the SCDNR website at www. dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/control. Like a traditional pest control company, the operators charge a fee for their services. Methe said he has responded to calls in most counties in the state including Sumter, Clarendon, Orangeburg, Kershaw and Lee. “The coyote is dominant when it comes to small animals,” he said. “Typically, one coyote will eat 12 to 25 deer a year and about 100 rabbits.” The coyote has the general appearance of a small shepherd dog. It stands 23 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder with a slim muzzle, erect pointed ears and a bushy tail. Coyotes in South Carolina typically weigh from 30 to 45 pounds. Coyotes are more than an oddity or a nuisance. They
attack animals — deer, livestock and family pets. Cats, chickens and rabbits are particularly vulnerable to coyote attacks, Methe said. “Coyotes don’t eat dogs, but they will attack dogs because of being territorial,” he said. “Small dogs are often attacked by coyotes.” Coyote attacks on people are rare but do happen, Butfiloski said. “I know of only two attacks on people,” he said. “In 2007 or 2008, a little girl in Spartanburg County was bitten while she was waiting on a school bus.” The coyote was caught and found to have rabies. The girl was not seriously hurt. There are only two known deaths from coyote attacks. One was a young child in California in the 1980s, and in 2009, a young woman was killed while hiking in Canada. Methe said coyotes do pose a threat to people, particularly young children. “Some studies have shown the coyote is becoming more aggressive,” he said. “They often hunt in groups, and they can take on a gang mentality.” Butfiloski said DNR establishes rules and regulations designed to make it easy for property owners to dispose of coyotes. They may be hunted year-round on private property with a valid hunting license. Free depredation permits are issued to property owners who do not have a valid hunting license. Trapping is the recommended method for hunting coyotes, DNR officials said. Coyotes can be hunted at night with an artificial light or night vision devices. The use of bait and electronic calls are legal for hunting coyotes. Still, Methe said he would like to see “some major changes” in the DNR regulations. “The use of snares should be allowed,” he said. “I would like to be able to use cyanide guns. And I would like to see the elimination of trap size restrictions that are currently in place.” SCDNR recognizes the threat of coyotes said Butfiloski, and is always open to make changes in the regulations governing their capture. Fox hunters introduced coyotes to South Carolina, Butfiloski said. “Contrary to popular belief, the DNR never released coyotes into the state, he said. “The most prevalent rumor is that DNR introduced coyotes to control the deer population at the request of farming and/or insurance interests. You didn’t see deer in the Greenville area in the 1970s. In fact, the DNR had spent considerable time and effort to reintroduce deer into the Piedmont and mountain regions of the state. Why would DNR release coyotes to control the population of deer in an area of the state where there were few deer?” Coyotes are most active beginning near dusk and continuing into the early morning hours after dawn, so it is advisable to keep smaller pets inside at night if possible. Cats should also remain indoors not only for their safety, but to reduce the negative impacts cats can have on native wildlife. In a true emergency situation, such as an attack on a person, you can contact the DNR Communications Center 24 hours a day at 1-800-922-5431. For more information on coyotes, see www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/coyote. DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE 39
BONNEAU FERRY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA OFFERS A PLACE TO HUNT DURING THE HOLIDAYS
FROM SCDNR Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area offers young hunters a place to hunt during the holidays. Deer hunting has returned to the 10,700-acre area in Berkeley County, just south of Moncks Corner, and with it comes opportunities for young hunters. The property is divided into a Side A and Side B. This year, Side B is limited to adult/youth only hunts, on which adults (21 or older) must be accompanied by a youth (17 or younger). On these hunts, both adults and youths may hunt, but the youth is required to carry a firearm and hunt. These adult/ youth hunts will be held Wednesday, Friday and Saturday Dec. 4-18 along with every day other than Sunday from Dec. 20 to Jan. 1, 2014. Hunting on the adult/youth side is on a first-come, first-served basis. Hunters on both sides of the property are encouraged to harvest all hogs observed while they are deer hunting. Unless using one of the permanent public stands, which are marked with signs, hunters should provide their own portable stands. All deer hunters must wear international orange and are limited to eight deer per season, no more than two of which may be antlered bucks. Hunters are reminded that they must sign in and sign out and may not enter the property before 5 a.m. A data card must also be filled out for all harvested deer. The self-check data cards are located at the main entrance next to the kiosk. For more information, call the Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau at (843) 825-3387.
MOURNING DOVE HUNTING RESUMES DEC. 19
The 2013-14 mourning dove season in South Carolina will resume Dec. 19-Jan. 15. Legal hunting hours for mourning dove season are from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. The daily bag limit is 15 birds. The state’s mourning dove season is set each year by the S.C. Natural Resources (DNR) Board
40 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
within a framework of regulations and timetables issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The arrival of “late season” migratory doves can drastically improve hunting opportunities on public and private dove fields across the state. Those hunters willing to scout for concentrations of doves during this time of year are often rewarded by opportunities which equal or exceed those found during the early segment of the season. A county-by-county list of the 43 public dove fields can be obtained by writing: DNR, Attn: Public Dove Fields, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, or by calling (803) 734-3886 in Columbia. Hunters participating in public dove hunts on DNR Wildlife Management Area dove fields should be aware of special regulations in place on these fields. Hunters may not take shooting positions on public fields before noon. Hunters will be restricted to 50 shells per hunt on all Wildlife Management Area public dove fields. Find a list of public dove fields around the state at http://www.dnr.sc.gov/ wildlife/dove/pdf/dovefields20132014.pdf. Individuals who plan to hunt on public dove fields will need a South Carolina hunting license and a Wildlife Management Area permit. Also, all persons hunting migratory birds (including doves) are required to have a migratory bird permit. Migratory bird permits can be obtained free of charge at all hunting and fishing license vendors.
CATAWBA CATFISH CLUB TOURNAMENT
The Catawba Catfish Club will hold a tournament from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, on Lake Wateree at Lake Wateree State Park, 881 State Park Road, Winnsboro. The entry fee is $30 per person, and the limit is four people per boat. Sign up will begin two hours before the start time. For more information, visit catawbacatfishclub.com or email email@example.com.
GOT A PASSION FOR PHOTOGRAPHY?
Head down to RE/MAX by the Lake on Dec. 17 to join the Lake Marion Camera Club for it’s monthly meeting set for 6:30 p.m. in Manning. For more information, contact club president Mary Wilson at (803) 460-4251 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SANTEE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE
Santee National Wildlife Refuge, located in North Santee and Summerton, was first opened in 1941. The refuge manages 10 conservation easements and serves as a major wintering area for ducks and geese and a stopover area for neo-tropical migratory birds, raptors, shore birds and wading birds. Endangered and threatened species at the refuge include the American alligator and the wood stork. The Visitor’s Center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. The refuge trails and grounds are open daily sunrise to sunset except on Cuddo: 7a.m. - 5p.m. . through Feb. 28. For more information, call (803) 478-2217, or email@example.com.
TAW CAW PARK
Taw Caw Park, located off Wash Davis Road in Summerton, has an extensive set of boardwalks around Taw Caw Creek, which empties into Lake Marion. A popular spot for fishing, the area has a playground, picnic shelters, volleyball courts and is free and open to the public during daylight hours. A $5 rental fee is required for the picnic shelter. For more information, call (803) 473-3543.
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Rain Gardens by JOLIE ELIZABETH BROWN firstname.lastname@example.org
id you know that stormwater is the greatest threat to our nation’s surface water? There are many green solutions to stormwater pollution. One of the most attractive solutions is a rain garden. My mother had never heard of a rain garden before last month, and I enjoyed telling her about these beautiful, pollinator-and-wildlife friendly, low-maintenance gardens. Rain gardens are depressions in the landscape that receive stormwater runoff and allow the runoff to slowly infiltrate to the groundwater table. They are typically installed in the path of runoff from the roof of a building or home. Rain gardens not only slow down runoff water after a storm, but they also remove some of the pollutants that would otherwise end up in a storm drain. The plants in a rain garden take up the excess nutrients in the runoff water. These gardens are designed to handle flooding conditions for two days at a time and withstand long periods of no rain. Rain gardens are like any other garden
in that they do need some maintenance. Rain gardens require mulch. Hardwood mulch is recommended, because pine bark mulch is too lightweight and will float after a storm. The plants in your garden should be inspected each season and the rain garden itself should be inspected after major rainfalls to ensure that the plants, soil, and mulch are stable within the garden. Weeding will be necessary a couple of times a year to reduce competition. There are a few simple tips for installing a rain garden. First, check with PUPS by calling 811 before digging. Most residential rain gardens are between 6 to 12 inches deep. The depth you dig your rain garden depends on your soil type. To help with the shape of your garden, use a garden hose or rope to lay out the shape and size garden you’d like. Keep this outline until you are done digging your boundary. A curved shape makes the rain garden look natural and interesting. The longest side of your rain garden should be perpendicular to the slope of
your property. Don’t forget to install the rain garden a safe distance from your septic tank! Most residential rain gardens are not big enough for full-grown trees, so consult your Clemson Extension Horticulture Agent before planting. My mother was so excited to learn about rain gardens that she added it to my stepfather’s “Honey Do List” These wildlife friendly gardens not only enhance your yard, but they also help with stormwater runoff. They make the butterflies happy, too! For more information on rain gardens and a suitable plant list, visit www.clemson.edu/carolinaclear for a downloadable copy of the Clemson Carolina Clear Rain Garden manual. Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, sex, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.
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AVOID TICKS AVOID LYME DISEASE by JADE ANDERSON
he deer you hunt may not be able to fight back. But the pesky parasites that can live on them can make you sick. Lyme disease is a bacterial infection that can lead to fatigue, chills, fever, headache, muscle and joint aches, swollen lymph nodes and heartbeat irregularities. It isn’t the kind of illness that usually sends you to the emergency room. “Last year and this year, we’ve had less than five positive tests for Lyme,” said Letitia S. Pringle-Miller, administrative director for Tuomey Healthcare System. Though not necessarily common, Lyme disease is not unheard of in South Carolina. In 2012, 35 cases were confirmed in the state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Across the country, the CDC estimates about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year, but only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more likely go undiagnosed since Lyme symptoms can mimic other illnesses such as whooping cough and flu.
Since the vaccine for Lyme disease was stopped in 2002 because of its rare use, Pringle-Miller said, the best way to prevent it is to limit contact with ticks. This doesn’t mean you don’t go enjoy the great outdoors, but use bug repellant, wear long sleeves and tuck pants into socks. Light-colored clothing also makes it easier to spot the insects. Even if you are not hunting or camping, ticks can make their way into your life when deer enter your yard and eat your plants. “Deer forage aggressively when food becomes scarce, so fall and winter are the times when they’re most likely to enter your yard,” said Joan Casanova of Green Earth Media Group. “Keeping deer away from your backyard is not just a cosmetic or financial issue any more. Your success at deterring deer could directly affect your family’s health.” She recommends using “a proven effective, natural deterrent that has been independently tested” to “vaccinate” your yard against deer.
OOPS. TICK GOT ME.
A tick usually has to be attached for 36 to 48 hours to pass the infection along, according to the CDC. So if you find one, don’t panic. Safely remove the insect and clean the area. If you do think you have Lyme disease or any other infection, see your health care provider. The most distinctive feature is a rash or bull’seye at the bite site, Pringle-Miller said, but not everyone develops this indicator. While it doesn’t itch or hurt, it does tend to spread and feel warm to the touch, according to the CDC.
In the early stages, Lyme disease can usually be treated with oral antibiotics, according to the CDC. If it isn’t diagnosed until weeks or months later, intravenous treatments of antibiotics may be necessary for four or more weeks. Even after treatment with antibiotics, 10 to 20 percent of Lyme patients have symptoms that last for months or even years, the CDC reports. Untreated Lyme disease can cause arthritis and even chronic neurological problems such as numbness, tingling in the hands or feet and short-term memory problems.
HOW TO REMOVE A TICK
Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close as possible to the skin. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk as this can cause parts of the tick to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol, an iodine scrub or soap and water Source: Center for Disease Control, www.cdc.gov/lyme 44 DECEMBER 2013 - JANUARY 2014 | LAKESIDE
DETERMINE THE BEST TIME TO REFINANCE A MORTGAGE
efinancing a mortgage is advantageous to homeowners for a variety of reasons. The primary reasons people refinance their mortgages are to reduce their monthly payments or free up equity to use toward home improvements or other necessities. Lenders will frequently advertise that “now”is the time to refinance, but people may want to get all of the facts before making their decisions. A low interest rate is not reason enough alone to refinance. Conventional wisdom has long suggested that borrowers wait to refinance until interest rates drop 2 percent below their current rate. While a low interest rate is important, there are several other factors to consider. • Closing costs: Refinancing a home is an expensive undertaking. While it can effectively shave $100 or more off your monthly payments, there is a financial outlay during the process, which includes closing costs. A person can expect to pay anywhere from 2 to 5 percent of the loan’s value in closing costs when refinancing. Lenders used to enable some to roll the cost of the closing into the mortgage, but stringent rules have changed the way many banks now do business. If the finances are simply not there to cover the closing costs, refinancing may not be an option. • Credit rating: If your credit rating is better now than it was when you initially earned your home loan, then this might be a good time to refinance. Not only will a person benefit from a low market rate, but the interest rate may also be even lower because lenders look more fondly on you now than they did years ago. Lenders often base their assessments of borrower reliability and stability on those potential borrowers’ credit scores, so a strong credit score makes you look better in the eyes of lenders. Borrowers with poor credit ratings may not benefit from refinancing. • Income: A person’s debt-to-income ratio is another factor in determining mortgage interest rates and approval. A positive
Lake Marion Area Monthly and Long Term Rentals
change in income status as well as reduction in debt could make it a good time to refinance. • Adjustable-rate mortgages: Many people opted for adjustable-rate mortgages when buying homes years ago. Over time, their monthly payments may have increased considerably, making it nearly impossible to afford a home. Refinancing for a fixed-rate mortgage, regardless of the current interest rate, will likely ease some of your financial burden. • Home value: A higher home value means more equity in the home. This money can be used to pay down debt or for home improvements that further improve the value of the home and property. It is important to speak with a real estate professional to determine if home values have spiked in a particular neighborhood and to gain an accurate appraisal of the home. This will help determine if refinancing is frugal. • Interest rates: Lower interest rates often motivate homeowners to refinance, as a lower interest rate can save homeowners a substantial amount of money over the course of their loans. However, refinancing too soon (within 4 years of the original home loan) may put homeowners in a negative light. Lenders may see borrowers who refinance too soon or too frequently as risky borrowers who cannot successfully manage their money. • Prepayment penalties: Certain mortgages have prepayment penalties built in. Should a person pay off the mortgage too early, usually within two to five years, 2 to 4 percent of the home’s loan value must be paid out. Refinancing counts as paying off one loan and opening up another. Penalties could deter a person from refinancing too soon. Determining the best time to refinance your home mortgage takes effort on the part of the borrower and information about market trends. By doing one’s homework and being aware of certain factors, a person can save money by refinancing a home loan.
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Dr. Michael Carmichael, Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Put Your Heart In The Best Hands. The McLeod Heart and Vascular Institute proudly welcomes Dr. Michael Carmichael, board certified Cardiothoracic Surgeon, to their group of exceptional physicians and surgeons. An accomplished surgeon, Dr. Carmichael brings more than 30 years of experience to our region. With a strong sense of community and a recent winner of the “Compassionate Doctor Award,” Dr. Carmichael brings more than just skilled hands, he gives his heart and soul to every patient. “To have patients put their physical heart in our hands, is such a great privilege. And the emotional connections we make through this process, enhances all our lives.” With the addition of Dr. Carmichael, the McLeod Heart and Vascular Institute continues to provide surgical expertise with heart-felt compassion.
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