Deerfield Plantation Hunt 2017 - The Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Deerfield Plantation Hunt 2017

Last week I made my annual trip to hunt Deerfield Plantation in South Carolina. I’ve been hunting Deerfield almost every year since 1995. The hunt has been very good to me over the years; including this hunt, I’ve taken 30 bucks, 28 does, 4 hogs and 2 bobcats at Deerfield, averaging 3 deer per trip. This hunt I was accompanied by old Muttleysgone (George), Bumblehick (Joe) and Cuz (BH’s cousin John). On the hunt, George and I road along with Bill Sr. and his twin son’s Bill Jr. and Walt, guided by Jim. Through the bulk of the hunt we had 11 hunters in camp, all having hunted together in previous seasons.

Deerfield Plantation is located near St. George, South Carolina and is owned and operated by Hugh Walters. The plantation consists of 12,000 acres of mostly owned and some leased crop land, cultivated timber, and hardwood swamps, the main property laying at the juncture of the Indian Field and Polk swamps in Dorchester County, SC. The plantation is home to a multitude of wildlife including deer (estimated population at 1 per acre), hogs, bobcats, coyotes, a variety of small game, birds and waterfowl, as well as various reptiles and snakes.

The plantation was previously located in South Carolina Game Zone 6, which not only has the longest general firearms deer season in the country, running from August 15th straight through January 1st, but historically had no daily or season limits on buck deer. Beginning this season, the state has implemented a five buck limit and rezoned the state into 4 zones, Deerfield now being in zone 4. The season dates remain the same. Non-residents may purchase two “Unrestricted” buck tags good for any buck, and two “Restricted” buck tags good for bucks with at least 4 points on one antler OR a 12” inside spread. Additionally, there is a limit of two deer per day. The plantation itself sets a limit of one deer per sitting (2 per day); an additional deer may be taken at a sitting for a fee (State limit of 2 deer per day still applies). There are various antler restrictions in place by area within the property, from none on one lease, to 8 point 14” inside spread in the “Trophy Area”. Most of the owned property has a 4-on-1 side rule. There are fines for under sized bucks and button bucks, but most of the regulars know that the management does not get upset with violations; they just get paid. There are approximately 300 stands including tripods, enclosed shooting towers and lean ups. All stands have a 360 degree shooting rail and the open stands are skirted, many stands having a swivel boat seat. This is a no fence, strictly wild game hunt, it is not a preserve. The lodge and outbuildings are extremely nice and well cared for by a full time staff. The lodge is cleaned literally every day and even your bed is made up each day as well. Bedrooms are bunk room style. In addition to the main lodge there is a cozy cabin available at extra charge for those who require or prefer private accommodations. The food is delicious. The guides are full time employees that not only guide hunters during the season but function as farm hands and land stewards all year.

The Lodge

1 Lodge by Steven Musser, on Flickr

On The Hunt

Sunday October 15

Sunday morning found us on The Creek lease (Brown and Down, no restrictions, fines or fees). The weather was cool and somewhat foggy at daybreak. I had drawn a ground blind in an area of mixed pines and hardwoods with a three way view at the intersection of two woods roads.

Sunday Stand

A Sun am by Steven Musser, on Flickr

A1 Sun am by Steven Musser, on Flickr

A2 Sun am by Steven Musser, on Flickr

The only deer I saw was a button buck that stepped out right next to the blind at about 9am. I was pinned down and couldn’t have taken it even if I had wanted to. I sat still and it walked across the road and into the brush. Walt killed a 3pt buck and his dad Bill missed a doe.

Walt’s 3pt

A3 Sun am Walt 3pt by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Sunday afternoon was warm and clear. I saw nothing but Cuz killed two medium sized hogs, Walt killed a small racked 6pt buck, Bill Jr. killed a nice 5pt buck, and Mutt killed a doe.

Bill Jr. and Walt with bucks

A4 Sun eve Bill 5pt Walt 6pt by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Mutt with doe and Cuz with hogs

A5 Sun eve George doe Cuz pigs by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Monday October 16

Monday morning was cooler with a front scheduled to come through mid-day. We were hunting a 4-on-1 side area. I was in a shooting tower called The Hole in the Fence Stand, on a wide woods road with views of several hundred yards in either direction. I had sat this stand several times over the years.

The stand

B Mon am by Steven Musser, on Flickr

B1 Mon am by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Not long after good shooting light, a doe ran across the road from left to right at the end of the lane in the first pic, followed shortly by a small rack buck; neither paused, both just ran through. Maybe fifteen minutes later, a better buck ran across at the same spot but from right to left. He also never paused, just ran across. That was all I saw but the bucks had been moving well as seven of nine hunters saw bucks. Mutt killed a nice 8pt and Cuz killed a big mature 10pt. Hard to see in the picture but Cuz’s buck was a somewhat non-typical 4x6.

Cuz and Mutt with bucks

B3 Mon am Cuz 10pt George 8pt by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Cuz’s big buck

B4 Mon am Cuz 10pt rt by Steven Musser, on Flickr
B5 Mon am Cuz 10pot lft by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Monday afternoon we were back on the same stands. The front was passing through and it was windy and rainy. I saw some turkeys but no deer. BH killed a nice 7pt and Maury killed a nice 8pt.


B6 Mon pm turkeys by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Maury and BH with bucks

B7 Mon pm Maury 8pt Joe 7pt by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Tuesday October 17

Tuesday dawned clear and cold but a little windy. We were on the Upper Bird lease with a 4pt total restriction. I was in a lean-up stand off of a large 200yd by 100yd food plot. An island of hardwoods split the plot lengthwise down its center, limiting my view to the left side and lower end of the plot.

The Stand

C4 Tue pm by Steven Musser, on Flickr

C1 Tue am by Steven Musser, on Flickr

At 8:45am I looked across to my left through a small opening in the tree row (second pic) to see a big doe along the far edge of the plot. It was an awkward position to shoot from but I made a good shot, the doe jumping in the air from a low chest hit. After waiting 45 minutes I followed a poor blood trail and found her 50 yards into the woods.

My doe where she fell

C2 Tue am my doe by Steven Musser, on Flickr

BH and Cuz had good luck as well killing 3pt and 4pt bucks respectively.

BH and Cuz with bucks

thumbnail_IMG_20171017_115138779 by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Evening found us on the same stands. About 6pm I was watching three raccoons on the corn at the far end of the plot when all of a sudden they spooked. Sure enough, a doe came blasting around the end of the tree island into my side of the plot, followed by a buck. The doe did a 180 and ran back to the other side and out of sight, but the buck stopped just long enough for me to get a good hold and rip one off. The shot was good, knocking the buck down, but he recovered enough to make it into the wood line. As I was waiting to give the buck a little time before following him up, I looked across to where I had shot the doe in the morning to see two large does and two fawns feeding, and I was able to get a fair picture of them. I was hoping they’d leave so I could trail my buck before dark but they hung around and I had to spook them getting down. Walking to the wood line where the buck had gone in, I found a heavy blood trail that led 30 yards to the dead buck, a nice 5pt. Bill Jr. killed a big doe and Jim missed a buck.

The does

C3 Tue eve doe by Steven Musser, on Flickr

My buck

C5 Tue eve my 5pt by Steven Musser, on Flickr

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Wednesday October 18

Wednesday morning was once again clear and cold. We were in the trophy area and I was on a circular food plot with a long shooting lane directly across to my front. Just at first light I had a buck come blasting through straight at me but he just ran across with no chance for a shot. I saw nothing else. Few deer were seen that morning but Jim killed a good 130lb sow hog.

My stand

D Wend am by Steven Musser, on Flickr

D2 Wend am by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Jim with hog

D3 Wend am Jim hog by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Several of the hunters were to be finished Thursday morning, so Wednesday evening we were back over on Brown-n-Down to give them a good chance at game before they ended their hunt. I was in a lean-up set just off of a wide woods road that looped in front of me, giving a view of two bends.

The stand

D4 Wend pm by Steven Musser, on Flickr

D5 Wend pm by Steven Musser, on Flickr

At 5:45pm I looked to my left to see a nose poking out along the edge of the road. Shortly, a nice doe stepped out and I dumped her DRT in the road. About ten minutes later a second doe stepped out and went around the corner. About 6:30pm, here comes two fawns. They were very suspicious of the dead deer in the road but eventually settled down and fed. I took several pics but it was getting dark and they didn’t turn out well. Just before dark a big doe and her fawn came in but the big one saw the dead doe in the road and hung back. It had been a good sitting; I’d seen six deer that evening. The plan worked out as Jim finally killed a deer, a 5pt. Three other doe were killed, and Bill Jr. killed a big mature 8pt.

Bill and I with our kills

D7 Wend pm Bill 8pt my doe by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Walt, Bill Jr. and Bill Sr.

D8 Wend pm Walt Bill Jr Bill Sr by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Jim’s buck

D9 Wend pm Jim 5pt by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Thursday October 19

Thursday morning we were in Trophy and back on the same stands as the previous morning, it was clear and cool. Just at dawn, I had three small pigs come out to my right. They fed for a bit and suddenly spooked. A few minutes later a group of five or six hogs, including two good sized sows, came through the plot but never stopped. Mid-morning I had a small deer slowly work its way across the shooting lane to my front at about 150 yards, but I passed it up as I figured there was a good chance it was a button head. Mutt and Bill D killed does that morning and Bill Jr. killed his second trophy buck of the week, a big 8pt with a 14” spread.

Bill with his third buck of the week and second trophy

E3 Thur am Bill 8pt by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Thursday evening we were back in trophy. I was on a nice stand overlooking a small food plot with a view down a road to my right and a large cutover to my left. The hunt was fairly uneventful; I saw nothing, Mutt saw a doe and a spike, Rick saw small pigs, and BH killed a pretty blond hog.

My stand

E1 Thur pm by Steven Musser, on Flickr
E2 Thur pm by Steven Musser, on Flickr
E Thur pm by Steven Musser, on Flickr

BH with sow

E3 Thur pm Joe hog by Steven Musser, on Flickr

Friday October 20

The morning found me back on the same stand as the previous evening with the same result; I saw nothing. It was a slow morining all around with only one doe killed.

Friday afternoon we had had quite a few local corporate members come in for the evening hunt so we had a lot of hunters to put in the woods, which shook things up. My group was directly in back of the lodge in a 4-on-1-side area. I was on what I feel is one of the best stands on the whole place, smack dab in the middle of a hardwood swamp with great views on all sides into the woods. In 2014, I had taken two bucks from this stand on my first evening, one of them an excellent trophy.

The Stand

F Fri pm by Steven Musser, on Flickr

F1 Fri pm by Steven Musser, on Flickr

F3 Fri pm by Steven Musser, on Flickr

As Jim and I approached the stand in the truck, we put a group of hogs off of the corn that included two very nice sows. I hadn’t been in the stand for fifteen minutes when here they came back. I snapped a few pics and then took one of the sows and she fell DRT. I climbed down and moved her off of the road and into some shade. She later weighed in at 128 Lbs., a perfect meat hog. I didn’t see any deer that evening, but the group of hogs came back several times. I thought it was interesting that the other large sow that had been in the group never did come back… I guess she was smart enough to know what had happed to her cohort. Quite a few does, fawns and small bucks were seen that evening but no one was shooting and only one doe was taken.


F4 Fri pm hogs by Steven Musser, on Flickr

F5 Fri pm hogs by Steven Musser, on Flickr

My Pig

F7 Fri pm my hog by Steven Musser, on Flickr

So ended our hunt.

It had been a great week with everyone in the core group of eleven hunters either taking or missing game. We all knew each other from previous hunts which made the week special. We killed 13 bucks including four very good ones, ten does and five hogs. Mutt killed an 8pt buck and two does, and saw a total of eighteen deer. BH killed 7pt and 3pt bucks, two does and a hog. Cuz killed 10pt and 4pt bucks and two hogs. I killed a 5pt buck, two does and a hog, and saw a total of nineteen deer, four of them bucks. Walt and his brother Bill were the hot hands. Walt saw a total of 19 bucks, killing two of them. Using up his unrestricted buck tags the first day, he never could be certain the remainder would meet the state restricted criteria, although several probably would have. Bill Jr. killed three bucks including two trophies. Julia-Mae feed us till we burst and the staff made certain we enjoyed ourselves, a typical Deerfield hunt.

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 12:37 PM
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Loved the report. I look forward to it every year! Thanks for sharing.

I support all hunters, regardless of weapon or technique!
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 12:41 PM
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Nice pictures and good hunt. Hunted for years "across the street" Brosnan Forest. I probably chased some over your way.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 12:44 PM
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EXCELLENT REPOPT !!! Congratulations on a super hunt!

wmu 3A
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 01:32 PM
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Great report looks like a good time was had by all.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 01:34 PM
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Excellent story, as usual, loridr!! Probably my most anticipated read each year! Thanks!!

Congrats to you, Mutt, Bumblehick, and the others!


Shoot straight

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 01:47 PM
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I was looking forward to the recap and I wasn't disappointed. Congrats. to your group on a great trip.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 02:54 PM
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Cuz here, it was great hunting and hanging out with you, Mutt, and Bumblehick. Many thanks for this report as well. Back to occasional lurking.....

Last edited by jack82; 10-23-2017 at 02:54 PM. Reason: forgot
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 10-23-2017, 06:13 PM
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Great report and congratulations!!! Looks like a really great hunt.
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