You never forget your first deer

By Dennis Chastain

Special to The Courier

If memory serves me well, it was back in 1980 or thereabouts.

I had seen my first deer in the woods just the year before. When I was growing up in the 1950s and ‘60s, it was a rare thing to see a deer in Pickens County, or anywhere else in the upcountry of South Carolina, for that matter. If someone actually killed a big deer, the story usually made the local newspaper. Without the benefit of having any hunters in my immediate family or my circle of friends, the little bit that I knew about deer hunting I had gleaned from reading hunting magazines.

I had been scouting the vast woodland tract of wildlife management land between where Devils Fork State Park is now and S.C. Highway 130, the road from Salem to

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