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Outdoors: Hagley man shoots bear on first day of short season
By Emily Topper
Vincent DiMaggio climbed 14 feet in a tree on a friend’s land in western Georgetown County on a Tuesday evening. Then, he waited.
It was Oct. 17, the first day of bear hunting season in Game Zone 4, covering Georgetown, Horry, Marion and Williamsburg counties. In a season that runs until Monday, only 30 bears are allowed to be killed across the counties combined.
DiMaggio, 22, of Hagley, had purchased a bear hunting tag for $25 through the state Department of Natural Resources website. He was hoping for some luck.
Ten days prior, he successfully shot a buck in the same area, about a 10 minute drive past the Walmart in Georgetown.
“I knew there were bears in the area, so I climbed up and just waited,” DiMaggio said. “And that was it. You can’t put food out because that’s illegal.”
He sat in wait with his Savage .243 rifle from about 5 to 6:30 p.m., and finally saw a bear wander into the area.
“I’ve only gone bear hunting once before,” DiMaggio said. “And that was in New York. I was kind of nervous, at first. I’ve never seen one while hunting that close.”
The bear, he said, was about 100 yards away from the base of his tree.
“When I saw the bear come out, I texted my dad,” DiMaggio, who was on the trip alone, said. “I waited about five minutes before shooting it, and then it dropped right there.”
Once his father arrived, the duo loaded the 160-pound bear into their truck and DiMaggio registered his hunt online.
According to Natural Resources, harvested bears must be reported to the Clemson office by midnight on the day of the hunt.
If 30 bears are harvested before the two-week hunt ends, the season will close on 24 hours notice.
DiMaggio said that he plans to have a rug made from his harvested bear. Now that he’s done for the bear season, he will continue hunting deer until that season ends on Jan. 1. Then begin duck hunting.
In addition to his buck, he’s also taken two does so far this season.
As of Wednesday, the Game Zone 4 bear hunt was still open. Hunters are responsible for checking before they take a bear.