Outdoors
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Bassmaster Pro shares his secrets for fishing aquatic vegetation

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - For anglers not used to picking apart coontail, eelgrass, milfoil and hydrilla, approaching massive acres of aquatic vegetation can be intimidating. Bassmaster Elite Series pro and Team Toyota angler … more

Sumter outdoors columnist Dan Geddings: More hound music

A light mist was rising from the warm ground into the cool gray sky. The woods were silent, with a new day just awakening. I was standing alert, with my shotgun ready, scanning the open piney woods to my front. Golden beams of sunlight were … more

Proud Sumter dove hunters

Jacob Rowell, 4, Shepherd Rowell, 6, (left photo) and Lottie Rowell, 5, children of Michael and Kelly Rowell of Sumter, proudly display doves recently shot on a hunt in St. Charles. Send your hunting and fishing photos to pressrelease@theitem.com … more

Drought haves, have-nots test how to share water in West

MADRAS, Oregon - Phil Fine stands in a parched field and watches a harvester gnaw through his carrot seed crop, spitting clouds of dust in its wake. Cracked dirt lines empty irrigation canals, and dust devils and tumbleweeds punctuate a landscape in … more

Midlands Fall Plant and Flower Festival returns Oct. 8-10

FROM STAFF REPORTS WEST COLUMBIA - Can't wait to get started on fall gardening? Get ready for the Fall Plant and Flower Festival at the South Carolina State Farmers Market, 3483 Charleston Highway, West Columbia, on Oct. 8-10. Visitors can … more

American yards are quietly going electric

For Jared Anderman, of Croton-on-Hudson, New York, switching from gasoline-powered tools to electric ones for lawn care was a no-brainer. "I'm concerned about climate change and wanted tools that are more eco-friendly, and also quieter. I like … more

No bull: Scientists potty train cows to use 'MooLoo'

Turns out cows can be potty trained as easily as toddlers. Maybe easier. It's no bull. Scientists put the task to the test and 11 out of 16 cows learned to use the "MooLoo" when they had to go. Just like some parents, the researchers used a … more

Program offers money to build recreational trails in S.C.

COLUMBIA (AP) - A South Carolina agency is taking applications for federal grants to help pay for trails for hiking and other activities. The Recreational Trails Program provides money to create and maintain the trails. Recipients have to pay for … more

Gardening when it's dry: Prep soil and select your plants wisely

Is your summer a summer of drought? No need to sit back and accept what Mother Nature offers - you can soften the impact of dry weather on your garden. The time to start preparing for dry conditions is long before they occur, but plans made now … more

Waterfowl lottery applications are now available

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is now accepting applications for waterfowl lottery hunts on public lands through Oct. 15 at 5 p.m. A non-refundable fee of $20 is required of all applicants for the Multi-site Waterfowl Lottery Hunt and … more

Outdoor columnist Dan Geddings: Second day

It was very cool when I stepped outside. I knew that I would probably need a light jacket once I got settled in a stand. There was a sliver of the moon hanging in the eastern sky, and it was very dark. The stars twinkled overhead but offered little … more

SCDNR, Riverbanks give gopher frogs 'head start' in Lowcountry

COLUMBIA - The S.C. Department of Natural Resources and Riverbanks Zoo are collaborating on a "Head Start" program to raise and release the state-endangered gopher frog on lands in the South Carolina Lowcountry, and that partnership resulted in the … more

Sumter outdoors columnist Dan Geddings: I'm not old

The gate was open on the clubhouse road. I turned in and started up the hill, then noticed a jeep turn in behind me. It was my friend John. I needed to talk to him, but I went on up to a shady spot on the road, wide enough to pull off to one side. … more

Palmetto Trail welcomes new Palmetto Conservation Corps director

Catie Hutchison likes to hike and travel. Her new role as the program director for the Palmetto Conservation Corps will have her traveling throughout the state as she supervises work on the Palmetto Trail, a mountains-to-the-sea hiking … more

Outdoors columnist Dan Geddings: An ode to the Lowcountry

It is a special place. An enchanted land of live oaks and Spanish moss. Vast stands of piney woods. Gloomy swamps and wide rivers that flow silently to the sea. There are sandy beaches and marshlands along the coast. The land is flat and low. There … more

Lake Murray striped bass dying due to 'temperature-oxygen squeeze'

COLUMBIA - Boaters on Lake Murray may notice dead or dying striped bass in the water over the next several weeks, according to fisheries biologists with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.Summer-time striped bass die-offs … more

Sumter youth learn about leadership, agriculture at Farm Bureau conference

Madeleine Britton, Sarah Branham and Kaylie DuBose of Sumter County were among 36 rising high school juniors and seniors from across South Carolina who recently participated in the South … more

Dan Geddings: Tree stand safety

The deer season is here. Archery season started Aug. 15, and gun season will start Sept. 1 in Sumter County. Hunting from tree stands is a popular activity that does involve a certain degree of risk. Falls from tree stands can cause serious injury - … more

Wild mustang roundups fuel debate as drought grips West

TOOELE, Utah - The sound of the helicopter propeller thundered across the horizon as it dipped down toward mustangs dotting the golden brown plain. The horses burst into a gallop at the machine's approach, their high-pitched whinnies rising into the … more

Calif. drought takes toll on world's top almond producer

FIREBAUGH, Calif. (AP) - As temperatures recently reached triple digits, farmer Joe Del Bosque inspected the almonds in his parched orchard in California's agriculture-rich San Joaquin Valley, where a deepening drought threatens one of the state's … more
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