The South Carolina Wildlife Magazine was started over five decades ago, published by the South Carolina Wildlife and Marine Resources Department. It became famous for its excellent photography and high publication quality and won many awards. These selected articles from past decades document a different, slower and more enjoyable South Carolina: a time when Dad would take his son fishin' at Santee, the family would sit outside on a cold February night and enjoy a bushel of McClellanville oysters, Mom would cook a tasty Beaufort stew, or Grandad would take his grandkids frog giggin' in the spooky dark of night. Sadly, that innocent, slower-paced, high quality and healthy lifestyle has almost completely disappeared in the real estate boom. South Carolina was once renowned as a sportsman's paradise, and still has many attractions, but development and population growth have changed the character of the state. The Old South that many envision is now "Gone With the Wind." Please enjoy this glimpse of the past!
Spring 1964 Issue
This is a complete sample of one of the early issues. It contains interesting information about the construction of the striped bass hatchery at Bonneau below Lake Moultrie, along with boat landings around Santee-Cooper; aquatic weed management; and the members of the Wildlife Commission. Note the format of the telephone numbers of the officers-some with as few as four digits! Also see the picture of the 39-pound dead striped bass found at Lake Murray.
Winter 1965 Issue
Here are some excerpts from the Winter 1965 issue. Note the nice opinion piece written by the editor-he had the audacity to quote Jesus Christ, although he was too afraid to source the quotes. Political correctness was beginning even then. Also, there's a piece on the threatened alligator, written by famous game warden Mac Flood of Berkeley County. He used to patrol Francs Marion National Forest on horseback. If it weren't for good men like him who cared about the future generations, the American alligator might have gone the way of the passenger pigeon. Also, there are some nice photos of a fox hunt with dogs and horses-a sport only for the elite, of course!
Spring 1965 Issue
Here are some excerpts from the Spring 1965 issue. The cover photo is of the Horsepasture Valley before Lake Jocassee was formed. It also has an article about planning Lakes Jocassee and Keowee. Also of interest are some photos of striped bass fishing and interesting game harvest statistics. Ironically, there was an article about the dangers of deer accidents on highways, with 200 accidents in 1963, and now the number has increased tenfold.
Spring 1966 Issue
This is the entire issue. There are a lot of good pictures of some fine stringers of fish, giving an idea of the nice fish people used to catch. Note the scientific language used in the article on pg. 8 on the fish population of Lake Murray. You won't see that today, because the dumbing down of America by government schools has rendered most readers incapable of understanding such complexities. Also note on pg. 14 that a Mr. Joe Buck was the first man since the American Indians to shoot a wild turkey with a bow and arrow in S.C.
Summer 1966 Issue
There are some interesting things to note in this issue. See the excellent opinion piece by the editor Eddie Finlay, who bemoans the development of S.C. even in the 1960s that was destroying our lifestyle. He writes how little boys won't get to play in big tracts of land anymore because they were being destroyed:
"And then came a feeling of sadness as I thought how the woods where little boys can feel brave and adventurous and independent are disappearing, to be replaced by look-alike houses, supermarkets and filling stations. And how many little boys will never be startled by the explosion of their first covey of quail; or fascinated by their first snake; or puzzled by the box turtle and its portable home; or thrilled by all the other mysterious and wonderful things a little boy encounters in the woods. And the sad part is that they won't even know what they are missing."
Also note these other excerpts: on pg. 2 there is an article about the increasing wild turkey population after the SCWMRD began stocking them, and begging people to start hunting them; the article on stocking walleye on pg. 4; the scientific article on earthworms (again, better-educated readers in the sixties); pg. 12, a 40-lb. striper caught in the Saluda River at Columbia, and to the right a picture of Mac Flood, a fine Christian game warden from Berkeley County; pg. 13, S.C. Poet Laureate Archibald Rutledge gets an award by Sol Blatt, a powerful and historical legislator; and finally, note the Biblical reference in the back cover photo and commentary from that era of BPC - Before Political Correctness!
Winter 1968 Issue
Note the nice cover artistry of a once-common quail hunting scene across S.C. as the magazine was transitioning into color and increasing publication quality. But even by this time traditional quail hunting was on the decline as farming practices changed. See also the picture of the mounted head of an 11 1/2' alligator a game manager killed for eating his favorite hunting dog. Only in the good ol' days in S.C. would he get his picture and an article about him in our Wildlife Magazine!
Spring 1969 Issue
There is an interesting article about the numbers of wildlife species killed annually. Note, for example, that over 2.2 million quail were harvested in 1966-67, compared, for example, to 97,000 in 2004-05. Also note this excerpt by the editor complaining about the federal government wasting money:
"I spent some time trying to think of a suitable heading for the following but finally gave up and will merely repeat the conversation as it took place between an official of a government program and myself.
"Me-How much is it going to cost to wipe out Aedes Aegypti [a species of mosquito]?
"He - Nothing, the government's paying for it."
Only in the bygone era of S.C. would a state government magazine editor complain about federal government waste!
Iron Shot for Ducks? from Fall 1970 Issue
Cover photo shows a typical view of a once-common scene in S.C., a Low Country hunter running deer with his deer hounds. Also an interesting article inside about then-current research into finding a replacement for lead shot for ducks.
Excerpts from Winter 1971 Issue
A good article on geese, and a nice picture of a pileated woodpecker by Anne Worsham Richardson on the back inside cover.
Excerpts from March-April 1971 Issue
This issue has a photo of a bobcat on the inside front cover that I think was taken at Charles Towne Landing's Animal Forest, which opened for South Carolina's Tricentennial. This bobcat was caught by a friend of mine who donated some to the exhibit. Also a there's a good article on salamanders, along with a great article on wild turkeys by wild turkey pioneer biologist Vernon Bevill. Sadly, he died in 2013 in a car accident in Texas. A beautiful painting of cardinals on the inside back cover by Anne Worsham Richardson.
Excerpts from May-June 1971 Issue
This is the last issue that was free-the new subscription was only 1$ per year! There is a nice short article of famous artist Anne Worsham Richardson from Clarendon County. Also an informative article and good photos of frogs.
Excerpts from July-August 1971 Issue
Some good articles on: Thomas Samworth, former editor of the NRA's "The American Rifleman" and publisher, who donated his Georgetown plantation to the hunting public; endangered species, especially the fascinating section on Bachman's warbler; Edisto River redbreast fishing; a note about a record white catfish caught in the Keowee River; and a nice photo of a huge striper caught in Lake Murray. The back cover has a beautiful Anne Worsham Richardson painting of bluebirds. Also note the quote by the FTC chairman:
"The commission will not allow anyone to hke advantage of [environmental] concerns by falsely suggesting that products have anti-pollution qualities. The staff is presently taking a hard look at certain advertising that is environment-oriented in order to be sure that the public is not being misled." Contrast that with all the modern-day profiteers from the environmental movement!
Excerpts from November-December 1972 Issue
The front cover boasts a beautiful painting of a blue jay by famous painter Anne Worsham Richardson. Inside is a nice article on ducks in S.C. by Sen. Rembert Dennis' son Rembert Dennis, Jr. Also there is a great article on speckled trout fishing documenting how productive our coastal waters were and still are. Historically coastal residents were highly dependent on this species for food in some areas, such as Horry County. They would catch and filet them, then stack them with salt between the layers which would preserve them throughout the winter without refrigeration. Also, check out Granny throwing the cast net from the front of a boat!
Excerpts from March-April 1972 Issue
Good articles on: turtles; spring wildflowers by Dr. Wade Batson; catching big bass on Bulls Island; how to remove a fishhook from your hand; and a nice painting of saw-whet owls by Anne Worsham Richardson.
Excerpts from May-June 1972 Issue
This issue had a great article on Indian oyster shell middens, a unique feature found on only in the coastal southeast; also a photo and report on the second-largest largemouth bass ever caught-from a lake in Fort Jackson.
Excerpts from July-August 1972 Issue
Beautiful cover photo of fishermen in a cypress pond by SCWMRD photographer Ted Borg.
Lois Green MacKay (March-April 1974)
Lois Green MacKay was an artist living in Charlotte who loved to paint watercolors of South Carolina's beautiful coastal scenes. This documents better economic times when one could earn a living as an artist. (Note: the colors on the scanned pages are slightly brighter than the original.)
Excerpts from May-June 1974 Issue
This issue contains a wonderful article and artwork of Daufuskie Island.
Excerpts from March-April 1975 Issue
A wonderful piece on John James Audobom and his visits to Charleston, along with an article on farm pond management. Also, there is a tribute to the recently-deceased founder of S.C. Wildlife, Eddie Finlay.
Excerpts from July-August 1975 Issue
There is a good article on no-pesticide gardening and a picture of a 15 lb. largemouth bass caught in Hampton County.
Excerpts from November-December 1978 Issue
An article about climate appeared in this issue back when some scientists were predicting the next Ice Age.
Excerpts from March-April 1980 Issue
There is an interesting article about the Haile Gold mine and gold mining in general in SC, along with a look at SC mountain life.
Excerpts from May-June 1980 Issue
This issue contains a detailed account of the world record tiger shark caught from the Cherry Grove pier in 1964, and an informative article on Rev. John Bachman of Charleston, friend of John James Audubon and discoverer of Bachman's Warbler.
Excerpts from November-December 1980 Issue
There is a great article by famous SC meterologist John Purvis about SC snow, along with a historical overview of Dr. Robert Lunz's pioneering mariculture work on the SC coast.
Excerpts from September-October 1981 Issue
This issue contains a biography of famous bowyer Owen Jeffery in Columbia, S.C.; an article on Ice Age artifacts found along the S.C. coast; and an update on three record-breaking trout caught in Lake Jocassee.
Excerpts from September-October 1982 Issue
Here is a great tribute to Dr. Wade Batson, famous botany professor at the University of South Carolina.