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Female role models assist with turkey hunt for disabled sportsmen

Danielle Worthen, Taylor Hopkins and Debbie Le Gette at the Hank Parker Invitational.Photos by  Jeff Dennis.

Danielle Worthen, Taylor Hopkins and Debbie Le Gette at the Hank Parker Invitational.
Photos by Jeff Dennis.

The Disabled Outfitters organization, run by Jeff and Julian Ohmer of Colleton County, is known for the deer hunt they conduct each fall. New for 2013, they expanded the hunting menu for wheelchair-bound sportsmen to include a wild turkey hunt. Ohmer is active in the outdoors industry and enlisted some turkey guides from a band of females with a brand new TV show entitled Southern Girls Got Game. The turkey hunt in Williams took place the morning of March 16, but hunters harvested a wild turkey. Friday afternoon brought plenty of excitement, however, as the Southern Girls Got Game crew, or SG3, arrived at hunt camp. These gals are based in South Carolina, and are proficient with Dead End Turkey Calls. However, they needed some time to scout the woods they would be hunting, and to set up ground blinds for the disabled hunters. What could be more exciting than having a female turkey guide in your blind?

I first met one of the five SG3 gals in 2012 at the Hank Parker Invitational for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes fundraiser. Danielle Worthen, age 13, was fired up to be shooting a round of sporting clays with Parker and a few of his celebrity friends like NASCAR legend Cale Yarborough, Nashville singer Rachel Holder, and NFL kicker Ryan Succup. Worthen professed that she was giving up on her nine-year dance career to make her fame in the outdoors industry.

When Worthen and I met again in 2013 at the Hank Parker Invitational, she had delivered on her promise to become a television star. She introduced me to her younger co-star, Taylor Hopkins, and Debbie Le Gette, who is a graduate of Clemson. Worthen’s father followed their every move with a video camera, filming the Hank Parker event to air on a future episode of SG3. All three gals were polite and possess the talent to appeal to other outdoors-minded women who watch their show.

“I am a 100-percent hunting girl,” said Worthen, who attends trade shows and competes in archery contests as a member of the SG3 crew. “I like being a role model for younger children, because I believe if they are outdoors having fun, then they are less likely to think up things that might get them in trouble.” She clearly enjoys doting on her 12-year-old co-star, Taylor Hopkins.

Debbie Le Gette was raised by parents who both hunt and fish, and she jokes that it is in her genes. It wasn’t until 2006 that she harvested her first deer, a button buck that she rolled with a 12-gauge shotgun. “Deer hunting has become a huge passion of mine, and I love the anticipation of a big buck coming within range,” said Le Gette. Like many Southerners, she can only dream of one day hunting other game like elk, bear, moose or mule deer.

“Our children are our future hunters and conservationists, and I feel we must teach them about nature and hunting to ensure that a love for the outdoors is passed along,” said Le Gette. “Our TV show is a fresh and inspiring way of encouraging our youth and women to get involved.” The show’s informal slogan states, “When you’ve got game, you can’t be tamed!” Female hunters in Colleton County can follow SG3 with a reasonable assurance that they will hunt ethically and be good role models.

While educating youth about hunting and the outdoors is a great ambition, there can be no doubt that hunters are becoming a minority and that an appeal to females of any age to embrace our outdoor heritage could drastically improve our demographic. Besides, when it comes to the outdoors, I have no doubt that Southern Girls Got Game!

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com

Jeff Dennis, Contributor (368 Posts)

Jeff Dennis is a Lowcountry native. Read his blog at www.LowcountryOutdoors.com