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Classic Home Mortgage Providing Trustworthy Mortgage Guidance for Over 30 Years

Buying a home is one of the most significant investments that you will ever make. Like most good things, finding the perfect home comes with a lot of work. From your initial search online to your home tour and finally closing, there are many difficult decisions to make along the way. The bottom line is that the entire home buying process can be very stressful, especially when it comes to finding the right mortgage broker and loan for your new home. Since market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, you have a lot riding on your broker's ability to provide quick and accurate financial advice. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or own several residential properties, you need a mortgage broker in Cottageville, SC, who can educate you on mortgage rates and provide trustworthy guidance to help you make an informed decision.

My name is Dan Crance - Cottageville's most trusted mortgage loan officer with more than 30 years in the mortgage industry. I bring unparalleled insight and decades of experience into your home loan process. If you're looking for a new home loan, are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, or need information regarding FHA, VA, or other types of loans, Dan Crance is Your Mortgage Man.

Unlike some mortgage loan officers in Cottageville, my primary goal is to help you make the right mortgage choice for you and your family. Mortgage lenders have a horrible reputation for turning over clients quickly to expedite cash flow and make the most money possible. While some mortgage brokers come off as pushy and impatient, I encourage my clients to take as much time as they need to ask questions and review their mortgage agreements. I'm here to help answer those questions and provide you with easy-to-understand advice so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice. I could say that I strive to provide service that exceeds your expectations, but I'd rather show you. In the end, I want you to leave feeling confident in the loan you've selected, as well as in your choice of broker.

Service Areas
Mortgage Broker Cottageville, SC
 Refinance Cottageville, SC

Why Choose Dan Crance As Your Mortgage Lender in Cottageville, SC?

Clients choose my mortgage company because I truly care about helping them navigate the often-confusing landscape of the mortgage process. I am fiercely dedicated to my clients and make every effort to provide them with trustworthy advice and an open line of communication.

In my business, I work for two different customers. On one hand, I have the buyer: the person entrusting me with the responsibility of guiding them through one of the most important decisions ever. Serving homebuyers is not a task that I take lightly. I work with them daily to help them through the process and provide timely updates and news on their mortgage status. On the other hand, I have the realtor: the person who works with my client to find their dream home. Since their commission is in my hands, working with realtors is also a very important task. I update these agents on the status of their customers weekly. Only when I take care of both parties can I say my job as a mortgage loan officer is complete.

As a mortgage broker with more than 30 years of experience, I pledge to give you the highest level of customer service while providing you with the most competitive loan products available. That way, you can buy the home of your dreams without second-guessing your decision.

 Conventional Mortgage Cottageville, SC

Home Financing in Cottageville, SC

At Classic Home Mortgage, our team works diligently to close on time without stress or hassle. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or are buying your new home in Cottageville, we understand how much stress is involved. Our goal is to help take that stress off of your plate by walking you through every step of the home loan process. Because every one of our clients is different, we examine each loan with fresh eyes and a personalized approach, to find you the options and programs you need.

With over 30 years as a mortgage professional in Cottageville, Dan Crance will help you choose the home loan, interest rate, term options, and payment plans that fit your unique situation.

 FHA Mortgages Cottageville, SC

When you work with Classic Home Mortgage, you can always count on our team to:

  • Put your needs first.
  • Work efficiently and quickly. Many of our home loans close in 30 days or less.
  • Offer you a variety of home loans to choose from, and help you make an informed decision.
  • Provide you with competitive rates that make sense for your budget and lifestyle.

While no two loan terms are the same, a few of the most common loan types include:

30-Year Loan - This loan is often considered the most secure option to choose. With a 30-year loan, you can lock in a low payment amount and rest easy knowing your rate won't change.

FHA Loan - If you're not able to make a large down payment, an FHA loan could be the right choice for you. With an FHA loan, many of our clients have successfully purchased a home with less than 4% down.

VA Loan - This loan is reserved for military veterans and active-duty men and women. Those who qualify may be able to purchase a home with no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

Choosing a home loan is an important step in the home buying process. At Classic Home Mortgage, we are here to make choosing a loan as easy as possible, so you can focus on the joys of being a homeowner. Contact our team of experts today and ask how you can get pre-qualified for your home loan in Cottageville, SC.

Refinancing in
Cottageville, SC

Because home mortgage rates in the U.S. have been so low over the last year, many current homeowners are opting to refinance their home loans. Simply put, refinancing is replacing your existing mortgage with a different mortgage under new terms. Homeowners who refinance their homes enjoy lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and even turn their home's equity into cash. If you're interested in refinancing your home, it all begins with a call to your mortgage broker in Cottageville, SC - Dan Crance.

Here are just a few reasons why more homeowners in the U.S. are taking advantage of lower rates and refinancing their homes:
 Home Ready Mortgages Cottageville, SC
Shorter Term Loan

Shorter Term Loan

Refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage might seem counterproductive on the surface because your monthly payment usually goes up. However, interest rates on 15-year mortgages are lower. And when you shave off years of your previous mortgage, you will pay less interest over time. These savings can be very beneficial if you are not taking the mortgage interest deduction on your tax returns.

Do Away with FHA

Do Away with FHA

FHA loans are notorious for paying premiums for the life of the loan. Mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans can cost borrowers as much as $1,050 a year for every $100k borrowed. The only way to get rid of mortgage insurance premiums is to refinance to a new loan that the Federal Housing Authority does not back.

Switch to Fixed Rate or Adjustable-Rate Home Loan

Switch to Fixed Rate or Adjustable-Rate Home Loan

Sometimes, borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages refinance so they can switch to a fixed rate, which lets them lock in an interest rate. Doing so is beneficial for some homeowners who like to know exactly how much their monthly payment is each month. Conversely, some homeowners with fixed rates prefer to refinance to an adjustable-rate mortgage. Homeowners often go this route if they plan on selling in a few years and don't mind risking a higher rate if their plans fall through.

 Mortgage Banker Cottageville, SC

Common Questions About Home Loans

Finding the right loan can be a difficult proposition, even if you have been through the process before. This is especially true since mortgage rates and market conditions change frequently. If you're like most of my clients, you probably have questions about interest rates, refinancing options, and a litany of other topics. To help alleviate some of your stress, here are just a few common questions with answers so that you can better educate yourself as we work our way to securing your loan.

Generally speaking, you should consider refinancing when mortgage rates are 2% lower than the current rate on your home loan. For some homeowners, refinancing makes sense when there is only a 1% difference. Reducing your mortgage rate is a great way to save money or apply your savings to a home upgrade. The money you save on your refinanced loan depends on your loan amount, budget, income, and charges from interest rates. It's crucial that you work with a trusted mortgage loan officer in Cottageville, SC, to help calculate your refinancing options.
This is one of our most frequently asked questions at Classic Home Mortgage. In simple terms, points let you make a tradeoff between the upfront costs of your loan and your monthly payment amount. Points are essentially costs that you have to pay to your mortgage lender to get financing under specific terms. A point is defined as a percentage on your loan amount. 1-point is equal to 1% of the loan. So, 1 point on a loan worth $100,000 is equivalent to $1,000. When you pay some of the interest on your home loan upfront, you use discount points to lower your interest rate.
If you plan to live in the property for a few years, it makes a lot of sense to pay points to lower your interest rate. Doing so will help lower your monthly loan payment, which you can use to save money. Paying points may also increase the amount of money that you can borrow. If you do not plan on living in the property for at least a few years, this strategy might not make financial sense because you might not be able to make up the amount of the discount points you paid up-front.
In short, yes, your mortgage lender will need to know your credit score. Credit scoring is a system that creditors use to decide whether they will give you credit. Your credit score helps creditors decide how creditworthy you are or how likely you will repay your loan. In most circumstances, creditors will use your FICO scores during the loan process. Your score will fall between high risk (350) and low risk (850). Your credit score plays a big role in the loan process, and as such, your score must be accurate before submitting a credit report when applying for a loan.
The answer to this question depends on how money you choose to put as a down payment on your home. On a conventional loan, if your down payment is less than 20% of the price of your home, your mortgage broker in Cottageville may require you to get Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI for short. This insurance protects your lender in the event you default on your mortgage. The best way to avoid paying for this insurance is to make a down payment of 20% or more of the purchase price of your home.
 Mortgage Company Cottageville, SC

Trust Dan Crance

Your Mortgage Lender in Cottageville, SC

Whether you're selling, buying, refinancing, or building the home of your dreams, you have a lot riding on your home loan specialist. When you need a mortgage broker who works tirelessly for you, answers your questions, provides guidance, and does so with a genuine smile, Dan Crance is your mortgage man. Contact Dan today at 843-478-5612 to get pre-approved and discover why Cottageville loves Classic Home Mortgage.

After hours by appointment only. CONTACT DAN

Latest News in Cottageville, SC

CCSD Robotics hosted competition

Colleton County School District hosted a FIRST LEGO League East Qualifier robotics competition Saturday, February 12 at Colleton County Middle School (CCMS) to decide which team will go to State.Nearly 25 teams from all over the South Carolina came to showcase their robotic creations and have their work judged. Eleven teams from Colleton were on hand to compete and demonstrate their STEM and robotic invention.STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, basic knowledge needed in today’s fast paced wo...

Colleton County School District hosted a FIRST LEGO League East Qualifier robotics competition Saturday, February 12 at Colleton County Middle School (CCMS) to decide which team will go to State.

Nearly 25 teams from all over the South Carolina came to showcase their robotic creations and have their work judged. Eleven teams from Colleton were on hand to compete and demonstrate their STEM and robotic invention.

STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, basic knowledge needed in today’s fast paced world. The event Saturday focused on STEM projects and presentations designed by children in the county as part of the competition and the county-wide robotics programs.

“Our original goal was to start the program at the middle school, but as things progressed, we extended the program to the high school,” said Ed Williams, Colleton County robotics instructor. “Robotics prepares future engineers. The kids have to do research, math, and science tin order to complete an innovative project.

“Colleton is the only district on the I-95 corridor with a seamless robotics program.”

The robotics program begins with the Pre-K through first grade Discover Program where Head Start children begin learning about the program by playing with LEGOS.

After Head Start, children in the county’s elementary schools participate in the Explorer Program; this is for second - fourth grade. FIRST Tech challenge competitions continue for grades 4-8. FIRST LEGO League competitions are for grades pre-k through eighth grade. Then FIRST Robotics competitions are for grades 9-12, with FIRST LEGO league, FIRST Tech Challenge, and FIRST Robotics Competitions. As children grow and compete, the competition is more intense.

“This really gives me hope for the future. My son is four and has already started robotics. I have been looking at the Boeing company that has a booth here, and I noticed all the skills and job opportunities that robotics provide,” said Ebony Nesmith, a parent at the competition.

Boeing representatives said they were happy to be at the event. “These programs and competitions help inspire future generations of STEM based professionals. As a corporate sponsor, we are proud to support these competitions, locally and nationally,” said Frank Hatten, program manager and education relations specialist from Boeing.

Colleton Middle School also competed and decided to use solar and lunar energy in their product. “Our problem to solve was that the battery for the average delivery drone dies fairly quickly. Our solution was to take NASA’s unbuilt solar drone and improve it to make a solar/lunar powered drone,” said Annaleese Jameson of CMS.

Their idea was so good that the CCMS Robotics Team 9502 advanced to State where they will compete Saturday, February 19 at Cane Bay High School. Team members are Na’ziyah Washington, Annaleese Jameson, Renz Manuel, Jason Scott, Aiden Smoak. The competition for high schools will be held on February 26 at Dreher High School in Columbia.

Cottageville Elementary won first place in the Innovation Project, the Forest Hills City Slicers won the Breakthrough award and Bells Elementary won the Rising Star award.

Allie Stephen’s, a tenth grader at CCHS, won the Volunteer Award, and Mrs. Nikita Holmes won the Coaches Award.

The Colleton robotics programs have already won many awards, and the interest is growing. If parents want to get their children involved, they can contact their schools and find out about the program. Parents can also go to www.firstsouthcarolina.org or firstinspires.org. Parents are needed as volunteers and are needed to support the kids in their STEM activities.

Kayaking the Edisto River — South Carolina’s natural hidden treasure in the Lowcountry

“Hold still, little bird,” I muttered to myself as I squinted through the viewfinder of my camera. Despite my command, the bird refused to stay put on the branch as I tried to focus long enough to release the shutter. With a click I was the owner of yet another high-definition digital photo of … an empty tree branch.The object of my frustration on this day is a bright yellow prothonotary warbler, a migratory songbird that thrives in the flooded woodlands of the swampy rivers of the South Carolina Lowcountry....

“Hold still, little bird,” I muttered to myself as I squinted through the viewfinder of my camera. Despite my command, the bird refused to stay put on the branch as I tried to focus long enough to release the shutter. With a click I was the owner of yet another high-definition digital photo of … an empty tree branch.

The object of my frustration on this day is a bright yellow prothonotary warbler, a migratory songbird that thrives in the flooded woodlands of the swampy rivers of the South Carolina Lowcountry.

Wintering in South America, the prothonotary warbler can be found in spring and summer in the Carolinas where breeding pairs can be spotted in trees along the riverbank or deep in the swamp. Its song is a bright twee-twee-twee-twee and as it darts among the low branches above the black water of a swamp, it seems to almost demand a photo.

This spring morning, as I paddle a quiet stretch of the Edisto River, a warbler darts among the branches of a low willow hunting snails and insects. With its yellow colors flashing like a lightning bug in daytime, I am compelled to stop once again and fill the memory card on my camera with photos of tree branches in an obsession that seems to amuse the little bird. Finally, both of us are relieved as I obtain a photo or two and both of us depart satisfied from the encounter.

The subject of my photo lives with others of his kind along one of the most beautiful stretches of the Edisto River that you can ever see. The Edisto River is the longest river system contained entirely in South Carolina. Rising from Saluda and Edgefield counties, the Edisto corkscrews 250 miles along the Lowcountry to the sea and forms the “E” of the critical ACE Basin water system.

Artesian wells and crystal clear springs bubble from the limestone bedrock along the upper river and near the coast it becomes a rich, blackwater river where deep swamps open to salt marsh horizons. To spend time kayaking or boating along the Edisto is to experience a special paradise on earth.

This section of warbler-haunted Edisto described above runs approximately seven miles from Good Hope Landing to Sullivan’s Ferry near Cottageville. Good Hope Landing is a beautiful, easily accessible boat landing that allows you easy access to the river. Its 10-foot sandy bluff is crowned by a majestic live oak and the river here is wide and relatively straight.

As the current carries you along you can spot an abundance of wildlife. Egrets and herons wade in the shallows, songbirds (including prothonotary warblers) inhabit the trees and in the water, terrapin, gar and even the elusive alligator can be spotted. The river is filled with redbreast bream, catfish and bass — making this a popular as a destination for anglers.

A few miles downstream there is a narrow portion, where willows grow close and fallen trees can snag unwary boaters or those floating along in innertubes, a favorite summer pastime for hundreds of visitors every year. At four miles, you will pass Long Creek Landing, another serviceable launching location, and shortly after will pass beneath the highway bridge of U.S.-17A at the privately owned Jellico’s Landing.

Up to this point, the Edisto has been wild and scenic with few houses or other reminders of human habitation. From the bridge at Jellico’s, well-sited river houses and cottages line the river and form the community of Sullivan’s Landing. Dating from at least as far back as 1820, Sullivan’s was one of many such river crossings in the Lowcountry before bridges and modern highways took hold. The 1820 record of the South Carolina state legislature reveals that the toll for Sullivan’s Ferry was “for every two-horse carriage, 50 cents … horse and rider, 10 cents, and 5 cents for every foot passenger and head of horses, mules, cattle, sheep, goats and hogs …”

Recently, I kayaked from Good Hope to Sullivan’s Ferry with a group of friends and we found the old ferry site to be far quieter that it might have been in 1820. We enjoyed a beautiful spring day with the smooth Edisto reflecting the deep blue of a sky filled with lazy clouds. Recent rains had raised river levels and we enjoyed exploring side channels into coves of swampy flooded forest and hidden oxbow lakes.

After many hours leisurely exploring and encountering wildlife, we arrived at Sullivan’s Ferry for the journey home. We were all of the opinion that this section of the Edisto River was the most beautiful we had ever encountered — and I am certain that you will feel the same way. Should you chance to encounter a little yellow bird in a willow tree, I am certain he will share his opinion of the river, too.

Good Hope Landing and Sullivan’s Ferry Landing are both located near Cottageville and are only a little over an hour’s drive from the Beaufort area. To get there, take Interstate 95 or U.S.-17-A to Walterboro and stay on 17-A to Cottageville. In Cottageville, turn left onto Pierce Road. At 4 miles, turn right onto State Road S-15-35 to the dead end at Good Hope Landing. Sullivan’s Ferry is located at the end of Sullivan’s Ferry Road approximately 3 miles from Cottageville just off 17-A. Both landings are managed by the South Carolina DNR and are well-maintained. There are no facilities, so pack accordingly.

The river in this section is swift when the water is up but very easy to manage, despite a few areas of overhang and snags. Careful preparation and good company will ensure you have a safe, enjoyable day on the water.

For more information, visit the Edisto River Canoe and Kayak Trail site at https://ercktrail.org or obtain a detailed map at https://www.dnr.sc.gov/water/river/edisto-guide.html

Bond denied for man accused of making bombs at Colleton County home

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Bond was denied for a Colleton County man accused of making bombs at his home near Cottageville.Deputies arrested Shuwn Doyle Tuesday night and reported locating explosive devices at his home.Colleton County deputies arrested Doyle at his home on Carlisle Lane. He was taken into custody after the Charleston County Sheriff’s bomb squad found three handmade explosive devices.In bond court, an investigator called them “sparkle bombs.”“Sixteen of those sparkles is...

COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Bond was denied for a Colleton County man accused of making bombs at his home near Cottageville.

Deputies arrested Shuwn Doyle Tuesday night and reported locating explosive devices at his home.

Colleton County deputies arrested Doyle at his home on Carlisle Lane. He was taken into custody after the Charleston County Sheriff’s bomb squad found three handmade explosive devices.

In bond court, an investigator called them “sparkle bombs.”

“Sixteen of those sparkles is the equivalent of a quarter stick of dynamite if you can imagine what a stick of dynamite is,” said Sgt. Ed Marcurella with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office

An arrest warrant states the investigation began when deputies responded to a home on Carlisle Lane for a verbal dispute. While dispatchers were talking to the caller on the phone the caller reported that there was a bomb on the table inside the home.

An arrest warrant states the caller told emergency operators she believed that there were at least six similar devices inside the home. Authorities said when law enforcement arrived on scene the caller handed them a bag containing two explosive devices.

A search warrant was then executed on the home where investigators say a third explosive device was found by the Charleston Bomb Squad.

Doyle’s family members say he was not making bombs.

“All of this came out of proportion with the bomb situation," said Kimberly Goins, Doyle’s aunt. "It was sparkles that he just wrapped up in electric tape and it went out of control.”

The family says it was a phone call made by Doyle’s younger sister to the sheriff’s office that got the attention of deputies.

“Him and his mother were having an argument and she got scared because she thought there was going to be fighting," Goins said."And she went in the room and called 911 and told them there was a bomb in the house.”

Family members were surprised to see such a show of force.

“My sister comes in and said ‘What are you doing? You see all those lights?’ When I come out I was like wow, and then when the bomb truck come out I was like this is crazy. All taxpayer money for nothing.”said Julie Muckelvaney, Doyle’s aunt.

Investigators say the taped together fireworks are the same as bombs and could seriously hurt or kill someone.

Still Doyle’s family is standing by him.

Doyle is currently on probation for third degree burglary.

If he’s convicted on the three new charges, he could face up to fifteen years in prison.

Copyright 2019 WCSC. All rights reserved.

Local School Resource Officer named best in the Palmetto State

A Colleton County School Resource Officer has received a state award for his work in a local school. Deputy Ray Crawford is now the School Resource Officer of the Year for the State of South Carolina. He also has been honored as a top SRO for the Lowcountry Region of the S.C. Association of School Resource Officers.Crawford is from Hampton, S.C. He has been a law enforcement officer for 13 years: three of these 13 years have been with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, and he has served as a School Resource Officer (SRO) for that en...

A Colleton County School Resource Officer has received a state award for his work in a local school. Deputy Ray Crawford is now the School Resource Officer of the Year for the State of South Carolina. He also has been honored as a top SRO for the Lowcountry Region of the S.C. Association of School Resource Officers.Crawford is from Hampton, S.C. He has been a law enforcement officer for 13 years: three of these 13 years have been with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office, and he has served as a School Resource Officer (SRO) for that entire time.Crawford is currently the SRO at Cottageville Elementary School.“Since joining CCSO, I’m a volunteer coach at the Colleton County Recreation Center, and I also created a mentorship program called The Distinguished Young Men’s Club, which is a program I developed for young men in grades 3rd through 5th grade that focuses on leadership skills, decision making concepts, conflict resolution modules, etiquettes, physical fitness, and education,” he said. Crawford was recently recognized by this newspaper and by Cottageville Elementary School leaders for his work with the Distinguished Young Men’s Club.“I strive to develop educational ideas that make the job fun, involving the school, parents, and students that help create a positive comradery among our schools which motivates us to push one another,” he said.For Crawford to have been considered for the state and regional SRO award, he was nominated by Cottageville Elementary School and the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office. He also had to be nominated by a community member for “outstanding performance” as a School Resource Officer and for being dedicated to the community. These were the criteria for being selected.He received the award at a recent regional ceremony.“I love being an SRO because it provides me great opportunities to impact the world by positively motivating young people to be the best person they can be,” said Crawford. “One of the most gratifying experiences of being an SRO is when you receive that special phone call from a student saying ‘Thank you’ for working with them and believing in them, which makes all the difference,” he said.Crawford said he plans to continue serving as an SRO next year at Cottageville Elementary School, continuing with the Distinguished Young Men’s Club. He will also be working with the school’s counselor to create a mentorship program for young women at the school, he said.“This upcoming year Cottageville Elementary School and I plan to host a flag football competition called ‘The Cottageville Elementary School Invitational,’” he said. “It is an event that I developed to bring back the comradery among elementary schools in the Colleton County School District.”Crawford is one of seven School Resource Officers in the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.These SRO’s are specialty-trained officers who are placed in public schools in Colleton County. While the officers are primarily at the schools to ensure safety for students and staff, the officers also serve as mentors to students.These School Resource Officers’ salaries are funded with a combination of money that is a part of the annual budgets from both the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and the Colleton County School District. The officers’ salaries and the SRO program are also partially funded through a grant, according to Shalane Lowes, spokeswoman for the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office.

Other items that may interest you

Squirrel hunting offers great opportunity after deer season ends

With a lengthy deer season that stretches from the middle of August until the New Year rolls around, hunting squirrels is an often overlooked opportunity for South Carolina hunters.It also can be far more challenging than you might think. You can’t just go traipsing through the woods with a shotgun or .22 rifle and expect to bag a limit. It requires stealth and cunning to get within range.Squirrel season opens Oct. 1 in the Palmetto State and continues until March 1 with a daily bag limit of 10, so there are only a few mo...

With a lengthy deer season that stretches from the middle of August until the New Year rolls around, hunting squirrels is an often overlooked opportunity for South Carolina hunters.

It also can be far more challenging than you might think. You can’t just go traipsing through the woods with a shotgun or .22 rifle and expect to bag a limit. It requires stealth and cunning to get within range.

Squirrel season opens Oct. 1 in the Palmetto State and continues until March 1 with a daily bag limit of 10, so there are only a few more weeks to sharpen your skills.

“You can probably kill more squirrels in October and November when they’re trying to fatten up for the winter. They’re storing nuts in the ground and they’re a lot more active. But most deer hunters don’t want to wander around the woods for squirrels during deer season,” said Scott Hammond, an accomplished deer hunter from Cottageville who enjoys continuing his time in the woods after deer season ends.

“January and February are when I like to squirrel hunt. It’s a great time to get out in the woods and you learn a lot. You get to see all the deer trails that were in the thickets that you couldn’t see during deer season. The leaves are off the trees, so you can see a lot more. Every now and then you luck up and find a nice (deer) antler shed. And squirrels are a worthy adversary. They’re a lot more challenging than most people give them credit for.”

Some squirrel hunters prefer to use shotguns, but Hammond said he uses a .22 rifle. For many years Hammond hunted with a .22 rifle that belonged to his grandfather, a sentimental choice that he retired after his girlfriend gifted him a Ruger 10/22 semi-automatic .22 long rifle equipped with a Leupold scope.

“I squirrel hunt in my usual deer hunting areas. You should be looking for a hardwood area where acorns fall. Squirrels will bury those acorns in the ground to store up for winter,” Hammond said. “Typically I do better in thicker woods rather than wide-open spots. If you have some oak trees that have some pretty thick cover around, that’s where I tend to do best. I try to do most of my squirrel hunting by slipping and walking through the woods. If you think you’re going slow enough, go a little bit slower.”

He said he usually walks 25 or 30 yards and then stops, looks and listens. He said he often will stand in one spot for 15 minutes to find a squirrel.

“If you can time your hunt when it’s right after a rain, the squirrels are very active, or as was the case recently, there were snow flurries all morning long. That makes the woods a lot quieter to slip through without them hearing you,” Hammond said.

He said at times, when he sees a squirrel out of range, he will hunker down and make his profile smaller to stalk his quarry.

“You don’t have to get down on all fours, but you make your profile more like a deer or hog, something that’s natural in the woods, versus just walking right up to them. I find I can get a lot closer that way,” he said.

“Squirrel hunting this time of year is a good way to learn your property. You’re not worrying about spooking any of your deer and you can just see everything.”

The Swamp Fox Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold its 38th annual fund-raising banquet and outdoors exhibit on March 5 in the Exhibitors’ Building at the Exchange Park, located on Highway 78 in Ladson. Doors open at 5 p.m. with dinner starting at 6:15 p.m. Tickets are limited and being pre-sold. Contact Contact Wayne Grace Jr. at 843-834-7779 or Karen Whaley at 843-870-3480 or email swampfoxnwtf@gmail.com.

The Charleston Inshore Anglers’ 29th annual “Big Ed” Sheepshead Tournament will be fished April 30. The captain’s meeting begins at 5:30 pm. April 28 at American Legion Post 147, located at 968 Folly Road. The weigh-in also will take place at Post 147 from 4-5 p.m. April 30. The entry fee for the tournament is $40. Contact Kevin Mischke at 843-324-1006; Nick Kvestad at 843-557-2811 or Gene Broderick at 843-224-6826.

Quail Forever fund-raisers

The Mount Pleasant Chapter of Quail Forever is raising funds for the Build a Wildlife Area program during the Willie McRae Wildlife Benefit that will be held from 5-10 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Cotton Dock at Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant and Call of the Uplands that will be held from 6-10 p.m. Feb. 19 at Charleston Yacht Club. Visit scquailforever.org or email taskins@hotmail.com.

America’s Boating Club Charleston will hold boating safety classes Feb. 12 and March 12 at 1376 Orange Grove Road, Charleston. Classes begin at 9 a.m. and end around 4 p.m. Successful participants earn the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Boater Education card. The cost is $25 for adults and youth 12-18 are free. Call 843-312-2876 or email lynes@tds.net.

The Student Angler League Tournament Trail (salttfishing.com) holds monthly fishing seminars on the second Tuesday of each month from 6-7 p.m. at Harvest Church, located at 3552 Old Kings Highway, Murrells Inlet. Speakers include charter boat captains and local fishing experts.

SALTT also will hold a bass fishing seminar from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at J&K Outdoors, located at 1301 Highway 501 East Street in Conway. The seminar is limited to 50 participants and pre-registration is encouraged. Tickets are $11 and every student angler gets a $10 store coupon. Reservations can be made at salttfishing.com.

SALTT is a training ground for students in grades 1-12 interested in competitive fishing for redfish or largemouth bass. Three fall and three spring tournaments are scheduled out of Georgetown’s Carroll Campbell Boat Landing. SALTT also puts on the annual Brody Bates Youth Redfish Open Scholarship Tournament which will be held April 2 this year out of Buck Hall Landing in McClellanville.

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