North Augusta woman's bear ranks in N.C. recordbook

Vilena Hunt, a teacher at Schofield Middle School in Aiken County, hunts in her spare time. During the Christmas break, she killed this black bear in North Carolina.

North Augusta resident Vilena Hunt spends most of her time as a teacher at Aiken County’s Schofield Middle School, but her long Christmas break included an interesting adventure: she killed a black bear weighing 742 pounds while hunting with her husband, Myran, in North Carolina.


The animal was taken in Beaufort County, N.C., which includes a vast coastal wilderness far from the mountains and foothills. The area is known to produce large bears, but this one turned out to be a surprise – especially for the husband-and-wife teachers who opted to spend part of their break on a bear hunt.

Colleen Olfenbuttel, black bear and furbearer biologist for North Carolina’s Division of Wildlife Management, said Hunt’s bear is the fourth-largest on record – based on records compiled before the 2011 season – and would also be the largest bear ever taken by a female hunter.

This season, Olfenbuttal added, has been an interesting one in terms of having several female hunters taking large bears – including a 756-pound bear taken in mid-December.

“I will have that data compiled by the end of March, so at that time I will be able to confirm where Ms. Hunt’s bear ranks among top 10 bears and if she holds the record for largest bear taken by a female hunter,” she said.


CHAMPION ARCHER: USA Archery has named Aiken native Gerrett Abernethy to its 2012 U.S. Archery Team.

The freshman at USC Aiken was named to the Junior Boys Compound Team after a strong performance at the 2011 JOAD National Tournament held in California in July. His victory also earned him a position on the U.S. team that competed at the Outdoor Junior World Championships in Poland last August.


MARINA INTEREST: The Army Corps of Engineers will accept proposals from potential new operators of the former Little River Marina site through Feb. 3.

The previous owner, Pam Bugg, was directed to close the business when its lease expired Dec. 27.

According to a formal “notice of availability” issued last week, the corps intends to lease the site to an individual or organization that presents the best development plan.

Applications will be evaluated by criteria including marina experience, financial capabilities and background checks.

Although the lease is available on a competitive basis, the corps reserves the right to reject all applicants and not issue a lease at all if a suitable operator is not identified, according to the notice.

The notice also specifies that many existing facilities at Little River must be removed or renovated.


GUN CLASS: An NRA Basic Personal Protection course will be offered from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Jan. 21 at Carolina Star Gun and Hunt Club in Windsor, S.C.

Cost of the course is $120. Contact Ed Majzlik at (803) 641-1742 for more information.



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