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October 28th, 2019
By Jimmy Yelton, Wedding Filmmaker & Farmhand
My name is Jimmy Yelton, I am 23 years old and I live in Cherokee County. I work as a wedding filmmaker and a farmhand on my grandfather’s small cattle farm.
I first experienced nature in the Upstate by spending time deer hunting with my father. He took me with him on several hunts, where I got to witness him kill a buck. Later on, I began to carry my own gun that he provided for me, and when I was 11 years old I killed my first deer on a cold Thanksgiving morning.
As I continued to grow up, I became very passionate about hunting and fishing, and spent a lot of time in the outdoors. I've had many memorable experiences hunting and fishing in the Upstate, but one of the most memorable was that Thanksgiving morning, shivering in a tree stand with my dad.
I had never experienced the entire process of gathering meat until that day. After I killed the deer, we loaded it into the back of his pickup truck and started the process of dressing, skinning, and butchering the deer. I love being personally involved in the entire process of gathering my own food. Currently this is my favorite part of spending time outdoors in the Upstate.
In the Upstate, there are many tracts of public land and many lakes and rivers that are accessible for everyone. I encourage everyone in the Upstate to spend time outside, whether it is on the water or in the woods.
This story was initially published in the Upstate Advocate, a twice-yearly print newsletter produced by Upstate Forever, as part of a piece called "Human + Nature: Ten Upstate Residents Share How the Natural World Shapes Their Lives." View the full issue (PDF)