South Carolina has another national champion to brag about—the best all-around outdoorsman in America.
Chad Weatherford, a 31-year-old married father of two from Loris, is already practicing to defend the title he won last fall after four days of rigorous competition at the 2010 Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge (TOC). A kind of decathlon for hunting and fishing, the event tests competitors in archery, rifle and shotgun shooting, ATV riding, bass fishing, fly fishing and an endurance segment that includes kayaking. The top prize included $25,000 in cash, a new Yamaha ATV and a trip to the Country Music Association awards in Nashville, Tenn.
“My worst event was probably fly fishing, so I’m going to work on that and maybe do some more shooting before I go back this year,” Weatherford said. “I get an automatic bid this time around and I want to win it again, but so do the other 15 people in the finals.”
Weatherford’s love of the outdoors comes naturally. He grew up on a farm near Loris and credits his grandfather for introducing him to hunting and fishing. One day, he hopes to pass his knowledge to the next generation of sportsmen. “We have two little boys and my wife likes to hunt and fish with me when she can. The older one, he’s 2 now, he already loves the outdoors and I think we’re going to have a good chance of getting them both into it when they’re ready.”
OWNER: Accurate Air, Traditions Archery
CLAIM TO FAME: Winner of the 2010 Field & Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge
LITTLE-KNOWN FACT: Bagged his first deer at age 7 with a shotgun.