Now in its 36th year, the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition still has some surprises up its sleeve. Yes, SEWE is, at its core, a celebration of the great outdoors and the world of sporting. But it also highlights some really neat organizations, and the people (and pups) behind them. For the first time, SEWE will have Search and Rescue demos with cadaver dogs from Swansea showing off their unique set of skills. Read about these good dogs here, plus our top picks for events and food demos. See ya out there.


Jeff Corwin: Live Animal Show

Fri. Feb. 15 at 3 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 16 at 1 p.m.
Included in general admission
Gaillard Center, 95 Calhoun St.

Sure, retrievers and pointers are cute, what about the species you’ve never seen before? Learn more about the animals of the world with conservationist, TV personality, and author Jeff Corwin. Most widely known as a host and producer of shows on Disney, Discovery, Animal Planet, and ABC, Corwin will educate, enlighten, and entertain SEWE guests with live demos of amazing animals from around the world. Seating is first-come, first-served, and will likely fill up, so snag your seat early.


Birds of a Feather Ladies Brunch Benefit

Sat. Feb. 16, 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m
Francis Marion Hotel, 387 King St.
Ladies of a feather flock together during this luxe brunch affair benefitting Tall Timbers, a research station that helps ecologists learn more about the longleaf pine ecosystem. Guests will enjoy wine, raffles, and a silent auction. Auction items will be provided by Norton & Hodges, Ancesserie, Hall Management Group, Hound & Hare, Kendra Scott, Sterling Brooke, Surcee, Taxidermy, Traveller Trading Co., and The Woodhouse.

S.T.A.R.R. at the Expo

Find the S.T.A.R.R. K-9s and handlers during SEWE at Brittlebank Park. They’ll display their training and small-scale demos similar to their urban and rural search and recovery missions.

Search and Rescue Demo
Fri. Feb. 15-Sun. Feb 17, 3:30-4:30 p.m. Included in general admission. Brittlebank Park, 0 Lockwood Drive. Downtown.

QDMA Lecture Series

Fri. Feb. 15 at 3 p.m.
Sat. Feb. 16 at 2 & 4 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 17 at 1 p.m.
Included in general admission
Brittlebank Park, 0 Lockwood Drive

Take some time out of your SEWE experience to learn something new about nature. The Quality Deer Management Association will be hosting lectures throughout the weekend to promote sustainable deer populations and healthy local wildlife habitats. Speakers include QDMA founder Joe Hamilton, who will talk about aging and identifying deer; Joe Leonard, who hosts a talk about coyote management; businessman Todd Walker advises on feral swine control; and Hank Forester, QDMA hunting heritage programs manager, who will help attendees learn how to hunt and prepare game to eat.


DockDogs Competition

Fri. Feb. 15 & Sat. Feb. 16, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Sun. Feb. 17, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Included in general admission
Brittlebank Park, 0 Lockwood Drive

We here at the City Paper have, admittedly, a soft spot for our four-legged friends (case in point: this week’s cover girl). SEWE does dogs better than most, and is proud to be the host of the only two DockDogs competitions on the east coast. Enjoy a weekend full of talented pups of all breeds and skill levels as they splash their way to the top.

The competition is broken into three disciplines: Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve.

The Big Air competition is like a dog long jump. The contestant (the pup) starts on a 40-foot dock and must run and jump into the water to catch a toy thrown by their handler. The jump’s distance is then judged from where the tail of the dog breaks the water’s surface. Whether the dog actually catches the toy only affects the dog’s ego — not their score.

The Extreme Vertical competition is like a high jump for dogs. The dog must start at the 20 foot mark on the dock and jump as high as they can to grab a bumper toy located 8 feet past the end of the dock over the water. The competition height starts at 4 feet 6 inches and goes up 2 inches at a time as the competition toughens.

The Speed Retrieve event is a timed race. The pup must start at the 20-foot starting mark and race to retrieve a bumper toy suspended 2 inches above the water at the far end of the pool. An indicator light above the bumper toy turns green, the handler releases their dog, and the timer starts. The clock only stops when the dog has successfully retrieved the toy.

For the dogs with it all, the Iron Dog Challenge is the DockDogs’ attempt to incorporate all three of the competitions into one single event. Contestants have their best time recorded and the overall best score wins.

Fashion for Feathers

Fri. Feb. 15, 12-2 p.m.
Hotel Bennett, 404 King St.

Kick off SEWE with fashion, friends, and philanthropy at the Fashion for Feathers show at the brand spankin’ new Hotel Bennett. Fashion for Feathers is the inaugural fashion show/luncheon supporting Audubon South Carolina, a conservation group working to protect local birds and lands. The fashion show will center around contemporary looks that emulate the natural beauty of birds. While watching the fashion show, guests will be treated to bubbly and bites from Top Chef alum and Hotel Bennett’s exec chef Michael Sichel. Check out looks on the runway from local companies including Beckett Boutique, Brackish Bowties, Croghan’s Jewel Box, M. Dumas & Sons, and IBU.


Ducks Unlimited Oyster Roast

Fri. Feb. 15 at 6:30 p.m.
Charleston Visitor Center, 375 Meeting St.

It’s not a proper celebration of the Southeast without at least one oyster roast. Enjoy local oysters and a Lowcountry cookout as well as an open bar, live music, raffles, and silent/live auctions. Prizes up for raffle include the Scout 19-foot center console boat, motor, and trailer package. Your ticket automatically gets you a 2019 membership to Ducks Unlimited, a nonprofit committed to conserving wetlands and other waterfowl habitats. The East Cooper Ducks Unlimited is one of the most successful fundraising DU chapters in the country and this oyster roast is their most attended event of the year in North America.



Sun. Feb. 17, 2-4 p.m.
Cigar Factory, 701 East Bay St.

THIS EVENT HAS BEEN UPDATED: Head to the Cigar Factory for this talk between executive director and founder of the Avian Conservation Center, Jim Elliott, as he discusses the significance of birds of prey with Garden & Gun editor-in-chief David DiBenedetto. Guests will enjoy Southern snacks and fine bourbon while listening to Elliott discuss the recent conservation efforts and fascinating scientific research of predatory birds. 

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