#05-267 December 12, 2005
Coastal Wildlife Areas Will Be Open For Waterfowl Hunting
Several Wildlife Management Areas are open to waterfowl hunting along the coast this season. Statewide, the remaining waterfowl season is Friday, Dec. 16 through Jan. 29, 2006.
Waterfowl hunting on the Little Pee Dee River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) complex in Marion and Horry counties is open on Wednesdays only. The various tracts offer good opportunities for wood ducks on several oxbow lakes and flooded bottomlands. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife biologist Jamie Dozier reminds hunters one that hunting ends at noon each Wednesday.
The 2,424-acre Hatchery WMA located in Berkeley County on Lake Moultrie will be open on Saturdays only throughout the 2005-2006 waterfowl season, according to DNR wildlife biologist Will Carlisle. Hunters may not enter the area prior to 3 a.m. with hunting beginning 30 minutes before legal sunrise and ending at noon. Everyone must be out of the area by 1 p.m. except for Jan. 28, 2006, when hunting is allowed until legal sunset. Hunters must enter and leave through the Hatchery Landing. No fishing is allowed during the scheduled waterfowl hunts. No airboats are allowed through Jan. 31. Each hunter is limited to 25 non-toxic shot shells. Carlisle emphasizes that after the hunt, each participant must accurately complete a data card and deposit it in the receptacle before leaving the landing. Only ducks, coots, geese, and mergansers may be harvested.
The Moultrie Hunt Unit consists of the borrow pits surrounding Lake Moultrie. Waterfowl hunting in this area is allowed Monday thru Saturday.
Dungannon WMA located in Charleston County will open on Wednesday mornings only throughout the waterfowl season. All hunters must enter and leave through the public parking lot located on SC Highway 162.
The Francis Marion National Forest is open for waterfowl hunting during the small game seasons within the regular waterfowl season except for the Tibwin Special Use Area, which is not open to waterfowl hunting.
Public hunting for waterfowl in the ACE Basin can be found in the waters of the Samson Island Unit of Bear Island WMA in Colleton County. Dean Harrigal, ACE Basin Project supervisor, reminds hunters that the area includes the tidal waters of Samson Island Creek and is accessible only by boat from nearby Willtown or Dawhoo landings. The area is open until 11 am on Thursdays and Saturdays only.
Hunters may visit the Turtle Island WMA in Jasper County. DNR wildlife biologist Jay Cantrell said the area is open until noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.
Youth waterfowl days are scheduled statewide Feb. 4-5, 2006. Only hunters 15 years of age or younger may hunt waterfowl on these days. They must be accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age. The adult is not allowed to carry a weapon or hunt.
In order to hunt on any of the above WMA's, hunters must have in their possession a current hunting license, WMA permit, HIP (migratory bird) permit, along with state and federal duck stamps. For further information consult the 2005-2006 South Carolina Migratory Bird Regulations or call the Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau at (843) 825-3388.