The special statewide youth turkey-hunting day for the 2005 spring turkey season will be held on Saturday, March 26. South Carolina state resident youths ages 10-17 may participate under the supervision of a licensed adult 21 years or older. Only the youth may carry a gun and hunt.
Turkey hunters will also get the chance to introduce youths to the grand sport of wild turkey hunting during adult-youth turkey drawing hunts sponsored in April by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. The deadline to apply for these hunts is Monday, March 7.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is scheduling "drawing-only" adult-youth public turkey hunts on three areas: Donnelley, Bonneau Ferry, and Santee Cooper Wildlife Management Areas. Colleton County's Donnelley Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is an 8,048-acre tract in the ACE Basin, the newly acquired Bonneau Ferry WMA is a 10,697-acre tract in Berkeley County, and Santee Cooper WMA is a 3,222-acre area in Orangeburg County. All three WMAs are managed by the DNR. The hunts will be held on Saturdays-April 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 with a bag limit of one gobbler per hunter.
The application and fee deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, March 7 for the Donnelley, Bonneau Ferry, and Santee Cooper WMA adult-youth turkey hunts, no exceptions. For applications and information write: Youth Turkey Hunt, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, call (803) 734-3886 in Columbia or look for information on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.sc.us.
Applications must be received through the mail with application fees enclosed; no fax applications will be accepted. Turkey hunters will be selected through a computerized drawing.
Only adult-youth parties are allowed to apply. The adult as well as the youth can hunt and both can take one bird. One youth 10 to 17 years of age must accompany the adult, and youths must actively participate in the hunts. All youths, regardless of age, are required to possess a set of free turkey tags available at check stations, and all harvested turkeys must be checked at a check station.
Any applicant 16 years of age or older must have a 2004-2005 South Carolina hunting license, and each applicant 16 years or older chosen for the hunt must have a WMA permit, big game permit and turkey tags, all of which are included in the Junior Sportsmen's License, except for turkey tags, which are free. Hunters under age 16 who are chosen for the hunt are only required to have turkey tags. A drawing hunt fee of $20, refundable if not successful in the drawing, is required for each application. Statewide turkey regulations will be enforced on all hunts.