NEWS RELEASE #05-157 Aug 8, 2005 DNR News (803) 734-3950
FORTY-NINE FIELDS AVAILABLE IN S.C. FOR PUBLIC DOVE HUNTING
Forty-nine public dove fields will be available across the state during the 2005-06 season through the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Area program.
The 2005-06 mourning dove season will run as follows: Sept. 3-Oct. 8, Nov. 19-26 and Dec. 21-Jan. 15. Statewide legal shooting hours for the 2005-06 dove season will allow afternoon hunting only (from noon to sunset) for the first three days (Sept. 3-5) of the first season segment and then all-day hunting (from one-half hour before sunrise to sunset) for the rest of the season. The daily bag limit is 12 birds per hunter. The state's mourning dove season is set each year by the S.C. Natural Resources Board within a framework of regulations and timetables issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
A county-by-county list of public dove fields and special youth hunts can be obtained by writing: DNR, Attn: Public Dove Fields, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, or by calling (803) 734-3609 in Columbia. The Public Dove Fields List is also available at county Clemson Extension Service offices, Soil and Water Conservation District offices, local DNR offices, and on the DNR Web site at http://www.dnr.state.sc.us/wild/smallgame/dove.html
Hunters participating in public dove hunts on S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Management Area (WMA) dove fields should be aware of special regulations in place on those fields. Hunters may not take shooting positions on public fields before noon. All hunters will be restricted to 50 shells per hunt, and shooting hours will end at 6 p.m. on all public fields during the first segment of the South Carolina dove season (Sept. 3-Oct. 8).
These regulations have been implemented to address concerns regarding hunt quality and hunter satisfaction on public dove fields, according to Tim Ivey, chief of the DNR's Wildlife Section. "The goal of these regulations is to provide equitable opportunity for all participants on public dove fields, while increasing hunter satisfaction and enjoyment," Ivey said.
The number of hunters will be limited by a public drawing on three fields, the Evans Property field in Anderson County, the Draper Tract in York County, and Donnelly WMA in Colleton County. For more information on the application process for these hunts, contact the DNR Clemson office at (864) 654-1671 extension 16 (Evans Property); the DNR York office at (803) 684-4078 (Draper Tract); or the Donnelly WMA office in Green Pond at (843) 844-8957. Hunting and hunter placement on all other public fields is on a first-come basis, beginning at noon.
A limited number of openings are available on eight special youth dove hunts scheduled for Abbeville, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Sumter, Union and York counties. Participants are selected by pre-registration or drawing for all youth hunts with the exception of the Orangeburg County youth hunt. A list of youth hunts, dates and registration deadlines is included with the public dove fields list.
Individuals who plan to hunt on these public fields will need a South Carolina hunting license and a WMA permit. Also, all persons hunting migratory birds (including doves) are required to have a migratory bird permit. Migratory bird permits can be obtained free-of-charge at all hunting and fishing license vendors.