#05-199 September 19, 2005
DNR News (803) 734-3950
2005-2006 South Carolina duck season
includes early goose, teal hunting
South Carolina’s 2005-2006 waterfowl hunting season approved recently by S.C. Natural Resources Board will include early seasons for Canada goose and teal.
South Carolina duck hunters will have 50 days of hunting for the general waterfowl season in 2005-2006 and an aggregate daily bag limit of six ducks. The S.C. Natural Resources Board approved waterfowl hunting seasons and regulations during its Aug. 29 meeting in Columbia from a framework set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The 2005-2006 duck season, excluding sea ducks, pintails and canvasbacks, will be Nov. 23-27 and Dec. 16–Jan. 29. Pintails and Canvasbacks can only be taken during the period of Dec. 31–Jan. 29.
The regular waterfowl season with 50 days and a six-bird total daily bag is similar to last season. A bag limit of one female mallard or one mottled duck or black duck has also been set within the six-bird daily bag. Other changes include a reduction in the scaup limit to two birds and allowing up to two white-fronted geese (specklebellies) to be included in the late season Canada goose bag.
The Migratory Bird Regulations brochure is available online at http://www.dnr.state.sc.us/regs/pdf/...gulations.html or where hunting and fishing licenses are sold. Copies of the regulations booklet and migratory bird hunting regulations brochure are also available by writing to PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202; or by calling (803) 734-3886 in Columbia.
An early season for teal is set for Sept. 16-24. Shooting hours are legal sunrise (not 30 minutes before as are many other waterfowl seasons) until sunset, and the daily bag limit is four birds per hunter.
An early season for Canada geese is Sept. 9-24. This season is statewide. Shooting hours are 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. The daily bag limit for Canada geese during this early season is eight birds per hunter.
Other details of the 2005-2006 waterfowl season approved by the S.C. Natural Resources Board include:
* Bag limits: The total bag limit will be six ducks per day, not to include more than two wood ducks, two redheads, one fulvous tree duck, one black-bellied whistling duck, two scaup, four mallards (not to include more than one female mallard or one black duck or one mottled duck). The limit may include one pintail, but only during the pintail season Dec. 31–Jan. 29 and this bird becomes part of the six-bird overall bag limit. Pintails may not be harvested during other dates. One canvasback may be taken (included in the six-bird limit) per day only during the canvasback season Dec. 31–Jan. 29. Five mergansers per day (not to include more than one hooded merganser) may be taken in addition to the regular daily limit of six ducks. Hunters may also take 15 coots daily and 15 blue or snow geese in addition to the duck limit. Canada goose limits (eight during the early season Sept. 9-24 and five geese during the late seasons) are in addition to all other migratory bird limits. Two white-fronted geese may be included in the five-bird Canada goose bag during the late season.
* Shooting hours: 30 minutes before legal sunrise to legal sunset statewide during standard duck and goose seasons.
* Pintail season: Dec. 31–Jan. 29, one bird per day (To be included in the six-bird limit). Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
* Canvasback season: Dec. 31–Jan. 29, one bird per day (To be included in the six-bird limit) Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
* Late Canada goose seasons: Nov. 23-27, Dec. 16–Feb. 3, Feb. 6-15, five birds per day. Two white-fronted geese may be included as part of the Canada goose limit. Hunting area excludes all of Clarendon County, that portion of Orangeburg County north of SC Highway 6 and that portion of Berkeley County north of SC Highway 45 from the Orangeburg County line to the junction of SC Highway 45 and state road S-8-31 and that portion west of the Santee Dam. Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
* Blue and snow geese: Nov. 23-27, Dec. 16–Jan. 29, 15 birds per day. Shooting hours one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
* Brant season: Dec. 31–Jan. 29, two birds per day, same shooting hours as duck season.
* Sea ducks: Oct. 15-Jan. 29. Shooting hours same as ducks, daily bag limit of seven birds, not to include more than four scoters. Sea ducks may be hunted ONLY in Atlantic Ocean waters separated from any shore, island or emergent vegetation by at least one mile of open water, except during the regular duck season.
* Coots: Nov. 23-27, Dec. 16–Jan. 29, 15 birds per day, Shooting hours one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.
* Youth Waterfowl Days: Feb. 4-5, 2006. Only hunters 15 years of age or younger may hunt waterfowl (ducks and geese) on these days, and they must be accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age. Adults not allowed to carry a gun or hunt. Bag limits are the same as for adult hunters during regular seasons. Pintails and canvasbacks are allowed but one bird of each species is the limit within the six-bird daily bag.
* Special Restrictions: Shooting hours for duck hunting are uniform statewide, except for early teal season. Hunters should take notice that DNR law enforcement officers will pay special attention to “late shooting violations” throughout South Carolina. Check local newspapers for sunrise and sunset times.
South Carolina waterfowl hunters age 16 and older must have a state hunting license, state and federal duck stamps and a free migratory bird permit. Any South Carolina hunter born after June 30, 1979, must complete an approved hunter education course to purchase a hunting license.
Nontoxic shot (such as steel, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron or tungsten-polymer) is required for all waterfowl hunting. The possession of lead shot is prohibited for all waterfowl hunting statewide.