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Applications are due Aug. 19 for an opening-day dove hunt and youth dove hunt at Draper Wildlife Management Area in York County.

Public drawings will be held at noon Monday, Aug. 22 to select participants for the opening-day dove hunts at the Draper Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in York County. This year on opening day, a special youth dove hunt will be held in addition to the regular public dove hunt at Draper WMA. Dove season opens this year on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Contact the York S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Office at (803) 684-4078 or by fax at (803) 628-1023 for additional information about the public dove hunts at the Draper WMA or other public dove hunting opportunities.

Like last year, the number of hunters on opening day will again be limited at this popular dove field near Historic Brattonsville. "This is being done entirely because of safety concerns," said Jeff Witt, DNR wildlife biologist stationed in York.

Eighty-five hunters will be selected to hunt at the regular Draper public dove field, and this hunt will begin as usual at noon. This year, a separate field is being reserved to accommodate 30 youths, age 5 to 15, who must be accompanied by an adult who is 21 years of age or older. An adult can bring one or two youths ages 5-15. The Draper WMA youth dove hunt will begin at 2 p.m.

There is no cost to apply for either of the hunts. Applicants must designate for which hunt they are applying (regular public hunt or special youth hunt) and can apply by mail, fax or bring a self-made application to the York DNR Office. Applications can be typed or printed clearly but must provide the name, mailing address, telephone number and age of all hunt participants. Up to five people can apply together; however, complete information for each person and the designation of which hunt is being applied for must be included on each application. Applications that are incomplete or cannot be read and understood will be discarded, and duplicate entries will be disqualified. Applications should be sent to the following address: York DNR Office, Draper Dove Hunt Application, 1571 York Highway, York, SC 29745.

Applicants will be notified of the selection, and successful applicants will be mailed a permit by August 24 and will be required to have this permit in their possession while on the field during opening day of dove season. Hunt permits are not transferable.
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