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#06-221 August 21, 2006

First Dove Hunt at Donnelley Wildlife Area Limited by Drawing

Dove hunting at Donnelley Wildlife Management Area in Colleton County will be limited on Wednesday, Sept. 6 to 120 guns through an on-site drawing the day of the hunt, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

To avoid overcrowding and provide a quality experience, the first dove hunt of the year at this popular Wildlife Management Area in Colleton County near Green Pond will allow only 120 hunters on the fields at any time.

For more information on dove hunting at Donnelley or Bear Island, call the Donnelley office at (843) 844-8957.

The drawing for Donnelley dove hunting will be held at noon by hand drawing at the Donnelley Wildlife Management Area (WMA) check station. To enter the drawing, hunters will be required to write their name on a 3-by-5 index card and insert it into a sealed box prior to the drawing. Parties of up to four may apply on the same card. All hunters must have a hunting license; WMA permit and migratory bird permit in possession to apply.

The first 60 hunters selected in the Donnelley drawing will be directed to the Mary’s Island field, and the next 60 hunters will remain at the Check Station field. Hunters not drawn initially can wait for an open slot (chosen by drawing) as other hunters leave or travel to nearby Bear Island WMA or the Webb Center in Garnett to hunt. Hunters who wait for an open slot are not guaranteed a hunting opportunity.

“Last year we had more than 300 hunters show up at Donnelley WMA on our opening day hunt,” said Dean Harrigal, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife biologist for the ACE Basin. “By limiting participation in an equitable manner to 120 hunters at a time, we provided a quality experience for all hunters while they were in the field. The comments we received were all good.

“We have good crops of wheat, corn and sunflowers at both Bear Island and Donnelley dove fields,” Harrigal said. “DNR staff at these areas have worked especially hard in planting and preparing the fields. Hopefully we will attract enough birds for good hunts at both places.”

Dove hunts at Donnelley WMA and Bear Island WMA will be held on Sept. 6 and 20 during the first mourning dove season. Only the Sept. 6 hunt at Donnelley will select hunters by drawing.

Hunters on all public dove fields are limited to 50 shells each and must possess a South Carolina state hunting license, a WMA permit and a migratory bird permit. Hunting hours are from noon until 6 p.m. during the first season.

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