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#06-321 November 20, 2006

Coastal waterfowl hunting opportunities are numerous

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources reminds the public that several Wildlife Management Areas are open to waterfowl hunting along the coast this season.

Statewide waterfowl seasons are Nov. 22-26 and Dec. 15-Jan. 28. In order to hunt on any of the coastal Wildlife Management Areas (WMA), hunters must have in their possession a current hunting license, WMA permit, migratory bird (HIP) permit, along with state and federal duck stamps. For more information on waterfowl hunting, consult the “2006-2007 South Carolina Migratory Bird Regulations

Waterfowl hunting on the Little Pee Dee River WMA Complex in Marion and Horry counties is open on Wednesdays only. The various tracts offer good opportunities for wood ducks on several oxbow lakes and flooded bottomlands. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Wildlife Biologist Deanna Ruth reminds everyone that hunting ends at noon each Wednesday.

A new addition to the Category II waterfowl areas is the inclusion of Carr Creek and Little Carr Creek. Only those portions of both creeks that are bordered by Samworth WMA on both sides will be classified as a Category II waterfowl area. Waterfowl hunting will be allowed in these areas on Wednesdays and Saturdays only, and hunting must cease at noon. Signs will be posted alerting hunters as to where the boundaries of this new area are located. According to DNR Waterfowl

Biologist Jim Westerhold, “Including Big and Little Carr Creeks in the Category II status will foster a decrease in disturbance and improve the quality of waterfowl hunting for the public hunter as well as those drawn for the waterfowl hunts on Samworth.” For more information on these waterfowl areas, contact Westerhold at (843) 546-3226.

The 2,424-acre Hatchery WMA in Berkeley County on Lake Moultrie will be open on Saturdays only throughout the 2006-2007 waterfowl season, according to DNR Wildlife Biologist Will Carlisle. Hunters may not enter the area prior to 3 a.m. with hunting beginning 30 minutes before legal sunrise and ending at noon. Everyone must be out of the area by 1 p.m. except for Jan. 27, 2007, when hunting is allowed until legal sunset. Hunters must enter and leave through the Hatchery Landing. No fishing is allowed during the scheduled waterfowl hunts. No airboats are allowed from Nov. 15 through Jan. 31.

Each hunter is limited to 25 non-toxic shot shells. Carlisle emphasizes that after the hunt, each participant must accurately complete a data card and deposit it in the receptacle before leaving the landing. Only ducks, coots, geese and mergansers may be harvested.

The Moultrie Hunt Unit consists of the borrow pits surrounding Lake Moultrie. Hunting in this area is allowed Monday thru Saturday.

Dungannon WMA located in Charleston County will open on Wednesday mornings only throughout the waterfowl season. All hunters must enter and leave through the public parking lot located on SC Highway 162.

The Francis Marion National Forest is open for waterfowl hunting during the small game seasons within the regular waterfowl season except for the Tibwin Special Use Area, which is not open to waterfowl hunting.

Public hunting in the ACE (Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto) Basin can be found in the waters of the Samson Island Unit of Bear Island WMA in Colleton County. DNR’s ACE Basin Project Supervisor Dean Harrigal reminds hunters that the area includes the tidal waters of Samson Island Creek and is accessible only by boat from nearby Willtown or Dawhoo landings. The area is open until noon on Thursdays and Saturdays only.

Hunters may visit the Turtle Island WMA in Jasper County. DNR Wildlife Biologist Jay Cantrell said that the area is open until noon on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.

Youth waterfowl days are scheduled for Feb. 3-4, 2007. Only hunters 15 years of age or younger may hunt waterfowl on these days. They must be accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age. The adult is not allowed to carry a weapon or hunt.
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