Deer-hunting opportunities return to the 10,700-acre Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area in Berkeley County in mid-September.
The 2006 season will mark the third year of public hunting on Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area (WMA), where a variety of hunting opportunities can be enjoyed, particularly those interested in experiencing the area with a youth hunter. Between archery hunts, adult/youth gun hunts, and limited draw gun hunts, more than 100 deer were harvested during last year’s public hunts, slightly up from the 2004 season, and S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff are optimistic that this season has great potential, as management activities have continued to improve habitat across the area.
Prescribed burning, preparation of wildlife openings and harvest management regimes have now been under way for over two years by DNR staff since the property was acquired in 2004, according to wildlife biologist Will Carlisle. “We now have two technicians on site, Tom Harkins and Jamie Mills, who have shown exceptional dedication to preparing Bonneau Ferry for hunting and non-hunting visitors,” Carlisle said. “We’re very pleased with the progress that’s been made since the acquisition of the property.”
For more information, refer to the current Rules and Regulations booklet, or call the Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau at (843) 825-3387.
Deer hunting at Bonneau Ferry is scheduled to allow for adult/youth only gun hunts as well as draw gun hunts for all ages, depending on the side of the property during any given year. The property is divided into a Side A and Side B. This year, Side A is limited to adult/youth only hunts, on which adults (must be 21 or older) must be accompanied by a youth 8-17 years old. On these hunts, both adult and youth may hunt, but the youth is required to carry a firearm and hunt. These adult/youth hunts on Side A occur each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from Sept. 15 to Jan. 1, along with Nov. 20-25 and Dec. 20-Jan. 1. The extra days allow for youth to have an area to hunt during the holidays. Hunting is on a first-come first-served basis.
On Side B, buck only archery hunts begin Sept. 4 and end Sept. 9. Either-sex archery hunts occur Sept 18-23 and again Nov. 13-30. Gun hunts for this side are by drawing only. The deadline for applications for the 2006 season has already closed.
On all Bonneau Ferry deer hunts, hunters must provide their own portable stands, wear international orange, and are limited to eight deer per season, no more than two of which may be antlered bucks. Hunters are reminded that they must sign in and sign out. A data card must also be filled in for all harvested deer. The self-check data cards are located at the entrance next to the kiosks.