** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

November 9, 2007

Small game hunting opportunities in Lowcountry

Numerous opportunities are available for hunters to harvest small game on 277,000 acres of Wildlife Management Area land located in the Lowcountry.

The 1,375-acre Edisto River Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Dorchester County contains upland pines as well as extensive bottomland hardwood habitat along the Edisto River.  Small game season begins after deer hunts have concluded in November and continue until Mar.1.  For more information, contact the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Donnelley office at (843) 844-8957.|

On Santee Coastal Reserve, quail hunting will be conducted on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Jan. 23- Mar. 1. Other small game may also be hunted during this time frame on Wednesdays and Saturdays only.  Raccoon season is open on the area from Jan. 22 - Feb. 29 on Tuesday and Friday nights.  For more information contact DNR wildlife biologist Jamie Rader, at (843) 546-8665.

Individuals who hunt the 250,000-acre Francis Marion National Forest have been able to harvest certain small game species since September 1. Hunters should note that the small game seasons are closed during scheduled deer and hog hunting periods on the Waterhorn WMA and when dogs are used for deer hunts on the Wambaw, Northampton, Hellhole, and Santee WMAs.  No fox hunting is allowed in the Francis Marion National Forest.

The Moultrie Hunt Unit is comprised of four WMAs that are open to small game hunting.  Porcher WMA is open in January after the deer season.  North Dike and Greenfield WMAs on the other hand allow small game hunting to occur concurrently with the deer season. North Dike WMA is closed to small game hunting on Wednesdays and Fridays during the months of November and December to allow for youth deer hunts.  Sandy Beach Waterfowl Area, which is located within the North Dike WMA and is closed to all public access from Nov. 1 until Mar 1, is open for raccoon hunting only Feb. 1 thru Mar. 1.  Bluefield WMA is an adult/youth only area and youth 17 years of age or younger accompanied by an adult may small game hunt. The youth must be actively participating in the hunt and the adult may also hunt.  The season began Sept. 1 and continues until Mar. 1 with the exception that no small game hunting during scheduled deer hunts take place.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-owned Canal WMA is open for quail hunts only on a first come first serve basis every other Wednesday beginning November 21.  Upon entering the area, hunters must pick up and keep in their possession a data card.  At the end of the hunt, hunters must accurately fill out and deposit the data card into one of the receptacles located at the various access points. 

The 10,697-acre Bonneau Ferry WMA located along the Cooper River in Berkeley County provides numerous small game opportunities. In an effort to provide quality hunting and recruit young hunters, one half of the property is open for adult/youth hunts only. In order to hunt on the adult/youth side, a youth must be 17 years of age or younger and must be accompanied by one adult 21 years of age or older.  The youth hunter must carry a firearm and actively participate in the hunt.  The adult is also allowed to carry a firearm and hunt.  The remaining half of the property is open to small game hunting for everyone.  Both sides are open from Jan. 2 - Mar. 1 except for closures during scheduled quail hunts. Raccoon and opossum season for both sides occurs from Jan. 5 until Mar 1 on Tuesday and Saturday nights only.  No fox hunting is allowed. Draw quail hunts will be conducted on one side of the property with adult/youth quail hunts occurring on the adult/youth portion.  Dates for scheduled quail hunts are Feb. 2 and 16 only.  Maps of the area indicating closed areas, open roads, and hunt boundaries can be picked up at the kiosk located at the entrance to the property off of Highway 402.  For more information contact DNR wildlife biologist Will Carlisle at the Dennis Wildlife Center at (843) 825-3388.

The limit for quail on all of the above listed areas except for Bonneau Ferry WMA is 8 birds per day where applicable.  No fox squirrel hunting is allowed on any of the WMAs in Game Zones 6 and 11 except for the Francis Marion National Forest. Private land seasons and bag limits apply to many of these WMAs with some restrictions; therefore it is important to reference 2007-2008 Rules and Regulations booklet for specific information and dates.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.


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