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August 21, 2008

Late-season migratory bird season approved by Natural Resources Board

The S.C. Natural Resources Board, the policy-making body of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), approved the 2008-2009 late migratory bird seasons and regulations during its Aug. 14 meeting in Columbia from a framework set by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The season and bag limit selections have been sent to the Service for approval. This approval will be finalized by publication in the Federal Register.

Changes in regulations include an increase in the wood duck bag limit from two to three and a hybrid daily bag limit for scaup. This season will also include three youth waterfowl hunting days. State youth day is December 6, 2008. Federal youth days are January 31, 2009 and February 1, 2009.

Copies of the regulations booklet and migratory bird brochure are available by writing to PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202; or by calling (803) 734-3886 in Columbia. Find out more about late season regulations for migratory waterfowl and other hunting seasons and regulations.

Dec. 6, 2008 is State Youth Day. Only hunters 17 years of age or younger may hunt waterfowl (ducks and geese) on this day. The youth(s) must be accompanied by an adult of at least 21 years of age.  The adult is not allowed to carry a gun or hunt, but must be properly licensed, including state and federal duck stamps.  Youth who are 16 and 17 years of age who hunt on this day are not required to be licensed or have a state waterfowl stamp but must possess a Federal Waterfowl Stamp. The regular duck season limits apply except on this day, the 6 total limit may include no more than 1 scaup.
Jan. 31, 2009 and Feb. 1, 2009 are Federal Youth Days. Only hunters 15 years of age or younger may hunt waterfowl (ducks and geese) on these days. The youth(s) must be accompanied by an adult of at least 18 years of age.  The adult is not allowed to carry a gun or hunt, and does not have to be licensed. . The regular duck season limits apply except on these days, the 6 total limit may include no more than 2 scaup.

DUCKS (Excluding Sea Ducks) - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Nov. 26--Nov. 30; Dec. 12--Jan. 25 - Hunting hours: 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset - Bag limit: 6 total, including no more than 4 mallards (1 hen), 1 pintail, 1 fulvous whistling duck, 1 black-bellied whistling duck, 3 wood ducks, 2 redheads and 1 black duck or 1 mottled duck.  The 6 total shall include no more than 1 scaup for the period Nov. 26-Nov. 30 and Dec. 12-Jan. 5.  The 6 total shall include no more than 2 scaup for the period Jan. 6-Jan. 25. - Possession limit: 12 total, including no more than 8 mallards (2 hens), 2 pintails,  2 fulvous whistling ducks, 2 black-bellied whistling ducks, 6 wood ducks, 4 redheads, (2 black ducks or 2 mottled ducks or 1 black duck and 1 mottled duck).  The 12 total shall include no more than 2 scaup for the period Nov. 26-Nov. 30 and Dec. 12-Jan. 5.  The 12 total shall include no more than 4 scaup for the period Jan. 6-Jan. 25.

MERGANSERS - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Nov. 26--Nov. 30; Dec. 12--Jan. 25 - Hunting hours: 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset - Bag limit: 5 (not to include more than 1 Hooded Merganser) - Possession limit: 10 (not to include more than 2 Hooded Mergansers).

SEA DUCKS - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Oct. 11--Jan. 25 - Hunting hours: 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset - Bag limit: 7 (Not to include more than 4 scoters) - Possession limit: 14 (Not to include more than 8 scoters) -- Sea ducks taken outside of the regular duck season may be hunted only in Atlantic Ocean waters separated from any shore, island or emergent vegetation by at least one mile of open water.  Sea ducks include eiders, scotors and long-tailed ducks.

COOTS - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Nov. 26--Nov. 30; Dec. 12--Jan. 25 - Hunting hours: 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset - Bag limit: 15 - Possession limit: 30.

CANADA GEESE/WHITE FRONTED GEESE (Late Seasons) - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Nov. 26--Nov. 30; Dec. 12--Jan 30, Feb 2-Feb 15  - Hunting hours: 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset  - Bag limit: 5 (not to include more than 2 white-fronted geese) - Possession limit: 10 (not to include more than 4 white-fronted geese).  Excludes all of Clarendon County, that portion of Orangeburg County North of SC Highway 6 and that portion of Berkeley County North of SC Highway 45 from the Orangeburg County Line to the junction of SC Highway 45 and State Road S-8-31 and that portion West of the Santee Dam.

BLUE and SNOW GEESE - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Nov. 26--Nov. 30; Dec. 12--Jan. 25 - Hunting hours: 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset - Bag limit: 15 - Possession limit: No limit.
BRANT - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Nov. 26--Nov. 30; Dec. 12--Jan. 25 - Hunting hours: 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset - Bag limit: 3 - Possession limit: 6.

There is no open season on canvasbacks or harlequin ducks.

Shooting hours for late season duck hunting are uniform statewide. Hunters should take notice that DNR law enforcement officers will pay special attention to "late shooting violations" throughout South Carolina. Check local newspapers for sunrise and sunset times. Any South Carolina hunter born after June 30, 1979, must complete an approved hunter education course to purchase a hunting license.

Nontoxic shot (such as steel, bismuth-tin, tungsten-iron or tungsten-polymer) is required for all waterfowl hunting. The possession of lead shot is prohibited for all waterfowl hunting statewide.

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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