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August 25, 2009

Coastal archery deer hunt opportunities available

Numerous opportunities are available all along the coast for the archer looking to harvest a deer this fall.  According to Sam Chappelear, DNR's Region 4 wildlife coordinator, bowhunters will have ample opportunity to hunt approximately 387,300 acres that are in the wildlife management area (WMA) program in Horry, Georgetown, Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester, Colleton, Beaufort, Hampton and Jasper counties.
Along the upper half of the coast in Horry County, Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve Wildlife Management Area (HP/WMA), Waccamaw River HP/WMA, and Little Pee Dee HP River Complex have a combined total of 24,966 acres that include an archery only season in Sept. and/or Oct.  The Santee Coastal Reserve WMA located in McClellanville offers archery only deer hunting on the mainland during the month of November. 
Hunters who hunt the Francis Marion National Forest can exclusively archery hunt the Hellhole WMA from Aug. 15 thru Sept 30.  On the Sewee Special Use Area located in the Wambaw WMA, only archers may hunt deer throughout the entire specified season, which lasts four months.  Bowhunting only opportunities exist on the Waterhorn WMA in September and October.  Bowhunting may also be conducted any time deer hunting is allowed (except on days scheduled for deer hunting with dogs) on any of the wildlife management areas within the Francis Marion National Forest. 
Bonneau Ferry WMA, located off of Highway 402 in Berkeley County, is open for archery hunting (Side A of the property) during specified dates in September with another archery only season scheduled in November.  Be sure to read all pertinent regulations which are located at the entrances to the property.
Botany Bay Plantation WMA/HP, located off of Hwy 174 on Edisto Island, will offer exclusive archery hunting opportunities at various times during the months of September, October, and December.
The Edisto River WMA in Dorchester County is available for archery hunting during selected days in September.  In Colleton County, archery hunts are scheduled on Bear Island in October, and are scattered throughout the months of October, November, and December on Donnelley WMA.  Bowhunting opportunities also exist in Hampton and Jasper counties on Palachucola WMA and Tillman Sand Ridge HP/WMA.  Hamilton Ridge WMA in Hampton County offers archery only hunts during the months of September, October, November, and December.
Exclusive archery only areas exist on numerous areas throughout the entire Region.  Cartwheel Bay HP/WMA in Horry County allows archery hunting only as does Sandy Island WMA located in Georgetown County.  Other opportunities in Georgetown County for archers to harvest deer exist on Samworth WMA (impoundments only) and Santee Delta WMA.  The Hall WMA, Hatchery WMA (islands in the Hatchery itself), and Porcher WMA, are archery only for the entire deer season.  These areas are located along the Lake Moultrie shoreline, the Diversion Canal and include some of the nearby islands located in Lake Marion. Another archery only area is Dungannon HP/WMA located in Charleston County off of Highway 162.  Exclusive archery hunting is also provided in Colleton and Beaufort counties with hunts on Otter, Ashe, Beet, Warren, Big, and South Williman Islands on the St. Helena Sound HP/WMA, Old Island HP/WMA, along with hunts on Victoria Bluff HP/WMA. 
Many of the above mentioned areas offer a good opportunity to harvest a hog as well as a deer.  One should note that all Wildlife Management Area regulations apply, including hunter orange requirements if archery hunting during specified gun hunts.  Specific season dates and bag limits for these WMA's areas can be found in the 2009-2010 Rules and Regulations booklet.

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