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February 25, 2009

Santee Cooper Wildlife Area schedules youth turkey hunts

Youth turkey hunts at Santee Cooper Wildlife Management Area in Orangeburg County will be held each Saturday morning in April. The deadline to apply for these hunts is Friday, March 13.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has designed the youth turkey hunts to strongly encourage more participation by youngsters who have never been turkey hunting. DNR wants to introduce these new hunters to the challenges, thrills and enjoyment associated with hunting. Equally as important, DNR also wants to make sure that this introduction is done safely and ethically.

Applications are available from the Columbia DNR Office. Applications must be post-marked by Friday, March 13 to be eligible for the drawing. Hand delivered applications must be delivered by the deadline date. Any application received with the correct post-mark after the one week time period will not be considered in the drawing. Contact the DNR Columbia office at (803) 734-3886 for more information on the Santee Cooper Wildlife Management Area (WMA) youth turkey hunts. Return applications to: DNR Youth Turkey Hunt, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202.

The Santee Cooper WMA will be divided into three sections for the youth turkey hunts. Each party will hunt one section, so there will be three groups hunting each Saturday.  A party will consist of one adult and one youth. 

All DNR youth turkey hunts will conclude at 11 a.m. Only adult-youth parties are allowed to apply for the hunt. Only the youths are allowed to harvest a turkey during this hunt. Adults are expected to be actively involved in the hunt but are not permitted to harvest a turkey. There will be a limit of one gobbler per youth hunter.

The age requirements for these public drawing youth turkey hunts are 10 through 17, inclusive. A fee of $20 per group must accompany the application. Each successful applicant must have a Wildlife Management Area Permit and a Big Game Permit in addition to valid hunting license to attend the hunt.  A hunter younger than 16 years of age is not required to have a hunting license, but must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. However, turkey tags are required for all hunters. 

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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