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November 23, 2009

S.C. waterfowl season gets underway Nov. 25

The 2009-2010 late waterfowl season will soon get underway with the first segment opening on Wednesday, Nov. 25 running until Sunday, Nov. 29. The second segment begins Saturday, Dec. 12 and extends until Jan. 31. The season also includes three youth waterfowl hunting days. State youth day is Dec. 5, and federal youth days are Feb. 6-7, 2010.
           
Changes in regulations include full seasons on canvasbacks (daily bag limit of one) and scaup (daily bag limit of two). The season for Atlantic brant has been reduced to 50 days with a daily bag limit of two. The 2009-10 migratory bird brochure is available by writing to DNR Migratory Bird Regulations, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202; or by calling (803) 734-3886.
           
DUCKS (Excluding Sea Ducks) - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Nov. 25-29; Dec. 12--Jan. 31 - 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, 1 canvasback, 2 scaup and either 1 black duck or 1 mottled duck. - 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 canvasbacks, 4 scaup and either 2 black ducks or 2 mottled ducks or 1 black duck and 1 mottled duck.
           
MERGANSERS - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Nov. 25-29; Dec. 12--Jan. 31 - 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. 17--Jan. 31 - 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, scoters and long-tailed ducks.
           
COOTS - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Nov. 25-29; Dec. 12--Jan. 31 - 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. 25-29; Dec. 6—Feb. 5, Feb. 8-15 - 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).  This 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. 25-29; Dec. 12--Jan. 31 - Hunting hours: 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset - Bag limit: 15 - Possession limit: No limit.
           
BRANT - Open Dates (All Dates Inclusive): Dec. 13—Jan. 31 - Hunting hours: 1/2 Hour before Sunrise until Sunset - Bag limit: 2 - Possession limit: 4.
           
There is no open season on harlequin ducks.
           
Dec. 5, 2009 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.
           
Feb. 6-7, 2010 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.
           
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.
           
Federally approved 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.

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