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

September 30, 2015DNR creates new hunting opportunities at Wateree River Heritage Preserve

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is adding new hunting opportunities with the opening of the Wateree River Heritage Preserve Wildlife Management Area in Richland County.

Wateree River Heritage Preserve Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is a 3,674-acre tract of land located 17 miles east of Columbia on U.S. 378 near the Eastover community. The property in Richland County is bordered by the Wateree River. In order to access the Wateree River WMA, travel US 378 from Columbia going towards Sumter. About 2 miles after crossing US 601, pass Goodwill Baptist Church on the right. The property entrance is Goodwill Road on the left. Travel about 200 yards down Goodwill Road to the parking area and informational kiosk.
Wateree River WMA will have an archery season for deer this year from Sept. 15-Oct. 15, 2015.

These hunts are the first on the area and will be open to all hunters. Hunters using Wateree River WMA will need a state hunting license and WMA Permit.

DNR will also conduct three lottery hunts for deer on the WMA. The deer hunts are scheduled on Oct. 22-24, 2015; Nov. 5-7, 2015; and Nov. 19-21, 2015. Sixteen slots will be available per hunt. Completed applications must be received at the Columbia DNR Office by 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 2, 2015, for the hunts. Please return all completed applications to DNR, Attn: Willie Simmons, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803)-734-3898 for more information.

At each hunt, there will be a brief discussion of deer biology and the role of hunting in wildlife management along with detailed comments regarding sportsmanship and hunter ethics. A thorough review of firearm safety will be conducted at each hunt. More detailed instructions and directions to the hunt sites will be provided to applicants who are selected based on a random drawing.

Four lottery hunts for waterfowl will also be conducted this year on Nov. 28, 2015; Dec. 12, 2015; Jan. 9, 2016 and Jan. 16, 2016 https://www.dnr.sc.gov/hunting/drawhunts.html. These hunts are included on the regular waterfowl hunt application for lottery hunts.

Wateree River Heritage Preserve WMA was purchased for the people of South Carolina as mitigation for the Haile Gold Mine Project. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is working to prepare the area for public use. A dedication of the property will be held this fall.

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