Numerous opportunities exist on approximately 387,000 acres of Wildlife Management Areas along the South Carolina coast for the archer looking to harvest a deer this fall.
Along the upper half of the coast in Horry County, Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve 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 near McClellanville offers-archery only deer hunting on the mainland during October and November.
Hunters who hunt the Francis Marion National Forest can exclusively archery hunt the entire area from Sept. 1–30 (except for scheduled deer hunts with dogs). On the Sewee Special Use Area in the Wambaw WMA, only archers may hunt deer throughout the entire specified season, which lasts four months. 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 off SC 402 in Berkeley County is open for archery hunting 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 entrance to the property.
Botany Bay Plantation WMA/HP, located off of SC 174 on Edisto Island, will offer exclusive archery hunting opportunities at various times from September through December.
The Edisto River WMA in Dorchester County is available for archery hunting on 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 several archery hunts at various times during the months of September thru December.
Exclusive archery-only areas exist on numerous areas throughout the region. Cartwheel Bay HP/WMA in Horry County allows archery-hunting only. 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 of SC 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.
A three-day draw archery deer hunt will be conducted on Webb Wildlife Center in November. Applications for this hunt are due today, Sept. 6, and can be found at www.dnr.sc.gov.
Many of the above mentioned areas offer a good opportunity to harvest a hog as well as a deer. One should note that all WMA regulations apply, including hunter-orange requirements if archery hunting during specified gun hunts. Specific season dates and bag limits for these WMAs can be found in the 2013-2014 Rules and Regulations brochure or online.