Gerald Foster of Seneca, S.C. and some friends have been drawn to hunt several different Wildlife Management Area (WMA) properties over the last 10 years. Foster said that Botany Bay is probably the most beautiful and now, his all-time favorite.

Foster has killed two small bucks in the last 40 years, and finally killed a big one on his last trip to Botany Bay in the middle of November. His 180-pound, 8-pointer green scored 135 inches gross. 

After arriving a Botany Bay, Foster had not been able to hunt his favorite spot. Someone else had already pinned the spot on the map. Foster had to hunt alternative spots for the next two days and didn’t see a deer, but on the last evening of the hunt, his luck changed.

Around lunch time on Wednesday, Nov. 15, Foster noticed that no one had pinned the spot he’d been trying to hunt all week. So Foster pinned the board, and around 3:30 pm he went to set up a ground blind on the edge of a large food plot.

Around 4 p.m., Foster saw several does feeding in the food plot about 150 yards away. He watched the does for 30 minutes while they slowly moved closer toward him. Then two bigger does popped out suddenly in front of the other deer 100 yards away.

Foster decided to take a shot at one of the bigger does, but the doe didn’t act like it had been hit. The deer ran off, and Foster was pretty sure that he had missed, but he wasn’t positive.

About 15 minutes later he spotted a big rack buck crossing the food plot about 135 yards away. And when the buck stopped to feed, Foster pulled the trigger, but he didn’t see the deer drop, and he was puzzled at how he could have missed both deer.

It was starting to get dark, so Foster went looking for both deer. He looked for the doe first, and found no blood or other sign of it. As it got darker, Foster moved on to where he had shot at the buck, and was relieved to find that it had dropped it its tracks.

A heart shot with a 7mm 08 caliber rifle did the number on the big buck. 

“It took forty years to get the big one,” said Foster.

Botany Bay Plantation is one of 33 WMA properties managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). The Botany Bay Plantation consists of 3,363 acres and borders the Atlantic Ocean. It is located in the northeast corner of Edisto Island.

SCDNR uses an online application system for public hunts that are conducted on a lottery basis. Applications for hunts are entered under the heading of Public Lottery Hunts at www. A non-refundable hunt fee deposits range from $5.00 to $25.00 per hunter and must be submitted at the time of application.