Bow hunters can head to the coast for almost unlimited options for deer, with South Carolina wildlife management areas offering about 387,000 acres.

A combined 24,966 acres can be accessed in Horry County alone, distributed among Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve and Waccamaw River Heritage Preserve WMAs, and Little PeeDee Heritage Preserve River Complex, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources said.

Archery-only deer seasons are provided in September and October on these properties.

Also, Santee Coastal Reserve WMA near McClellanville provides bow-only hunting on the mainland during all of November.

Those 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). 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.

In addition, only archers may hunt deer throughout the entire four-month season on the Wambaw WMA Sewee Special Use Area.

Bonneau Ferry WMA, located off of Highway 402 in Berkeley County, is open for archery hunting (Side A of the property) during specified dates in September, with another archery-only season scheduled in November. Be sure to read all pertinent regulations located at the entrance to the property.

Botany Bay Plantation WMA and Heritage Preserve, located off Highway 174 on Edisto Island, will offer exclusive archery hunting opportunities at various times during the months of September through December.

The Edisto River WMA in Dorchester County is available for archery hunting during 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 Heritage Preserve WMA. Hamilton Ridge WMA in Hampton County offers archery several archery hunts at various times during the months of September thru December.

Other WMAs in the region offering exclusive archery-only hunting include:

Cartwheel Bay Heritage Preserve WMA (Horry County)
Samworth WMA (Georgetown County) – impoundments only
Santee Delta WMA
The Hall WMA
Hatchery WMA (islands in the Hatchery itself)
Porcher WMA
Dungannon Heritage Preserve WMA (Charleston County)
St. Helena Sound Heritage Preserve WMA - Otter, Ashe, Beet, Warren, Big, and South Williman islands
Old Island Heritage Preserve WMA
Victoria Bluff Heritage Preserve WMA
Webb Wildlife Center - three-day draw archery deer. Applications for this hunt are due Sept. 9 and can be found on the DNR website.

Many of the coastal areas offer a good opportunity to harvest a hog as well as a deer.

Hunters should note that all wildlife management area 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 2011-2012 Rules and Regulations booklet.