Fant’s Grove, Keowee WMAs offer great public turkey hunting opportunities

Turkey hunters are allowed two gobblers per day on Fant’s Grove and Keowee WMAs, identical to the statewide daily limit.

Both Fant’s Grove and Keowee WMAs are in Game Zone Two and cover areas around Lake Hartwell. Biologist Tom Swayngham of SCDNR said both WMAs offer excellent hunting opportunities for turkey hunters.

“There are some specific regulations that hunters need to ensure they understand,” Swayngham said. “Fant’s Grove is open to gun hunting throughout the WMA for turkeys, but on Keowee WMA, about half of the area is only open for archery hunting. The Fant’s Grove area is located on the lower end of Lake Hartwell, and the Keowee WMA on the upper end of the lake in the Seneca River section.”

“Hunters can check the WMA maps to determine precisely where the archery- only areas are located on Keowee WMA,” he said. “The benefit to hunters regarding the archery-only areas is archery hunters will usually find much less pressure on turkeys in those areas.”

Swayngham said the archery-only areas apply to all hunting and WMA maps indicate exactly where these particular tracts are located. Shotguns may be used on certain sections of the Keowee WMA during turkey and small-game seasons; check WMA maps and the SCDNR Rules and Regulations guide closely for specific details.

“There is a 2-gobbler limit on each area, but Fant’s Grove and Keowee are considered separate WMAs, so hunters can legally harvest two gobblers on each area,” Swayngham said. “Plus, the normal state regulations apply on the daily limit (two gobblers). These two WMAs do provide a great turkey hunting resource for hunters on public lands. Both WMAs are popular with hunters, so turkey hunters can expect other hunters to be in the woods and should hunt with that knowledge in mind for safety reasons. But both areas also have good population of turkeys and offer good hunting.”

According to the SCDNR, the Fant’s Grove WMA covers 8,540 acres and is primarily owned by Clemson University and one other landowner. The Twin Lakes launching ramp provides good access by boat to the upper end of this WMA. The 18-Mile Creek Ramp and Oconee Point provide access to the lower portion of the WMA.

Clemson University also owns the 4,100-acre Keowee WMA, primarily in Pickens County with a smaller portion in Oconee County. The Keowee WMA can be accessed by boat from the Twelve Mile Creek, Holder’s Landing and Lawrence Bridge.

About Terry Madewell 812 Articles
Award-winning writer and photographer Terry Madewell of Ridgeway, S.C., has been an outdoors writer for more than 30 years. He has a degree in wildlife and fisheries management and has a long career as a professional wildlife biologist/natural resources manager.

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