The S.C. Department of Natural Resources agreed last year to move up the traditional Jan. 1 season opening by two weeks, and it was such a success with hunters, the season is opening early again this year.
Hunters will be allowed to take three woodcock per day through the Jan. 31, 2013 end of the season.Billy Dukes, the small-game coordinator for the SCDNR, said that there are plenty of opportunities for upland hunters to pursue woodcock along the state's waterways and rivers. Woodcock typically begin arriving around the middle of December due to colder weather in New England, and they will stay through the season. They're a great bird for traditional hunting dogs, as they tend to hold tight in thick cover, and dogs usually don't miss their strong scent.Some of the better places to hunt woodcock are along the riparian zones that border major rivers, including the Broad, Saluda, Pee Dee, Little Pee Dee, Waccamaw, Santee, and Edisto, but don't ignore larger creeks found in many WMAs in the Piedmont and Lowcountry. The Belfast WMA in Newberry and Laurence County was a great spot for woodcock hunters last season; several larger creeks and creekbottoms there hold timberdoodles for most of the season.