Public dove-hunting fields announced, applications due Aug. 12

Public hunting will be allowed on several fields this fall. But applications to hunt these areas are due to the SCDNR by Aug. 12.

Forty-three fields available for public dove hunting Forty-three public dove fields will be available across the state during the 2011-12 season through the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Management Area program. The mourning dove season will run from Sept. 3-5 (noon until sunset), Sept. 6-Oct. 8, Nov. 19-26 and Dec. 21-Jan. 15. Legal hunting hours for mourning dove season, except for Sept. 3-5, are from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. The daily bag limit is 15 birds per day.

Click here to see a county-by-county list of public dove hunts.

The number of hunters will be limited by a public drawing on five fields: the Oak Lea WMA field in Clarendon County, the Tuomey Fields (2 fields) in Sumter County, the Draper Tract field in York County, and the Pee Dee Station site in Florence County.

Applications are available here, and must be submitted by 5 p.m. Aug. 12.

A limited number of openings also are available on eight special youth dove hunts scheduled for Abbeville, Anderson, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Sumter, Union and York counties.

Applications for these youth hunts are available here. Applicants for the special youth dove hunts should be aware that adults are not allowed to shoot on any of the special youth dove hunts.

However, no preregistration or application is required for the youth hunts at Botany Bay Plantation WMA in Charleston County.

Hunters participating in public dove hunts on DNR Wildlife Management Area dove fields should be aware of special regulations in place on these fields:

• No entry is allowed on public fields before noon. • Hunters will be restricted to 50 shells per hunt on all Wildlife Management Area public dove fields. • Shooting hours will end at 6 p.m. on all public fields during the first segment of the South Carolina dove season (Sept. 3-Oct. 8).

Individuals planning to hunt on public dove fields will need a South Carolina hunting license and a Wildlife Management Area permit. Also, all persons hunting migratory birds (including doves) are required to have a migratory bird permit. Migratory bird permits can be obtained free-of-charge at all hunting and fishing license vendors.

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