Youth draw deer hunts being conducted this fall

Applicants can apply through Sept. 13

Santee Cooper and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) will jointly conduct a series of youth draw deer hunts this fall. 

Applications are available now. Hunters must submit applications before Sept. 13 at 4 p.m. The public can call the Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau at (843) 825-3387 to request an application.

Past participants are encouraged to tell their friends about their experience to spread the word about this opportunity. Participants must be 17 or younger and capable of safely handling a firearm. An adult at least 21-years-old must accompany each youth participant. The youth hunter and the adult sit together in the stand. But only the youth may actually hunt or shoot.

All hunts take place in the afternoon from 2-person stands. These stands sit along the edges of wildlife openings that have been planted in oats, wheat, soybeans or peas. Youth will hunt on areas located within Sandy Beach Wildlife Management Area and Cross Generating Station. Both are part of the Santee Cooper-owned Moultrie Hunt Unit. 

Don’t forget about Bluefield WMA

SCDNR’s Wildlife Management staff based out of the Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau work in partnership with Santee Cooper staff to manage the Moultrie Hunt Unit for all wildlife species. They also provide recreational opportunities for the public, especially youth who might be new to the outdoors. 

SCDNR and Santee Cooper staff give a hunting safety talk to all participants upon their arrival.

The agencies hope this experience will help give young hunters a renewed energy and positive experience. And youths will hopefully continue to value the hunting tradition into adulthood.

Santee Cooper owns the land on which these hunts are held. They also provide funding for the property’s management. And their personnel assist with the logistics of the hunts. The co-op also provides t-shirts for hunt participants and conducts the drawing. 

In addition to the draw youth hunts, both agencies encourage youth to hunt on the 800-acre Bluefield WMA. This is also part of the Moultrie Hunt Unit. Each youth must be 17 or younger, and accompanied by an adult who is at least 21. The youth must carry a firearm and hunt. Unlike the strictly youth-only draw hunts mentioned above, on Bluefield, the adult may also carry a firearm and hunt.

Click here to check out some new public draw hunts on private lands.