SC’s Best WMAs in the Pee Dee

Woodbury WMA

Woodbury WMA has the attractive attribute of good size, totaling 25,668 acres in Marion County. The main entrance to Woodbury WMA is about 2.8 miles southeast of Daviston, S.C., off of US 378.

Biologist Charles Ruth of the S.C. Department of Natural Resoures said Woodbury is prone to flooding and has been closed at times for extended periods.

“But the potential here to enjoy excellent hunting is very high, with very good deer-hunting opportunities, along with excellent hog hunting,” he said. “Also, small-game opportunities are available when the specific habitat required for the game hunted is located. Woodbury is also a Class II Waterfowl Management area.”

An extensive road network provides good access throughout the  WMA, and boat access to the area from the Great Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee rivers exists via numerous boat landings.

Little Pee Dee Heritage WMA

Ruth said the Little Pee Dee Heritage WMA offers a wide diversity of hunting opportunities, and the size and habitat make it potentially highly productive.

“This WMA lies along the Little Pee Dee River and is a complex of multiple properties adjacent to the river,” he said.

Ruth said excellent deer-hunting opportunity exists, and some of the habitat is remote and not easily accessed.

“For those willing to go to the effort, the potential for excellent public-land deer hunting is available,” he said.

Ruth said bear hunting is another opportunity. Also, by locating the proper habitat, good small-game hunting exists, and the area is designated as a Class II Waterfowl hunting area.

“While a lot of opportunity is available, it’s critical to know this area is subject to flooding, and we’ve had years when it was not accessible for long periods,” he said. ”But otherwise, it provides excellent opportunities for sportsmen.”

Little Pee Dee WMA can be accessed by going from Mullins, S.C. Travel southeast on SC 917 for 5 miles and after crossing the Little Pee Dee River Bridge, turn left at the first entrance road. Maps are very useful for this area.

Sandhills WMA

The Sandhills State Forest WMA, which covers more than 46,000 acres of lands near Patrick, S.C., in Chesterfield County, offers good hunting opportunities for several game species.

Ruth said the terrain is primarily sandhills, as the name accurately suggests, but the habitat diversity is good enough to have a respectable population of deer, turkey and various small game species.

“Typical for larger areas, including WMAs, some hotspots exist for different species where the habitat is best for that specific species,” he said. “But with any managed large tract of land, hunters need to scout the area annually because timber harvests, thinning, prescribed fire and other management practices can change the habitat annually. But with scouting prior to hunting, some excellent opportunities exist.”

Sandhills State Forest WMA is north of Lake Robinson in southern Chesterfield and northern Darlington counties and east of the Lynches River in Kershaw County. Access is available at numerous places along US 1.

South Carolina’s national forests

The Sumter National Forest and the Francis Marion National Forest both have extensive public lands designated as WMAs throughout South Carolina. The Sumter National Forest has properties in Game Zones 1 (Upstate) and 2 (Midlands), while the Francis Marion has a quarter-million acres in Game Zone 3 (Lowcountry). Combined, more than 630,000 acres of national forest land are included in South Carolina’s WMA network.

Hunters can target smaller segments of land where they wish to hunt and obtain maps and specific rules and regulations for specific areas. Visit www.dnr.sc.gov/wma/maps.html

Terry Madewell
About Terry Madewell 693 Articles
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.