Top South Carolina dove fields

Canal WMA

The Canal WMA along the Diversion Canal connecting Lakes Marion and Lake Moultrie has provided some of very best hunting dove hunting in the state the past 10 years.

The area is divided into multiple, smaller dove fields with a total of 60 acres of area for hunting. The 2018 hunt dates are Sept. 1 and 8, Oct. 13 and Nov. 17. Hunting is first-come, first-served.

“The Canal WMA does have a fair amount of pressure because of the traditionally outstanding hunting, but hunters still kill a lot of birds,”  said biologist Michael Hooks.

Gaffney BPW

This 20-acre Cherokee County dove field is owned by the Gaffney Board of Public Works and managed by the SCDNR. It led the state’s WMA harvest in 2017 with 7.28 doves per hunter.

Michael Hooks said that the led the state with 4.93 shots per dove harvested in 2017, due in large part to the availability of high-percentage shot opportunities.

Lake Russell USACE

These fields on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lands on the Lake Richard B. Russell, are managed by the SCDNR. Biologist Michael Hooks said the Bordeaux field is usually top field, but the Parksville and Plum Branch fields also provide excellent hunting.

Hunters on the Bordeaux field recorded an average harvest of 4.5 doves in 2017, Hooks said.

Oak Lea WMA

Oak Lea in Clarendon County may be the “sleeper” WMA dove field in South Carolina in 2018.

“For a period of a few recent years the Oak Lea WMA did not have high success for doves and hunter pressure dwindled,” biologist Michael Hooks said. “But with a renewed focus on doves, the fields were loaded with birds in 2017 but we simply did not have enough hunters to utilize the dove resource as we could have. We need dove hunters at Oak Lea.”

About Terry Madewell 809 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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