Adult, youth dove hunts to be held at Draper WMA in York County
Applications are due Aug. 17 for an opening day (Sept. 4) adult dove hunt and youth dove hunt at Draper Wildlife Management Area in York County.
Public drawings will be held at noon Tuesday, Aug. 17 to select participants for the opening day dove hunts at the Draper Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in York County. This year on opening day, a special youth dove hunt will be held in addition to the regular public dove hunt at Draper WMA. Dove season opens this year on Saturday, Sept. 4.
Like last year, the number of hunters on opening day will again be limited at this popular dove field near Historic Brattonsville. "This is being done entirely because of safety concerns," said Jeff Witt, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) wildlife biologist.
Eighty-five hunters will be selected to hunt at the regular Draper public dove field, and this hunt will begin as usual at noon. This year, a separate field is being reserved to accommodate 30 youths, age 17 and under, who must be accompanied by a licensed adult who is 21 years of age or older. An adult can bring one or two youths. The Draper WMA youth dove hunt will begin at 2 p.m.
There is no cost to apply for either of the hunts. Applicants must designate for which hunt they are applying (regular public hunt or special youth hunt) and can apply by mail or fax. Applications can be typed or printed clearly but must provide the name, mailing address, telephone number and age of all hunt participants. Up to five people can apply together for the adult hunt, however, complete information for each person must be included on each application. Applications that are incomplete or cannot be read and understood will be discarded, and all duplicate entries will be disqualified. Applications should be sent to the following address: Union DNR Office, Draper Dove Hunt Application, 124 Wildlife Drive, Union, SC 29379.
Eligibility for the youth hunts requires adults 21 years or older to bring one or two youths 17 years of age or younger. The following regulations also apply on Special Youth Dove Hunts: (1) Adults accompanying youth are NOT allowed to shoot at any time during Special Youth Dove Hunts. (2) Adults must remain in the field and closely supervise participating youth at all times. (3) In parties of one adult and two youth, only one youth hunter may be handling a loaded firearm at any given time. (4) Bag limit is 15 birds per youth participant. Birds harvested by individual hunters must be kept separate, and in no instance may an individual hunter harvest more than 15 birds. Adults and youth who are 16 and older and attending the hunt must have a valid South Carolina hunting license, Wildlife Management Area Permit and migratory bird (HIP) permit.
All applicants will be notified of the selection and mailed a notice by Aug. 23. If selected for the hunt, each participant must keep the notice in their possession at all times while on the field during opening day of dove season. Hunt permits are not transferable.
Contact the Union DNR Office at (864) 427-5140 or by fax at (864) 427-8460 for additional information about the public dove hunts at the Draper WMA or other public dove hunting opportunities.
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