** Archived Article - please check for current information. **
Sept. 27, 2011
Deer hunting returns to Bonneau Ferry WMA
Deer hunting returns this month to the 10,700-acre Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Berkeley County, just south of Moncks Corner. The 2011 season marks the 8th year of public hunting on the WMA, where a variety of hunting opportunities can be enjoyed, especially by those interested in experiencing the area with a youth hunter.
Deer hunting at Bonneau Ferry WMA is scheduled to allow for adult/youth only gun hunts as well as draw gun hunts for all ages, depending on the side of the property during any given year. The property is divided into a Side A and Side B. This year, Side B is limited to adult/youth only hunts, on which adults (must be 21 or older) must be accompanied by a youth age 17 or younger. On these hunts, both adult and youth may hunt, but the youth is required to carry a firearm and hunt. These adult/youth hunts on Side B occur each Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday to Dec. 17 along with every day other than Sunday from Nov. 21-26 and Dec. 20 - 31. These extra days provide young hunters with a place to hunt during the holidays. Hunting on the adult/youth side is on a first come, first served basis.
On Side A, buck only archery hunts are held Nov. 14-30. Gun hunts for this side are by drawing only and the application deadline is now expired.
Hunters on both sides of the property are highly encouraged to harvest all hogs observed while they are deer hunting. Feral hogs are destroying native vegetation as well as planted crops. They also compete with turkeys, deer, squirrels, and other wildlife for food.
Unless using one of the new permanent public stands, which are marked with signs, hunters should provide their own portable stands. All deer hunters must wear international orange, and are limited to 8 deer per season, no more than 2 of which may be antlered bucks. Hunters are reminded that they must sign in and sign out and may not enter the property prior to 5 a.m. A data card must also be filled out for all harvested deer. The self-check data cards are located at the main entrance next to the kiosk. For more information, refer to the current Rules and Regulations booklet, or call the Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau at (843) 825-3387.
Between archery hunts, adult/youth gun hunts, and limited draw gun hunts, 115 deer were harvested during the 2010 season, a slight increase from 2009. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff continues their intensive management program at Bonneau Ferry WMA which is designed to maximize opportunities for hunters, while promoting healthy native plant and wildlife communities. The prescribed burning regime on the property was very successful this year, promoting succulent forage for deer as well as other wildlife. The area’s head technician, Tom Harkins, has continued to plant 40 wildlife openings totaling over 100 acres in annual grains and legumes, further enhancing forage opportunities for the deer and hunting spots for the deer hunter. New this year, several permanent deer stands, capable of holding two individuals, have been erected on the adult/youth side (side B this year) in wildlife openings, and are available for public use on a first come, first served basis.
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