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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

September 26, 2014Deer hunting returns to Bonneau Ferry WMA

Deer hunting has returned to the 10,700-acre Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Berkeley County, just south of Moncks Corner, where a variety of hunting opportunities can be enjoyed, especially by those interested in experiencing the area with a youth hunter.
Between archery hunts, adult/youth gun hunts, and limited draw gun hunts, 80 deer were harvested during the 2013 season.

S.C. Department of Natural Resources staff continue their intensive management program at Bonneau Ferry WMA which is designed to maximize opportunities for hunters, while promoting healthy native plant and wildlife communities. Prescribed burning and timber thinning on the property has been very successful this year in 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 deer and hunting spots for the deer hunter. Several permanent deer stands, capable of holding two individuals, have been erected in some select wildlife openings across the property, and are available for public use on a first come, first served basis.

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 A 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 A occur each Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday from Sept. 17 - Nov. 22 and Dec. 3 - 19 along with every day other than Sunday from Nov. 24-29 and Dec. 20-Jan 1. 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 B, either-sex archery hunts run Sept. 29-30. Gun hunts for this side are by drawing only. Applications for the draw gun hunts are generally available on-line in early July each year. 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 permanent public stands, which are marked with signs, hunters should provide their own portable stands. All deer hunters must wear international orange. 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. On draw hunts, hunters may harvest a total of three deer on the weekend hunt, no more than one of which may be an antlered buck, and no more than two deer on one day. Archery and adult/youth hunters must abide by Game Zone 6 WMA limits: two deer per day, five per season, no more than two bucks per season.

For more information, refer to the current Hunting and Fishing Regulations booklet or call the Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau at (843) 825-3387.

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