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Forty-eight public dove fields will be available across the state during the 2013-14 mourning dove season through the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Management Area program. A county-by-county list of public dove fields and special youth hunts is available online or can be obtained by writing: DNR, Attn: Public Dove Fields, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, or by calling (803) 734-3886 in Columbia. The Public Dove Field List is also available at local DNR offices. Public dove fields are open only on dates and times as specified in the public dove field list, and may be more restrictive than statewide seasons.
The 2013-14 mourning dove season will run as follows: Sept. 2-7 (noon until sunset); Sept. 8–Oct. 5; Nov. 23-30; and Dec. 19–Jan. 15. Legal hunting hours for mourning dove season, except for Sept. 2-7, are from 30 minutes before sunrise until sunset. The daily bag limit is 15 birds per day. The state’s mourning dove season is set each year by the DNR Board within a framework of regulations and timetables issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
For the initial hunts on Saturday, September 7, the number of hunters will be limited by a public drawing on five fields – the Oak Lea WMA field in Clarendon County, the Tuomey Fields (2 fields) in Sumter County, the Draper Tract field in York County, and the Pee Dee Station site in Florence County. Applications are available online or by calling (803) 734-3609. The deadline for applications is 5 p.m. on August 14.
Seven special youth dove hunts are scheduled for Saturday, September 7 in Abbeville, Anderson, Newberry, Orangeburg, Sumter, Union and York counties. No preregistration or application is required for the youth hunts, but participants should be aware that adults are not allowed to shoot on any of the special youth dove hunts.
Hunters participating in public dove hunts on DNR Wildlife Management Area dove fields should be aware of special regulations in place on these fields. No entry is allowed on public fields before noon. Hunters will be restricted to 50 shells per hunt on all Wildlife Management Area public dove fields, and shooting hours will end at 6 p.m. on all public fields during the first segment of the South Carolina dove season.
Individuals who plan to hunt on public dove fields will need a South Carolina hunting license and a Wildlife Management Area permit. Also, all persons hunting migratory birds (including doves) are required to have a migratory bird permit. Migratory bird permits can be obtained free-of-charge at all hunting and fishing license vendors.