South Carolina’s late goose season is longer than any other waterfowl season. The final segments of the season include the Dec. 6 through Jan. 25 time frame — running concurrent with the duck season — then opening again Feb. 8 and closing Feb. 23, giving waterfowlers who chase geese an extended season.
Another big difference in the late season for geese is that a big portion of Clarendon County is excluded the open season.
There is also a big difference hunters need to be aware of in terms of hunting doves and hunting waterfowl, including geese, in agricultural fields. While the manipulation of crops is legal for hunting doves in a field, it is illegal to hunt waterfowl in any field in which crops have been manipulated. As with all waterfowl violations, this constitutes both a state and federal violation.
An example of crop manipulation is using a yard chipper to shred corn cobs in the field. This practice is legal in fields for dove hunting, as long as the crops aren’t stored first or transported. It is not legal, however, when used in fields for hunting geese or any other waterfowl. As with all waterfowl violations, this would constitute both a state and federal violation.
Many casual goose hunters like to bring along a fishing rod to pass the time while waiting on geese to show up. It’s tough to beat catching a nice bass and harvesting a goose during the same outing, but it’s illegal to do that while hunting in any Designated Category 1 WMA. South Carolina has 10 Category 1 WMAs, and they all require special permits that can only be obtained through an annual drawing.