The S.C. Department of Natural Resources will conduct eight youth dove hunts on Sept. 2, the opening day of mourning dove season.
The youth dove hunts will be in the following counties: Abbeville, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg, Pickens, Sumter, Union and York. Eligibility for these hunts require adults 21 years or older to bring one or two youths 5 to 15 years of age. The following regulations also apply on special youth dove hunts: 1) Adults may actively participate in hunting, but adults may not shoot while accompanying youths are shooting. Adult's gun must be unloaded when accompanying youth is shooting: youth's gun must be unloaded when adult is shooting. 2) Bag limit is 12 birds per youth participant. Birds harvested by adult hunters will count towards this bag limit. Birds harvested by individual hunters must be kept separate and in no instance may an individual hunter harvest more than 12 birds. Adults who are participating in the hunt must have a valid South Carolina hunting license, Wildlife Management Area Permit and migratory bird (HIP) permit. For more information on these youth dove hunts, call the Columbia DNR office at (803) 734-3898. The Abbeville County field is co-sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Forest Service. The youth dove field is located 5 miles east of Abbeville on SC Highway 72 and 1/4 mile south on Bass Road. Pre-registration for the Abbeville Youth Dove Hunt begins Tuesday, Aug. 1, and the deadline is Aug. 18. Participants are selected by drawing. Successful applicants are given additional information (reporting time, maps, hunt rules, etc.) and unsuccessful applicants are also notified by mail. Call the Greenwood DNR office at (864) 223-2731 for additional hunt information or to apply for the hunt. The Newberry County field is co-sponsored by DNR and the U.S. Forest Service. The dove field is owned by the S.C. Department of Transportation and the property is located north of I-26 on SC Highway 121. To locate this youth dove field travel towards Whitmire on SC 121 for 9.2 miles take a right turn on McCullough Road and then go 0.7 miles to the field on the right. Pre-registration is required and applicants can call in their information (name, address, telephone number, and age of each youth applicant) beginning Aug. 1 and the deadline is Aug. 18. This youth dove field is limited to 30 slots. All successful applicants will be notified by mail and will receive hunt rules, map and meeting time. For more information or to apply for the hunt, contact the Columbia DNR Office at PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, or call (803) 734-3898. The Oconee County and Pickens County dove fields are co-sponsored by DNR, U.S. Forest Service and Upper Savannah River Chapter of Quail Unlimited. Additional contributors to the hunts include Upstate Bearhunters and Houndsmen Association, South Carolina Wildlife Federation, South Carolina Bowhunters Assocation, South Carolina's 4-H Program, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, Mountain Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Upstate Chapter of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The youth dove field in Oconee County is located seven miles north of Walhalla on SC 28 off of Tunneltown Road and the Pickens County field is located within five miles of Six Mile on Mountain View Church Road. Pre-registration is required, and applications for the youth hunts are due by Aug. 18. There will be a total of 55-five slots available for the two fields, and if there are more than 55 applicants a drawing will be held. After the drawing all of the applicants will be notified by mail about their status. For information regarding these hunts, contact the Clemson DNR Office at (864) 654-1671, extension 16. The Orangeburg County dove field is located off of SC Highway 6, 2 miles east of Eutaw Springs on Santee Cooper Wildlife Management Area. This area is owned by the S.C. Public Service Authority and managed by DNR. Pre-registration is not required for this youth dove field. For more information call the Columbia DNR office (803) 734-3898. The Sumter County dove field is co-sponsored by the DNR and the S.C. Forestry Commission. The youth dove field is located on Manchester State Forest on SC Highway 261 two miles North of Wedgefield. Pre-registration is required and applicants can apply by phone between Aug. 1 and Aug. 18. Applicants will need to provide the name, address, and age of each youth. This youth dove field is limited to 35 slots. All successful applicants will be notified by mail and will receive the following additional information; hunt rules, map, and meeting time. For more information or to apply for the hunt contact the Columbia DNR Office at PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3898. The Union County dove field is co-sponsored by the DNR and the U.S. Forest Service. The youth dove field is located three miles east of Cross Keys at the intersection of secondary roads 18 and 80 near Sedalia. Pre-registration is required beginning Aug. 1, and the deadline for applications is Aug. 18. A limited number of participants will be selected by public drawing at noon on Monday, Aug. 21. Applicants may apply by mail, fax or phone. Mailed applications should include the name, address and home phone number for the adult and the name and age of each youth applicant. Successful applicants will be notified by mail. Hunt activities will begin at 2:30 p.m. with a discussion of hunter safety and guidelines for the hunt. All participants must attend the safety talk order to participate. For more hunt information or to apply for the hunt contact the Union DNR Office at 124 Wildlife Drive, Union, SC 29379, call (864) 427-5140 or send a fax to (864) 427-8460. The York County dove field is located three and half miles east of McConnell's off of secondary road 165 just north of Historic Brattonsville. Pre-registration is required beginning Aug. 1, and the application deadline is Aug. 18. The youth dove field at Draper Wildlife Management Area is limited to 30 youths. There is no cost for the hunt and applicants can apply by mail, fax, or bring a self-made application to the Union DNR office. Applications can be typed or printed clearly but must provide the name, address, telephone number and age of all hunt participants. Applications that are incomplete or illegible will not be accepted, and duplicate entries will be disqualified. The drawing will be held on Aug. 21 to select participants for the youth dove hunt. Successful applicants will be mailed a permit by Aug. 23 and will be required to have this permit in their possession while on the field during the youth hunt on Sept. 2. Hunt permits are not transferable. Applications should be sent to the following address: Union DNR Office, Draper Dove Hunt Application, 124 Wildlife Drive, Union, SC 29745; telephone (864) 427-5140 or send a fax to (864) 427-8460.