Deer Hunting Returns to Bonneau Ferry WMA
It’s September, which means deer hunting has returned to the 10,700-acre Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area in Berkeley County, just south of Moncks Corner. The 2008 season will mark the fifth year of public hunting on Bonneau Ferry, 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, 120 deer were harvested during last year’s public hunts, more than any other year since the State acquired the property. South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff have continued an intensive management program at Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area (WMA) designed to maximize opportunities for hunters, while promoting healthy native plant and wildlife communities. The prescribed burning regime on the property was successful this year with the continuation of both a growing season and winter burns, bolstering succulent forage for deer as well as other wildlife. The area’s head technician, Tom Harkins, has continued to plant 40 wildlife openings totaling more than 100 acres in annual grains and legumes, further enhancing forage opportunities for the deer and hunting spots for the deer hunter.
Deer hunting at Bonneau Ferry 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. 15 to Jan. 1 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 is on a first-come first-served basis.
On Side B, buck only archery hunts run Sept. 1-6 and either-sex archery hunts occur Sept 22-27 and Nov. 10-29. Gun hunts for this side are by drawing only. The deadline for draw hunt applications for this season has already passed.
On all Bonneau Ferry deer hunts, hunters must provide their own portable stands, wear international orange, and are limited to eight deer per season, no more than two 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 kiosks.
For more information, refer to the current Rules and Regulations booklet, or call the Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau at (843) 825-3387.
DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.