Women's Lowcountry Deer Hunt Application Deadline

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For the fifth year in a row, Santee Cooper and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources are conducting a women's-only deer hunt in Berkeley County on Friday, Nov. 5.

The afternoon-only women's deer hunt will be held on the Santee Cooper-owned Moultrie Hunt Unit and Santee Dam Wildlife Management Area in Berkeley County. This venture is a cooperative effort between the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Santee Cooper, and the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) Program, according to Sam Chappelear, DNR regional wildlife coordinator stationed at Fort Johnson on James Island in Charleston. The hunting opportunities have expanded from 10 women the first year to now being able to accommodate 20 female hunters.

Applications can be obtained from the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.sc.us or by calling Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau at (843) 761-8820 or (843) 825-3388. Applications are due in Columbia by Monday, Sept. 13. Each past participant is encouraged to get a friend to apply so the event can be shared by those who may not have experienced the thrill of hunting.

Santee Cooper owns the property, cleared wildlife openings with their equipment and personnel, and provided funds to buy the seed and fertilizer planted by DNR personnel. Santee Cooper also provides personnel to assist with the hunt. Staff from the DNR law enforcement education section are present each year to emphasize hunting safety issues as well as techniques on how to harvest a deer. Local DNR staff members are also available to answer any other questions that may arise.

Women from all over the state participate in the hunts; however, the same women are returning each year. Chappelear said: "We want to encourage women who have never hunted before or never harvested a deer to apply for these hunts."

"This is an excellent opportunity for someone who has participated in the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman Program to go out and put the skills they have learned to use," said Chappelear. "The women hunt by themselves with no outside influence so they make their own decisions on what to harvest."

Hunters will be placed in ladder stands that overlook wildlife openings planted in wheat, oats, peas, or corn. The stands have burlap around them for hunter concealment as well as a shooting rail. Staff will be available to help retrieve deer if necessary. One deer of either sex can be harvested.