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Waterfowl hunters who participated in managed hunts on S.C. Department of Natural Resources Category One waterfowl areas during the 2000-01 season enjoyed a 38 percent increase in the daily success rate when compared to the 1999-2000 season. According to Tommy Strange, S.C. Department of Natural Resources Waterfowl Project leader stationed in McClellanville, the harvest per hunter per day was 2.9, well above the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) 32-year average of 1.8 and also above the statewide average of 1. Many of the Category 1 areas experienced moderate icing problems due to the extended cold weather, and these conditions adversely affected the harvest success. Green-winged teal were the top species in the combined WMA harvest, comprising 21 percent. Other species in the top five included gadwall (11 percent), northern shoveler (10 percent), mallard (10 percent) and wood duck 10 (percent). A total of 20 species were represented in the WMA harvest. Bear Island WMA in Colleton County provided the best success ratio with 3.61 ducks per hunter per day. Green-winged teal were the top bird in the bag at this site followed by gadwall, wigeon, and northern shovelers. Sandy Beach, Santee Coastal Reserve, Broad River and Santee-Delta WMAs round out the top five areas in harvest per hunter. Donnelly WMA in Colleton County was dedicated entirely to youth hunts this season, and the daily harvest average was 3.6 ducks per hunter. Combining all youth hunts on all WMAs, 154 participants harvested 415 ducks for a daily average of 2.7. Green-winged teal was the top species harvested, followed by wood ducks, mallards and ring-necked ducks. "When hunting opportunity and harvest on Department of Natural Resources managed areas is compared to hunting results statewide," said Strange, "it is evident that participants were provided with a consistent quality hunting experience."

Uploaded: 3/16/2001