teal

Blue-winged teal account for most of the early teal season harvest. Photo provided/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 

The two most-anticipated seasons for South Carolina hunters — deer and dove — have already opened, and waterfowl hunters will get their shot this week with the opening of the early teal season.

The early teal season runs from Sept. 15-30 with hunters allowed to harvest six blue-winged or green-winged teal each day. Shooting hours are sunrise until sunset.

Federal regulations allow for a 16-day season for teal in September. 

An overlooked waterfowl season is already underway with the early Canada goose season opening on Sept. 1 and continuing until the end of the month. The daily bag limit during this period is 15 with shooting hours from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset.

Regular duck and Canada goose seasons won't open in South Carolina until Nov. 17.

Complete rules and regulations can be found at dnr.sc.gov. Waterfowl hunters 16 and older are required to have a Migratory Waterfowl Permit and a Migratory Bird Permit.

• A limited number of free wood duck boxes are available to private landowners and other qualified applicants. Up to five boxes are available per applicant with an application deadline of Nov. 1 and all applicants will be notified as to their status by January.

Successful applicants will be supplied with a wood duck box and predator shield. They must supply a 4x4 by 10-foot post and mounting hardware.

The project is a joint partnership between the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and the South Carolina Chapter of Ducks Unlimited. Visit http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/waterfowl/woodduck/application.html.

• Another 232 sets of deer antlers were added to the South Carolina State Records List as a result of scoring sessions that took place this spring. That was up slightly from 2017 when 213 records were added, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

The 2018 scoring session added 218 sets of typical antlers and 14 non-typical racks. Not all of the record racks were taken in 2017, but 195 of the 232 were harvested in 2016 or 2017.

Records are based on the Boone and Crockett Club scoring system and it takes a minimum score of 125 points typical or 145 points non-typical to qualify for the state list.

The top typical buck scored 152⅛ inches and was taken in Lexington County by James Dobbins

The top typical buck scored 152⅛ and was taken by James Dobbins in Lexington County in November 2017. The top non-typical deer scored 175¼ points and was taken in Aiken County in October 2017.

To check out the state records list, visit http://dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/deer/2018DeerAntlerRecords.html.