Thursday, January 7, 2016

American Woodcock and Common Snipe Hunting Seasons

Common snipe harvest and 20-gauge shotgun shell
Two of the most secretive game birds found in the Lowcountry are the American woodcock and the common snipe. Upland wingshooters wishing to hunt some of these game birds have got to be willing to seek out their specialty habitats. Woodcock are attracted to the leafy litter found on hardwood flats in the forest, while snipe are encountered while slogging through muddy terrain associated with open areas.

The South Carolina DNR has set a hunting season for woodcock from December 18 through January 31, which carries a three-bird daily bag limit per hunter. Lowcountry hunters can use pointing dogs to discover the location of these birds, or they can simply apply some boot leather to typical woodcock habitat in hopes of flushing a bird. Two typical habitat types are depression-meadows, and switch cane stands along creek beds.

The hunting season for common snipe runs from November 14 through February 28, with a daily bag limit of eight snipe per hunter per day. The SCDNR rules and regulations state that the hours to hunt both woodcock and snipe run from one-half hour before sunrise until sunset. Remember that nontoxic shot is required when hunting both species, in an effort to keep lead shot out of our wetland habitats. 

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about snipe hunting click here.

To view past blog entries on shorebirds click here.

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