Regional Reports-South

Aiken County

The beauty of morning wood duck hunting-some would call it the bane-is that it happens early and is over in a hurry, because whether you get your two-duck limit or not, once the woodies get where they're going, they stop flying. In South Carolina, hunters can take advantage of more than two dozen public walk-in hunt areas where woodies are usually the prime species. Most areas provide morning hunting only and they are open only on specific days-usually Saturdays. Hunters took 116 wood ducks and seven hooded mergansers from the flooded river swamp in the Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Aiken County during the 2000¿¿¿2001 duck season, the most among walk-in WMAs that record hunter success. Biologist Mike Caudell, who also hunts at Crackerneck, says hunter success depends on the acorn crop, which was expected to be very good, and rainfall to flood the swamp in the Savannah River bottom. Contact: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (803-734-3886).