MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – Leaders in Georgetown County are backing a bill that would designate Murrells Inlet and part of Litchfield as bird sanctuaries, which would end duck hunting in those areas.
Georgetown County Council unanimously passed a resolution that backed the bill by State Senator Ray Cleary earlier this week.
Sen. Cleary said he’s been approached by people who live on the Inlet who say the area’s become too developed to have duck hunting.
“It’s more of a people place than a duck place. If people want to go duck hunting there’s wonderful places around here that has really good hunting, I just don’t think it’s needed in Murrells Inlet anymore,” said John Thomas, the councilman who put forth the resolution.
Some hunters in the area agree, “it can become quite a nuisance having shot-gun pellets rain down on your house, your boat, or even just hearing the shots go off near you while your fishing,” said Ned Campbell, owner of the Murrells Inlet Outpost.
“We get a lot of hunters, deer, hog, duck, turkey, geese. Anything that’s on the menu we get customers for,” said Campbell.
Campbell says he’s an avid hunter himself, but said the development in the area puts people too close to the action.
“Lots of people, water activities, jet skiing, boating; the whole nine happens right here,” said Campbell.
The Department of Natural Resources currently prohibits hunting waterfowl on Murrells Inlet Creek 100 yards from homes.
“As a new father myself, I have twin babies, I don’t want people shooting a shot-gun 100 yards from my house just for safety reasons,” said Campbell.
While he understands the draw, Campbell says there are better places to hunt nearby.
“The Inlets typically a pretty decent to hunt for ducks but the rivers loaded, there’s just so much more water and area to cover,” said Campbell.
“I’ve been duck hunting and bird hunting since I was little and I understand the attraction,” added Thomas.
Thomas said that bird watchers flock to the area and its important to protect natural resources, while still providing places for hunters.
“Again there are many places they can go that aren’t Murrells Inlet and there’s better shooting than they have in Murrells Inlet,” said Thomas.
The bill is currently under consideration by the Fish, Game and Forestry Committee. Local lawmakers want to make sure the committee knows the bill has backing by area residents.