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Sunflowers decorate acres of Draper WMA in York Co.

Sunflowers decorate acres of Draper WMA in York Co.

The Draper Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in York County is expecting another full bloom with acres of gorgeous sunflowers in late-June and early-July. The area is open during daylight hours year-round and admission and parking are free.

S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Technician Kenneth Flemming says the sunflower seeds are planted in April, “Although we plant the fields to attract doves for the fall hunting season, it gives us great satisfaction to see the smiles of awe and wonder on the faces of children and adults of all ages at this magnificent site.” Wildlife Tech Eric Mortenesen says the acres of budding sunflowers are spectacular, but the best is yet to come, “The peak blooming time generally is around July 4th, give or take depending on the weather. They will remain that way for about 10 days.”

This Wildlife Management Area is managed specifically for small game, however good white-tailed deer and wild turkey populations are present. Special seasons and/or bag limits apply for dove, quail, rabbit and turkey. There are two dove fields on the property, one youth field and one adult field.

Although managed for hunting, other forms of outdoor recreation such as hiking, biking and bird watching are popular because of its proximity to Rock Hill, SC, and Charlotte, NC. No horseback riding is allowed. The property contains three stocked ponds and special limits and open times apply.

Any commercial activities related to WMA lands require a permit from DNR. Visitors are subject to being fined for WMA abuse for any damages to the property. Please respect the property for the enjoyment of all visitors. For specific questions related to the property, please call (864) 427-5140.

The Draper Tract, sometimes referred to as the Brattonsville Tract because of its proximity to the community of Brattonsville, consists of 806 acres and lies approximately 10 miles south of the town of York. The property is located at 1080 Brattonsville Rd, south of State Road 322 and west of Secondary Road 165 or Brattonsville Road, bordering Love Creek to the south. Visitors can park in the main parking area and walk to two sunflower fields. Access the fields by walking in either of the two gates at the parking area. The gate to the right across the pond dam is the shortest walk, less than five minutes, but is a smaller field. The gate to the left will require about a 10 minute walk to the largest field. Visitors can access the fields any day and are encouraged to wear insect repellent and sunscreen.