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South Carolina Hunting

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Written by:  Devn Schumacher 

May, 10 2021

South Carolina is one of the states in the US that offers vast hunting ranging from deer to turkeys and other small game animals. Hunting in the state is fun for both resident and non-resident hunters.

South Carolina Hunting Regulations

South Carolina hunting regulations consist of laws and requirements that all hunters must abide by. Some of the most important ones include the following:

South Carolina Baiting

It is a prohibition for anyone to kill, shoot or attempt to shoot, inure, hunt, take or attempt to take, or have hunting weapons and firearms to take wildlife and games from any type of elevated area or trees, within at least 300 feet from baited areas.

According to South Carolina hunting regulations, baited areas refer to places where food products or any other substance used to lure game animals have been exposed or scattered.

However, farmland areas for harvesting crops are not baited areas regardless of if they contain any food product usually used to lure birds or game animals.

There is an exception to baiting regulation as regards deer hunting in South Carolina. Hunters that want to take deer from trees and elevated areas are allowed to do it within baited areas regardless of the required distance.

Trespassing Regulations

Hunters must obtain a permit from owners of private lands before they can take games on their properties. An exception is only allowed if the hunter is the owner of the lands. Also, hunters will be held liable for any damage to properties on private lands. Landowners will not be held responsible for injuries of hunters, regardless of if they grant a permit to hunt on their property.

Prohibition for the Use of Bow and Arrows in South Carolina

Some of the unlawful use of bows, arrows, and archeries in South Carolina include the following:

  • It is a prohibition to make use of arrows that have tips coated with poisons or explosives. It is also a prohibition to have such an arrow in your possession in the name of hunting.
  • It is a prohibition to make use of an edged head arrow to hunt down bird games while they are in flight.
  • It is a prohibition to hunt games with a bow within an hour and 30 minutes after sunset and an hour prior to sunrise regardless of the hunting season.
  • It is a prohibition to take game animals with bow and arrow from vehicles in the state, regardless of if they are in motion or not.
  • It is a prohibition to have in your possession firearms and archery when you are hunting in South Carolina.
  • It is a prohibition to have your crossbow in a cocked position while transporting in a vehicle.

South Carolina Closed Season Hunting

South Carolina does not have specified hunting and trapping for some games in the state. The games on this list are bobcats, sandhill crane, grouse, mourning dove, fishers.

South Carolina Hunting Dog Regulations

It is a prohibition to let your hunting dog run at large while hunting. Hunters are allowed to train their hunting dogs during daylight but without the use of firearms. But it is a prohibition to train dogs during South Carolina hunting seasons.

Also, no hunter should train dogs meant for the hunting of opossum and raccoon games on Wildlife Management Areas. However, exceptions are allowed for some periods of the year like between the 1st of September to the 1st of October and from the 1st of March to the 1st of May. The training hours in these periods will be between an hour after sunset and an hour prior to sunrise.

It is a prohibition to use hunting dogs to take or pursue games like deer and black bears. It is also a prohibition to track these wounded games with dogs. But hunters are allowed to use the services of certified dog handlers in South Carolina with a valid permit to use dogs for tracking and recovering wounded games in the state only during the game’s specified hunting season.

Drones and Unmanned Aircraft Regulations

It is a prohibition to make use of drones or any type of unmanned aircraft that is controlled remotely to trap, take, hunt, track, harass, recover or scout wildlife and game animals, except if it is approved by the authority in charge.

Falconry Hunting Regulations

It is a prohibition for anyone to make use of a raptor to hunt without a South Carolina Falconry permit or a state hunting license. Also, it is unlawful for anyone that is less than 14 years old to hunt any game with the use of raptors. South Carolina hunting laws also prohibit the hunting of migratory game birds with raptors on Sundays.

Only hunters that pass the required examination and prove that they have the proper facilities to keep raptors will be issued a falconry permit in South Carolina. Apprentice or beginning falconers can only be sponsored by experienced falconers.

It is a prohibition to possess firearms during the hunting of raptors in South Carolina.

Open Carry While Hunting.

You can open carry while hunting in the state. However, during archery season, you cannot open carry or possess firearms.

South Carolina firearm harassment law includes the following:

  • Nobody shall impede or attempt to restrict the movement of someone that is taking part in the legal hunting of firearms.
  • Nobody shall make a barrier to deny entry and exit in any part of wildlife licensed for hunting activities to take place.
  • Nobody shall try to make any illegal physical contact with a person licensed to carry out hunting.
  • Nobody shall take part in any attempt to rob or destroy any property meant for hunting in the state.
  • Nobody shall disturb or try to alter the typical setting of a property licensed for lawful hunting activity.
  • Nobody shall trespass on any public or private land or water meant for hunting activity without gaining permission from the owner or the appropriate authority before doing so.
  • Nobody shall cause any disturbance to make gestures that annoy or prevent anybody from engaging in lawful hunting activity.
  • Nobody shall put himself or herself in the way of a fire during legal hunting sessions.

During primitive seasons, you cannot make use of your firearms to take any game. The only weapons for hunting in this season are archery equipment and muzzleloaders.

South Carolina has hunter harassment laws that state that it is illegal for anybody to deliberately restrict another person from licensed hunting or related activities like fishing and trapping.

South Carolina Hunting Licenses, Permits, and Tags.

South Carolina hunting licenses are issued based on residency, age, and the type of weapon required to take games. Permits, tags, and stamps are available for the taking of specific games. Therefore, the hunting of certain games will require both a hunting license and a hunting permit.

Hunting licenses available in South Carolina include the following:

Firearm Licenses

South Carolina firearm licenses include the following:

Resident Firearm Hunting License

This license is available for residents of South Carolina that are between the ages of 16 and 64. It costs $27.5.

Apprentice Firearm License

This license is available for apprentice hunters that are residents of South Carolina and are yet to complete the required hunting course. The age requirement to purchase this license is between the ages of 18 and 64 years old. It costs $27.5.

Senior Resident Firearm Hunting Licenses

This license is available to only senior residents of South Carolina that are 65 years old or more. It costs $15.5.

Apprentice Senior Residents Firearm License

This license is available to only apprentice senior residents of South Carolina that are 65 years old or more, and yet to complete the hunter training course. It costs $15.5.

Non-Resident Firearm Hunting License

This license is available for non-residents that want to take part in South Carolina hunting seasons. It costs $135.5.

Non-Resident Apprentice License

This license is available for apprentice hunters that are non-residents and are yet to complete the required hunting course. The age requirement to purchase this license is between the ages of 18 and 64 years old. It costs $135.5.

Non-Resident 2 Days Small Game Firearm Hunting License

This license allows non-residents to hunt small games for 2 consecutive days. Holders are allowed to take part in waterfowls hunting, but not turkey hunting in South Carolina.

1 Day Special Hunting License

This license is only available for hunting in South Carolina commercial preserves for just one day. It costs $12.5

Bow and Arrow License

Types of bow and arrow licenses in South Carolina include the following:

Residents Bow and Arrow Hunting License

This license is available for residents of South Carolina that are between the ages of 16 and 64. It costs $31.5.

Apprentice Bow and Arrow Hunting License

This license is available for apprentice hunters that are residents of South Carolina and are yet to complete the required hunting course. The age requirement to purchase this license is between the ages of 14 and 64 years old. It costs $31.5.

Senior Resident Bow and Arrow Hunting Licenses

This license is available to only senior residents of South Carolina that are 65 years old or more. It costs $16.5.

Apprentice Senior Residents Bow and Arrow Hunting License

This license is available to only apprentice senior residents of South Carolina that are 65 years old or more, and yet to complete the hunter training course. It costs $16.5.

Non-Resident Bow and Arrow Hunting License

This license is available for non-residents that want to take part in South Carolina hunting seasons. It costs $135.5.

Non-Resident Apprentice Bow and Arrow Hunting License

This license is available for apprentice hunters that are non-residents and are yet to complete the required hunting course. The age requirement to purchase this license is between the ages of 18 and 64 years old. It costs $135.5.

Youth Bow and Arrow Hunting

This license is available to youths that are between the ages of 10 and 15 years old. It is free of charge.

South Carolina hunting Permits

Hunting Permits in South Carolina Include the Following

  • Deer Permits

These permits are issued for the taking of deer regardless of the type of weapon. It costs $28.

  • Youth Deer and Turkey Hunting Permit

This permit is available for only youths that are between the ages of 10 and 15 years old. It costs $12.

  • Turkey Season Permit

To hunt turkeys during their hunting season, you will need a turkey season permit. It costs $21.

  • Rifle Permit

To hunt with rifles, you need to first purchase a rifle permit. This permit will be valid from 1st July to the 30th of June. The age requirement to apply for the permit is 16 years or more. It costs $10.5.

  • Youth Rifle Permit

To hunt with rifles from 1st July to the 30th of June, youths will need to obtain this permit first. It is only available for those under the age of 16, and it costs $6.

  • Coyotes and Fox Permits

To hunt coyotes and foxes in South Carolina, you must first obtain a hunting permit. It costs $2.

South Carolina Hunting Stamps

Hunting Stamps available in South Carolina include the following:

  • Pheasant and Quail Hunting Stamp

This stamp costs $40.

  • Waterfowl Hunting Stamp for

This license is only valid from 1st July to the 30th of June. It is available for residents and non-residents at costs of $5 and $10 respectively.

Trapping Licenses

South Carolina trapping licenses include the following:

  • Resident Trapping License

This license will allow residents of South Carolina to set traps for game animals. It costs $32.5.

  • Non-Residents Trapping License

Non-residents that want to set traps for games in South Carolina will have to purchase this license. It costs $200.5

  • Youth Trapping License

This license is available for youths that are between the ages of 12 and 15 years old. It allows them to set traps for free.

South Carolina Fishing Licenses, Permits, and Tags.

Fishing licenses, permits, and tags in South Carolina include the following:

Sportsman Combination License

This is a South Carolina fishing and hunting license. Asides from fishing, it allows holders to take part in firearms and bowhunting. It costs $72.25.

Residents Fishing License

This license is available for only residents of South Carolina that are between the ages of 16 and 64 years old. It costs $22.5

Senior Residents Fishing License

This license is available for senior residents of South Carolina that are between the ages of 65 and 69 years old. It costs $12.5.

Resident Trout Stamps

Residents that want to harvest trout fishes in South Carolina need to purchase this license. It costs $10.5.

Non-Residents Fishing Licenses

This license is available for non-residents that want to harvest fishes in South Carolina water bodies. The age requirement for the license is 16 years and older. It costs $34.

Non-Resident Trout Stamps

Non-Residents that want to harvest trout fishes in South Carolina need to purchase this license. It costs $20.

7 Days’ Vacation Fishing License

This license is available for only non-residents or tourists in South Carolina. It is valid for just 7 days, and it costs $19.5.

2 Days’ Vacation Fishing License

This license is available for only non-residents or tourists in South Carolina. It is valid for just 2 days, and it costs $9.

South Carolina Hunting Seasons

Hunting seasons in South Carolina vary for the different games and the type of hunting weapon needed to take them.

The 2020/21 hunting season for various wildlife in South Carolina includes the following:

South Carolina Deer Hunting Season

  • Archery Hunting Season (12th of September to 30th of October)
  • Youth Archery Hunting Season (26th of September)
  • Firearms Hunting Season (7th of December to 12th of December)
  • Youths Firearm Hunting Season (21st of November)

South Carolina Wild Turkey Seasons

  • Fall General Hunting Season (To Be Disclosed)
  • Spring General Hunting Season (To Be Disclosed)
  • Spring Youth Day (To Be Disclosed)

For turkey hunting, dates for the various seasons will vary based on South Carolina hunting zones. Permits to hunt turkeys will be available based on lotteries, and interested hunters must apply between January and February. Turkey hunters should know that there is no fall Hunting Season.

South Carolina Small Game Seasons

  • Quail Hunting Season (2nd of March to 1st of March, 2021)
  • Rabbit Hunting Season (2nd of March to 1st of March, 2021)
  • Squirrel Hunting Season (2nd of March to 1st of March, 2021)
  • Fox Hunting Season (2nd of March to 1st of March, 2021)
  • Pheasant Hunting Season (2nd of March to 1st of March, 2021)
  • Beaver Hunting (All Year Round)
  • Grouse Hunting Season (26th of November to 1st of March)
  • Raccoon Hunting Season (16th of March to 14th of September)
  • Opossum Hunting Season (16th of March to 14th of September)

Hunters should know that the bag limits, hunting regulations, and laws vary for game animals and the specific season. They are advised to visit the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website for more important information about the game they want to hunt, the hunting season, and the hunting zone.

South Carolina Wildlife, Games, and Fishes.

Common games and wildlife in South Carolina include the following:

South Carolina Turkey Hunting

Turkeys are one of the most common big games in South Carolina. Hunting of turkey in South Carolina is highly regulated with permits and tags.

South Carolina Deer Hunting

The 2 most common deer species available for big game hunting in South Carolina are Mule deer and white-tailed deer.

South Carolina Rabbit Hunting

There are 3 species of cottontail rabbits in South Carolina and they are available for small game hunting. They include mountain cottontail, desert cottontail, and eastern cottontail.

South Carolina Pheasant Hunting

Pheasants inhabit regions of South Carolina with very high humidity that are used for agricultural purposes. Pheasant hunting in South Carolina is quite common.

South Carolina Squirrel Hunting

Tree squirrels are one of the most popular small game birds hunted in South Carolina. There are about 4 various species of another 8 subspecies of them and they inhabit forested regions of the state.

South Carolina Coyote Hunting

Coyotes are very popular in the state and can be found in every part of the state.

South Carolina Raccoon Hunting

Raccoons are one of the few games in South Carolina that are allowed to be captured with firearms during the night.

South Carolina Shooting Range

Some of the shooting ranges in South Carolina available to the general public include the following:

  • Outdoor Adventure Center
  • Rapid City Trap Club
  • Ghost Town Sporting Clays
  • Hunters Pointe Shooting Club
  • Tri-State Shooters Club
  • Rosebud Arrow, Rod, & Gun Club
  • Tri-County Trap Range
  • Mitchell Trap Club
  • Beacon Hill Rifle & Pistol Club
  • Aberdeen Gun Club
  • Archery Outfitters
  • Crooks Gun Club
  • Camp Rapid National Guard Range
  • Big Sioux Rifle & Pistol Club
  • Edgemont Trap Club

South Carolina Hunting Lands for Sale and Lease

Hunting lands for sale in South Carolina Include the following:

  • Williston, South Carolina (Barnwell County) 216.77 acres.
  • Pauline, South Carolina (Spartanburg County) 74 acres.
  • Horse, Hunting, and Fishing Retreat awaits a new owner. Gorgeous, meticulously cared-for log cabin within 37 acres Trenton, South Carolina (Edgefield County).
  • 3248.61 +/- Acre Hunter's Paradise with Turnkey World Class Lodge! Legendary Whitetail and Turkey Hunting in Saint Stephen, South Carolina (Berkeley County).
  • Don't miss this opportunity to hunt deer, turkey, & hogs on the historic Lynches River in Chesterfield County, 140.09 acres.

Hunting lands for lease in South Carolina include the following:

  • Looking for 1 seasoned/experienced still hunter to share hunting property. The property is located in lower Jasper County, SC. Deer are plentiful, and stands for member & spouse are already on site for use, 125 acres.
  • Southern Cross Hunt Club. SC QDM, Jasper county, 2750 acres.
  • Broad River Deer and Hog hunting in Cherokee County, 1600 acres.
  • Ridgeland SC hunt club looking for members in Jasper County, 1700 acres.
  • Aiken, SC fast access lease, 8 acres.
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