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South Carolina’s 2024 Hunting and Trapping Seasons Approved

There are four unique hunting zones in South Carolina (in the past, the state was divided into six areas). This page includes the regulations, bag restrictions, license requirements, and useful links to participate.

South Carolina Hunting Seasons

SC Deer 2024-2025



















Youth Hunt Days (Private Land)

Upland Birds



SC Migratory Birds







Free Hunter Education Course at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge

EventFree Hunter Education Course at Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge
DateSaturday, Sept. 16
Time8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m.
LocationRefuge office, 23734 U.S. 1, three miles north of McBee
InstructorS.C. Department of Natural Resources
Course PurposeProvides hunter education for those interested in conservation and outdoor activities
RequirementsMandatory for residents/non-residents born after June 30, 1979, seeking hunting license
Recommended AgeMotivated students 12 years and older with good reading skills
Final Exam AgeOnly children age 10 and older can take the final exam
Age 12 and UnderMust be accompanied by a parent/guardian
Alternate RegistrationSearch for "SCDNR Hunter Education," then search by ZIP code, 29101
AccommodationsContact refuge at 843-335-8350 by Sept. 6 for reasonable accommodations
LunchParticipants should bring lunch or money for lunch offsite


What can I do if I purchased my license online but didn’t print my payment receipt?

You will get an email with your license details when you buy your license online. You are free to hunt or fish with this email. If you opt to receive a physical copy by mail, you can utilize it during your outdoor pursuits. Download our mobile app, Go Outdoors South Carolina, load your customer profile, and sync your licenses to the app. This serves as a valid hunting and/or fishing license if you have already purchased a license in any other way.

When does South Carolina hunting season begin and end?

Outdoor enthusiasts can engage in various activities from August to February, tailored to different species. For deer, both archery and rifle experiences extend from September to January. The period from September through November is dedicated to elk and bear pursuits, encompassing both archery and gun sessions. Waterfowl enthusiasts can partake in captivating experiences with ducks, geese, and other aquatic birds from September to January. Those interested in small game can explore opportunities to pursue rabbits, squirrels, and more, spanning from October to February.

What are the most popular South Carolina hunting species?

White-tailed deer, feral pigs (considered invasive), black bears (particularly in mountainous regions), waterfowl (including ducks and geese), and small game such as rabbits and squirrels attract significant attention in South Carolina during the designated activity timeframe. Each of these species presents unique challenges and opportunities. Turkeys, quail, and doves are also prevalent game species in South Carolina.

How can I obtain a hunting license in South Carolina?

To qualify for a license in South Carolina, individuals must be at least 16 years old and possess a valid South Carolina driver’s license or identity card. Those born after June 30, 1979, are required to complete hunter education, accessible on the SCDNR website. The license can be acquired online, through mail, or from an authorized licensing agent. Fees vary based on the license type and targeted species, with options for residents, nonresidents, the elderly, disabled individuals, and lifelong permits. When participating in outdoor activities on public lands, individuals must present their hunting license for verification.

Can non-residents participate in South Carolina's hunting season?

Yes, non-residents can participate in hunting activities and permits come with additional fees and may have restrictions on certain animal species. Moreover, non-residents often face more limited tag allowances compared to residents. There may be a potential disadvantage for non-residents in the lottery process for acquiring licenses.

What are the different types of hunting methods allowed in South Carolina?

Various methods such as archery, shotgun, rifle, muzzleloader, handgun, and crossbow are commonly employed. While the use of hunting dogs is allowed, there are specific limitations in place.

Are there any youth-specific hunting opportunities in South Carolina?

Yes, special opportunities are provided during the outdoor activity period to engage young individuals in safe and enjoyable experiences related to wildlife. Youth-specific events, including opportunities for Deer, Turkey, and Waterfowl, cater to those aged 12 to 16. The Youth Hunting Mentoring Program is specifically designed for children aged 12 and under, pairing them with experienced mentors. To participate, young hunters need to meet certain criteria, hold a juvenile outdoor license, and be accompanied by a licensed adult mentor.

How do I report my harvested game in South Carolina?

Through the SC Game Check app to report your harvested game. When ready to report, input species, date and time of harvest, location, tag number (if relevant), sex, animal age (if known), and harvest technique into your personal account. You may also report to SC Game Check by mail or by phoning 1-833-4SC-GAME. You must report the kill within 24 hours with your hunting license, tags, and documentation of the kill (picture or tag). Reporting promptly and accurately helps preserve game populations.

What are the penalties for hunting violations or non-compliance in South Carolina?

The consequences for violations related to wildlife regulations in South Carolina are contingent upon the severity of the offense. Offenses such as engaging in hunting without a valid license, hunting outside designated time frames, utilizing prohibited weapons, unauthorized killing of animals, and interference with wildlife carry varying penalties. Classified as Class 1 through Class 3 offenses, these transgressions may result in 30-day imprisonment and fines of up to $1,000. Offenders also face the potential suspension or revocation of their wildlife licenses.

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