Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
Join the Griffin's Guide HUNTING newsletter

Get weekly news, tips and photos from the world of hunting.
[contact-form-7 id="35884" title="GG Email"]
No Thanks!

Deer

Brought to you by:

hunter_buddies.jpgLegal hunting time for deer is the time between one hour before official sunrise until one hour after official sunset (50-11-710).

In Game Zones 1 and 2 it is unlawful to pursue deer with dogs (50-11-310).

It is unlawful to hunt, shoot or in any way kill deer from a motorboat, raft or any other water conveyance, or to molest a deer while any part of the deer is in water (50-11-730).

Possessing any deer with the head detached while in transit from the point of kill is prohibited (50-11-400).

It is unlawful to hunt deer within 300 yards of a residence without permission of the owner and occupant, except that a landowner may hunt on his own land (50-11-355).

Archery, muzzleloaders and crossbows are allowed during gun hunts.

Antlerless Deer

An antlerless deer is defined as a deer with no antlers or an antlered deer with less than two inches of antler visible above the hairline. Antlerless deer may not be possessed, hunted, shot or in any way killed except during special seasons or by special permit (50-11-410).

Antlerless Deer Harvest Programs

These programs are conducted statewide using either-sex days and 2 optional antlerless deer tag programs. The dates for either-sex days are shown in the hunting season section below.

Optional antlerless deer tag programs that hunters may choose to participate in include the Individual Antlerless Deer Tag Program and the Antlerless Deer Quota Program (ADQP).

Individual Antlerless Deer Tag Program

With the Individual Antlerless Deer Tag hunters may purchase up to 4 personal tags, for $5 each, which can be used on any day open to deer hunting with the following Game Zone restrictions: Tags are not valid in Game Zone 1 (Mountains). In Game Zone 2 (Piedmont) tags are valid on public and private land starting Oct.1. In Game Zones 3-6 (Coastal Plain) tags are valid on private lands and “unnamed” small WMAs starting Sept. 15. Tags are also valid on Sand Hills State Forest WMA in Chesterfield Co., North Dike WMA in Berkeley Co., Longleaf Pine WMA in Lee Co., Francis Marion National Forest in Berkeley and Charleston counties during still gun hunts for deer starting Sept. 15 and on Ditch Pond HP WMA in Barnwell and Aiken Counties and on Henderson HP WMA in Aiken County beginning Oct.1. Tags do not have to be used on scheduled county-wide either-sex days. Tags are not valid on properties enrolled in the Antlerless Deer Quota Program. Tags do not alter the daily or seasonal bag limits prescribed for Game Zones or alter the type of weapon allowed. Tags must be attached to the deer and validated as specified on the tag form.

All persons purchasing tags in past years will be sent a renewal notice in August. New applicants may complete the application provided on page 90 or contact SCDNR Deer Project at 803-734-3886 to receive an application. The possession and use of these tags are limited to the purchaser.

Antlerless Deer Quota Program

Antlerless deer quotas are issued to qualifying landowners or lessees statewide who complete and submit an application along with a $50 fee prior to July 18 each year. This program is generally better suited for landowners or lessees with larger acreages. Under the ADQP, a quota of tags is issued for a particular tract of land based on criteria including: density of the local deer population, condition of the local deer population, the size of the tract of land and the recreational and agricultural objectives of the property owner.

Utilization of tags issued under the ADQP is subject to the following Game Zone restrictions. In Game Zone 1 (Mountains) tags are valid beginning Oct. 1. in Game Zone 2 (Central & Western Piedmont) and Game Zones 3-6 (Coastal Plain) tags are valid beginning Sept. 15. Tags issued for a particular tract of land can only be used on that tract and they must be used on all antlerless deer that are harvested, including antlerless deer harvested on either-sex days or by bow and arrow in Game Zones 1 & 2. Tags do not alter the daily or seasonal bag limits or use of weapons during special weapons seasons in Game Zones 1 & 2. A harvest report must be completed by the applicant at the close of the season.

Deer Processors

It is unlawful to keep any deer in cold storage or refrigerating plants unless the carcass is clearly marked with the hunter’s name, address and hunting license number (50-11-1700). This does not apply to storage at a private residence or to deer that have an Individual Antlerless Deer Tag Program tag attached to the hamstring since the hunter’s name, address and tag number appear on the face of the tag. Deer processors should recognize that it is unlawful to sell deer meat to regain the processing fee for deer that have not been picked-up by the owner (50-11-1910). The best practice is to take a deposit for the processing service when deer are left at the facility. If meat is not picked-up by the owner, it can be given to another individual at no charge.

Deer Seasons on Private Lands

  • Sunday hunting allowed on private lands.
  • Archery and crossbows allowed during all seasons.
  • Crossbows are considered archery equipment.
  • Limit of 2 antlerless deer on posted either-sex days.
  • Limits listed include deer taken on private & WMA lands.
  • Individual Antlerless Deer Tags are not valid in Game Zone 1. Tags are valid in Game Zones 3-6 beginning Sept. 15 and in Game Zone 2 beginning Oct. 1. Individual tags are not valid on properties enrolled in the Antlerless Deer Quota Program. Tags do not alter the daily(2 per day) or seasonal limit or change the type of weapon that can be used during special weapons seasons. Tags must be attached to the deer and validated as specified on the tag form.
  • In Game Zones 1 and 2 it is unlawful to pursue deer with dogs.
  • Baiting or hunting deer over bait is not prohibited on private lands statewide.

Statewide Youth Day

Private lands: Jan. 4th Limit 2 either-sex. No tags required.

privateland_map.jpg

Game Zone 1 (Private Lands)

Buck Limit: 2 per day, 5 per season (all methods and hunt periods combined) Archers may take either-sex during all seasons.

Archery & Muzzleloaders: Oct. 1-10

Archery Antlerless limit: 2 per day, Total 2 (Oct. 1-10) Muzzleloader is buck only, 2 per day

Gun Hunts:
Oct. 11-Jan.1

Anterless Limit: 2 per day

Total 5 for all methods combined (Oct. 11-Jan.1)

Archery Antlerless Daily Limit: 2 per day

Firearms Antlerless Daily Limit: 2 per day

Either-Sex: Nov. 2, 9, 16

Game Zone 2 (Private Lands)

Buck Limit: 2 per day, 5 per season (all methods and hunt periods combined) Archers may take either-sex during all seasons.

Archery Only: Sept. 15-30

Anterless Limit: 2 per day

Total 2 (Sept. 15-30)

Archery & Muzzleloaders: Oct. 1-10

Archery Antlerless Limit: 2 per day

Total 2 (Oct. 1-10) Muzzleloader is buck only, except Antlerless on Oct. 5 or with individual tags, 2 per day, Total 2 (Oct. 1-10)

Gun Hunts: Oct. 11-Jan.1

Anterless Limit: 2 per day

Total 5 for all methods combined (Oct. 11-Jan.1)

Archery Antlerless Daily Limit: 2 per day

Firearms Antlerless Daily Limit: 2 per day

Either-Sex: Oct. 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Dec. 21, 28, Jan. 1 or with individual tags

Game Zone 3 (Private Lands)

No limit on antlered bucks.

Limit 2 antlerless deer on either-sex days.

Archery & Gun Hunts: Aug. 15-Jan. 1

Buck only

Either-Sex: Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Dec. 21, 28, Jan. 1

Game Zone 4 (Private Lands)

No limit on antlered bucks.

Limit 2 antlerless deer on either-sex days.

Archery Only: Sept. 1-14

Buck only.

Gun Hunts: Sept. 15-Jan. 1

Buck only.

Either-Sex: Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Dec. 21, 28, Jan. 1

Game Zone 5 (Private Lands)

No limit on antlered bucks.

Limit 2 antlerless deer on either-sex days.

Archery Only: Aug. 15-31

Buck only.

Gun Hunts: Sept. 1-Jan. 1

Buck only.

Either-Sex: Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Dec. 21, 28, Jan. 1

Game Zone 6 (Private Lands)

No limit on antlered bucks.

Limit 2 antlerless deer on either-sex days.

Archery & Gun Hunts: Aug. 15 – Jan. 1

Buck only

Either-Sex: Oct. 5, 12, 19, 26, Nov. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30, Dec. 21, 28, Jan. 1

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
Brought to you by:
Conservation Partner Advertisements: The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC & eRegulations.com, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com