Deer Hunting within300 Yards of a Residence
Sponsor: Sens. Cromer & Campsen – Act No. 246
This Act makes it unlawful to hunt deer with a firearm within three hundred yards of a residence when less than ten feet above the ground without permission of the owner and occupant. Anyone violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days. The provisions of this section do not apply to a landowner hunting on his own land or a person taking deer pursuant to a department permit.
Increased the Penalties for Trespassing To Hunt, Fish Or Trap
Sponsor: Sen. Campsen – Act 250
This act increases the penalties for trespassing to hunt, fish or trap.
If any person, at any time whatsoever, shall hunt or range on any lands for the purpose of hunting, fishing, or trapping, without the consent of the owner or manager, the person shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction shall:
For a 1st offense, be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days; 2nd offense, be fined not less than $500 nor more than $1000 or imprisoned for not more than 30 days; and, a 3rd or subsequent offense, be fined not less than $1000 nor more than $2500 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months or both.
The magistrates’ court has concurrent jurisdiction to hear 1st and 2nd offenses under this section.
Under the point system for violations, trespassing to hunt, fish, or trap has increased from 10 points to 14 points, while, intentionally trespassing to hunt, fish, or trap has increased from 10 points to 18 points.
WMA Lottery Hunt Privilege Revocation
Sponsor: Sen. Hembree – Act 000
In addition to any other action that may be taken by an enforcement officer, a hunter’s privilege to participate in a wildlife management area lottery hunt may be revoked for the remainder of the hunt if an enforcement officer witnesses, or has probable cause to believe that, the hunter violated any wildlife management area regulation or law, during the hunt.
If the hunter is not convicted of a violation of this article arising from the occurrence precipitating the revocation of his privilege to participate in the lottery hunt, then he, without having to pay any fees associated with participation, may elect to:
Antlerless Deer Harvest and WMA Regulations Changes
These regulations modified antlerless deer harvest limits and the number of either-sex days on private lands. On WMA lands, many seasons and limits were standardized to improve consistency across the state. Refer to WMA Regulations for specific changes to seasons, limits and WMA regulations.
What’s New—Freshwater Fishing
Blue Catfish Limits in the Santee Cooper System
Sponsor: Rep. Southard – Act 254
This Act sets the possession limits at not more than 2 blue catfish greater than 32 inches in length in any 1 day in Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie, or the upper reach of the Santee River, and the Congaree & Wateree Rivers.
The daily possession limit for blue catfish is not more than 25 in Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie, and the upper reach of the Santee River.
Taking or possessing more than the legal creel or size limit of blue catfish is a 14 point fishing violation.
Revised Restrictions for nongame fish Nets Along the Little Pee Dee River
Sponsor: Rep. Barfield – Act 154
This Act revises the restrictions placed on setting gill nets along the Little Pee Dee River upstream of Punch Bowl Landing during the nongame fish gillnet season by removing the prohibition of gill nets being placed or set within seventy-five feet of the confluence of a tributary.
What’s New—Saltwater Fishing
Spot, Whiting, And Atlantic Croaker Daily Combination Limit
Sponsor: Rep. Goldfinch – Act 211
This Act makes it unlawful for a person to take or possess in any 1 day more than 50 of a combination of the following: spot, whiting, and Atlantic croaker.
Prohibition of Taking or Possessing a Great White Shark
Sponsor: Rep. Limehouse – Act 205
This Act makes it unlawful to take or possess a great white shark. Any great white shark that is caught must be released immediately and must remain completely in the water at all times while being released.
Interstate Boating Violator Compact
Sponsor: Rep. Hixon – Act 178
This Act enabled the SCDNR to formally enter into the Interstate Boating Violator Compact (IBVC). As a compact member South Carolina has agreed to treat nonresidents from member states as if they were residents for purposes of boating violations.
If a nonresident from a member state violates a boating law in South Carolina, DNR officers can now serve a courtesy summons under the terms of the compact rather than arresting the individual, or requesting a cash bond.
Likewise, South Carolina residents will be treated the same way in other member states. Residents from member states are granted a courtesy summons based on the understanding that they will comply with the terms of the summons. If a resident from a member state fails to comply with the terms of a courtesy summons issued by another member state they will be suspended by their home state and that suspension will be recognized by all other member states.
As a member of the IBVC, South Carolina will share nonresident violation information with other member states. This means that violations in one member state can affect the privileges of the individual in all member states.
South Carolina will now recognize the suspension of boating privileges from other member states. A person who is under boating suspension in South Carolina will be prohibited from boating in other member states, and South Carolina will deny the privilege of boating on South Carolina waters to nonresident individuals from member states that have had their boating privileges suspended by that state. South Carolina will recognize the boating suspension privileges of member states as if the suspension had occurred in South Carolina.
Tugalo Lake Watercraft Motor Increase from 20 to 25 Horsepower
Sponsor: Sen. Alexander – Act 161
This act provides that except for law enforcement and dam operation and maintenance watercraft, no motor in excess of 25 horsepower shall be used on any watercraft operated on Tugalo Lake. A person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than one hundred dollars or more than five hundred dollars, or imprisoned for not more than thirty days, or both.”
Restrictions Placed on the Use of Watercraft on Lakes William C. Bowen and H. Taylor Blalock in Spartanburg County
Sponsor: Sen. Reese – Act No. 139
This Act provides for additional watercraft use restrictions on Lakes William C. Bowen and H. Taylor Blalock in Spartanburg County: no boat, watercraft, or any other type of vessel may be operated, anchored, moored, docked, or otherwise enter within 500 feet of any pump station, water intake of a dam, or hydroelectric generator outfall, or spillway or within 150 feet of public fishing piers.
The lake wardens, at their discretion, may limit entrance of boats, watercraft, or any other type of vessel onto the lakes via the public landings when conditions such as overcrowding or adverse weather create an unsafe boating environment.
All current watercraft restrictions are extended to all boats or any other type of vessel.
Specifically on Lake William C. Bowen there is no minimum or maximum restriction on length of boats, watercraft, or any other type of vessel.
Specifically on Lake H. Taylor Blalock it is unlawful to operate any boat, watercraft, or any other type of vessel between midnight and one hour before sunrise, except that public access to Lake H. Taylor Blalock for the purpose of hunting waterfowl on South Carolina Department of Natural Resources leased premises shall be open weekly on Wednesday mornings beginning at 5:00 a.m. during the Federal Waterfowl Hunting Season.
Published July 2014
Property-specific regulations outlined in this booklet could change due to the need for emergency regulations. Such changes will be publicized in local newspapers and on the SCDNR website at www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/changes as any new emergency legislation is passed. Discrepancies between the book and any statute or regulation shall be governed by the statute or regulation. To research laws, visit http://www.scstatehouse.gov/code/statmast.php. The SCDNR News Section will issue news releases to clarify any changes to regulations, errors or omissions in this booklet.
Other information is published only in SCDNR news releases. This includes announcements relative to shrimp baiting, public hearings, SCDNR Board decisions and position statements, new legislation, youth activities, mobility impaired hunts, US Dept. of Agriculture cost-share programs, special drawing hunts, schedules for newly acquired areas and many other items of interest. SCDNR news releases are published weekly and distributed free to editors of all regional and local newspapers and are available to the public on the SCDNR website.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.