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Alligator & Bear Regulations

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Alligators

It is unlawful to feed or entice an American alligator with food (50-11-750), or possess any live alligator without a permit (50-11-390).

Public Alligator Lottery Hunts

Hunters are selected by a preference-based computer drawing and may apply online beginning May 1 of each year. A $10 nonrefundable application fee is required to participate in the drawing and applicants must be at least 16 years old in order to apply. If selected, the permit/tag fee is $100, and if not selected, the applicant will be awarded one preference point for future alligator lottery hunts. All selected hunters are required to possess a SC Hunting License in addition to the $100 permit/tag fee. Any nonresident alligator hunter chosen must pay an additional $200 Nonresident Alligator Hunting Fee along with the permit/tag fee, and must possess a SC Nonresident Hunting License.

Anyone may assist a permitted hunter during the hunt, but all assistants must possess a hunting license unless they are under the age of 16. In addition, ALL nonresident alligator hunting assistants (16 years of age or older) must pay the $200 Nonresident Alligator Hunting Fee and possess a SC Nonresident Hunting License, available from any license sales vendor. The deadline for applying for each year’s Public Alligator Hunting Season is June 15th at 5:00pm.

The application link and other details may be found on the SCDNR website. For information regarding the Alligator Program, and licensing requirements for taking, possessing, and sale of alligators or their products, call 803-734-3938 or 803-734-4024 (the Nonresident Alligator Hunting fee for nonresident alligator hunters and nonresident assistants may be paid at any license vendor location, online at www.dnr.sc.gov, or by phone at 1-866-714-3611).

Bear

It is unlawful to buy, sell, barter or exchange a bear or bear part or attempt to buy, sell, barter or exchange a bear or bear part. Transportation of a freshly killed bear or bear part is unlawful except during the bear season. Any person violating these offenses must be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both, and hunting and fishing privileges must be suspended for 3 years. It is unlawful to feed bears or to hunt bears by the aid of bait (50-11-430, 50-11-440, 50-1-130, 50-1-125).

Bear Tags

For the privilege of hunting bear, in addition to the required hunting license and big game permit, a hunter must obtain a bear tag issued in his/her name at a cost of $25 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Youth under the age of 16 are required to obtain a youth bear tag from the department at no cost. Bear tags are available over the counter at SCDNR offices in Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, Florence, York and at SCDNR at the Market. Tags can be ordered by telephone a 1-866-714-3611 or online at: http://dnr.sc.gov/purchase.html.

A handwritten application can be obtained on Applications (PDF) of this publication or at http://dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/speciallicenseapp.pdf.

The possession and use of bear tags is limited to the individual to whom it was issued. Tags must be attached to the bear before being moved from the point of kill.

Bear Seasons on Private Lands

Game Zone 1

  • Tag required to hunt bear
  • Harvested bear must be reported by midnight on day of harvest to Clemson SCDNR at 864-986-6249.

Still Hunt (No Dogs): Oct. 17-23

  • Limit: 1 bear; no sow with cubs, no bears 100 lbs. or less.

Party Dog Hunts: Oct. 24-30

  • Statewide Limit: 5 bears per party; no sow with cubs, no bears 100 lbs. or less.
  • All parties (maximum party size of 25) must register by application due Sept. 1. For application write SCDNR, 311 Natural Resources Dr., Clemson, SC 29631 or download @ www.dnr.sc.gov/bearhunting. Groups hunting together are considered 1 party.

Game Zone 4

(Georgetown, Horry, Marion, and Williamsburg counties only)

  • 2018 Quota – 30 bears all counties combined.
  • If 30 bear quota is met prior to Oct. 30, season will close 24 hours following season closure notice. Hunters are responsible for monitoring season status.
  • Harvested bears must be reported by midnight on day of harvest.
  • To report harvested bears or to check season status contact: 1-844-SC1-BEAR (1-844-721-2327) or http://www.dnr.sc.gov/bearcheck/

Still Hunts (No Dogs): Oct. 17-30

  • Statewide Limit: 1 bear; no sow with cubs, no bears 100 lbs. or less.