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Deer Tag Information

Hunting Regulations Icon South Carolina Hunting & Fishing

All harvested deer in South Carolina are required to be tagged at the point of kill. Tag must remain attached until the deer/carcass is quartered or received by a processor. For Additional Deer Tag Information visit www.dnr.sc.gov/deertags/

Deer tags ARE NOT available over the counter at point of sales vendors (Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc.). They are available over the counter at SCDNR offices located in Charleston, Clemson, Columbia (downtown and Farmer’s Market), Florence, and York. Tags may be requested after July 1 by phone at 1-866-714-3611 or online at: www.dnr.sc.gov/purchase. Tags will not be mailed until early August. Allow 7-10 days for tags to arrive in the mail for online and telephone orders.

Tags are valid for the entire deer season, however, hunters must maintain an active License/Big Game Permit to legally deer hunt. The statewide limit on antlered bucks using personal tags is 5 for residents and 4 for non-residents. In each case, 2 of these bucks must have at least 4 points on one antler or a 12-inch inside spread. Daily limit of 2 for antlered bucks or antlerless deer using personal tags for residents and non-residents.

Residents

When a resident purchases a Hunting License/Big Game Permit OR if they have an active Hunting License/Big Game Permit that will be valid when deer season begins they will automatically receive a free base set of deer tags prior to deer season or 7-10 days following the purchase of the Hunting License/Big Game Permit if deer season has begun.

Youth hunters and Lifetime and Senior/Gratis/Disability Licensees must request the free base set of tags annually. (Note: Lifetime Licensees that now live out-of-state should call SCDNR Licensing directly at 803-734-3833.)

The base set of resident tags consist of the following:

  • 3 Unrestricted Antlered Deer Tags
  • 8 Date Specific Antlerless Deer Tags
    Each antlerless tag is only valid on one specific day and cannot be used on any other day. These tags replace the “doe days” in the past.

Residents – optional deer tag purchases

Residents including youth hunters and Lifetime and Senior/Gratis/Disability Licensees may purchase 2 additional antler restriction buck tags for $5 each. The restriction is the buck must have 4 points on one antler or a minimum 12-inch inside spread. There is no particular order in which the antlered buck tags must be used.

As in the past, all residents may purchase up to 4 individual antlerless tags for $5 each. Tags are valid on any day beginning September 15 in Game Zones 2, 3, 4 and October 1 in Game Zone 1 until the end of the deer hunting season.

Non-Residents

Non-Resident adults receive no free tags with the purchase of their Hunting License/Big Game Permit and must also purchase deer tags in order to deer hunt.

Non-Resident deer tags are as follows:

  • May purchase up to 4 antlered deer tags.
  • 2 Unrestricted Antlered Deer Tags
  • 2 Antler Restriction Deer Tags
    4 points on one antler or a minimum 12-inch inside spread. Cost: $50 for first antlered buck tag- $20 for each additional ($110 for all 4).
  • After the purchase of an unrestricted buck tag, there is no particular order in which the buck tags must be purchased or used.

May purchase up to 4 Individual Antlerless Tags ($10 each) as in the past.

Non-resident youth receive base set of tags for free by request like resident youth. May then purchase one antler restriction buck tag ($50) and up to 4 Individual Antlerless Tags ($10 each).

Resident Archery Hunters

Resident archery hunters may use any of their date specific antlerless tags to take antlerless deer on any day during ARCHERY ONLY or PRIMITIVE WEAPONS ONLY SEASONS beginning September 15. This dual purpose tag is only valid on private land in Game Zones 1 & 2 and on certain WMAs statewide.

The Archery Use exception allows these tags to be used only during Archery Only & Primitive Weapons Seasons. This use of these tags is NOT VALID on private lands in Game Zones 3 or 4 because those areas do not have Archery Only or Primitive Weapons seasons that occur on or after September 15.

Certain WMAs statewide do have Archery Only &/or Primitive Weapons seasons on or after September 15 and these tags may be utilized on those areas.

To be valid the archery notation box, actual harvest date & game zone must be marked on the tag. Once used for this purpose these tags are no longer available for use later in the season on the designated date.

Measurement Procedures & Standards for Antlered Deer

For the 2 Optional Antler Restriction Tags a deer must have a minimum of 4 points on one antler OR a minimum 12” inside antler spread.

  1. A point is defined as a projection that is at least one inch long. Points are measured starting at base where it arises from the top of the beam or another point. (Fig. 1)
  1. Inside antler spread is measured at a right angle (perpendicular) to the center line of the skull at its widest point between the main beams. (Fig. 2)

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Need Deer Tags Immediately?

If you have just purchased a Hunting License and Big Game Permit, or have just requested or purchased deer tags and want to deer hunt immediately, a temporary set of deer tags can be downloaded and printed by accessing the Customer Privileges Portal on the SCDNR website at https://www2.dnr.sc.gov/customerprivilegesportal. These self-printed temporary tags are only valid until your permanent tags arrive in the mail. Any deer that is tagged with temporary tags must be reported to the Customer Privileges Portal on SCDNR website at https://www2.dnr.sc.gov/customerprivilegesportal by midnight of the day of harvest. You will need the deer tag identification number and county of kill as part of the reporting process.