All residents and nonresidents born after June 30, 1979, must complete a hunter education course approved by SCDNR before a hunting license can be obtained. SCDNR accepts hunter education certifications issued by other states in the United States and Canadian provinces. If you have a certification from another state, your certification meets the hunter education requirement in SC. If you have a question about your certification, please contact the Hunter Education Office at 1-800-277-4301. The hunter education certificate is not a hunting license.
SCDNR offers three (3) options to take the Hunter Education Course.
1. In a classroom
The preferred Hunter Education method is through a free eight (8) hour instructor-led classroom. Classes maybe offered in a one day class or split over two nights. Students learn about hunting ethics, firearms safety, and the principles of conservation and wildlife management. All classes end with a test to pass the course.
2. On the Internet—The complete course can be viewed online.
The third party vendor (Hunter-Ed) who provides this online course charges $15.00 to take the course and pre-exam. Hunter-Ed offers daily (including weekend) live customer service via email or telephone with a toll-free number. Students who successfully complete the online portion of the course must take a supervised final examination at an official testing site to complete the course.
3. CD Self Study Course
A free self-study course on CD is also available. The course is taken at home at the student’s leisure, but students must take supervised final examination at an official testing site to complete the course.
Boaters under age 16 are required by law to pass an approved boater education course before operating a personal watercraft (jet ski) or a boat powered by a 15 h.p. motor or larger unless accompanied by an adult 18 years of age or older.
South Carolina boaters can take a boating safety and education course two ways.
1. In a classroom
Share the learning experience with other boaters and a qualified instructor.
2. On the internet
For more information on all boating courses, call SCDNR at 1-800-277-4301 or visit www.dnr.sc.gov/education/boated.
If you are under age 21 and plan to go boating in another state, check that state’s operator requirements. The SC Basic Boating Course is approved and recognized by all states requiring courses. The boater education certificate is not a boating license.
Bowhunters of South Carolina (BSC) is a nonprofit organization working to promote safe and lawful bowhunting education and instruction. Several times a year, SCDNR and BSC conduct bowhunter education classes.
The ultimate goal of the bowhunter education program is to provide bowhunters with the fundamentals of safe bowhunting, an appreciation and respect for the environment in which they hunt, and a desire to maintain the highest standards of the sport. To register for a bowhunter education course, please visit the SCDNR Hunter Education homepage at www.dnr.sc.gov/education/huntedor call 1-800-277-4301.
For information on the Bowhunters of South Carolina, please visit their website at www.scbowhunters.org.
The Trapper Education course includes discussions on furbearer biology, history of the fur trade, wildlife management principles, fur harvest regulations and ethical conduct. Basic hands-on trapping techniques will also be presented. Qualified instructors with the SC Trappers Association will discuss and demonstrate responsible trapping techniques.
For information, contact the Furbearer project at 803-734-3609.
Take One Make Onetm
This program is an outdoor education and mentoring program aimed at developing South Carolina’s youth and young adults, 10 to 17 years of age, into lifetime participants in conservation, hunting, angling and shooting sports activities. Students are required to complete the SC hunter education safety course and are mentored by an experienced adult for a minimum of one year. There are no registration costs. Presentations, brochures and applications are available by calling 1-800-277-4301. For more information, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/education/tomoand facebook SCDNR Take ONE Make One.
Youth Bass Fishing Club
Calling all middle and high schools! SCDNR, The Bass Federation, and B.A.S.S. have teamed up to help bring youth bass fishing clubs to schools around the state. Students can establish school bass fishing clubs to compete for prizes, scholarships and more on a club, state and national level. Get outdoors, relax, have fun and make friends by fishing for your school! To learn more about the Youth Bass Fishing Clubs, visit www.dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed, call 803-737-8483 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archery in the Schools Program
Archery in the Schools is designed to teach JOAD-style target archery (Junior Olympic Archery Development) to 4th-12th graders. Core content covers archery history, safety, technique, equipment, mental concentration and self-improvement. Before presenting the two-week archery course, teachers undergo an 8-hour Basic Archery Instructor (BAI) training program.
The South Carolina Archery in the Schools Program is for public and private schools and may be modified to include home school associations. You can learn more about the program by contacting the state outreach coordinator, 1 Lt. Kim Leverich, at 1-800-277-4301 or e-mailing her at Leverichk@dnr.sc.gov. For more information about archery, go to www.dnr.sc.gov/hunting/archeryand facebook SC Archery in the Schools.
SC Scholastic Clay Target Program
SCDNR Scholastic Clay Target Sports is a team-based youth development program that uses the shotgun sports of trap, skeet, and sporting clays to instill life skills such as discipline, safety, teamwork, ethics, self-confidence and other life values. For more information on this program, please call 1-800-277-4301 or email 1st SGT Ryan Bass at BassR@dnr.sc.gov.
Aquatic Education programs are designed to teach about fish, aquatic ecosystems, and the sport of fishing. Youth can learn about fish through SC Reel Art or try their hand at fishing with their parents at a Family Fishing Clinic. Avid anglers can become Certified SCDNR Fishing Instructors and share the love of fishing by leading Family Fishing Clinics. For more information on these programs, call 803-737-8483 or visit www.dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed.
Regulations in red are new this year.
Purple text indicates an important note.