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Turkey Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon South Carolina Hunting & Fishing

 

Seasons & Limits

  • Private lands Game Zone 1 and 2: April 1 – May 10
  • Private lands Game Zone 3 and 4: March 22 – April 30
  • WMA lands statewide: April 1 – May 5
  • Limit statewide private and WMA lands:
    • Residents: 3 gobblers per season, no more than one per day, no more than one (1) from April 1-10 on private land and WMAs in Game Zones 1 & 2. No more than one (1) from March 22-31 on private land in Game Zone 3 & 4.
    • Nonresidents: 2 gobblers per season, no more than one per day, no more than one (1) from April 1-10 on private land and WMAs in Game Zones 1 & 2. No more than one (1) from March 22-31 on private land in Game Zone 3 & 4.
    • Some WMAs may be more restrictive, see Spring Turkey Seasons on WMAs for specified limits

General Turkey Hunting Laws and Regulations for Hunting on Private & WMA Lands

  • Sunday hunting allowed on private lands (SC 50-11-555). No Sunday hunting allowed on WMA land (Reg. 123-51).
  • Statewide limit of 3 gobblers for residents and 2 for nonresidents, no more than 1 per day (SC Code 50-11-580). Bearded hens are not legal.
  • All hunters, including hunters younger than 16 or those who are calling or guiding must possess a valid set of turkey tags except on designated youth days. All harvested turkeys must be tagged and validated as prescribed on the tag form before being moved from the point of kill. No person may possess more than one set of turkey tags (SC 50-11-544).
  • Hunters who have used all their tags may call or guide for other hunters provided they possess their tag form.
  • Legal weapons – shotguns, muzzleloading shotguns, bows and crossbows. All other weapons or methods are prohibited including rifles, pistols, slugs, and buckshot (SC 50-11-500, Reg. 123-51).
  • Turkeys may not be hunted with dogs, live decoys or electronic calls (SC 50-11-40, Reg. 123-51).
  • Unlawful to shoot any turkey between 30 minutes after official sunset and 30 minutes before official sunrise. Unlawful to take or attempt to take a wild turkey from a vehicle on a public road. Unlawful to trap or snare a wild turkey. Unlawful to take wild turkey from a watercraft (SC 50-11-500).
  • Unlawful to hunt or take a wild turkey by means of bait or on or over any baited area (SC 50-11-510). Bait means placing, depositing, exposing, distributing, or scattering of salt, corn, wheat, or other grain, or foodstuffs to constitute a lure or attraction for wild turkeys. An area remains a baited area for ten days following the complete removal of all bait. NOTE: The following activities can result in a baited area if done prior to or during turkey season: planting, discing or manipulating chufa to expose the tubers; mowing or manipulating standing grain crops where grain is scattered or exposed; top sowing of any grains; bait or feed intended for other species.
  • On WMA lands the practice of fanning or reaping it is prohibited. Fanning/reaping is defined as hunting or stalking wild turkeys while holding or using for hunter concealment any of the following items: a tail fan, a partial or full decoy with a tail fan, or a tail fan mounted to a firearm. Tail fans include those made of real or synthetic feathers or an image or likeness of a tail fan applied to any material (Reg. 123-51). This regulation does not apply on private land.

Savannah River Site Draw Hunts for Persons with Disabilities

Savannah River Site will hold a draw hunt for persons with disabilities in Apr. for hunt applications, contact NWTF’s Wheelin’ Sportmen’s Coordinator, 800-843-6983 ext 7421.

Wildlife Management Area Lottery Hunts

Donnelley WMA, Santee Cooper WMA, Bonneau Ferry WMA, Belfast WMA, and Wateree River WMA (Adult hunts and Youth hunts). Turkey hunts available by public hunt drawing ONLY. To apply, visit our website at www.dnr.sc.gov/hunting/drawhunts. Online applications available in January.

Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge

Turkey hunts available by public hunt drawing only. Contact: Carolina Sandhills NWR, 23734 Highway 1, McBee, SC 29101 or call 843-335-6026

Turkey Tags

TURKEY TAGS ARE NO LONGER FREE. In addition to the required hunting license and big game permit, all turkey hunters, including youth, are required to have turkey tags in possession while hunting except on the designated youth days. The fee for a SC resident is $5 per set of three (3) tags and for a nonresident $100 per set of two (2) tags. Youth under sixteen and Lifetime/Senior/Gratis/Disability licensees may receive a free set of tags by request annually. Tags may be purchased on-line, by phone or at license vendors and will be mailed beginning in mid-February. Tags will also be available over the counter at SCDNR regional offices starting in late February. These new fees were established by legislation passed by the SC General Assembly in 2019. The fees will provide a source of funding for the tagging program, wild turkey research, data collection, habitat management and enforcement. Previously there was no dedicated source of funding for SCDNR’s wild turkey program.

Statewide Youth Hunting Weekend on Private Lands

For youths 17 years old and younger. Game Zones 1 and 2 March 28-29, Game Zones 3 and 4 March 14-15.

Youth hunters who have not completed the hunter education program must be accompanied by an adult at least 21 years of age. No license or tags required for youth or adult on these designated youth days. Adult may call or guide, however, only the youth may take or attempt to take. Limit one (1) gobbler total for the weekend which counts towards the season limit.