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What’s New for 2019–2020

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What’s New—Hunting

Act 51 (S.575)

Wild Turkey Season and Limits

Sponsors: Sen. Campsen, Sen. McElveen, and Sen. Martin

This law establishes the season for wild turkey as April 1 to May 10 In Game Zone 1 and 2 and March 22 to April 30 in Game Zones 3 and 4. It establishes a season bag limit of 3 gobblers for residents and 2 for nonresidents, a daily bag limit of one, and a provision that no more than one gobbler may be taken during the first 10 days of the season. It establishes a youth turkey hunting weekend the Saturday and Sunday before the respective opening dates with a limit of one which counts towards the season limit. It establishes a $5 fee for a set of 3 turkey tags for residents and $100 for a set of 2 tags for nonresidents. Youth hunters and Lifetime/Senior/Gratis/Disability Licensees receive tags for free by requesting them annually. It establishes mandatory electronic harvest reporting (tele-check) for turkey beginning in 2021.

Effective 05/13/19

Act 19 (H. 3750)

Antlerless Deer Tags

Sponsors: Rep. Hewitt, Rep. Yow, Rep. Ott, Rep. Crawford,Rep. Kirby, Rep. Hardee, Rep. Hiott, Rep. W. Newton, Rep. Huggins, and Rep. Ligon

Effective 04/03/19

This law replaces the 8 date specific antlerless tags with 2 Individual Antlerless Deer Tags as part of the base set of resident deer tags. These antlerless deer tags are valid on private and WMA land any day beginning Oct. 1 in Game Zone 1 and Sept. 15 in Game Zones 2, 3, and 4 until the end of the deer season. This increases opportunity and flexibility for resident hunters to take antlerless deer from 8 days to 109 days.

Boat Registration Changes Coming Soon

Act 223 of 2018 will begin to take effect on January 1, 2020. This Act changes the registration period for boats from every three years to annually. The provisions of the Act will be phased in over a three-year period as your current three-year registrations expire. Additional details about these changes and how they will be implemented will be distributed late in 2019 via email, social media, the SCDNR website, news media, and other sources.

Operation Coast Watch

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Coast Watch is a program under Operation Game Thief designed to focus attention on coastal fisheries and resource violations.

The coastal resources of South Carolina are an important part of our natural heritage. Our coastal resource laws are designed to protect our fish and shellfish from being wiped out by overfishing. We must reserve a healthy population that is large enough to ensure good harvests in the future.

You can help protect our coastal resources by watching for and reporting violations to the Coast Watch Program. You may earn a reward up to $500 for information leading to the arrest of coastal law violators. In addition, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your part to defend our natural resources.

More information and a brochure may be obtained by calling 803-734-4002.