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South Carolina



SCDNR Frequently Asked Questions

Q: I purchased my license online but didn’t print my payment receipt, what can I do?

A: When you purchase your license online you will receive an email containing your license information. You may use this email to hunt or fish. If you opted to receive a copy of your license by mail, you may carry this license while hunting or fishing. If you purchase a hunting or fishing license by any means, you may download our mobile app, Go Outdoors South Carolina, load your customer profile and sync your licenses to the app, this is also a valid hunting and/or fishing license.

Q: How do I change my address?

A: You may change your address online by logging in to your customer profile at, through the Go Outdoors South Carolina mobile app or by mail. To apply by mail print and mail the change of address form located on our website at

Q: If I am fishing from the shore in saltwater, do I need a saltwater license?

A: YES, you must possess a current saltwater license if you fish from shore or in a boat in salt water. Refer to General Information for the saltwater/ freshwater diving line.

Q: How many fishing rods may I use with a saltwater fishing license in a boat?

A: A licensed angler may use as many fishing rods as he/she wishes in a boat in saltwater. No unlicensed angler may use any of those fishing rods.

Q: Are mussels considered clams or oysters?

A: Mussels are considered oysters with applicable regulations. This does not apply to freshwater.

Q: Is there a crabbing season?

A: No, you can crab any time of year. Please see regulations for size limits and license requirements.

Q: Can you keep red drum caught in federal waters (beyond 3 miles)?

A: No, red drum may not be harvested from federal waters.

Q: If I am a recreational angler can I harvest crabs using a line with multiple hooks (similar to a trotline)?

A: YES. This would be considered a trotline and recreational anglers must have a Saltwater Recreational Fishing License and a Trotline Equipment License.

Q: I have a nuisance wildlife problem (such as a snake in the yard, squirrel in the attic, etc.). Who do I call?

A: SCDNR does not provide nuisance wildlife control services, but can refer you to private individuals and companies that do. For a directory, see:

Q: Is there a caliber restriction or magazine restriction when hunting deer, hogs or coyotes on private land?

A: NO, there is no caliber or magazine restriction for firearms used to hunt deer, hogs or coyotes on private land.

Q: Is there a caliber restriction or magazine restriction when hunting deer, hogs or coyotes on WMA land?

A: There is no magazine restrictions on WMA lands. See Weapons beginning on WMA Regulations for weapons related regulations on WMAs.

Q: May I carry a handgun with me when hunting on an archery only WMA if I possess a Concealed Weapons Permit (CWP)?

A: YES, persons who have a CWP pursuant to SC-31-205 may possess a handgun while on any WMA. During a primitive weapons season (archery or muzzleloader), a handgun may not be used to take or attempt to take game.

Q: How long can I sit in the stand to hunt deer?

A: It is legal to hunt deer in South Carolina from one hour prior to official sunrise until one hour after official sunset.

Q: If I have used all of my turkey tags for the season, can I take someone else hunting and call for them?

A: YES, hunters who have used all of their tags may call or guide for other hunters provided they possess their tag form and a valid hunting license.

Q: How old does my child need to be before they are required purchase a hunting or fishing license?

A: Any person age 16 or older must possess a valid hunting or fishing license while hunting or fishing in South Carolina.

Q: Is my child who is under age 16 required to have tags to hunt deer, turkey or bear?

A: YES, anyone who hunts for turkey, deer or bear must have a set of tags no matter their age, except on designated youth days. Tags are available at each of the five regional SCDNR offices. See Directory South Carolina DNR for office locations, online or through the mobile app.

Q: Can I camp on WMA properties?

A: YES, but only in designated camping areas and several properties require a permit for camping. Check our website at for information on specific properties.

Point & Suspension Systems for Natural Resource Violations

South Carolina law has established suspen­sion systems based upon the accumulation of points assessed for convictions of natural resource laws.

The Game and Fish Point System applies to violations inland of the saltwater/freshwater dividing line and if suspended under this system, a person cannot hunt, fish, gather, trap, land, or pursue game, fish, crustaceans, or shellfish in the State (including coastal waters out to the three mile limit).

The Saltwater Point System applies to violations within the coastal waters of the State, seaward of the saltwater/freshwater dividing line. The point categories for assessments are recreational and commercial. Points are assessed according to the appropriate category. Upon accumulation of 18 or more points in the recreational or commercial categories, a person’s privileges to fish, gather, land, attempt to take, or possess fish, shellfish, or crustaceans within the coastal waters for the purposes of the affected category will be suspended. Suspensions under the Saltwater Point System do not effect inland freshwater fishing privileges except for shad, herring, and sturgeon which are regulated by coastal laws inland of the saltwater/freshwater dividing line.

Each time a person is convicted of a violation listed in the point systems, the Depart­ment must assess the points against the person’ s record. Half of the points on record are reduced for each full year in which the person receives no points. The Department of Natural Resources must suspend the privileges of any person who has accumulated eighteen (18) or more points.

In addition to these point suspensions, South Carolina law also contains mandatory suspensions for convictions of specific violations of the law. These suspensions are called “Statutory Suspensions.” See Table C for some specific examples of statutory suspensions.

Point System Suspension Appeals

A person who has been notified of a suspension may appeal the suspension pursuant to the South Carolina Administrative Procedures Act. The appeal of the suspension is not an appeal of the person’s conviction. The Administrative Law Court does not have jurisdiction to review the conviction, only the suspension. Appeals must be filed and served within 30 days of the date of suspension notice. You must file the appeal with the Clerk of Court of the Administrative Law Court.
South Carolina Administrative Law Court, Edgar A. Brown Building, 1205 Pendleton St., Suite 224, Columbia, SC 29201, Voice: 803- 734-0550, Fax: 803- 734-6400.

If an individual appeals a suspension the SCDNR will temporarily end the suspension. The result is that an individual will retain the privileges that were initially suspended during the period of appeal. The period of appeal begins when the SCDNR receives notification from the Administrative Law Court that the case has been scheduled for a hearing. The SCDNR will notify the individual in writing when the period of appeal begins. Until that notice is received the suspension remains in effect. A withdraw of the appeal by the individual, or a finding in favor of the SCDNR by the Administrative Law Court will result in the individual having to serve the remainder of the suspension. A finding in favor of the individual, or a finding by the SCDNR that the suspension was in error, will result in a dismissal of the suspension.


  • A violation of natural resources law while under suspension may result in additional suspensions of one year to five years.
  • The purchase or procurement of a license, permit, stamp, or tag allowing suspended privileges while under suspension is a fraudulent purchase and is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,085.00 and an additional one year suspension of hunting and fishing privileges.
  • Failure to pay fines and/or restitutions may result in suspension of privileges.

To find out more information on suspensions, contact the SC Department of Natural Resources, Records and Intelligence Section, Law Enforcement Division, P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call 803-734-3876.