Migratory Bird Licensing & Permits
A hunting license is required to hunt crows. Crows are migratory birds and as such, are a federally-protected species. The season is based on criteria established by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The open season for crows on private lands in South Carolina is Nov. 1 - Mar. 1. There is no bag limit. During the open season on private lands, crows may be taken with any firearm, bow and arrow, or by falconry. Crow hunting on WMA lands is permitted. During the open season for small game hunting on WMAs, crows may only be hunted with weapons legal for small game. The use of electronic calls for crow hunting is permitted statewide on private land and WMA land. Crows damaging crops may be taken at any time using non-toxic shot without a federal permit (50 CFR 21.43). Any person acting under this depredation order must provide an annual report to the USFWS Region 4 Migratory Bird Permit Office.
How do I buy a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp?
The Electronic Federal Endorsement is available at SCDNR regional offices, point of sale license vendors and online. The Endorsement is valid for 45 days. The physical stamp is mailed by the USFWS fulfillment vendor within 45 days. Federal stamps are available at select US Post offices, by calling 1-800-STAMP24 (782-6724) or online at www.fws.gov.
What is the Migratory Bird Permit?
Each year, before hunting migratory game birds, including doves and waterfowl, hunters 16 years of age and older are required to obtain a Migratory Bird Permit. Hunters are asked to complete a short survey, also known as the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey, about migratory game bird hunting in SC for the previous year. The survey is part of the license sales process when a hunting privilege is included. A HIP certification from another state is not valid in SC and hunters are required to register for HIP in each state they hunt migratory game birds.
Hunters 64 years of age or older who hold a lifetime hunting, lifetime combination, senior, gratis or Catawba license are not required to obtain a migratory bird permit.
A waterfowl hunter 16 years of age or older must carry:
- A valid South Carolina Annual Migratory Waterfowl Permit ($5.50) or Lifetime Migratory Waterfowl Permit ($110) endorsement on their license;
- A valid federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp ($25);
- A valid South Carolina Migratory Bird Permit (No Cost) endorsement on their license;
- A valid South Carolina Hunting License;
- A valid South Carolina WMA Permit if hunting on a Wildlife Management Area.
*The WMA permit is included in the Junior Sportsman, Resident Annual and 3-Year Sportsman License.