Seasons & Limits —Spring 2023
- 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 – April 29
- Some WMAs may be more restrictive, see Spring Turkey Seasons on WMAs for specified hunt dates.
- 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
Statewide Youth Hunting Weekend on Private Lands
For youths 17 years old and younger. Game Zones 1 and 2 March 25-26, Game Zones 3 and 4 March 18-19.
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.
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. 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 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.
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 hunters and 3-year Disability Licensees receive tags for free but must request them annually. Lifetime/Senior/Gratis/Disability Licensees receive tags for free annually after requesting them one time. Tags may be purchased online 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. Fees associated with turkey tags are dedicated to turkey research, management, and enforcement. Prior to the fee on tags, there was no dedicated source of funding for SCDNR’s Wild Turkey Program.
Need turkey tags now? See Deer Rules & Regulations for how you can download and print a set of temporary tags if you recently requested your tags.
You Must Report Your Turkey Harvest
There are four ways to complete the harvest reporting process. Hunters can either (a) log the harvest into Game Check using the free Go Outdoors SC mobile app on a smartphone; (b) enter the harvest on the web via Game Check at https://license.gooutdoorssouthcarolina.com, (c) text “Harvest” to 1-833-472-4263 and follow the automated prompts or (d) call the SC Game Check reporting phone line at 1-833-4SC-GAME (1-833-472-4263).
Turkey hunters will receive additional details and complete instructions on harvest reporting and SC Game Check with their turkey tags. Full details and instructions will also be available on the SCDNR website.
The Go Outdoors SC smartphone app will allow you to report a harvested turkey with or without cell phone service. iPhone and Android users can download the free app on your mobile device through the Apple or Google Play Store.