May 20, 2019

South Carolina Enacts New Turkey Hunting Regulations

Contact Bee Frederick, Southeastern States Director

South Carolina Senate Bill 575, sponsored by former South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Chair Senator Chip Campsen, received final passage shortly before sine die on May 9. The legislation established new turkey hunting regulations meant to address the general decline in wild turkey populations in the Palmetto State.

After passage, the legislation was signed by Governor Henry McMaster on May 16.

Now law, the bill created regional hunting areas with the season for game zones 1 and 2 in the Upstate running from April 1 – May 10, and the season for game zones 3 and 4 in the Lowcountry running from March 22 – April 30.

Additionally, the new regulations:

South Carolina, like many other Southeastern states, has experienced population declines in wild turkeys in recent years. Previous legislation in 2016 required the Department of Natural Resources to study the season timing issues and report back by November of 2018. A copy of that report can be found on the Department of Natural Resources Website. 

Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?

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