Why It Matters: Sunday hunting restrictions are Blue Laws with no basis in wildlife management that restrict only one user-group, hunters, from accessing public lands on Sundays. Removing Sunday hunting restrictions in the Palmetto State is a priority for the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation (CSF), the Sunday Hunting Coalition, the South Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus, and in-state partners; and the opening of limited Sunday hunting opportunities this fall is the first significant step towards fully repealing all Sunday hunting restrictions in the state.
- For the first time in South Carolina’s history, hunters will be allowed to hunt some public lands on Sundays this fall.
- Wildlife Management Area (WMA) regulations approved this spring that became effective May 26 open Sunday hunting on seven WMAs and two National Forests from October 15 – January 31 for identified species.
- Roughly 695,000 acres of public land will now be accessible to hunters to seven days a week for three and a half months of the year which is an important victory for sportsmen and women that rely on public land for hunting access.
The approved modifications to WMA Regulation 2.5 that open Sunday hunting on limited public lands for a segment of the hunting season are the culmination of a multi-year effort led by the South Carolina Legislative Caucus (Caucus). Caucus Co-Chair Representative Bobby Cox introduced legislation two years in a row to repeal the Sunday hunting prohibition, and a wide range of conservation partners worked with the Caucus and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to identify lands where there was strong support for opening Sunday hunting.
The 2021 report “Exploring the Modification of Sunday Hunting Restrictions on Wildlife Management Areas in South Carolina” showed strong support for opening Sunday hunting on WMAs.
Lands open to Sunday hunting from October 15 to January 31 include the Belfast WMA, Edisto River WMA, Hamilton Ridge WMA, Liberty Hill WMA, Palachucola WMA, Webb WMA, Woodbury WMA, the Sumter National Forest, and the Francis Marion National Forest. For additional information, please reference the information provided by the DNR.
CSF would again like to express our sincere gratitude to Representative Bobby Cox, the Caucus, and partners for their advocacy to allow hunters to access public lands seven days a week like other user-groups.