Hunting in South Carolina

South Carolina Hunting at Glance

South Carolina has a diverse landscape and a long hunting tradition. The state is home to large populations of white-tailed deer, wild hogs, black bears, and Eastern wild turkeys. Alligators may also be hunted in South Carolina.

South Carolina has a population of some 730,000 white-tailed deer. Although the state is not known for large-antlered deer, it tends to receive less hunting pressure than many other states in the South, and it has long seasons and generous bag limits.

South Carolina has no closed season or bag limit on private property and hunting of wild boars is not limited. In some years, hunters may take as many as 35,000 pigs.

The region’s seaside communities include salt marshes, estuaries, and bays. Many of these bodies of water are home to large swarms of migratory birds. The Piedmont is largely forested, with the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains reaching a height of 3,560 feet.

There are huntable black bear populations in two areas of South Carolina: the mountains and upper piedmont, as well as the coastal plain. Bears are hunted with and without dogs throughout the year. In South Carolina, it is legal to hunt alligators. Tags are given out through an annual drawing. South Carolina is a fantastic location for hunting Eastern wild turkeys, with a bag limit of three birds per season.

South Carolina ranks #24 in the nation for hunting license per capita and has a strong hunting culture with over 5.8% of the population classified as registered hunters.

Key Insights

  • South Carolina has a population of some 730,000 white-tailed deer.
  • South Carolina has no closed season or bag limit on private property and hunting of wild boars is not limited.
  • The Piedmont region is largely forested and the Blue Ridge Mountains reach a height of 3,560 feet.
  • Bears are hunted with and without dogs throughout the year in South Carolina.
  • South Carolina is predominantly private land, with only 4.25% of the total acres considered huntable public land.

Table of Contents

Hunters (Based on Hunting Licenses)
Population: 5,118,425
Hunters 296,869
Hunter % 5.80%
Hunters Rank 24

The state of South Carolina is predominantly private land and only 4.25% of the total acres could be considred huntable public land. In fact, South Carolina ranks #37 overall in acres of public huntable land.

Land Types (Acres)
Acres % Rank
Total 19,271,000
Huntable Public 819,000 4.25% 37
Private Land 18,270,580 94.81% 11
Tribal Land 0 0.00% no tribal land

South Carolina ranks #11 for the percentage of private land vs total acres and doesn’t have any tribal land.

South Carolina Hunting Seasons & Requirements

For the most accurate information on South Carolina Hunting Seasons, along with the state’s requirements for tag and bag limits, it’s a good idea to check with the South Carolina DNR.  We’ve provided their contact information below, along with links to helpful resources, including licensing.

South Carolina DNR

P. O. Box 167
Columbia, SC 29202-0167

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Popular Game to Hunt in South Carolina

There are many different types of hunting available, from small game to big game. The most common type of hunting is deer hunting, but there are also opportunities to hunt for wild turkey, quail, rabbit, and rabbit and even more exotic hunting like wild boar and alligator.

Small Game Hunting in South Carolina

Hunting is a popular pastime in South Carolina, and there are a variety of small game animals that can be hunted. The most popular species include squirrels, rabbits, doves, quail, and whitetail deer. Each of these animals offer unique challenges and can provide hours of enjoyment for hunters. Squirrels, for example, are known for their quick movements and cunning nature, while rabbits are often difficult to track down in dense brush. Dove hunting is also popular in South Carolina, as the state has a large population of these birds. Quail hunting can be challenging due to the bird’s small size and speedy flight, but many hunters find the pursuit to be rewarding. Whitetail deer are perhaps the most popular game animal in South Carolina, as they provide good eating and are relatively easy to hunt. No matter what type of small game hunting you enjoy, there’s sure to be something for everyone in South Carolina.

Big Game Hunting in South Carolina

The most popular big game animals to hunt in South Carolina are white-tailed deer, feral hog, black bear, and elk. South Carolina is home to a diverse array of wildlife, and these species are among the most popular to hunt. White-tailed deer are the most commonly hunted big game animal in the state, and for good reason – they are abundant and can be found in nearly every county. Feral hog populations have exploded in recent years, leading many hunters to seek them out. Black bear are found in the western part of the state, and while they are not as common as other species on this list, they are a coveted trophy. Finally, elk were reintroduced to South Carolina in 2016 and have quickly become a popular quarry. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or a novice looking to get started, these species offer ample opportunity to pursue your passion.

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Where are the Best Areas to Hunt in South Carolina

South Carolina offers great hunting opportunities across the state, both on public and private land. We’ve included some of the best areas for public hunting below and as we have access we’ll be adding more private land too.

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Popular Public Hunting Land in South Carolina

If you’re looking to hunt on public land, there are a few places that stand out. Sand Hills State Forest has over 46,000 acres great for both hunting and fishing.  It’s especially popular for deer, turkey, and quail hunting.  Santee National Wildlife Refuge is a great option, with over 13,000 acres of forest and wetlands to explore, it’s the ideal habitat for good waterfowl hunting. Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge is also worth considering – it’s the largest refuge in the state, and it’s teeming with all kinds of animals. Finally, Francis Marion National Forest is a vast expanse of forest of more than 370,000 acres that’s perfect for deer, turkey, and waterfowl hunting.

1. Sand Hills State Forest
2. Santee National Wildlife Refuge
3. Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge
4. Francis Marion National Forest
5. Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site

Hunting Private Land in South Carolina

Since the majority of South Carolina is private land getting access for hunting can be very appealing. When you hunt private land, it’s not only less crowded, the animals also tend to be less skittish and this means you’ll have a better day out in the field.  Traditionally, accessing private land for hunting has been complicated and expensive.  You either needed to join a club, hire a guide, or start knocking on doors.

Fortunately Wing It is simplifying this for hunters and outdoor enthusiasts of all types. We’re adding new land every day and if we have some in your area, you’ll see some options great below.

More Private Hunting Land

• 80 acres •
  • Hunting
  • Others activities
    • Woodchuck and rabbit hunting
  • Hunting
  • Others activities
    • Woodchuck and rabbit hunting
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