South Carolina Archery Season

Table of Contents

The South Carolina archery season offers hunters ample opportunities for several game species. The “Palmetto State” has a great deer season and provides some of the most fun hunting grounds in the United States. South Carolina was previously divided into six hunting areas but consolidated into four hunting zones in recent years.

south carolina archery season

South Carolina (SC) Archery Season, 2022-2023

Hunting seasons vary in each zone, providing hunters with a hidden gem offering amazing scenery around the foothills, leading to breathtaking views of the mountains. You get amazing views of the Atlantic Ocean and some of the best hunting on the eastern seaboard.

When does Archery Season Start in SC?

South Carolina Deer Seasons for Private Lands

  • Youth Hunt August 13* / September 10* / September 24* / January 7

  • Archery September 15-January 1*

*Hunting dates differ in wildlife management areas (WMAs) within zones.

South Carolina Bear Hunts for Public Lands

  • Still Hunt (No dogs) October 17-30*

  • Party Dog Hunt October 24-30*

Bear hunting is regulated in South Carolina. Hunters can purchase bear tags to harvest animals, and non-residents will pay more for tags than residents.

South Carolina Turkey Seasons for Public Lands

  • Spring General Season April 1-May 10

  • Spring Youth Hunt March 18-19

South Carolina turkey bag limits vary by area and hunter age. Residents can harvest more turkeys than non-residents.

South Carolina Small Game Seasons for Public Lands    

  • Crow November 1-March 1

  • Quail September 1-15 / November 21-March 1

  • Rabbit September 1-15 / November 24-March 1

  • Squirrel September 1-15 / October 1-March 1

  • Fox September 1-November 23 / November 24-March 1

  • Beaver October 1-March 1

  • Grouse November 24-March 1

  • Raccoon September 1-March 1

  • Opossum September 1-March 1

*Season dates vary by location and hunting with or without dogs. All species are available year-round on private land.

What are the Legal Hunting Hours in South Carolina?

Legal shooting hours are 1-hour before sunrise to 1-hour after sunset. Hunters must use the 

game-check process after harvesting deer. It’s illegal to shoot deer in the water or from water conveyances.

Hunting Licenses and Permits in SC

South Carolina hunting licenses can be purchased over the phone by calling the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, online at the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources website, or at any of the 500 licensing agents in the state.

For non-residents, licenses can be purchased through the same methods, but expect to pay non-resident fees.

South Carolina Residents

A South Carolina resident is a person with a state ID, or driver’s license Full-time, non-resident students and active-duty military personnel are considered residents. All residents aged 13 or older must have a hunting license.


Non-residents aged 13 or older must have a hunting license.

Youth Hunting Licenses

South Carolina residents and non-residents aged 10 to 12 need a hunter education certificate to hunt but no license. Residents and non-residents aged 13 to 15 must buy a junior hunting license.

Senior Hunting Licenses

South Carolina residents aged 65 or older can apply for the reduced-fee Annual Senior Citizen Hunting License or the Permanent Senior Hunting License.

Disability Licenses

Disabled South Carolina residents are eligible for specialty licenses.

Veteran and Military Licenses

Active-duty military personnel stationed in South Carolina can buy a resident hunting license. Additionally, active-duty military personnel that is South Carolina residents but stationed in other states don’t need to buy a hunting license while on leave. Disabled resident veterans may be eligible for the Permanent DAV Hunting and Fishing License.

Migratory Waterfowl Requirements

Hunters aged 16 or older must buy a South Carolina Migratory Bird Permit and Federal Duck Stamp when hunting migratory waterfowl. The permit is proof of participation in the Harvest Information Program (HIP).

License Expiration

Hunting licenses are valid for one to three years from the date of purchase. South Carolina residents can purchase lifetime hunting licenses.

Check out our guide 30+ Hunting Rules to Keep You Safe while bowhunting in the wild.

This article is written by:

Gregory Johnson

Gregory Johnson

With almost 20 years of archery experience under his belt, Gregory founded the Complete Guide to Archery website in 2017. His purpose has been to spread knowledge about the hobby and sport to anyone willing to learn.
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