The state agency that protects the rich heritage of South Carolina is the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). This body has the full mandate to regulate sports and recreational activities such as fishing, hunting and boating. It is responsible for issuing all types of licenses, permits, stamps and tags especially for people who would like to engage in hunting or fishing activities. The SCDNR Division of Law Enforcement is also a branch that ensures the laws around commercial or recreational fishing, hunting and boating are adhered to. Anyone who wants to fish or hunt in South Carolina has to acquire the necessary license or permit from SCDNR. There are several types of licenses that can be bought by residents or nonresidents who want to engage in recreational activities within the state. Depending on the kind of fishing or hunting activity, licenses are categorized in resident and nonresident, temporary and permanent and freshwater and saltwater. Anyone who needs special permission to engage in activities not covered by their licenses will have to get additional stamps, tags or permits for such activities.
Where to Obtain Recreational Licenses in South Carolina
There are more than 500 agents licensed by SCDNR to issue fishing and hunting licenses in South Carolina. Similarly, the DNR issues licenses online to persons who want to purchase recreational licenses from the comfort of their home. In order to issue the licenses, the SCDNR will request identification to establish whether the applicant is a South Carolina resident or nonresident. There are privileges that only South Carolina residents are entitled to. Besides identification, the Social Security Number will also be requested and only persons who are compliant with child support payments (if applicable) will qualify for recreational licenses. It is also compulsory for any person born after June 30, 1979 who wishes to obtain hunting or combination licenses to complete a hunter education course approved by SCDNR. Children under 16 do not need to purchase fishing or hunting license. Licenses must be on the person of the hunter or fisher while engaging in the activity.
Fishing Licenses in South Carolina
If fishing from a privately owned pond in South Carolina, it may not be necessary to have a freshwater fishing license. In most cases however, anglers will be required to have a freshwater fishing license in order to fish, for example, from non-SCDNR permitted commercial pay ponds. The common freshwater fishing licenses for residents are 14-day, annual, 3-year and annual commercial licenses. Nonresidents can purchase the 7-day or annual freshwater fishing licenses.
Saltwater recreational fishing licenses must also be possessed by any anglers unless they are fishing on a licensed charter vessel for hire or fishing on a licensed public fishing pier. The exemption also applies when shrimp baiting or when using three or fewer drop nets/traps/hand lines with no hooks/fold up traps. Otherwise, anyone fishing for finfish, shrimp, crab, clams and oysters must have the saltwater fishing license. The variety of saltwater fishing licenses available for residents include 14-day, annual, 3-year, annual saltwater public fishing pier, annual saltwater charter fishing vessel and commercial saltwater and gear licenses. Nonresident saltwater fishing licenses are 14-day saltwater and annual saltwater fishing licenses.
Hunting Licenses in South Carolina
The variety of game that you could hunt in Carolina include bear, coyote, alligator, migratory birds, white-tailed deer, turkey and feral hogs among many others. Residents can purchase annual state hunting licenses, 3-year state hunting licenses, apprentice licenses (for hunters who have not completed their hunters’ education course), annual big game permit, 3-year big game permit and annual wildlife management area. In addition, residents can purchase a 3-year wildlife management area and shooting preserve permits. In order to hunt specific types of animals, residents and non-residents can purchase deer tags, restricted antlerless deer tags, bear tag, migratory bird permits, migratory waterfowl permits or turkey tags. Trapping and commercial fur harvest licenses, and turtle permits are also available for purchase. Tags must be acquired by any person who is hunting turkey or deer or using shrimp as bait or using any nongame devices. Anyone who has resided in South Carolina for 180 days or more and is at least 64 years and older is entitled to a senior lifetime license. This license can be used for freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, freshwater set hook, state hunting, migratory waterfowl, WMA or big game hunting.
Combination Fishing and Hunting Licenses in South Carolina
Combination fishing and hunting licenses are also available to South Carolina residents who want to enjoy recreational activities. The combination licenses are annual and 3-year combination, junior sportsman license, annual and 3-year sportsman licenses.
Fishing and Hunting along Georgia and South Carolina borders
The Georgia and South Carolina Reciprocal license agreement allows SC license holders to fish along various points of the Savannah River such as Tugaloo, Seneca rivers, Stevens Creek, Thurmond, Hartwell, New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam, Yonah, Russell and the Chattooga River. However, the tributary streams to these rivers are not included in the agreement.