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Changes in Hunting Laws

For hunters in the Lowcountry, August 15th is a day many anticipate all year long as it is the opening of deer season. In less than a month deer season will begin and with a great controversy surrounding changes in deer tagging laws, this season marks the first official season of a tagging requirement for every deer, both buck and doe. Local South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Sergeant Andrew Godowns simplifies the new tagging law, “All deer have to be tagged from now on,” Sgt. Godowns explains, “When an individual buys a hunting license they will get 3 buck tags and 8 date specific doe tags.” The date specific doe tags will replace the doe days tags that use to be in place. “Individuals can also purchase an additional two more buck tags that are restricted, with these 2 tags the buck must have 4 points on one side or a minimum of a 12-inch spread,” Sgt. Godowns explains, “ Individuals can also purchase their normal 5 doe tags to use anytime.” There are a few important things to remember about licenses and tagging as certain types of license do not automatically mean you will receive a set number of tags when you purchase the license, “Something for people to remember is if they have a senior license, gratis license, or are too young to require a license they must call the department to request deer tags they will not automatically be mailed out,” according to Sgt.Godowns. Deer hunting is not the only area of changes made to hunting, “Another addition that has changed to hunting laws is the night hunting of hogs and coyotes. In the past, a landowner has had to register their property and you could legally hunt hogs and coyotes at night with certain restrictions for 4 months out the year. This season has been extended to year round. A landowner must still register the property through the department and will still have certain restrictions but they will be allowed to hunt coyotes and hogs year round. For more information on these changes please visit our website,” Sgt. Godowns said. The SCDNR website is filled with information regarding all hunting and fishing laws, including recent changes or additions to the laws. It is also a great resource for individuals who are new to hunting in the Lowcountry. As always one of the most important things that SCDNR Sgt. Godowns stresses are the safety aspect of hunting. Here are a few safety tips from Sgt. Godowns, “All hunters should abide by gun safety and make sure weapons are always pointed in a safe direction. Identify your target and make sure you have a clear shot. When hunting in parties wear blaze orange to be identified by other hunters. Check stands to make sure they are stable and safe. Wear safety harnesses in stands. Before you go hunting let some know where you are hunting and when you think you’ll be back. To report violations go to operation game thief.” For additional information visit www.dnr.sc.gov.

Amye Stivender (46 Posts)