Turkey Hunting in South Carolina

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  • B
  • 100,000

    Wild Turkey Population

  • Easterns

    Turkey Subspecies

  • 181,820

    Number of Licenses Sold Annually

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Resident License and Permit

  • Varies (check regulations)

    Cost of Non-Resident License and Permit

Traditionally, South Carolina has a deep turkey hunting tradition and good numbers of birds in the right habitat areas.

Unfortunately, estimates of South Carolina's turkey population are down 20,000 birds from just a year ago, to 100,000 turkeys statewide. Numbers, officials say, have declined due to poor hatches over recent years.

As spring harvest data goes, management goals are steady, with 14,044 birds taken in 2020, and 14,065 turkeys killed last season. The 2021 spring season marked the inaugural year of "SC Game Check" and electronic harvest reporting for turkeys. 

For the 2022 spring hunt, the statewide limit sits at three gobblers for residents and two for nonresidents, with no more than one per day.

Bearded hens are not legal. Some other tactical prohibitions are also in place to help conservation efforts. 

For instance, it's unlawful to hunt or take a wild turkey by means of baiting. 

And, the practice of fanning or reaping is prohibited on WMA lands. (This regulation does not apply on private land.)

As public property goes, if you're willing to hike a little, you can find seclusion in the state's 630,000 acres of Wildlife Management Areas. 

Add to this another million acres of public hunting on U.S. Forest Service lands (600,000-plus acres between the Francis Marion and Sumter National Forest), more than a quarter-million acres of DNR lands, plus state Forestry Commission lands as well as timber company properties open to public hunting.

– Steve Hickoff

Turkey Hunting in South Carolina (c) Tes Randle Jolly photo

Go here for more Realtree turkey hunting.