A new law passed by the General Assembly this year allows kids to try hunting before the season starts.
Those 17 and under who want to try hunting in zones covering the Midlands and coastal areas can hunt Saturday, August 11. The start date is determined by the zones established by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. Previous law allowed kids to hunt the Saturday after the season closed.
“This one comes at the beginning of the season so now we’ll have a youth hunt day, a special youth hunt day, prior to regular season opening,” SCDNR spokesman David Lucas said. “And we’ll also have one at the Saturday after the season closes for deer.”
Kids must be accompanied on private land by an adult 21 years or older and antlered deer only can be taken, one deer per youth. Tags are not necessary. Click here for more information regarding the youth hunt program.
“The adult cannot take part in the hunt. The youth has to do the shooting,” Lucas said.
The expansion of the youth hunting program is the DNR’s efforts to encourage more kids to participate in outdoor activities.
“It’s an important priority for the DNR,” Lucas said. “We have a lot of youth programs, youth mentoring programs, youth fishing rodeos, family fishing clinics: a lot of the things we do to try to encourage more young people to get outside and get involved in hunting and fishing.”
Lucas said the DNR’s conservation efforts are funded by hunting and fishing licenses, so hunters and anglers pay to protect the state’s wildlife, wilderness and water resources.
“A lot of our conservation efforts, not just for game species but for wildlife in general in South Carolina and for habitat protection, a lot of those efforts rely on hunters and anglers and the dollars that hunters and anglers spend,” Lucas said.
Youth hunting day in DNR zones 3 and 4 is August 11. In zone 2 it’s September 8, and in zone 1 youth hunting day is September 29. Click here for a map to SCDNR Game Zones.