Deer Tag Information for South Carolina Hunters
If you're planning to hunt deer in South Carolina, it's important to be aware of the tagging requirements and options available to you. Here's essential information about deer tags in South Carolina:
- All harvested deer in South Carolina must be tagged at the point of kill.
- The tag must remain attached until the deer/carcass is quartered or received by a processor.
Obtaining Deer Tags
- Deer tags are NOT available over the counter at point-of-sale vendors (e.g., Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods).
- They can be obtained over the counter at SCDNR (South Carolina Department of Natural Resources) offices located in Aynor, Charleston, Clemson, West Columbia at the State Farmer’s Market, Florence, and York.
- Tags may also be requested online at GoOutdoorsSouthCarolina.com after July 1. However, they will not be mailed until early August.
- Allow 7-10 days for tags to arrive in the mail for online and telephone orders.
- Tags are valid for the entire deer season.
- Hunters must maintain an active License/Big Game Permit to legally deer hunt.
- The statewide limit on antlered bucks using personal tags is:
- 5 for residents
- 4 for non-residents
- In each case, 2 of these bucks must have at least 4 points on one antler or a 12-inch inside spread.
- There is a daily limit of 2 for antlered bucks or antlerless deer using personal tags for both residents and non-residents.
Pre-season Deer Hunting Checklist
- When a resident purchases a Hunting License/Big Game Permit or has an active one that will be valid when deer season begins, they will automatically receive a free base set of deer tags prior to deer season or 7-10 days following the purchase if deer season has begun.
- Youth hunters and 3-year Disability Licensees must request the free base set of tags annually.
- Lifetime/Senior/Gratis/Disability Licensees receive tags annually after requesting them one time.
The base set of resident tags consists of the following:
- 3 Unrestricted Antlered Deer Tags
- 2 Individual Antlerless Deer Tags
Optional Deer Tag Purchases for Residents:
- Residents, including youth hunters and Lifetime and Senior/Gratis/Disability Licensees, may purchase 2 additional antler restriction buck tags for $5 each. The restriction is that the buck must have 4 points on one antler or a minimum 12-inch inside spread.
- All residents may purchase up to 4 individual antlerless tags for $5 each.
- Hunters who purchase 4 tags receive 2 free bonus tags valid on private land only in Game Zones 3 and 4 to help control deer damage to agriculture.
- Non-Resident adults receive no free tags with the purchase of their Hunting License/Big Game Permit and must also purchase deer tags in order to deer hunt.
Non-Resident deer tags are as follows:
- May purchase up to 4 antlered deer tags.
- 2 Unrestricted Antlered Deer Tags
- 2 Antler Restriction Deer Tags (4 points on one antler or a minimum 12-inch inside spread):
- Cost: $50 for the first antlered buck tag, $20 for each additional (total of $110 for all 4).
- After the purchase of an unrestricted buck tag, there is no particular order in which the buck tags must be purchased or used.
- Non-resident youth receive a base set of tags for free by request. They may then purchase one antler restriction buck tag ($50) and up to 4 Individual Antlerless Tags ($10 each).
Need Deer or Turkey Tags Immediately?
If you've recently purchased a Hunting License and Big Game Permit in South Carolina or have requested or purchased deer or turkey tags and want to start hunting immediately, you can obtain temporary tags for deer or turkey. Here's how to do it:
Obtain Temporary Tags
Visit the Customer Privileges Portal on the SCDNR website at Customer Privileges Portal.
Access the portal and follow the instructions to download and print temporary deer or turkey tags.
- These self-printed temporary tags are only valid until your permanent tags arrive in the mail.
- Any deer that you harvest and tag with temporary tags must be reported to the Customer Privileges Portal on the SCDNR website at Customer Privileges Portal by midnight of the day of the harvest.
- During the reporting process, you will need to provide the tag identification number and the county where the harvest took place.
This option allows you to start hunting immediately while waiting for your permanent tags to arrive. Ensure that you report your harvest using the temporary tags as required by South Carolina regulations. Happy hunting!
For more information, visit the SCDNR website.
Measurement Procedures & Standards for Antlered Deer
In South Carolina, specific measurement procedures and standards apply to antlered deer to determine their eligibility for the 2 Optional Antler Restriction Tags. Here are the guidelines:
Minimum Antler Requirements
To be eligible for the 2 Optional Antler Restriction Tags, a deer must meet one of the following criteria:
Minimum of 4 Points on One Antler: The deer must have a minimum of four points on one antler. A "point" is defined as a projection that is at least one inch long. Points are measured starting at the base where it arises from the top of the beam or another point (see Fig. 1).
Minimum 12" Inside Antler Spread: Alternatively, the deer must have a minimum inside antler spread of 12 inches. The inside antler spread is measured at a right angle (perpendicular) to the center line of the skull at its widest point between the main beams (see Fig. 2).