Migratory Bird Licensing & Permits
Hunting crows in South Carolina requires specific licensing and adheres to federal regulations due to the status of crows as federally-protected migratory birds. Here are the key details:
Hunting License Requirement: A hunting license is mandatory to hunt crows in South Carolina.
Season: The crow hunting season is determined based on criteria set by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. In South Carolina, the open season for hunting crows on private lands runs from November 1 to March 1.
Bag Limit: There is no bag limit for crows during the open season on private lands.
Accepted Hunting Methods: During the open season on private lands, crows may be taken using any firearm, bow and arrow, or by falconry. On Wildlife Management Area (WMA) lands, crow hunting is allowed during the open season for small game hunting, and only weapons legal for small game may be used.
Use of Electronic Calls: The use of electronic calls for crow hunting is permitted statewide on both private land and WMA land.
Crop Damage Control: Crows causing damage to crops may be taken at any time using non-toxic shot without requiring a federal permit (50 CFR 21.43). Hunters conducting depredation activities must provide an annual report to the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) Region 4 Migratory Bird Permit Office.
Federal Migratory Bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp
To purchase a Federal Migratory Bird Hunting & Conservation Stamp, also known as a Federal Duck Stamp, hunters can follow these steps:
Electronic Federal Endorsement: The Electronic Federal Endorsement can be obtained at SCDNR regional offices, point of sale license vendors, online, and through the Go Outdoors South Carolina mobile app. This endorsement is valid for 45 days.
Physical Stamp: The physical Federal Duck Stamp is mailed by the USFWS fulfillment vendor within 45 days. Alternatively, the stamp is available at select US Post offices, by calling 1-800-STAMP24 (782-6724), or online at www.fws.gov.
Migratory Bird Permit
Hunters aged 16 years and older are required to obtain a Migratory Bird Permit annually before hunting migratory game birds, including doves and waterfowl. Here are the key points:
Harvest Information Program (HIP): As part of the permit application process, hunters are asked to complete a short survey known as the Harvest Information Program (HIP) survey. This survey gathers information about migratory game bird hunting in South Carolina for the previous year.
Age Exemptions: Hunters aged 64 or older who hold a lifetime hunting, lifetime combination, senior, gratis, or Catawba license are exempt from obtaining a migratory bird permit.
Waterfowl Hunting Requirements: Waterfowl hunters aged 16 and older must carry the following:
- A valid South Carolina Annual Migratory Waterfowl Permit ($15.50) or a Lifetime Migratory Waterfowl Permit endorsement on their license.
- A valid federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp ($28).
- A valid South Carolina Migratory Bird Permit (No Cost) endorsement on their license.
- A valid South Carolina Hunting License.
- A valid South Carolina WMA Permit if hunting on a Wildlife Management Area. (The WMA permit is included in the Junior Sportsman, Resident Annual, and 3-Year Sportsman License.)