New hunting/fishing laws for SC outdoorsmen


These new regulations are listed in the SCDNR regulation guide

The SCDNR recently released their 2022-23 Official Hunting & Fishing State Regulation Guide. As always, a handful of notable new laws are highlighted in the opening pages of the booklet. This regulations in this latest guide are good from July 1, 2022 through Aug. 14, 2023. Certain regulations, however, are effective as of various dates, which are listed in the guide.

So what’s new for this year’s SCDNR regulations?


Furbearer Trapping: Act 198 (H.4986) allows trapping of certain forbearing animals on private lands for noncommercial purposes with only a hunting license. In the past, this activity was subject to trapping regulations and licensing. Seasons vary by species, so hunters need to check those dates in the regulation booklet. This law became effective as of July 15, 2022.

Tree Stands on WMA Lands

On ALL WMA Lands, construction or use of tree stands is prohibited if the tree stand is constructed by driving nails or other devices into trees, or if wire is wrapped around tree.

Other tree stands are permitted provided they are not permanently affixed or embedded in the tree. Excluding deer stands erected by the Department on WMA lands for the purpose of special hunts, no deer stands or temporary climbing devices may be placed on WMA lands prior to Aug. 10 in any given year, and must be removed by Jan. 15 of the succeeding calendar year.

All deer stands and temporary climbing devices must be labeled with the SCDNR Customer ID number of the person responsible for the stand or climbing device in a conspicuous location using an identification tag, etching, or permanent marker.

Waterfowl Hunting on Francis Marion and Sumter National Forests

Francis Marion National Forest and Sumter National Forests are open for waterfowl hunting Wednesdays and Saturdays in the morning only during the Waterfowl Season. 

Freshwater Fishing

Act 137 (H.4907) offers various freshwater fisheries updates;

Requires that recreational trot lines be checked at least once every 24 hours, the same requirement that currently exists for commercial trot lines.

Reinstates the ban on nonage fish devices (trot lines, limb lines, jugs, cast nets, etc.) in the lakes and rivers of Game Zone 1.

Prohibits “snagging” fish in all freshwaters. “Snagging” means pulling a device equipped with one or more hooks through the water in an attempt to impale fish. The prohibition previously applied only within 1000 feet downstream of a dam or hydroelectric facility. This does not apply to people fishing with lures or baited hooks. This law became effective April 11, 2022.

Saltwater Fishing

Red snapper

Act 178 (S.980) deals with red snapper possession in state waters. As of May 16, 2022, anglers may now retain up to two red snapper per person in state waters with a minimum size of 20 inches total length and no closed season. Possession in federal waters is prohibited unless otherwise specified.

Act 198 (H.4986) prohibits traps in the General Trawl Zone when these waters are open to trawling for shrimp. This law became effective July 15, 2022.


Act 124 (H.3308) creates a prohibition on “wake surfing” within 200 feet of a moored vessel, what, dock, bulkhead, pier, or person in the water. Wake surfing is defined as “to operate a vessel that is ballasted in the stern so as to create a wake that is, or is intended to be, surfed by another person. This became law on March 14, 2022.

Check out the entire regulation booklet by clicking here.

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