Turkey tags are not necessarily in the order you’ll use them
With South Carolina’s turkey hunting season on the horizon, most hunters are well aware of changes for 2020. Because of one change, hunters must pay close attention to their turkey tags, which are good only for certain dates.
South Carolina residents receive three turkey tags. Each tag is a decal printed on a sheet that hunters must have on their possession when turkey hunting. The top tag is yellow, the middle one is blue, and the last tag is green. For some hunters, the first turkey they kill will require them to use the middle tag. For others, their first turkey will require the top tag. And for some, which one they use first won’t matter.
The yellow tag, which is at the top of the sheet, is good for Game Zones 1 & 2 between the dates of April 11 and May 10. However, the season opens in those game zones on April 1. So hunters in those game zones will use the middle tag, which is good between April 1 and May 10 for any turkey they kill in the first 10 days of the season.
The other two tags are only good in Game Zones 1 & 2 from April 11 through May 10. So a Game Zone 1 or 2 hunter that kills a turkey any date between April 11 and May 10 will use the top, yellow tag or the bottom, green tag, unless they did not kill a turkey in the first 10 days of the season.
For Game Zones 3 & 4, the season opens March 22. For those game zones, the top, yellow tag is good from March 22 through April 30.
In Game Zones 3 & 4, the blue, middle tag is good from April 1 through April 30. The green, bottom tag is also good from April 1 through April 30.
Method to the madness
So what’s with the confusing order of tags? One of the new regulations this year is that hunters can only kill one turkey in the first 10 days of the season. So only one of your tags can be used on the first day through the 10th day of the season for the game zone you’re hunting in. Game Zones 3 & 4 have the earliest start date, which is March 22. Only the yellow, top tag can be used beginning March 22 in those two game zones. In Game Zones 1 & 2, the season start date is April 1. Only one tag, the blue, middle tag, can be used beginning on April 1 in those two game zones.
For hunters that do not kill a turkey in the first ten days of the season, they still have the use of all three tags, and they can then use the tags in whatever order they wish.
It all sounds confusing enough, but it really isn’t. Just pay attention to the date you kill your first turkey. And use a tag that is included in the date range. Also, use the correct one for your game zone. And it’s only a question if you kill a turkey in the first 10 days of the season.
The above information is for private lands. For WMAs, the yellow, top tags is good April 11 through May 5 in Game Zones 1 & 2, and from April 1 through May 5 on Game Zones 3 & 4. The blue, middle tag is good on WMAs from April 1 through May 5 for all four game zones. The green, bottom tag is good for Game Zones 1 & 2 from April 11 through May 5, and from April 1 through May 5 on WMAs in Game Zones 3 & 4.
Sounds more confusing than it really is
Putting it into words probably makes it sound more confusing that it actually is. Just remember to note which game zone you’re in, what the date is, and match that up with the correct tag. Keep in mind that if you’re in the first 10 days of the season, you may need the middle tag, depending on what part of the state you’re in.