South Carolina Turkey Season Opens April 1st - Tags Still Available

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Although many spring turkey hunters have recently received their turkey tags by mail, those who have not should order tags now so they will receive them before the season opens. Hunters can determine if they should have received their tags by mail by checking their hunting license. If "Turkey Tags" appears on their hunting license the tags should have already been mailed to them. If "Turkey Tags" does not appear on the license then they will need to order the tags. Turkey tags are free and can be ordered online.

All hunters, including hunters under the age of 16, must possess a set of turkey tags in order to legally hunt turkeys. Hunters 16 and older must also possess a hunting license and big game permit. Hunters may not possess more than one set of turkey tags and all harvested birds must be tagged prior to being moved from the point of kill.

Hunters should remember to specifically request their turkey tags each year when they get their hunting license. Hunters who purchase their license over the counter should order the tags at the license vendor. Hunters who renew their license by mail should check the "Turkey Tags" box on their license renewal form. Tags are mailed to hunters in late February prior to the turkey season each year. For those hunters who do not get tags by mail, handwritten tags will be available in early March at S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) offices and some local businesses that were formerly Big Game Check Stations. Check a list of businesses that have over the counter turkey tags.

An estimated 50,000 hunters will take to the woods during the upcoming spring turkey season, generating an estimated $30 million in direct expenditures for South Carolina's economy. The 2011 wild turkey season runs April 1 through May 1 for all Wildlife Management Areas where turkey hunting is allowed and on private lands in 34 counties that make up Game Zones 1-5. The season opens March 15 and runs through May 1 on private lands only in Game Zone 6: Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton, Jasper and Orangeburg counties.

Saturday, March 26 is Youth Turkey Hunt Day in areas where the season opens on April 1. On this day, youths 17 and under who are accompanied by a properly licensed adult (age 21 and older) may hunt turkeys. Only the youth can take or attempt to take turkeys. Tagging requirements remain in place for this special youth day.

Get more information on wild turkeys including how to order turkey tags online, the 2011 Turkey Regulations, the 2010 Summer Turkey Brood Survey or the results from the 2010 spring gobbler season.