Bear Hunting - 2016-2017

Black Bear (Ursus americanus)

It is unlawful to buy, sell, barter or exchange a bear or bear part or attempt to buy, sell, barter or exchange a bear or bear parts. Transportation of a freshly killed bear or bear part is unlawful except during the bear season. Any person violating these offenses must be fined not more than $2,500 or imprisoned for not more than 2 years, or both, and hunting and fishing privileges will be suspended for 3 years. It is unlawful to feed bears or to hunt bears by the aid of bait (50-11-430, 50-11-440, 50-1-130, 50-1-125).

Downloadable files and applications below are in PDF format.

Mountain Bear Season (Game Zone 1)

For the privilege of taking bear, in addition to the required hunting license and big game permit, a hunter must obtain a bear tag issued in his/her name at a cost of $25 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. Youth under the age of 16 are required to obtain a youth bear tag from the department at no cost. Bear tags are available over the counter at DNR offices in Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, Florence, and York. Tags can be ordered by telephone at 1-866-714-3611, online or by online application.

The possession and use of bear tags is limited to the individual to whom it was issued. Tags must be attached to the bear before being moved from the point of kill.

Participants in party dog hunts for bear must register by application by September 1 with the SCDNR. 25 members maximum per party and hunters must provide their hunting license number to register. Write: SCDNR Bear Registration Permit, 311 Natural Resources Dr. Clemson, SC 29631.

Apply for Coastal Bear Lottery Hunt

Coastal Bear (Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg counties)

Hunting bears in the coastal plain is by computer drawing only. Download and submit an application and details for the coastal area black bear hunt or by calling 803-734-3886. An email address must be provided in order to apply. Lottery results will only be distributed via email.

Deadline for applications is September 16. The season is October 24 - November 5, 2016. The nonrefundable application fee is $10. Those selected will have to purchase a tag at a cost of $25 for residents and $100 for nonresidents. The tag will only be valid for one of the three counties so applicants should rank the counties in order of preference. Selected hunters will be allowed to hunt on Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) in the county selected but must have a valid WMA permit. Bears may be taken on private lands, as long as the hunter has the permission of the landowner or person holding the hunting lease. Hunters not selected will earn a preference point that applies to next year's drawing.

Bear Seasons on Private Lands (Game Zone 1 ONLY)

Still Hunt (No Dogs):
Season Dates: October 17 - 23
Limit: 1 bear; no sow with cubs, no bears 100 lbs. or less.

Party Dog Hunts:
Season Dates: October 24 - 30
Limit: 5 bears per party; no sow with cubs, no bears 100 lbs. or less.


The above Bear Hunting Regulations are available as a downloadable PDF.