Bear Hunting

Apply online for Bear Group Application and Tags
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 part. 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).

Mountain Bear Season

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 (Adobe PDF file) 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 online, by mail, or for immediate pickup, at the Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, or Florence Offices of SCDNR. 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 (Adobe PDF file) 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. Applications for tags and for party hunt registration.

Coastal Bear
(Georgetown, Horry, and Williamsburg counties)

Apply Online for Coastal Bear Lottery Hunts

Hunting bears in the coastal plain is by computer drawing only. Ten tags will be issued for Williamsburg County and 45 tags each for Georgetown and Horry counties. The application and details for the coastal area black bear hunt (PDF) is available in the Adobe PDF file format or by calling 803-734-3886.

Deadline for applications is September 19. The season is October 24 - November 5, 2014. 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 lottery.

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.

Bear Hunting Regulations (Adobe PDF)

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