Youth Deer Hunting
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) provides a variety of special youth deer hunting opportunities across the state. The DNR conducts some of these hunts on state owned wildlife management areas (WMA's) and others are held on private areas with the DNR as a co-sponsor. All youth seriously interested in hunting should take the South Carolina Hunter Education Course either prior to or after attending a special youth deer hunt. A home study course is available by calling 1-800-277-4301.
Special Youth Hunts
The objective of these special hunts is to properly introduce new, young hunters to the challenges, enjoyment and thrills associated with hunting white-tailed deer and to make sure that their early experiences are conducted in a safe and ethical manner. The age requirement for youth participating during these special hunts is 17 and younger. Check specific hunt criteria on the Special DNR Hunts for Youth page in the Rules and Regulations Brochure. Adults accompanying youth must be 21 years of age or older. There is no application fee or license required (unless you are 16 or 17) and these hunts are available at no cost to the participants. Youth who are 16 or 17 years of age are required to have a Junior Sportsman's License. Young people who have an interest in trying deer hunting but have not had opportunities to hunt (those who do not have anyone to take them or do not have a hunting connection) are encouraged to apply and will be given preference in the selection process.
During many of these events, youngsters are provided information and education on our hunting heritage, the role of hunting in wildlife management, sportsmanship and ethics as well as a brief refresher course on firearms safety. A parent or responsible adult must bring each youngster to the event and can accompany him or her during all activities at the firing range and during the hunt. In situations when a parent is unable to accompany their youngster during the hunt, DNR personnel or other hunt sponsors will be available to supervise them and sit in the deer stand with them, if prior arrangements are made. Small caliber center fire rifles (.243, 6 mm and etc.) with scopes are recommended and equipment will be available for those who do not have access to appropriate firearms again, if prior arrangements are made. A meal for the youngsters and their parents is provided at most of the events.
Special Youth Areas
Several WMA's including Stumphouse WMA in Game Zone 1 and Bluefield WMA, Bonneau Ferry WMA and the Cross Generating Station (draw only) in Game Zone 6 offer opportunities for adult/youth only deer hunting on scheduled days during the hunting season. Check specific hunt criteria on the Special DNR Hunts for Youth page in the Rules and Regulations Brochure.
Special Youth Days
Statewide youth hunting days are also available on all private lands and selected WMA's and youth who are ages 17 and younger and are interested in hunting various wildlife species should take advantage of these opportunities. All license and tagging requirements are waived for youth participating on these days. Youth hunters must be accompanied by an adult 21 years of age or older. A list of the statewide hunting days and all Special DNR Hunts for Youth is available in the current South Carolina Rules and Regulations Brochure.