2018 - 2019 Regulations: Small Game

Small game includes the following species: quail, squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, opossum, fox, beaver, bobcat, mink, muskrat, otter, skunk, grouse and weasel. Unless otherwise specified in the small game seasons charts, hunt dates for these species are from Thanksgiving day through Mar. 1.

Rabbit Boxes

It is unlawful for any person to trap rabbits, except that a landlord or tenant may use not more than five rabbit boxes on lands on which he has exclusive control during the gun season for rabbits. A hunting license is required to use rabbit boxes. Rabbit boxes are not permitted on WMA lands (50-11-160).

Running Seasons (No gun season)

During any period when rabbits, raccoons, opossums, squirrels or fox may be hunted without firearms, it is illegal to hunt such game when carrying on one's person any firearm.

Bird Dog Training

Bird dogs may be trained year-round on private land. Trainers must have a valid hunting license and may only use firearms with blank ammunition during the closed season for quail. A Bird Dog Trainer’s License is available to persons engaged in the business of training bird dogs in return for money, goods or services. This license allows a trainer and two assistants to take pen-raised quail, chukars and pheasant during the closed season while training dogs. Applicants must provide documentation of land areas to be used for training. For information, or to obtain a license, contact: SCDNR Small Game Project at P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call 803-734-3609.

Field Trials

It is unlawful to conduct or participate in any field trial unless a permit for such trial has been obtained from the SCDNR. Requests for field trial permits must be submitted to SCDNR at least 14 days prior to the proposed trial date. Requests shall include payment of $5 per trial and the time and location of the proposed trial. A charter or document indicating that the trial is sanctioned by a nationally recognized field trial organization must accompany all requests for field trial permits.

For information, or to obtain a permit, contact SCDNR Small Game Project at P.O. Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call 803-734-3609.

Species Game Zone Private Land Seasons WMA Seasons Limit
Mourning Doves All game zones

September 1-3 (afternoons only)

September 4 - October 13, November 10-24, December 15-January 15

Public Dove List 15 per day
Crow All game zones November 1 - March 1 November 1 - March 1 No limit
Quail All game zones

March 2 - November 18, 2018 (dogs only)

November 19 - Mararch 1 (guns & dogs)

March 2 - November 24, 2019 (dogs only)

September 1-14 (dogs only)

November 19 - March 1 (guns & dogs)

12 per day
Rabbit All game zones

March 2 - November 21, 2018 (dogs only)

November 22 - March 1 (guns & dogs)

March 2 - November 27, 2019 (dogs only)

September 1-14 (dogs only)

November 22 - March 1 (guns & dogs)

5 per day
Squirrel
(Gray and Fox)
All game zones

March 2 - September 30, 2018 (dogs only)

October 1 - March 1 (guns & dogs)

Mar. 2-Sept. 30, 2019 (dogs only)

September 1-14 (dogs only)

October 1 - March 1 (guns & dogs)

10 per day
Fox All game zones

March 2 - November 21, 2018 (dogs only)

November 22 - March 1 (guns & dogs)

March 2 - November 27, 2019 (dogs only)

September 1 - November 21 (dogs only, night only)

November 22 - March 1 (guns & dogs, night only)

No limit
Beaver All game zones Year-round October 1 - March 1 No limit
Other Furbearers

(Bobcat, Otter, Mink, Muskrat, Skunk, Weasel)
All game zones November 22 - March 1 November 22 - March 1 No limit
Grouse Game Zone 1 only November 22 - March 1 November 22 - March 1 3 per day
Raccoon & Opossum All game zones

March 16 - September 14, 2018 (dogs only)

September 15 - March 15 (guns & dogs)

March 16 - September 14, 2019 (dogs only)

September 1-14 (dogs only, night only)

September 15 - March 1 (guns & dogs, night only)

3 per party, per day

No limit for opossum

The 2018-2019 Small Game Hunting Regulations are also available as a downloadable document in the PDF format.