Wildlife - Waterfowl Hunting and Baiting
Overview of Other Regulations
Additional Federal and State regulations apply to waterfowl hunting, including those summarized below.
Illegal hunting methods. You cannot hunt waterfowl:
With a trap, snare, net, rifle, pistol, swivel gun, shotgun larger than 10-gauge, punt gun, battery gun, machine gun, fish hook, poison, drug, explosive, or stupefying substance.
From a sink box or any other low floating device that conceals you beneath the surface of the water.
From a motorboat or sailboat, unless you shut the motor off or furl the sail and the vessel is no longer in motion.
Using live birds as decoys.
While possessing any shot other than approved nontoxic shot. A listing of approved nontoxic shot types is available at www. fws. gov/migratorybirds/issues/nontoxic shot/nontoxic.htm
From or by means, aid, or use of any motor vehicle, motor-driven land conveyance, or aircraft (if you are a paraplegic or are missing one or both legs, you may hunt from a stationary car or other stationary motor-driven land vehicle or conveyance).
Using recorded or electrically amplified birdcalls or sounds, or imitations of these calls and sound.
With a shotgun that can hold more than three shells, unless you plug it with a one-piece filler that cannot be removed without disassembling the gun.
Shooting hours. You cannot hunt waterfowl except during the hours open to shooting.
Closed season. You cannot hunt waterfowl during the closed season.
Daily bag limit. You can take only one daily bag limit in any one day. This limit determines the number of waterfowl you may legally have in your possession while in the field or while in route back to your car, hunting camp, home, or other destination.
Wanton waste. You must make a responsible effort to retrieve all waterfowl that you kill or cripple and keep these birds in your actual custody while in the field. You must immediately kill any wounded birds that you retrieve and count those birds toward your daily bag limit.
Tagging. You cannot put or leave waterfowl at any place or in the custody of another person unless you tag the birds with your signature, address, number of birds identified by species, and the date you killed them.
Rallying. You cannot hunt waterfowl that have been concentrated, driven, rallied, or stirred up with a motorized vehicle or sailboat.
Dressing. You cannot completely field-dress waterfowl before taking them from the field. The head or one fully-feathered wing must remain attached to the birds while you transport them to your home or to a facility that processes waterfowl.
Dual violation. A violation of State waterfowl hunting regulations is also a violation of Federal regulations.
Duck stamp. If you are 16 or older, you must carry on your person an unexpired Federal migratory bird hunting and conservation stamp. You must validate your duck stamp by signing it in ink across the face before hunting. You must also have a valid South Carolina duck stamp privilege.
Migratory Bird Harvest Information Program (HIP). Unless exempt from license requirements in the State where you are hunting, you must enroll in the HIP and carry proof of current enrollment while hunting.
Protected birds. Federal law prohibits the killing of non-game migratory birds. Protected birds that you could encounter while waterfowl hunting include songbirds, eagles, hawks, owls, vultures, herons, egrets, and woodpeckers.
Banded birds. Waterfowl hunters are encouraged to report banded birds to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service toll-free bird band report hotline at 1-800-327-2263.
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