Changes to go in effect with 2020 turkey season

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The S.C. Department of Natural Resources wants turkey hunters across the state to note important changes to turkey seasons starting with the 2020 turkey season.

The most notable change is that turkey tags will no longer be free.

For residents of South Carolina, the cost of three tags will be $5. For out-of-state hunters (nonresidents), two tags will cost $100.

The fees will be used for wild turkey research, turkey habitat management, costs associated with production and distribution of turkey tags and administration of the upcoming electronic harvest reporting program set to begin with the 2021 season.

The season dates for private land in Game Zones 1 and 2 are April 1 through May 10. The season dates for private land in Game Zones 3 and 4 are March 22 through April 30. For Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) statewide, the season runs from April 1 to May 5.

Resident hunters in all game zones can harvest three gobblers per season with no more than one gobbler per day. Additionally, Hunters in Game Zones 1 and 2 cannot harvest more than one gobbler from April 1-10. This applies to both private and WMA lands in Game Zones 1 and 2. For resident hunters in Game Zones 3 and 4, no more than one gobbler may be harvested on private land from March 22-31.

Nonresident hunters are allowed two gobblers per season with no more than one gobbler per day. Hunters may not harvest more than one from April 1-10 on private land and WMAs in Game Zones 1 and 2. Additionally, no more than one may be harvested from March 22-31 on private land in Game Zones 3 and 4 for out-of-state hunters.

Youth Turkey Weekend on public land will be the Saturday before the respective opening dates with a limit of one bird, which will count toward the season limit.

Youth Turkey Weekend on private land will be the Saturday and Sunday before the respective opening dates with a limit of one bird, which will count toward the season limit.

Those who have already purchased turkey tags should start seeing them in their mailbox the week of Feb. 17.

Tags can be purchased online or by phone anytime and will also be available over the counter beginning March 2 at SCDNR offices in Clemson, York, Florence, Charleston and West Columbia (The Market).

Youth, Lifetime, Senior, Gratis and Disability licensees may receive a free set of tags by request.

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