South Carolina turkey hunting regulations could get a facelift thanks to new legislation.
According to writer Brad Harvey and the Enquirer-Herald, two identical bills are speeding through the state legislature and will likely please turkey hunters across the state.
Senator Chip Campsen III and Representative Mike Pitts have both sponsored bills in their government section, and early indications look as though they will end up on the governor’s desk.
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For one, a uniform season, from March 20 to May 5, would be established. Currently, the seasonal dates depend on the county.
Also, the current limit of five turkeys per season would be changed to three, with a fourth possible with an archery tag. A youth hunting date would be added as well, to occur the Saturday before the season began.
Perhaps the biggest and most impactful changes proposed include an increase for turkey poaching fines from $100 to $500 plus another $500 in possible restitution, and a move that gives the state’s Department of Natural Resources the authority to adjust things like bag limits on their own, without as much legislative red tape.
Reproduction rates from last summer have experts predicting a poor spring turkey season for 2014. With the proposed changes and more DNR authority, that trend could turn around sooner than later.
What do you think about the proposed changes?