SC DNR recommendations to address turkey decline !!

Results of wild turkey public meetings: Surveys and SCDNR recommendations to address the decline in wild turkeys

During the summer of 2023, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) hosted a series of public meetings around the state to discuss declines in wild turkey numbers and options to address these declines. At these meetings, SCDNR presented data and received comments and questions from attendees. For individuals unable to attend, a video presentation was made available on the SCDNR website following the in-person meetings.

Public opinion surveys were provided to meeting attendees and online. Approximately 297 constituents attended the public meetings and over 4,000 viewed the online presentation with 254 and 1,637 completing the surveys, respectfully.

Input gathered from public comments and survey results, combined with harvest data, population monitoring data and university research findings were used to develop recommendations for the S.C. General Assembly. SCDNR does not set seasons, bag limits or hunting methods. Any changes would occur no sooner than the 2024 legislative session and would not go into effect until the spring of 2025, at the earliest.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources recommends:

A later start date for turkey season, beginning the season on April 10 statewide.
A reduction in the number of days in the spring turkey season to a 31-day season, making the season April 10 to May 10 statewide.
A reduction in the spring gobbler bag limit, decreasing the bag limit from three to two birds and maintaining the current daily limit of one (1).
These recommendations have potential to increase wild turkey productivity through better breeding success and to reduce overall harvest as annual reproduction is not keeping up with hunting and non-hunting mortality rates. These recommendations are based on science and university research and received supermajority support based on public survey data. The recommendations would also bring South Carolina more in line with other Southeastern states’ seasons and bag limits.

A full report on the public meetings and survey results as well as a full discussion of the recommendations is available on the SCDNR website at:

A video presentation of the survey results can be viewed here:

The video of the public meeting presentation can be viewed here: