Deer hunting not allowed during SC's 'Free Hunting Days'

South Carolina is offering "Free Hunting Days." (WRDW-TV)
South Carolina is offering "Free Hunting Days." (WRDW-TV)
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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Friday, Jan. 4, 2012

CLEARWATER, S.C. -- Hooties Outdoors in Clearwater has been getting some phone calls.

"We've had quite a few, and people walking into the store as well," said Cary Davis, the owner of Hooties.

Lots of hunters across the state are confused about what's been called "Free Hunt Days" on Friday, Jan. 4, and Saturday, Jan. 5.

"The department was really trying to offer a day, so that people who didn't know if they were wanting to go hunting or not would have the opportunity to be able to go without having to spend the money for the license," Davis said.

But deer season has not been extended. Hunters without licenses can only hunt certain animals for free today and tomorrow.

"That would include, but not limited to: rabbits, squirrel, quail, small game," said Capt. Bob McCullough, spokesman with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

McCullough says certain water fowl can also be harvested on Saturday with a Federal Duck Stamp. Some deer can be hunted only on Saturday, Jan. 5, but only by youths 17 and younger if they're accompanied by an adult and if they're the ones pulling the trigger, not the adults.

"And I know there's been a lot of confusion about that, but these two days do not extend deer season at all," McCullough said.

He says $475 tickets will still apply Saturday if you do illegally shoot a deer.

"But, you know, every situation's different, and, you know, I'm not going to sit here and say that everybody would get a ticket or wouldn't get a ticket," he said.

By the way, this free hunt weekend only applies to South Carolina residents, so it'll be against the law for Georgians to cross to border and hunt in South Carolina without a license.

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