New procedures for handwritten wild turkey tags
by Robert Joseph Baker | January 31, 2015 2:49 pm
Starting this year, handwritten wild turkey tags will no longer be available over-the-county at local vendors.
However, the tags will be available over-the-counter in mid-February at state Department of Natural Resources offices in Clemson, Charleston, Columbia, Conway, Florence and Yorki.
Tags may be ordered by phone at 1 (866) 714-3611, and online at www.dnr.sc.gov/turkeytags.
An application may also be printed at www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/speciallicenseapp.pdf, and mailed to the address on the application. In order to legally hunt turkeys, all hunters, including hunters younger than 16, must possess a set of turkey tags. Hunters 16 and older must also possess a hunting license and big game permit.
Hunters may not possess more than one set of turkey tags, and all harvested birds must be tagged prior to being moved from the point of kill.
Hunters should remember to specifically request their turkey tags each year when they get their hunting license. For hunters who purchase their licenses over-the-counter, they should request the tags at the license vendor. Tags are mailed in February prior to the turkey season each year. Hunters can tell if they will receive tags by mail if “Seasonal Wild Turkey Tags” is printed on their hunting license.
“The decision to eliminate the availability of handwritten turkey tags at local vendors was made for a number of reasons,” said DNR Deer and Wild Turkey program coordinator Charles Ruth. “Hunters have been able to request turkey tags when they purchase their hunting license for a number of years, so most are already pre-ordering their tags.”
Secondly, Ruth said, “This updated process provides a more efficient and reliable means to collect information on turkey hunters.”
“Finally, turkey tags are free and since there is no dedicated source of funding for DNR’s wild turkey program, funds to administer the tagging program must come from other sources,” Ruth noted. “It is expensive and simply not good business to duplicate the effort in manufacturing and distributing two types of tags.”
Ruth said hunters are encouraged to remember to request tags when they get their hunting licenses, or to order the tags prior to the season by phone or online, allowing four to seven days for delivery in the mail.