Is It Illegal To Kill Pigeons In South Carolina [No] 

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Pigeons are common throughout South Caroline state. Unlike other wildlife, pigeons prefer to live in urban areas as there is plenty of food. From a pigeon’s view, it is a great place to live, but it will be a nuisance for you. So, is it illegal to kill pigeons in South Carolina? 

No. It is not illegal to kill pigeons in South Carolina. Pigeons are exotic creatures. The state doesn’t allow harming pigeons without any valid reason. At the same time, it doesn’t prohibit pigeon hunting. In South Carolina, you can take down Migratory pigeons on specified dates.  

Hunters can shoot Feral pigeons at any time. Continue reading to learn more about pigeon hunting and shooting rules. 

Which Type Of Pigeons Are Illegal To Hunt And Eat In South Caroline? 

In South Caroline, it is illegal to hunt Migratory pigeons off-season. However, you can eat all the pigeon species in the state. The Migratory pigeons in the state are the Mourning dove and Common ground dove. These pigeon species move according to the season and are in the state for a brief time. Therefore, it is not legal to take them down at any time you want.  

It is better to know the features to prevent any accidental killing. Mourning doves are slender small-headed doves. Their tail is long and has white and grey tips. Overall they are a tan or greyish brown, and the wings have black spots on them.  

Common ground doves are overall sandy brown with dark spots on their wings. Their tail is small with black tips. In flight, the wings of Common ground dove show rich rufous patches. They have a pink wash on the head, neck, and chest, which appear dull in female doves. 

Why Is It Illegal To Hunt And Eat Pigeon In South Carolina? 

It is illegal to hunt Migratory pigeons off-season in South Carolina. The state authorities protect Mourning doves and Common ground doves. Both of these are migratory pigeons. According to the MBTA or Migratory Bird Treaty Act, it is illegal to kill, harm, trade, or sell migratory pigeons without state permission.  

The treaty was signed in 1918 between the USA and the neighboring countries. It was passed to protect the pigeons that move according to the climate. In South Carolina, you can take down these doves but only during small games.

The migratory dove hunting season begins in September and ends in January. The state is split into zones for hunters’ ease. Lastly, each zone has two to three seasons, depending on the breeding season. 

You can eat the doves from small games. But, it is better to avoid eating unprotected pigeons. The unprotected pigeons are Rock pigeons and Eurasian collared doves. Both of these are a carrier of multiple infections. 

Laws Governing About Pigeon Shooting In South Caroline state 

The USA has specific rules and regulations for hunting pigeons. These rules are pretty much the same all across the US. However, the laws have some changes according to each state. The laws governing pigeon shooting in South Carolina are as follows. 

Hunting Education Course  

If you are planning to purchase a hunting license in South Carolina, you must complete a Hunting education course. The course is mandatory for people born on or after June 30, 1979. One must be at least twelve years old to take the course.  

The hunting lessons are offered online and in the classroom. But only residents can take the classes online. The skill practice is on the ground for residents and non-residents. At the end of the classes, there is an MCQ-based test. So, you must take both sessions to attempt the quiz. But, to get the certificate, you must score eight percent on the test. 

Hunting License    

It is essential to have a hunting license when shooting pigeons on public or private property. Hunting licenses are available online, or you can purchase them via an agent. The state offers different hunting licenses for residents and non-residents. 

A youth hunting license is for people from ages 12 to 17. As per the law, young hunters must be under the direct supervision of an adult hunter above age 21.  

Dove Hunting 

Mourning doves and Common ground doves are part of the Migratory bird treaty. The Treaty forbids any harm to the doves. Therefore, it is not legal to hunt Mourning doves all year. The state allows taking down migratory doves during small games. But there is a daily bag count of 15. The possession limit for all species combined is 45. However, there is no limit on the Eurasian-collared dove. 

Hunting Weapon  

You can use shotguns and air rifles to shoot pigeons in South Carolina. However, the authorities don’t allow air rifles in small games. Hunters can only use shotguns to shoot doves. Shotguns must not be more than ten gauges and cannot hold more than three shells. The shotgun with more pellet space is illegal. Additionally, hunters can use bows and arrows to hunt pigeons. 

Private Land   

Hunters can freely shoot pigeons on their land without permission, but they must have a hunting license. Most of the land in South Carolina is owned by people. So, when you plan to hunt pigeons on someone else’s private property, you will have to get permission from the landowner. Submit the signed form to the local wildlife office for the permit. But, you must carry a hunting license and permit on the field. 

How Can You Shoot And Hunt Pigeons In south Caroline State? 

Shooting pigeons might sound inhumane. But it is common practice and necessary. To shoot and hunt pigeons’ you must follow the law. The law ensures the safety of hunters, wildlife, and the public. The pointers below will guide you all about it.   

  • You must possess a hunting license, whether shooting on private or public property.  
  • A hunting license can be on any e-device or in print. 
  • You will need a permit to shoot and hunt on private land. The permission form is available online on the state website.  
  • Young people aged 17 or below must be under the direct supervision of an adult hunter age 21 or above.   
  • To hunt Migratory pigeons, check official dates on the wildlife website or in the local newspaper.   
  • The bag limit for protected species is only 15.  
  • To attract feral pigeons, you can use decoys or food to lure them. But, you cannot use any attractions or callings for hunting migratory pigeons. 
  • Collect harvested pigeons in disposable bags. Separate pigeons according to their species. 
  • Avoid shooting pigeons in residential areas. The state does not allow the use of firearms within 150 yards of a residence or any dwellings. 
  • After hunting, record the harvest count. Submit this count by filling out the form on the website. 
  • Proper and clean disposal of pigeon corpses is necessary to avoid infectious diseases.    

Summing Up

The wildlife authorities allow the hunting and killing of pigeons. You can kill, shoot and hunt pigeons in the state. But, it is illegal to cause harm to Migratory pigeons or doves. There is also a restriction on the harvest count of Migratory pigeons. Hunters can only shoot or hunt 15 while possessing 45 per day. 

Shooting and hunting pigeons are easy if you know the rules. The necessary step is purchasing the hunting license. But, the hunting license is only for people who have completed the Hunting education course.  

The law also teaches the people all the necessary shooting laws. It is better to be on a safe site. So, go through all the rules before going on pigeon hunting.