The new year may bring new training requirements for South Carolina hunters.
Right now, all hunters born after 1979 are required to take a hunter education course, but some lawmakers want to make the course mandatory for all hunters.
In the state of South Carolina, completion of the hunter education course is required before you can even purchase a hunting license.
“In hunting, you’re using weapons, if not used correctly can hurt people who are there to harvest game. Gun safety is a very important part of the class,” said Greg Lucas, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
The hunter education course is currently only required for hunters born after June 30th 1979, but now an upstate lawmaker wants to change that.
Senator Harvey Peeler from Gaffney pre-filed a bill that deletes the age restriction and requires completion of the course for all hunters. It’s a safety move several hunters already support.
“Anytime you can keep wildlife safer, anytime you can teach a man, a child, whatever it may be about firearm safety — it’s a win in our industry,” said Mike Johnson, manager of Clinton House. “If DNR told me to take the course again, I’d be more than happy to take the course. I personally feel this is my livelihood. Anything that can keep me in a job I’d be happy to entertain.”
The hunter education course is an 8-hour course that is offered for $24.50 by the Department of Natural Resources.
Outside of gun safety, the course also focuses on how hunters should interact with wildlife.