The Government Has Never Released Coyotes into South Carolina For Any Reason

Coyote-MugCoyotes were trapped and killed near Wade Hampton High School and fire department recently. This raised the question as to the legality of trapping and shooting coyotes in South Carolina. A call to the Sheriff’s Office led to the Department of Natural Resources in Clemson.

Coyotes have been present in Upstate South Carolina since 1978. They are now present in 46 South Carolina Counties. DNR has never released Coyotes in South Carolina for any purpose, although an unfounded rumor alleges they were released in SC to help with deer management.

Some coyotes migrated into South Carolina due to eastern migration of the species. Some were also brought in and released illegally by foxhunters for hound hunting.

DNR studies have shown that coyotes are negatively impacting the white-tailed deer population by preying on deer fawns.

Department of Natural Resources rules regarding hunting, shooting and trapping coyotes follow:

There is no closed season on coyotes on private land. They may be hunted at any time. No hunting license or permit is required to shoot coyotes on your property within 100 yards of your home. However, check local laws and firearms ordinances. Electronic calls are permitted. Night hunting is permitted with weapons restrictions.

Trapping season is open from December 1 until Match 1. Property owners with coyote damage are eligible for a depredation permit from DNR.

No license or permit is required to trap a coyote within 100 yards of your home. Trapped coyotes may not be relocated and must be destroyed.

DNR Law Enforcement may issue a shoot-at-night permit with less stringent restrictions under certain circumstances.

For additional information call the Department of Natural Resources at (803) 734-3886 or go to their web site at



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