South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources logo

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is an agency responsible for promoting and maintaining the state’s natural resources. On this page, you will find all the information you need about the department and its functions.

What does the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources do?

In carrying out its objective, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources draws up and implements policies and programs around the management, utilisation, conservation and protection of the state’s natural resources.

The department does this in a number of ways, including science-based resource management, assessment and monitoring, applied research, technology transfer, planning, educating the public, offering technical assistance and the involvement of constituents.

The department takes a proactive approach to protect the state’s natural resources from pollution and the effects of climate change so that they can be enjoyed by generations well into the future.

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Divisions of the SCDNR

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is split into seven separate divisions. These are:

  • Executive Office
  • Land, Water and Conservation
  • Law Enforcement
  • Marine Resources
  • Office of Media and Outreach
  • Office of Support Services
  • Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries


If you’re looking to get in touch with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, you can contact its central offices in Columbia and West Columbia on the following numbers, which differ by department:

Division Contact Number
Outreach and support services 803-734-3833
Boat Titling and Registration 803-734-3857
Licenses 803-734-3833
Geological Survey 803-896-7714
Heritage Preserves 803-734-3893
Human Resources 803-734-4400
Land, Water & Conservation Division 803-734-3893
Law Enforcement 803-734-4002
S.C. Wildlife Magazine 803-734-3944
Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries 803-734-3886

*Contact your phone or mobile provider to find out how much it would be to call these numbers from the UK.

You can also contact the department by post at its mailing address, which is P.O. Box 11710, Columbia, SC 29211-1710. The department also has several regional offices at different addresses across the state which you may be better off contacting depending on your issue. To find out the address and numbers for these offices, see SCDNR website.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we’ll take you through some of the most commonly asked questions that residents of South Carolina have about the department:

Why did the DNR introduce coyotes into South Carolina?

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources did not import or release coyotes into the state of South Carolina. Coyotes have been steadily migrating eastward for many decades, reaching the South Carolina state border in 1978. For more information about the state’s coyote population, you should get in touch with the department’s Wildlife Management Section.

What do I do if I hit a deer with my car?

Any accident involving deer should be reported to the South Carolina Department of Transportation. If the deer is injured but not dead, you should call a local veterinarian or the SCDNR Columbia office so that a rehabilitator can be contacted.

If you kill a deer with your car, you can donate the fresh carcass to a charitable institution or keep it yourself. You must, however, contact an SCDNR law enforcement officer in either case, so that you can file an accident report and get permission for donating or keeping the carcass. If you fail to obtain approval, the deer must be checked in at a check station.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is not responsible for the removal of dead animals from public highways or private property.

If I hit a deer or other wildlife with my car, is SCDNR responsible for the damage?

No. Accidents involving wildlife should be reported to your car insurance provider and you will be compensated according to your coverage.

Where do I purchase a South Carolina fishing or hunting license?

Fishing and hunting licenses should be purchased at SCDNR regional offices, which are located at SC State Farmer's Markets in West Columbia, Charleston, Clemson, Florence and York. You can also apply for a license online via the SCDNR website; over the phone by calling 1-866-714-3611; or at one of the more than 500 license vendors across the state, a list of which can be found on the department’s website.

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