In 2000, the SC General Assembly created a new statute (50-9-740) that authorizes the SCDNR to designate one or more youth days in addition to the regular season for a species of wild game. The youth days must be held outside of the regular season on a weekend, holiday or other nonschool day and within 14 days before or after the regular open period for that species. Under this law a youth hunter is one who is less than 18 years of age. The SCDNR, under the authority of this law, has established youth days for deer, turkey, raccoon, squirrel, quail and rabbits.
In 1996-97, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) provided the opportunity to schedule one youth waterfowl day to be held within 10 days of the open or close of a regular open period when youth less than 16 years of age can hunt waterfowl. This regulation was later modified to provide the authority to schedule two youth days. SCDNR has taken full advantage of this opportunity each year and now schedules one state and two federal youth waterfowl days.