Suppressors, referred to as silencers in the NFA, are legal for hunting on private land in SC. Most public lands, such as WMAs have minor firearm restrictions that normally do not include restrictions on suppressors, and it easy to check the DNR Regulation book or call to ensure your firearm is legal before hunting on public land.
There are several reasons to hunt with a suppressor including preservation of hearing, not disturbing other game, and not disturbing the neighbors.
Hunters want to hear a deer approaching or know that a coyote has howled in response to a call, but we don’t want a ringing in the ears after taking a shot. With ear plugs we can only have one or the other. Of course there are fancy muffs with electronic controls to allow some sounds in and exclude others, but we’re familiar with Murphy’s Law. Why rely on delicate electronics when a proven technology can dampen the noise?
Those of us who have spent some time in the woods know that the first shot isn’t always the last. Maybe we wish it were, or perhaps we have a chance to double up on varmints. Either way, we want every edge possible on that second or even third shot. A suppressor dampens the crack of your rifle increasing your opportunities for a follow up shot. Whether it is another squirrel or the buck of a life time, you’ll appreciate the second chance.
If you hunt enough places you are bound to find that one spot you wish you could hunt more if only you didn’t bother the neighbor. Maybe it is the difficulty of securing the land owner’s permission because of his past experiences with less than considerate hunters, or perhaps it is a concerned neighbor who feels it their civic duty to call the police at the sound of every shot. Regardless of your reason, ethical hunting with a suppressor won’t disturb your neighbors, and this will open up more opportunities for you.
Whatever your motivation it is worth knowing that hunting with a suppressor is legal in South Carolina.