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Current Dog Owner Rules and Hunt Information

Hunt applications are no longer available.

Rules and Requirements

The Savannah River Site has a "ZERO TOLERANCE" policy for unsafe hunters. This includes traffic violations (seat belts, speeding, texting or using a cell phone while driving). Violators will be immediately and permanently removed from the SRS hunts. Additionally, their pack number will be revoked.
  • Violation of any rule results in permanent exclusion from the existing and future hunts.  Harvested animals will be confiscated.
  • No contraband allowed.  See list below of all Prohibited Articles at SRS.
  • No wildlife other than deer, hogs, and coyotes will be harvested.
  • No tree stands allowed.
  • No cooking or open fires permitted.
  • Cell phones are required.
  • Must be 16 years of age to hunt.
  • One 12 gauge shotgun per hunter.  (No rifles or handguns)
  • Ammunition is buckshot Only.  No rifle slugs permitted.  Shells over 3 inches will not be allowed.
  • Hunters are required to wear a vest/coat and hat/cap of international BLAZE ORANGE - colored material (bright orange, not faded).  No white showing.  These items are not furnished by SRS. 
  • Hunters are required to remain within a 50 yard radius of the stand location.
  • Dog Owners and Handlers are required to display the Dog Pack Number on the front and rear of their vest in BLACK lettering of at least four (4) inches in height.
  • Dog Pack Owners are required to attend all of their assigned hunt dates.  Failure to attend any of your hunts will result in permanent removal from the Dog Pack Owner’s List.  In the event of an Emergency and you cannot attend your hunt, you must notify the Deer Hunt office at 803-557-5293.  You cannot send someone in your place.
  • All Hunters must attend the Safety Briefing and sign the Attendance Roster on the morning of the hunt.
  • All hunters must possess a valid SC Hunting License and Big Game Permit.  Non-Resident Hunters:  A Big Game Permit is required, in addition to the appropriate hunting license (either 3 day non-resident or 10 day non-resident).  Anyone without license on person will not be allowed to hunt.
  • Centerra-SRS will check for drivers’ license, vehicle registration, proof of insurance, and seatbelt use.  Anyone not having these documents will be denied access to SRS hunt property and if in violation of a law, will be cited for the violation.
  • Anyone deemed or suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol will not be permitted on site.
  • Weapon must be unloaded with the action open upon arrival and remain unloaded while being transported.
  • No shooting before or after designated hunt time.
  • No weapons are allowed to be loaded prior to designated start time and must be unloaded at designated end time.
  • Dog Pack Owners must bring his/her pack on the assigned hunt day.  Dog Pack Owner may bring only his/her handler or alternate handler. 
  • Packs arriving after 6:30 a.m. will not be admitted. 
  • Dog Packs can only participate with a minimum of four (4) dogs and a maximum of five (5) dogs.
  • Any person who does not provide healthy, quality hunting dogs will be permanently removed from the SRS Deer Hunts.
  • A valid Rabies Certificate (copy only) must be submitted for dogs that will be used during the hunts.  A rabies certificate is considered valid only when it is recognized as official forms by the Dog Pack Owner’s resident state and is signed by a certified Veterinarian.
  • Dog Pack numbers of at least four (4) inches in height must be displayed and visible on the dog box.
  • All dogs must legibly display Dog Pack Owner’s assigned pack number on each side.  Each dog is required to wear a collar with the Dog Owners name, address, phone number and rabies tag.
  • SRS will require each dog to be equipped with a functional tracking collar.  We will require tracking systems to be on a 216 thru 220 frequencies.
  • Dog Pack Owners must notify the hunt personnel of any dogs missing prior to leaving the site.  Upon notification; it is the responsibility of the Dog Owner to pick-up the dog within three (3) days. 
  • Owners who continue to bring un-catchable dogs are subject to permanent removal from the Hunts.
  • Dogs are to be released at the time designated by the hunt administrator.  Dog Drivers will remain at the vehicle until time of release.
  • CB radios are required to communicate with pack leader and check station.
  • There will be one (1) person present on stand AT ALL TIMES during the hunt.  Hunter must stay within 50 yards of the stand.
  • All deer will be field dressed at the check station only.  You may field dress large hogs in the woods.
  • Animals must be brought to the check station within 1 hour of the hunt designated end time.
  • Environmental Monitoring will monitor and obtain samples deemed necessary from any or all deer before it leaves the SRS.
  • All packs must exit via entrance gate at the specified time for their hunt.
  • All harvested animals leaving Savannah River Site must be covered.


Cancellation of Event

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions and the U.S. Department of Energy – Savannah River holds the right to cancel the Savannah River Site Deer Hunt at any time prior to or during the event. Participants will be notified immediately if such a decision is made.

Prohibited Articles at SRS

The following are considered prohibited articles and are prohibited at SRS and its facilities unless in the possession of a person with a valid pass (see Note 1 & 2):

  • weapons (cross-bows, bows and arrows, martial arts weapons such as butterfly knives, other fixed blade knives not intended as eating utensils or required in the performance of duty and folding knives with blades over 3 inches)
  • firearms (Exception: shotguns belonging to hunters who have been issued SRS hunt permits and are participating in authorized hunts)
  • simulated firearms
  • ammunitions (Exception: empty or fired cases) and explosives
  • incendiaries and accelerants, to include paint thinner, solvents, propane, gasoline, etc., explosive
    materials, and related devices (Exception: highway safety flares if properly stored in the vehicle)
  • alcoholic beverages
  • non-prescription narcotics, illegal drugs, controlled substances and drug paraphernalia or articles used in the sale, manufacture, delivery, or possession of illegal drugs. These articles include hypodermic needles and syringes, roach clips, spoons, vials and pipes designed to smoke hashish or marijuana.
  • stun guns (small device that generates an electric shock)
  • non-prescription narcotics, illegal drugs, controlled substances and drug paraphernalia or articles used in the sale, manufacture, delivery, or possession of illegal drugs. These articles include hypodermic needles and syringes, roach clips, spoons, vials and pipes designed to smoke hashish or marijuana.
  • tear gas, chemical mace, and devices containing chemical agents, chloracetophenone [cn], orthochlorbenzalomalononitrile [cs] or other chemical irritants (Exception: Containers of 2 ounces or less of pepper or mace sprays carried for personal use are not prohibited at the SRS with the exception of Material Access Areas {MAA}.)
  • stun guns (small device that generates an electric shock)


Note 1: If an item is not required in the performance of your job on Site, then the item must be left at home. This would include the following types of items: garden and yard tools such as garden hoes, shovels, pitchforks, digging tools, pruners, rakes, tools for watering, branch cutters, shredders, chippers, garden tools for weeding, garden trowels, garden tillers/cultivators, hedge cutters, weed-eaters, chain saws, pipes, machetes, yard brooms, electric blowers, electric trimmers, electric vacuums, and lawn mowers. In an effort to minimize delays during the vehicle inspection process, employees should check their vehicle prior to leaving home for unnecessary equipment, tool-boxes, containers, luggage and garden/yard tools (items listed above), which should be left at home. Certain items could be considered a prohibited and controlled item

Note 2: As part of the inspection process for prohibited and controlled articles at the site perimeter barricades, when a personally/privately-owned vehicle (personally-owned, subcontractor, vendor, etc.) is selected for a random entry/exit inspection at a perimeter barricade, the Protective Force, in addition to checking for required security badges and conducting a search of the vehicle, will also ask for driver's license, registration and proof of insurance. A driver is required to have all of these documents on his/her person or in his/her vehicle, in order to drive the vehicle. It does not matter in which state the vehicle is registered, Site policy requires that you have/provide proof of all three documents, valid registration/insurance/license, when selected for an inspection. Therefore, even if SRS employees reside in a state that doesn't require the driver to have proof of insurance in the car, they need to make a copy of their insurance card showing current insurance dates or a copy of their policy to show they do, in fact, have insurance. Anyone not having these documents is currently being denied Site access and if in violation of a law, is being cited for the violation. Prior to the vehicle being allowed access to the Site, all three required documents must be available.

Things to Know

  • Hunters will be subject to a background check throughout the National Crime Information Computer (NCIC).
  • Social security number is required for application process and NCIC check.  Social security numbers will be kept confidential.
  • The hunt fee is $130.00 per hunt.
  • You must participate in a minimum of three (3) hunts unless otherwise directed by Deer Control Office.
  • No refunds will be issued.
  • Hunt dates are subject to change.  In the event a change occurs, affected hunters will be given another hunt date.
  • The assembly point for the hunts is located at old SC Hwy 5 (adjacent to Hwy 125 at the Jackson barricade).  Directions provided on website.
  • The entrance gate will open at 5:30 am and close at 6:30 am.
  • Hunt stands will be assigned at the entrance gate.
  • Hunt start and end times are strictly enforced, a watch is recommended.
  • Hunters are requested to watch for open wells and other excavations while hunting. Please notify deer hunt staff of any findings.
  • Operation of hand held devices, including cell phones is not allowed while driving on SRS property.
  • Dog Pack numbers are not transferable.


The Department of Energy - Savannah River (DOE-SR) and its contractors are committed to protecting the public and the environment from excessive radiation exposure. Deer and hog hunting have been allowed at the SRS since 1965. SRS currently has a per year administrative dose limit to release game animals (deer, hogs, etc.). SRS will also update the hunter survey card by asking for the amount of meat consumed by the hunter from the SRS animals and if the hunter would like to be notified of his/her dose. SRS will continue to monitor wildlife and calculate the doses to each hunter before releasing the animals. There is a slight chance a hunter(s) who kills more than one animal or a larger animal may go above this limit. If this happens, the Site can not release the animal(s). The hunter may choose to keep the head and rack of a trophy animal. This notice is part of the SRS's continuing efforts to inform you of changes that may impact you, as well as the Site. If you have questions, please contact the Environmental Services Section at (803) 952-7497.

Cesium-137 Statement

All plants and animals, including humans, have small amounts of radioactive material in their bodies. Since 1945, nuclear weapons have been tested above ground across the world, with most of this testing conducted in the 1950’s and 1960’s. These tests left small amounts of the radioactive material cesium-137 in the earth’s air, water, plants and soil. While most of the cesium-137 at the Savannah River Site (SRS) is a result of the nuclear weapons testing in the 1950’s and 60’s, work at SRS also added cesium-137 to the air, water, soil, and plants around the site.  All deer and hogs, including those found at SRS, have small amounts of cesium-137 because it is found in the air, water, soil and on the plants those animals breathe, drink, and eat. Cesium-137 enters the human body by breathing, eating, and drinking; including when deer or hog meat is eaten. The Department of Energy has set limits for the total amount of radioactive material to which people can be exposed. The Department of Energy’s limits are based on national and international standards established to protect human health. SRS also implemented additional restrictions to further limit exposure.  Every deer and hog killed during the hunt is checked for cesium-137.  Under no circumstances will any deer or hog be released if the radioactive material will cause the hunter’s limit to be above the SRS limit.


In consideration of the permission granted by the Department of Energy (DOE) to enter upon the Savannah River Site for the purpose of hunting deer, I hereby agree to indemnify and hold SRNS, DOE, USDA Forest Service-Savannah River, SREL, WSI and the U.S. Government harmless from and against any and all claims, damages, losses, expenses, and liabilities arising out of or caused by my entry for deer hunting, unless and to the extent that such claims, damages, losses, expenses, and liabilities shall be determined to be solely attributable to the neglect of SRNS, DOE, USDA Forest Service- Savannah River, SREL, WSI, or their employees, agents or subcontractors.

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Hunt applications are no longer available.

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