South Carolina Deer News

Debate continues over deer culling in Beaufort's gated communities January 30, 2016 South Carolina, The State
... Since the start of a controversial program 15 years ago, 5,030 deer have been culled from Beaufort County’s gated communities.  State wildlife officials, community managers and biologists consider the program a success ... With spotlights blazing, sharpshooters perch on pickup truck beds or in stands overlooking open areas, taking aim at nearby deer...

Charlotte Observer
... Among 4,500 participants, over 80 percent back limiting the kill of antlered bucks and establishing a tagging system... The state’s deer population has decreased in recent years ... Reasons include habitat changes related to forest management, extremely liberal harvest limits ... colonization of the state by coyotes since 2000 ...

Charleston urban deer hunt brings in record numbers January 3, 2016 South Carolina, Charleston Gazette-Mail 
... 105 deer killed ... this month, 85 were does and 23 were bucks ... One hundred deer were killed in both 2014 and 2013...  the deer hunt first started in 2005. But even with the recent kill’s record-breaking high, Lane worries that it’s barely making a dent in South Hills... 

Coyotes cutting deer herds December 17, 2015 South Carolina, The Colletonian
... Coyote problems and a drop in deer counts have been reported in every county across the Palmetto State this year, said Witt, with state officials keeping a record of the rising coyote numbers...

Social media posting reignites a hunting debate December 17, 2015 South Carolina, Greenville News
... An incident made the national news late this past weekend when a photo of the carcass of a hunting dog hanging on the gate of a tract of hunting property in Horry County ... beside the carcass was a hand-printed sign on a piece of cardboard indicating that the dog had been found trespassing....

Deer hunters back limits, tagging December 13, 2015 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... approximately 76 percent of meeting attendees supporting both a limit on antlered bucks and a tagging system for deer in South Carolina... More than 4,500 individuals participated in the virtual meeting with over 80 percent supporting a limit on antlered bucks and a tagging system for deer...

S.C. DNR conducting deer survey in Tega Cay December 4, 2015 South Carolina, Rock Hill Herald
...  surveying to see if Tega Cay has a deer population problem...  their findings show that the peninsula has an over-population of deer ...

How to know a doe before pulling trigger November 25, 2015 South Carolina, Greenville News
... For South Carolina hunters in the early 1980s, the thought of killing a female deer was not only disapproved of, it likely would get you run off the property ...“The worst scenario is a property or club that aggressively pursues the harvest of bucks only and takes no female deer out of the population,” said SCDNR Project Leader Charles Ruth...

Wily coyote to force deer hunting limits? October 24, 2015 South Carolina, Charleston Post Courier
... killing fawns at a rate of more than 50 percent in some places. Since the coyote started to prey, the number of deer statewide has fallen about 30 percent, biologists and hunters say... Deer can’t maintain that level of predation and the level of harvest we have had in South Carolina ...

Legislators and DNR Hear From Deer Hunters October 23, 2015 South Carolina, Edgefieldadvertiser
...  The majority of those speakers spoke protectively of the deer herds and expressed favor in tagging deer and limiting harvests. Many spoke of the need for more game wardens and said that they wanted game check stations, which were phased out some time ago, reinstituted. Increased fines was also a topic in which many expressed support...

South Carolina Deer Forecast October 21, 2015 Game & Fish
... During much of the 1980’s, the statewide deer population and annual deer harvest were perhaps one-half of what they are today. However, a tremendous number of deer were harvested that made the records list.  “In fact, the period between 1982 and 1992 accounts for approximately 35 percent of all records ...

S.C. authorities deploy robotic deer to deter night-time hunting October 21, 2015 South Carolina, Charlotte Observer
... the Foothills Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Assocication, a conservation group, funded purchase of the device for use in upstate counties. It was purchased from a firm named Custom Robotic Wildlife...

Waccamaw Wildlife Refuge plans hunting expansion October 20, 2015 South Carolina, Myrtle Beach Online
... Federal officials are planning to expand the acreage allowed for hunting within the Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge ... Public comment period closes Tuesday ...

Talking about deer, regulations October 18, 2015 South Carolina, The Times and Democrat
... If we really want to protect young bucks, then a bill allowing each hunter to shoot four of them a year is not appropriate. Moving the season back a month (and I don’t mean chopping off the front of the season in the Lowcountry) would allow young bucks a chance to break up and protect them from “herd shooting.” ...

... Ruth explained that in the 1990s there were a million deer statewide, but the numbers have declined since. Statewide population estimates put the deer herd at about 730,000 animals with an estimated harvest of approximately 215,000 each of the last few years...  

What of ethics? October 11, 2015 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... Ethical outdoorsmen treat fish and game with respect. They believe in “fair chase” and never take unfair advantage of the game being pursued... The outdoorsman’s role today is to ensure the survival and well being of wildlife...

Public meetings to discuss deer management legislation  October 10, 2015 South Carolina, colletontoday.com
... Senate Bill 454 was filed on behalf of DNR by Senator Chip Campsen of Charleston in February of this year. The legislation proposes a limit of four antlered bucks per year and that all deer harvested are tagged. The Antlerless Deer Quota Program (ADQP) that many landowners and hunt clubs utilize would continue to be available with quotas being issued for both bucks and does...

Deer movement increases in October throughout South Carolina October 3, 2015 South Carolina, South Carolina Sportsman
... “Our detailed records of deer activity show that from Oct. 20 until Nov. 10, over half of all the deer conceptions occur and the peak rut is on,” ... 

Goose Creek SC, After the worst rain we've ever seen, there was a family of deer wandering around for a dry land when there home in the woods was flooded.


Meetings to provide arena for opinions on impending white-tailed deer hunting laws September 18, 2015 South Carolina, Myrtle Beach Online
... South Carolina is considered to be the only state in the United States that does not have a statewide limit on bucks... Since around the year 2000, the harvest of deer in the state has decreased by around 35 percent, a clear indication of a declining population...

S.C. deer hunters could face yearly bag limit of 4 bucks September 16, 2015 South Carolina, Charlotte Observer 
... Legislation is pending in South Carolina that could restrict deer hunters to a maximum of four antlered bucks per year. Additionally, it was proposed that all harvested deer be tagged... Presently there is a five-buck limit in the two upstate Game Zones and “no limit” on antlered deer in those zones along the coast...

SC DNR unveils robot deer to combat illegal hunting September 15, 2015 South Carolina, FOX Carolina
... donated by the Quality Deer Management ... looks just like a whitetail deer, complete with real taxidermy-preserved skin and fur and lifelike motion in the legs, head and tail ...

South Carolina Deer Forecast for 2015 September 9, 2015 Game & Fish
... 2002. The population and harvest of deer have trended down since that time due in large part to habitat change and specifically a reduction in prime habitat.  Coyotes are another major issue that’s developed in recent years and one that’s having a significant negative impact, particularly on the survival of deer fawns...

State antler records down slightly this year September 8, 2015 South Carolina, Easley Progress
... after many years of rapid population growth the herd stabilized in the mid-1990s followed by a decreasing trend since about 2002 ... Statewide population estimates put the deer herd at about 730,000 animals with an estimated harvest of approximately 215,000 each of the last few years...

4-H feeding SC wildlife with 500-pound seed donation September 8, 2015 South Carolina, Powdersvillepost.com
... Food plots are valuable nutrition sources for deer and other wildlife, particularly during summer months when food can be sparse ... food plots also assist wildlife displaced by urban encroachment ... project is supported by Wannamaker Wildlife, the Quality Deer Management Association ...

Orangeburg public meeting on deer legislation Oct. 13 August 30, 2015 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... The S.C. Department of Natural Resources has scheduled seven public meetings to receive input from hunters concerning DNR-supported legislation related to future deer management ... Senate Bill 454 was filed on behalf of DNR by Sen. Chip Campsen of Charleston ...
     S.C. moves toward whitetail buck limit throughout the state August 29, 2015 South Carolina, The Augusta Chronicle
... the S.C. Department of Natural Resources is pushing a long overdue plan to create a four-buck limit, and to require tagging of all deer ... Georgia, which has a two-buck limit - of which at least one must have four or more points on one side...

Import of deer, elk parts into SC still limited by state regulation August 24, 2015 South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
... To protect the state's extremely valuable white-tailed deer resource, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has maintained a regulation restricting the importation of certain carcass parts from deer and elk harvested in states with diagnosed cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD) ...  There is evidence that movements of live cervids for commercial purposes may have impacted the current CWD situation as many cases have been linked to captive animals...

... Senate Bill 454 ... proposes a limit of four antlered bucks per year and that all deer harvested are tagged...  the overall population has decreased ... habitat changes related to forest management, extremely liberal deer harvests over the last two decades, and the colonization of the state by coyotes since the turn of the century." ...

Region still tops for trophy bucks August 15, 2015 South Carolina, The Times and Democrat
... Deer hunting begins Saturday in The T&D Region, which is still a top place for trophy bucks in the state... According to statistics released this week by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, 2015 antler-measuring sessions revealed 176 new records ... Statewide population estimates put the deer herd at about 730,000 animals ...

Drought in S.C. counties to affect white-tail deer hunting season August 14, 2015 South Carolina, Myrtle Beach Online
... all 46 counties in South Carolina were under drought status ... you’ve got less natural vegetation production ... which could increase deer movement as we move into the fall... our harvest peaked at the turn of the century, we’re off 35 percent total. I expect (the harvest) to be similar to last year. plus or minus five percent...

Winds of change blow as hunting for deer begins August 14, 2015 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... public meetings, mail surveys and telephone and Internet-based surveys indicate 70 percent of hunters support the concept of a limit on antlered bucks and the implementation of a tagging program ...  a 25 percent overall decline in the statewide deer population over the past decade...

Deer harvest dips by 9% in 2014 August 8, 2015 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... the statewide harvest of deer last season decreased about 9 percent.  An estimated 109,446 bucks and 93,506 does made up a total harvest of 202,952 ... Since 1997, DNR's Wildlife Section has employed an annual random mail survey to estimate the harvest of deer ...

... The easement creates a 12-mile protected wildlife corridor and includes more than seven miles of combined stream frontage on two of the rivers’ tributaries. A conservation easement is a voluntary, legally binding agreement limiting certain types of development ... corridors so deer, turkey, songbirds and other species have room to roam. This is a vital forested landscape that now will always be that way...

Deer-vehicle collisions declining in SC July 25, 2015 South Carolina,  Rock Hill Herald
... There were 2,206 crashes last year, more than 200 less than in 2012 ... Collisions remain common on the “the fringes of suburbs,” ... Creek bottoms and areas where farm fields blend into forests are prime spots ...

Statewide deer harvest decreased in 2014 July 5, 2015 South Carolina, The Post and Courier 
...  the statewide harvest of deer last season decreased about nine percent. An estimated 109,446 bucks and 93,506 does made up a total harvest of 202,952 ...  approximately 130,176 South Carolina residents and 14,085 non-residents deer hunted in the state in 2014. Deer hunters reported an overall success rate of 70 percent,..

No Changes to Deer Hunting Laws This Year June 26, 2015 South Carolina, The Edgefield Advertiser
... One of the items Rep. Hixon took issue with in the Senate’s bill was the fact that hunters would no longer get any tags free with their purchase of a hunting license...  Rep. Hixon had said that changes to the deer hunting laws was an idea brought to law makers by the SC Department of Natural Resources in response to declining numbers in the deer population...

Deer bill likely won't pass House May 14, 2015 South Carolina, Greenville News
...  a current bill that would impose limits on the number of deer that could be harvested in South Carolina has stalled in committee... The deer-hunting bill, S454, has the support of the state chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association and would provide for an annual limit of four bucks and four does per hunter...

SC deer harvest declines by 9% May 10, 2015 South Carolina, The Tand D.com
... the statewide harvest of deer last season decreased about 9 percent.  An estimated 109,446 bucks and 93,506 does made up a total harvest of 202,952 ... Although timber-management activities stimulated the growth in South Carolina's deer population in the 1980s and '90s, considerable acreage is currently in even-aged pine stands that are greater than 10 years old, a situation that does not support deer densities ...

SC deer harvest declines by 9% May 10, 2015 South Carolina, The Tand D.com
... the statewide harvest of deer last season decreased about 9 percent.  An estimated 109,446 bucks and 93,506 does made up a total harvest of 202,952 ... Although timber-management activities stimulated the growth in South Carolina's deer population in the 1980s and '90s, considerable acreage is currently in even-aged pine stands that are greater than 10 years old, a situation that does not support deer densities ...

Statewide Deer Harvest Decreases in 2014 May 8, 2015 South Carolina, Edgefieldadvertiser
...  Based on the survey work that has been done since 1997, it appears that the old system was documenting only about half of the deer being harvested annually in South Carolina, which is exactly why DNR now uses the survey technique ...  the deer population in South Carolina has generally been declining over the last 10 years ... 

Deer numbers continuing to dwindle April 30, 2015 South Carolina, Rock Hill Herald 
...  the overall deer harvest last season was down a whopping 9 percent, with 202,952 deer taken, compared with 225,806 the year before... These numbers show that deer hunters in South Carolina are now harvesting almost 40 percent fewer animals than we were just a dozen years ago... Of those harvested in 2014, 109,446 were bucks while 93,506 were does...

All God's creatures:: Deer drops by church for Easter service April 24, 2015 South Carolina, Times and Democrat 
... Easter Sunday services were about to begin at Orangeburg's First Baptist Church when a stranger walked up the front steps ... It was the first time First Baptist had been visited by a deer, but the four-legged worshiper seemed to feel at home there ...

The howl over coyotes April 16, 2015 South Carolina, Coastal Observer
.... Butfiloski said coyotes first arrived in northwestern South Carolina in 1978. He suspects fox hunters brought them to the state as sporting prey “probably because they are a better fox ... The coyote has replaced the red wolf as the state’s dominant predator. ... Butfiloski advised trapping and killing coyotes in the spring after their annual breeding season and before they have pups ...

Coyote population here to stay in South Carolina April 16, 2015 South Carolina, Greenville News
...  many point to the coyote as the leading cause of decline in the state’s big game species.  Coyotes began appearing in South Carolina around the 1980s, and their numbers have been expanding  ...

... under a bill the South Carolina House has passed. The idea behind the bill is that deer hunters have to wear orange for their protection so anyone else in that area should too.  Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, an avid hunter himself, is the sponsor of the bill...

Coyote growth hindering deer population on Grand Strand April 13, 2015 South Carolina, WBTW 
... two bills are up for discussion. One would limit the number of deer hunters can shoot. The other bill involves a tag and release program, in which DNR would tag and release a coyote in each of the state's six game zones. If a hunter catches a tagged coyote, they'll get $10,000. Powell said the program aims to encourage trapping...

Don't adopt a 'lost' fawn, it's illegal and likely not abandoned April 12, 2015 South Carolina, The Times and Democrat
... "It’s part of nature’s plan for a doe deer to leave her fawn or fawns alone for their first few weeks of life," Ruth said. "The reason for this unusual maternal action is that the fawn at this age is better protected away from the doe. The presence of the doe nearby would attract predators ...

Deer-hunting bill: Some proposals for a compromise March 29, 2015 South Carolina, Times and Democrat 
... In 2012 the deer herd stood at about 800,000 deer... During a period from 1988 to 1996, the deer herd increased from 900,000 to 1,200,000 ... S.454: “The DNR may now suspend the taking of DEER when the environmental conditions or other factors warrant.”... 

Proposed deer limit good for state March 28, 2015 South Carolina, Manning Live
... For many years, South Carolina hunters have expressed concern over the unregulated harvest of antlered deer in the state. There has also been an increasing interest in reducing
harvest pressure.  Many hunters feel that the current situation leads to an over-exploitation, resulting in a high percentage of bucks being taken by a small percentage of hunters...

Legislature moves toward putting limit on bucks March 22, 2015 South Carolina, The Times and Democrat
... Under the proposed legislation, the first limit on antlered deer in South Carolina would be enforced by restricting hunters to four bucks a year. The limit on antlerless deer also would be four per season...  needed in part because of a 30 percent reduction in deer harvesting since 2002, which he said represents a decrease in the overall statewide deer population...

Deer tagging based on false conclusions March 22, 2015 South Carolina, The Times and Democrat
... Our Department of Natural Resources has repeatedly told us that our deer population has been falling. They say it was a million, and now it’s 700,000... coyotes may grab a few fawns, and people who kill more than eight deer a year will easily find tags from someone else to continue killing deer...

Antler measuring sessions set across SC March 18, 2015 South Carolina, The Powdersville Post
... the search for new state record deer antlers gets underway during the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ annual series of measuring sessions....

Is Smokey Bear too good at his job? Yes, some say March 8, 2015 South Carolina, Athens Banner-Herald
... Controlled fires help restore and maintain vital habitat for wildlife, including bobwhite quail and other grassland birds, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, gopher tortoises, and red-cockaded woodpeckers. And some plants, too, thrive only in regularly burned forests...

Deer limit bill on track for senate March 6, 2015 south Carolina, Myrtle Beach Online 
... Senate bill S454 ... received a unanimous favorable vote from the full Fish, Game and Forestry Committee Wednesday in Columbia...  proposes establishing a limit on bucks in the entire state and would require tags for all deer harvested...

 DNR working on coyote control March 5, 2015 South Carolina, Heraldindependent
... Coyotes have been migrating eastwardly and are here to stay, said Greg Yarrow, Clemson University wildlife ecology professor ... coyotes are a major predator to the official state animal, the white-tailed deer... 

Could new deer regulations finally happen? February 26, 2015 South Carolina, Enquirerherald
... After years of wishing and hoping, ethical sportsmen across the Palmetto State are finally getting to see legislators pay attention ... For the first time, a statewide limit would be placed on the number of bucks each hunter could harvest during the fall, and would include the use of deer tags for both bucks and does...

Proposed law would limit state deer harvest February 21, 2015 South Carolina, Charleston Post Courier
... The bill would establish a limit of four bucks and four does per hunter each year and would require tags for all deer harvested. South Carolina residents would pay $15 for the tags while non-residents would be charged $30... seven percent of the hunters in South Carolina kill 30 percent of the deer harvested, meaning some hunters are taking as many as 20 to 30 deer during a season...

Bill aims to establish first-ever limit on deer hunting in South Carolina February 19, 2015 South Carolina, Myrtle Beach Online
... bill, S 454, proposes establishing a limit of bucks in the entire state and would require tags for all deer harvested... “South Carolina is the only state in the nation without any limit at all [on bucks], so it’s a great thing on many fronts,” said Campsen, R-Charleston...

DNR expands deer hunting on Morrison County public land February 10, 2015 South Carolina, St. Cloud Times
... expanded deer hunting at Lake Alexander Scientific & Natural Area in Morrison County ...

Instituting a bounty an unlikely solution for coyote problem in South Carolina January 29, 2015 South Carolina, Myrtle Beach Online
... “You can trap them and you can shoot them. But it’s a cash cow and it looks like you’re paying for what people are already doing at no cost.” [ Charles Ruth, Deer and Wild Turkey Coordinator] ...  In 2014, Utah paid out over $492,000 for the removal of 7,396 coyotes... Many deer hunters are concerned about the decline in the state’s white-tailed deer population and the impact the establishment of coyotes has had on the population...

7 Deer Hunting Myths Debunked January 9, 2015 South Carolina, OutdoorHub
... According to wildlife biologist Clint McCoy, male deer surveyed in South Carolina’s Brosan Forest only had a home range of 350 acres. The largest ranges in the survey actually belonged to two yearling bucks, who held a territory of 754 and 640 acres. McCoy told QDMA’s Quality Whitetails that age and size had little effect on how big a buck’s range will be ...

New CWD vaccine only raises more questions January 3, 2015 South Carolina, The Charleston Gazette 
... Researchers at New York University believe they’ve come up with a vaccine that might keep deer from getting chronic wasting disease ... What’s troubling — at least from a layman’s point of view — is that even though four of the five vaccinated deer took longer to come down with CWD, they eventually did...

The top five stories from 2014 December 27, 2014 South Carolina, MyrtleBeachOnline.com
... South Carolina’s deer population peaked at about one million in 2001, and has declined by about 30 percent since. While other factors such as the prevalence of mature pine stands and South Carolina’s liberal deer harvest laws have played a role in the decline, coyotes are a big problem...

Hunting over corn November 15, 2014 South Carolina, South Carolina Sportsman
... Beginning with the 2013, baiting for deer became legal on private lands across the state... I think it can drive deer to be more nocturnal. Why go eat it in the daytime when you might get shot at when you can get it easier at night ...

Brosnan Forest study could increase odds of harvesting a big buck November 9, 2014 South Carolina, Charleston Post Courier
... Our two smallest home ranges were yearling bucks at 60 and 90 acres," McCoy wrote. "Our two largest home ranges of 754 and 640 acres were also yearling bucks. Age apparently did not play a role in determining the size of a buck's home range in our study, and as previous studies have documented, buck movements are largely driven by their 'own' personalities ...

Deer and moped collisions at a high November 9, 2014 South Carolina, WIS
... "The deer, they are more blinded by the headlights. You're more likely to hit them when they stop in the middle of the road ... They can't judge the distance on when the headlights hit them...

Anderson County again proves it's big buck producer October 29, 2014 South Carolina, Greenville News
... "Anyway you look at it — all your deer populations, all of your antlers and all the quality deer management stuff, your trophy deer — it all goes back to your soil," Morton said. "Look at where your big deer are across the country — Illinois, Kansas, even over in Alabama. You've got a lot of agriculture. They've got that good, rich soil there." ...

Bear, archery deer hunters falling October 12, 2014 South Carolina, SC Times
... Approximately 2,450 deer were registered in the first 10 days of archery hunting this year, down from 2,979 during the same period in 2013. Bow hunters shot a total of 19,388 during last year's season, which was the lowest total since 2002... DNR, expected this season's archery harvest to be down given the tighter restrictions... 

Proper disposal of deer remains part of hunters’ job October 6, 2014 South Carolina, Berkeley Independent 
... When transporting a deer in the back of a truck or on top of a vehicle, hunters should wrap a tarp or other covering material around the animal. This is a simple, considerate step that may prevent a non-hunter from becoming an anti-hunter ... 

South Carolina Deer Hunting Forecast for 2014 October 3, 2014 South Carolina, gameandfishmag.com
... “After many years of rapid increase during the 1970’s and 1980’s, the deer population in South Carolina exhibited relative stability between 1995 and 2002,” ... Beginning after 2002 the population has trended down until recently becoming more stabilized. The overall reduction in harvest seen since 2002 can likely be attributable to a number of factors, including habitat change... coyotes ... 

Deer regulations in South Carolina in need of overhaul October 2, 2014 Greenville Online 
... The way to properly manage a resource in decline is by monitoring its usage. Typically, wildlife resource managers would reduce bag limits or shorten season dates while monitoring the replacement rate of the animals to balance natural mortality and hunter harvest with the current population...

No compensation for accidents caused by deer October 1, 2014 South Carolina, Berkeley Independent
... Despite a persistent rumor, neither the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) nor any other state agency will compensate motorists for injuries or damages resulting from deer collisions.  According to a DNR news release this week, besides practicing safe and defensive driving techniques, each motorist should carry adequate collision and comprehensive insurance...

Motorists need to watch for deer on state roads September 26, 2014, State of South Carolina
... The S.C. Department of Public Safety reported approximately 2,200 deer-vehicle collisions in 2013, similar to figures from the last few years. These figures are lower than those reported in the late 1990’s when the incidence of deer-vehicle collisions seemed to peak in the state ... 

SC ranks No. 10 nationally in deer-vehicle collisions September 15, 2014 South Carolina, The State
... The odds that South Carolina drivers will hit a deer in the coming year are 1 out of 93 ...

No shortage of deer in 2014, DNR reports September 11, 2014 South Carolina, Berkeley Independent 
... South Carolina’s deer population expanded rapidly in the 1980’s and early 1990’s and it peaked in the late 1990’s at about 1,000,000 animals. However, since 2002 the population has trended down with current figures being about 750,000 deer, a 25 percent decline from peak figures 10 years ago...  habitat change related to forest management and exceptionally high deer harvests over the last 10 to 15 years... Also, coyotes are a recent addition to the landscape ...

Upcoming deer season looks promising September 10, 2014 South Carolina, Greenville Online
... Much discussion has centered around a declining deer herd across the state owing to the maturation of primary pine forest habitat, increased predation of deer fawns by coyote populations, and an overall loss of deer habitat due to development. Based on 2013 data, an estimated 225,806 deer were harvested in 2013, which shows a stable harvest over a three-year trend but down nearly 30 percent from 2002 ...

S.C. deer season forecast good September 6, 2014 South Carolina, The Post and Courier 
... Top counties for harvest in 2013 included Bamberg, Union, Allendale, Spartanburg and Calhoun with each of these counties exhibiting harvest rates in excess of 15 deer per square mile. Very few areas in the United States consistently yield comparable harvest figures...

... Coyotes ... first spotted in the northern parts of the state in 1978... The DNR estimates that the state’s deer population has dropped by more than 30 percent since 2002, and believes that the rising number of coyotes is a primary factor. ...

Establishing enforceable deer limit overdue September 1, 2014 South Carolina, Greenville News
...  if you are hunting most places below Columbia because there is no limit on deer. It's printed in the rule book – no limit.  That information comes despite studies that indicate deer population in the state is in decline. It flies in the face of true sportsmen who understands that our natural resources -- whether they be fish, game, flora, or fauna -- are not limitless...

JC Kilgo, M Vukovich, H Scott Ray, CE Shaw, C Ruth - … Journal of Wildlife Management, 2014
... We monitored neonate survival for 4 years prior to (2006–2009) and 3 years during (2010–2012) intensive coyote removal on 3 32-km2 units on the United States Department of Energy's Savannah River Site, South Carolina. We removed 474 coyotes (1.63 coyotes/km2 per unit per year) ... the mortality rate from all other causes did not differ between the pre-treatment period and any year during removals, indicating that coyote predation acted as an additive source of mortality. Survival probability was not related to vegetation cover, either directly or in interaction with coyote abundance. When the objective is to increase the recruitment of white-tailed deer, we conclude that neither coyote control nor vegetation management appear effective ...

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources - SC.gov
... hunters traveling abroad are reminded not to import into South Carolina certain carcass parts from deer and elk harvested in states with chronic wasting disease. To protect the state's extremely valuable white-tailed deer resource, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has maintained a regulation restricting the importation of certain carcass parts from deer and elk harvested in states with diagnosed cases of chronic wasting disease (CWD), according to Charles Ruth, DNR Deer and Wild Turkey Program Coordinator in Columbia. "Currently, deer hunting generates more than $200 million annually for South Carolina's economy,"  ...

Hunters: Help Control Coyotes and Save Our Deer August 15, 2014 South Carolina, SCDNR Wildlife Information
     Coyotes first appeared in SC about 30 years ago and continue to expand greatly in numbers. Coyotes are negatively impacting our official State Animal, the White-tailed deer, by preying heavily on deer fawns.  Since 2002, the SC deer population has declined by more than 30%. While our deer population is still healthy, we do not want to see it decline further... Coyotes first appeared in the upstate in 1978, they are now present in all counties of South Carolina.  Coyotes were illegally imported into South Carolina for hound running...

Establishing enforceable deer limit overdue August 14, 2014 South Carolina, Greenville Online 
...  if you are hunting most places below Columbia because there is no limit on deer. It’s printed in the rule book – no limit.... That information comes despite studies that indicate deer population in the state is in decline... “If we could get a buck and doe limit and institute a tagging program ...  we could regulate and manage our deer herd a whole lot better ...

... The Department of Natural Resources is cutting back the number of days when hunters can kill does from 12 to eight. Hunters are also only allowed to kill one doe on those days with personal tags instead of two ... [fewer deer]

Some dog-drive deer hunters foresee demise of sport in Lowcountry August 11, 2014 South Carolina, The Post and Courier
... Deer hunting with dogs dates to colonial times ... Building elevated stands and sitting in trees to hunt - known as still hunting - is a relatively new concept ... Dog hunting requires larger tracts of land than still hunting...With the change of land ownership patterns, you're having conflicts between still hunters and dog hunters ...
... For years we could shoot almost as many deer as we could stand without affecting the herd, but now we have coyotes taking part of that herd ... Cumulative data through the first three years of the study indicate approximately 70 percent total fawn mortality, with coyotes being responsible for approximately 80 percent of the mortality...

Antler record numbers down slightly in most recent scoring sessions August 10, 2014 South Carolina, The Post and Courier
... the population has decreased about 25 percent in recent years because of three things - hunters embracing the harvest of does; changes in habitat; and coyotes ... after many years of rapid population growth, the herd stabilized in the mid-1990s followed by a decreasing trend since about 2002, according to Ruth. Statewide population estimates put the deer herd at about 750,000 ...

Seabrook Island Deer Management Plan Review July 31, 2014 South Carolina
... A review of existing protocols indicates that we need to enhance our methodologies forsurveying/monitoring the Island’s der population and collecting/interpreting
community (including Camp St. Christopher) input regarding deer-related ... Our current sampling technique involves deer spotlight surveys. They are performed on three consecutive nights in September and December [6 nights total] ... [click on image below to enlarge, note that in 2008 they killed more deer than they counted in their survey]


South Carolina Data: The deer population is estimated at 730,000 in 2015;  estimated at 750,000 in 2014.  The population peaked in the late 1990's (some say 2001) at about 1 to 1.2 million with the peak deer harvest in 2002 at 319,902. The population has been trending lower since then with the 2014 harvest down 9 percent from 2013 and about 40 percent from 2002. Drought in 2015 contributed to the downward trend.  Habitat change with more mature pine stands does not support as many deer as younger tree stands, and coyotes predation on fawns has increased.  South Carolina also has the longest deer season in the country and has the most liberal limits of any state. The 2014 harvest of 202,952, was 53.9 percent bucks (46.1% does) and was 36.6 percent below the record of 2002.  Hunters reported a 70 success rate.  The 2003 population was estimated at 900,000.
     Timber management policies of the 1970's and 80's favored deer habitat, leading to population growth.  Currently there is significant acreage in even aged pine stands, about ten years old, that do not provide good habitat.  Increased coyotes populations, non natives, have also driven down populations.  In a recent study at the Savannah River Site, 70 percent fawn mortality was recorded with coyotes accounting for 80 percent of the mortality.  Coyotes were first seen in state in 1978 and are now found in all counties.
     In 1972 the white-tail deer was designated as the as the official state animal.

Useful links
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control

South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

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Deer Running through Marsh