South Carolina Deer News

Challenging surgery on deer will be paid forward August 19, 2016 South Carolina, Charleston Post Courier
... a fawn she was fostering, which had broken it’s leg ... surgery was my only way through this problem ... connected with an acrylic bar, bridging the fracture and stabilizing the bone ... 

Import of deer, elk parts into S.C. still limited by state regulation  August 14, 2016 South Carolina, Index-Journal
... 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) ...

Upstate Outdoors: Could elk be migrating to South Carolina? August 11, 2016 Greenville News
... Elk once roamed the southern Appalachian Mountains and elsewhere in the eastern United States but were eliminated by over-hunting and loss of habitat... Rumors have persisted for some time of elk sightings around the Caesar’s Head and Jones Gap State Park areas in northern Greenville County... An experimental program to reintroduce elk to the Cataloochee Valley of North Carolina began in 2001 ...

Deer limits begin in 2017 Augusts 8, 2016 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... There will be a tagging requirement for all harvested deer, including bucks. With the purchase of a hunting license and big-game permit, resident hunters will be issued three buck tags and eight doe, or antlerless tags... Department of Natural Resources will have the flexibility to manage doe tag ...

Better deer season in forecast for S.C. hunters August 6, 2016 South Carolina, Charleston Post Courier
... deer harvest increased rapidly through the 1980s and 1990s, the deer population in South Carolina has been declining over the last dozen years... the overall harvest [2015] was down 4 percent from 2014 and 39 percent below the record harvest in 2002.  Ruth said the reduction in harvest since 2002 can likely be attributed to a number of factors including habitat change with much forest acreage in stands greater than 15 years old ...

A drowning fawn. Gators in the lagoon. Sea Pines caddy jumps in July 28, 2016 South Carolina, Island Packet 
... From the clubhouse the men could see the deer was tiring. And trapped. Wooden bulkheads surrounding the water hazard kept it from escaping... we all know there is one huge gator in that lagoon ... Hoisington emptied his pockets, save for a 3  1/2-inch pocket knife, and jumped in... saved the fawn ...

Deer causing soybean losses across state July 20, 2016 South Carolina, Manning Live
... “We hope to identify effective deer-repellent strategies that are feasible for South Carolina growers and that can be easily incorporated into the crop management program,” ... five commercially available deer repellents will be included in the trials ...

Kill a Marked Coyote, Get a Lifetime Hunting License July 18, 2016 South Carolina, Edgefieldadvertiser
... South Carolina has a new predator control initiative aimed at coyotes across the state; kill a marked coyote and get a lifetime hunting license... decrease the coyote population ... The agency specifically hopes to have the program in place by this coming deer season...

New law to change deer harvesting in S.C. starting in 2017 season July 15, 2016 South Carolina,Aiken Standard
... three buck tags at no charge.  They will have the option of buying two more buck tags at $5 a piece ... historically ... two-thirds of the state having no limit on antler bucks... minimum of four points on one antler or a minimum 12-inch inside antler spread ...

SC gets deer-limit law; no change this year as regulations begin in 2017 July 3, 2016 South Carolina, The Times and Democrat
... Senate Bill S.454 was signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley on June 8. The new law will not impact this season as it goes into effect in 2017... a tagging requirement for all harvested deer, including bucks... resident hunters will be issued three buck tags and eight doe, or antlerless tags...

Deer Harvest Declined in 2015 In Part Due to October Flood June 23, 2016 South Carolina,  South Carolina Public Radio
... "The flooded areas made it harder for hunters to get to, it was so warm that hunters did not want to battle the mosquitoes, and number three the deer didn't even want to move themselves." ... We have a very liberal game laws and how many deer you can take. You can legally take 20 to 40 deer a year per person." ...

Deer struggles for hours to get out of swimming pool, finally rescued June 13, 2016 South Carolina, WYFF Greenville
... they found a doe in the water of an in-ground pool, fighting to get out ... "She had been trying to get out and swimming for over two hours," ... pictures, click here

New deer bill signed into law June 10, 2016 South Carolina, South Carolina Sportsman
... starting with the 2017 deer hunting season, all harvested deer must be tagged ... 11 total deer. This includes eight antlerless deer which can only be taken on certain dates, and three bucks ..
SC General Assembly passes deer tag legislation June 9, 2016 South Carolina, Greenville News
...  will institute a deer tag program as part of SCDNR’s hunting and fishing license structure. In addition, the bill will establish a limit on the number of antlered deer than can be harvested across the state... 

Mega deer: Another victim of flooding June 5, 2016 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... The buck had a G3 broken off on his left side ... we figured he had to be at least 2 feet wide on the spread of his rack... The mega buck had tangled his antlers in some vines and limbs and either the floodwaters had risen and drowned the trapped animal or he tired and could no longer keep his head above water...

Deer harvest decreases; Orangeburg and Bamberg in top counties for 2015 May 30, 20116 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... Hampton, Bamberg and Orangeburg in the coastal plain and Anderson and Spartanburg in the piedmont, with each of these counties exhibiting harvest rates in excess of 13 deer per square mile, which should be considered extraordinary...

Floods, coyotes take toll on deer hunting May 27, 2016 South Carolina, The State
... hunters killed 195,030 deer during the 2015 season ... 4 percent less than in 2014... South Carolina’s deer population peaked at 1.1 million in the mid-1990s, according to studies by researchers at the DNR and the U.S. Forest Service. But the overall deer harvest is down 39 percent since 2002 ...

Statewide deer harvest decreases in 2015 May 26, 2016 South Carolina, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
... An estimated 111,035 bucks and 83,995 does made up a total harvest of 195,030 ... Although forest management activities stimulated significant growth in South Carolina’s deer population from the 1970s through the 1990s, considerable acreage is currently in even-aged stands that are greater than 15 years old... coyotes are now well established in South Carolina so they should be expected to play a role in deer population dynamics at some level...

1000 coyote bounty program hits snag in Senate April 14, 2016 South Carolina, South Carolina Sportsman
... The proposed bounty program for killing tagged coyotes which was previously passed by the House has been defeated by the Senate budget-writing panel. Critics of the program cited safety concerns, and said the money should be spent elsewhere...

Senate panel to consider $1000 reward for killing coyotes April 12, 2016 South Carolina, The State 
... The proposal directs the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to tag and release at least 12 coyotes across the state... a bounty of at least $1,000 each, payable to any hunter who bags them... have cut into the state’s small animal and deer population ...

Can coyotes pay off? Will deer tags pass? April 1, 2016 South Carolina, South Carolina Sportsman
...There’s little question that the spread of coyotes across the state — all 46 counties are infested — has had a negative impact on the population of deer and wild turkeys. Harvests of both species are well below the record levels of the early 2000s, and every explanation of the declines includes coyotes...

S.C. House approves $1,000 reward for killing coyotes March 24, 2016 South Carolina, Island Packet Online
... The proposal directs the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to tag and release at least 12 coyotes across the state. The tagged coyotes would have a bounty of at least $1,000 each ...

... The use of prescribed fire as a land management tool has deep and ancient roots in South Carolina's heritage... Prescribed 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...

State legislature making progress toward establishing deer limits March 3, 2016 South Carolina, Greenville News
... Long awaited and much anticipated legislature aimed at curtailing the decline of South Carolina’s whitetail deer herd made progress over the past week ...  proposal of limiting the harvest of antlered deer and establishing a tag system to regulate the harvest of both bucks and does ...

House straightening out mess on deer law; amended bill improves tag plan February 28, 2016 South Carolina, Times and Democrat
... DNR wanted a five-buck limit and all deer tagged. The people wanted a size limit on bucks.  DNR wanted to severely cut back on doe harvest and have a one-plan-fits-all statewide approach. The people wanted the ability to manage does for agricultural and biological reasons, dependent on the deer densities in various parts of the state... The people did not want to pay more to hunt fewer deer ...

Deer hunting bill altered, again making its way through legislature February 27, 2016 South Carolina, Myrtle Beach Online 
... A sticking point in the original bill for some House members was the fee to harvest deer in addition to regular license fees. The revised bill would enable hunters to be able to harvest three antlered deer and eight antlerless deer with no additional fee aside from required license fees...

Newest Proposed Changes to SC Deer Law February 20, 2016 South Carolina, The Edgefield Advertise
...  The proposal is that each hunter will get 3 free buck tags with the purchase of their hunting license ... a hunter can potentially harvest 12 does a year if they buy the 4 extra doe tags and hunt and harvest on each doe day.  In all, hunters could harvest a maximum of 17 deer, 5 bucks and up to 12 does, a season ...

Tega Cay Receives Results Of DNR Deer Survey February 16, 2016 South Carolina, WRGI 
... results of its December deer survey to the Tega Cay City Council... one deer for every 11 acres of land [58 deer per square mile] ... you may want to reduce the population,” Witt said [DNR wildlife biologist Jeff Witt] “It’s just a matter of what the residents feel like they can live with,” ...

The truth about coyotes February 10, 2016 South Carolina, Greenville News
...  biologists report that during the 30-year time span that coyotes have been present in South Carolina, their numbers have spread to all counties. However, recent studies have shown that after the initial population boom, coyote numbers are expected to stabilize, allowing deer, turkey and small game to exist in healthy numbers.

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 Data: The deer population was estimated at 730,000 in 2015; estimated at 750,000 in 2014.  The population rose from about 900,000 in 1988 and peaked around 1996 (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.  About 1,000,000 in 2001.  Estimated deer harvest below, source.

     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.

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Deer Running through Marsh