South Carolina Deer News

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 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,..

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.
     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

Tweet on the timeline below using #SC #deer



Department of Natural Resources News


Tweet on this timeline about the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources using @SCDNR

Tweets about SC DNR


Deer Running through Marsh