South Carolina Deer News

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]

About our deer part II: July 27, 2014 South Carolina, The Tand D.com
... In 2013 the top harvest counties were Bamberg, Union, Allendale, Spartanburg and Calhoun with more than 16 deer per square mile taken.  The success rate for South Carolina hunters is about 70 percent, which is extraordinary. Think of it this way. Thirty deer per square mile is a very high deer density and we are taking over half that on average across the state...

DNR releases new deer hunting stats July 18, 2014 South Carolina, Berkeley Independent 
... 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 with an estimated harvest of about 225,000 each of the last few years.... 

About your deer, part 1, declining population July 13, 2014 South Carolina,  Times and Democrat
... Dr. Charles Ruth who is the project manager for deer ...says ... predominant factors in this decline... seems to be habitat loss due to the many acres that are planted in ten- year old and older planted pine. These areas are basically wildlife deserts... The second major factor is the migration of coyotes into our state over the last decade...

Kiawah Island, Most romantic beaches in Georgia and the Carolinas July 10, 2014 South Carolina, USA Today 
... Just south of historic Charleston, Kiawah Island offers couples a getaway filled with breathtaking scenery, abundant wildlife and Lowcountry luxury. The hard-packed sand on the 10-mile beach is perfect for bicycling; as you and your sweetheart pedal along, you'll likely spot deer peeking at you from behind the grassy dunes. ...

Open season on SRS Deer Hunt Program July 3, 2014 South Carolina, Aiken Standard 
... The Savannah River Site is expecting more than 600 hunters to participate in its annual SRS Deer Hunt Program ... a lottery system is used each year to select hunt participants... The fee is $130 ...

White deer spotted at Edisto Beach June 30, 2014 South Carolina, Collection Today
... The deer has been spotted many times on the island, most often around The Plantation Course at Edisto golf club ...  course staff first began seeing the white deer, a small doe, four years ago...

A Quantitative Analysis of White-Tailed Deer Harvest Across States and Counties, Rebecca Lynne Cain,  June 28, 2014 South Carolina, University of South Carolina
... The mean total white-tailed deer harvest is significantly greater for South 
Carolina than North Carolina at the county level ... North Carolina’s total harvest is more comparable to Tennessee than to South Carolina at the county level, because North Carolina and Tennessee have nearly equivalent means and their variability is also similar at the county level ... Having the detailed data mentioned ... for the majority of the states would enable white-tailed deer managers in every state to quickly interpret the data and make conclusions about what is occurring in other states, benefiting the deer manager in many ways.  [Deer Friendly is trying to put this data together, see Decline of Deer Populations]

Oh, Deer/Me June 23, 2014 South Carolina, Charleston Daily Mail 
... I saw a mother deer cleaning her new fawn... Its eyes were open and its head rested out from its body instead of coiled up in a fetal position... Mama remained over the hill, looking up at her little one ... By noon it was clear that the fawn had died... Mama began to pace ... There was something very human about her pain ... Off to the side stood Mama in pounding white rain, staring at me without any reaction to the storm...

St. John's arboretum plans 2nd archery deer hunt June 13, 2014 South Carolina, SC Times ·
... The application fee is $5. Those chosen by lottery to participate must pay an additional $30 fee ... To qualify, hunters must have a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources archery deer license and be willing to take an antlerless deer...

Clarendon breaks into top 10 deer harvest counties June 3, 2014 South Carolina, Clarendon Citizen Online
... When considering the estimated deer habitat that is available in South Carolina, the deer harvest rate on a statewide basis in 2013 was 10.7 deer per square mile. Although the deer population in the state has declined since 2002, this harvest rate should be considered good in comparison with most other states.” ...

...  the statewide harvest of deer last season totaled 225,806, an increase of 4 percent from 2012.  An estimated 124,482 bucks and 101,324 does made up this total ... Since 1997, DNR’s Wildlife Section has employed an annual random mail survey to estimate the harvest of deer at the state and county level. This year’s survey was sent to 25,000 hunters. Prior to 1997 deer harvest figures were dependent on Deer Check Station reports ...

Deer makes friends wandering through S.C. neighborhood May 5, 2014 South Carolina, Fox44 
... Residents were surprised to find the deer unfazed by the attention ...  it appears to be a Fallow deer, which is not native to South Carolina...
   Friendly deer found in neighborhood returns home May 7, 2014 South Carolina, 
WIS-TV 
... The deer's name is Comet, and it turns out he's a family pet on a farm just outside of Simpsonville ... Comet got out after a tree fell on the fence ...

Statewide deer harvest is up 3.6 percent in 2013, SCDNR reports April 29, 2014 South Carolina, southcarolinasportsman.com
... “During the 2013 deer season, it’s estimated that a total of 124,482 bucks and 101,324 does were harvested for a statewide total of 225,806 deer,” Ruth said. “This figure represents a 3.6-percent increase in harvest from 2012 … but is 29.5-percent below the record harvest established in 2002.” ... 

Coyote/wolf hybrid spotted at Savannah River March 27, 2014 South Carolina, Greenville News
... The coyote/wolf hybrid that scares deer hunters throughout South Carolina has been found at the Savannah River Site by U.S. Forestry Service ... we took its DNA and a picture. We were stunned when the results came back with Canadian grey wolf in the animal’s background...

Hunting, fishing, outdoor activity provide key funds March 26 2014 South Carolina, The Tand D.com
... U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will distribute nearly $1.1 billion in excise tax revenues paid by sportsmen and sportswomen to state and territorial fish and wildlife agencies to fund fish and wildlife conservation and recreation projects across the nation. South Carolina will receive $17.8 million...



South Carolina Data: The deer population is estimated at 750,000. The population peaked in the late 1990's 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.  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 2013 harvest of 225,806, was 55.1 percent bucks and was 29.5 percent below the record of 2002.  Hunters reported a 70 success rate.
     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

Department of Natural Resources News


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Deer Running through Marsh