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Hunting Frequently Asked Questions

Deer Antler Records:
Antler scoring sessions as part of the State Deer Records Program are conducted each year during March at many locations throughout the state. Antlers may also be scored by appointment with a local wildlife biologist. For more information, contact Deer Program, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3609 or see Deer Antler Records.

Deer Harvest Information:
An annual survey is conducted of deer taken by hunters on hunting clubs and those who record deer at a big game check station. Harvest results are published in news releases and as an annual report. For more information, contact Deer Program, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3609 or see Deer Summary Harvest Page.

Deer - Disposing of Remains:
After taking a legal deer and dressing it, what can I do with the remains?

Litter laws apply to deer remains and throwing remains in a creek may violate even more serious laws. All hunt clubs should have a pit to bury deer remains and all hunters should have private land somewhere with permission to bury deer remains. These preparations should be considered before a deer is taken. For more information, call SCDNR Deer Project at (803) 734-3609.

Note* Unfortunately, many hunters who otherwise show responsible behavior seem to lack concern when disposing of deer remains. Proper disposal of deer remains is vital to the interests of all sportsmen. Non-hunters may become anti-hunters by seeing a fly covered deer hide at a dumpster or by seeing a head and hide thrown on the side of the road.

Deer - Rifle:
Can I hunt deer with a 22-caliber rimfire rifle?

State laws and regulations prohibit the hunting of deer with .22 rimfire rifles in Game Zones 1, 2 and 4 (Piedmont) and on all WMAs. No regulations apply to Game Zones 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11. However, a .22 rimfire rifle is totally inadequate to harvest deer. The deer is most likely to be wounded and never recover. RESPECT for the animal hunted should always be a common sense guide for ethical hunters. Use only a weapon that allows the animal to be cleanly harvested. For more information, call SCDNR Law Enforcement at (803) 734-4002.

Deer Rut:
What is the peak deer "rut" in South Carolina?

Generally, the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November, although individual bucks may be in rut at almost any time of the fall and winter. For more information, contact Deer Program, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3609.

Deer - Venison:
Is it legal to sell or buy venison in South Carolina?

No. State Law 50-11-1910 prohibits the sale of deer parts in SC. Only the hides of legally taken deer may be sold between August 15 and February 2 of each year. Persons or store owners offering venison for sale and persons buying venison in any form are subject to criminal prosecution. This provision also applies to mounted or unmounted deer heads, antlers, and feet. Deer means any animal of the family Cervidae; which includes all species of deer and elk or other hoofed deer-like animals which shed antlers. For more information, contact Deer Project, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3609.

For more information call Deer Project Supervisor at (803) 734-3609.