The much-anticipated start of the 2007 deer season is just around the corner and hunters across the state are preparing to bag a trophy buck.
South Carolina’s deer population is healthy and the outlook for the 2007 season is good. "DNR has been working to moderate South Carolina’s deer population and most hunters, to their credit, have recognized the fact that having fewer deer leads to better quality deer," according to Charles Ruth, Deer/Turkey Project supervisor. Results of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s antler scoring program indicate that this may indeed be the case as the last two years have seen over 300 bucks successfully entered into the state records program and 3 bucks being eligible for the Boone and Crockett Records.
Find out more about the deer harvest of 2006, antler records and more. Hunting seasons, rules and regulations.
Top counties for harvest in 2006 included Bamberg, Union, Hampton, Allendale, and Chester with each of these counties exhibiting harvest rates in excess of 15 deer per square mile, which should be considered extraordinary. Very few areas in the United States consistently yield comparable harvest figures.
About $200 million in direct retail sales is related to deer hunting in South Carolina annually. DNR survey statistics indicate that 117,285 South Carolina residents and 17,285 non-residents deer hunted in 2006. Based on hunters that deer hunted at least one day, overall hunting success in 2006 was 74.2 percent, which is outstanding. Resident hunters averaged about 16 days of deer hunting, non-residents about 13 days, and the total effort expended deer hunting in 2006 was estimated at 2,068,945 days. Orangeburg, Colleton, Fairfield, Williamsburg, and Hampton counties topped the list of counties with the most deer hunting effort.
DNR offers some tips on a safe and successful hunt:
All residents born after June 30, 1979, must successfully complete a hunter education course that is approved by DNR before a hunting license can be obtained. The DNR offers a 10-hour hunter education course, which includes classroom instruction and hands-on experience in hunter safety and hunting techniques. In addition, students learn about hunting ethics, hunter/landowner relations and basic conservation and wildlife management principles. Find out more about Hunter Education.DNR sells hunting and fishing licenses at its Charleston (843-953-9301), Clemson (864-654-1671), Columbia (803-734-3857) and Florence (843-661-4766) offices as well as 800 license agents across the state. Licenses for the upcoming 2007-2008 season went on sale June 11 and are valid immediately after purchase. You can also purchase a license by telephone 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-866-714-3611.
DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.