Wildlife - Deer - FAQs
- How can I get individual antlerless deer tags?
- What if my vehicle hits a deer?
- What if I find an orphaned fawn?
- Deer are eating my plants, what can I do?
- Where are the deer antler records?
- If I use feeders year round on my property to help the deer herd, can I hunt turkey or dove near these feeders?
- Does SCDNR provide deer harvest information?
- When can I "man drive" on Wildlife Management Area lands in the Piedmont?
- After taking a legal deer and dressing it, what can I do with the remains?
- Is it legal to carry a rifle (for shooting bucks) and a bow and arrow (for shooting Does) in Game Zones 1 and 2 on both private land and Wildlife Management Areas?
- Can I hunt deer with a 22-caliber rimfire rifle?
- What is the peak deer "rut" in South Carolina?
- Is it legal to sell or buy venison in South Carolina?
- How do I find out about or apply for Wildlife Management Area drawn hunts?
- How do I get an application for Individual Antlerless Deer Tags or the Antlerless Deer Quota Program tags?
- If I have antlerless deer tags issued for my property, can I take antlerless deer on either-sex days?
You can call 1-866-714-3611 and order the tags by phone (Note: There is a $3.00 surcharge for the phone service.)
You can order the tags via internet. Simply follow the instructions as if you where purchasing a hunting license and there will be an option near the end to purchase Individual Antlerless Deer Tags. (Note: There is a $3.00 surcharge for the internet service.)
Tags may be purchased over-the-counter at the following Regional DNR offices: Charleston, Clemson, Columbia, and Florence.
You can download an application at the following address, fill it out, and mail it in: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/antlerlessdeertag.pdf - Adobe PDF File
Vehicle accidents involving deer: Vehicle-deer accidents should be reported to the SC Department of Transportation. To report a vehicle collision for insurance purposes call the highway patrol or your local city or county law enforcement.
Injured deer: Call the SCDNR Columbia office at (803) 734-3886 to locate a rehabilitator near you. Badly injured deer should be euthanized by law enforcement officials that respond to the accident.
Deer carcasses: The SCDNR is not responsible for removing dead animals from the highway or private property. However, if the animal is obstructing traffic or along a public highway, you may contact your local Department of Public Works to have the animal removed.
If the deer is freshly killed, it can be given to a charitable institution or kept by the finder as long as there is an incident report from the law enforcement officials that responded to the accident.
When a fawn appears to be orphaned, it should be left alone. It is quite natural for a doe to leave her fawn alone for the first few weeks of life. Once a fawn has been handled or disturbed by a human, the doe may abandon it. If you know the mother is dead, you may call the SCDNR Columbia office at (803) 734-3886 or in Charleston call 843-953-9300 to locate the nearest veterinarian or rehabilitator. Deer don't make good pets, so don't adopt a "lost" fawn.
For information, write SCDNR, Deer Project, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3886. You may also contact your local Clemson Extension Service (PDF) or farm and hardware stores for recommendations on preventing deer damage to agricultural areas or property.
Electric Fences: Fencing deer out is the most effective means of control. Electric fences are less expensive to construct than permanent conventional fences of wire, wood or brick, but require more upkeep and a power source.
Repellents: Chemical deer repellents are best suited for gardens and ornamentals.
Depredation Permit: You may also apply for a depredation permit, which would grant permission to take deer that are causing damage out of season. (See Depredation Permit in the License-Permit section).
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. Current deer antler records.
No, turkey, dove, and waterfowl may not be hunted where they are lured by bait (grain or food stuffs). The lure and attraction of any bait is a determination made with varying circumstances. The safest route would be to cut off all feeders and remove all bait 2 to 3 weeks before hunting turkey, dove, or waterfowl.
In Game Zones 1 and 2 it is unlawful to bait deer. It is unlawful to bait or hunt over bait on all WMA's statewide.
Annually, the Statewide Deer Project conducts a licensee based hunter survey to get deer harvest statistics for the state. Harvest results are published to the web in the Adobe PDF file format, news releases and as an annual report. For more information, contact Deer Program, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3886.
Man drives may be conducted on WMA lands between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. only, except on either-sex days. No man drives are permitted on WMA lands on either-sex days, except the last four either-sex days in Game Zones 1 and 2 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Check regulations to get the exact dates for either sex days. This regulation does not apply to private lands. For more information contact DNR Law Enforcement Division at (803) 734-4002 or Deer Project at (803) 734-3886.
All hunt clubs should have a pit to bury deer remains and all hunters should have a plan to dispose of deer remains before they hunt deer. Depending on their type of permitting, some landfills will take animals carcasses. Litter laws apply to deer remains and throwing remains in a creek may violate even more serious laws. 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. Proper disposal of deer remains is a rule of good hunter ethics.
You may carry a firearm and a bow during the regular gun season, but you must take animals that are legal for a particular weapon. For example, a doe or buck may be taken with a bow and arrow during the entire season in Game Zones 1 and 2. Gun hunters can take bucks only unless it is a designated either-sex day or they have an antlerless deer tag. For more information, contact DNR Law Enforcement at (803) 734-4002 or Deer Project at (803) 734-3886.
State laws and regulations prohibit the hunting of deer with .22 rimfire rifles or smaller on all WMAs. There are no caliber restrictions on private land. However, a .22 rimfire rifle is inadequate to harvest deer and can result in wounding or unrecovered deer. 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. Generally speaking, a .243 or 6mm is the smallest caliber normally recommended for deer. For more information, call SCDNR Law Enforcement at (803) 734-4002.
Generally, the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November, although breeding activity may be seen at almost any time of the fall and winter. Map of Peak Breeding Dates for White-tailed Deer in South Carolina. For more information, contact Deer Project, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3886.
No. State Law 50-11-1910 prohibits the sale of the following deer parts in SC; any live deer, venison of any deer except as provided in 50-11-1920, any white-tailed deer gamets (egg and sperm) and antler velvet, or any white-tailed deer antlers attached to the pedicel. Section 50-11-1920 allows permitted restaurants to sell exotic farm raised venison as a menu item.
On the other hand, deer parts not listed may be bought and sold. This would include deer hides, antlers that have been shed or removed from the pedicel, etc. For more information, contact Deer Project, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3886.
Applications are now available from the web. To receive an application, write Draw Hunts, SCDNR, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202, or call (803) 734-3886. If you applied for the draw hunt the previous year, you should automatically receive a new application as soon as it is available; however, if you have not received one within two weeks after the dates below, please request an application.
Applications available: Deer - July 1; Waterfowl and Quail – Mid September; and Turkey – Mid February
For the Individual Antlerless Deer Tags, the Application is available from the web in the Adobe PDF file format. The application should then be sent to: Deer Tags, SCDNR, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29211, or call (803) 734-3886, or visit your local license agent. For the Antlerless Deer Quota Program contact the Deer Program, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3886.
Yes. But you must use the antlerless deer tags that were issued for the property.
Under the Antlerless Deer Quota Program landowners or lessees are given the option to apply for tags and participate in the Antlerless Deer Quota Program or utilize the designated either-sex days, BUT NOT BOTH. (see Hunting and Fishing Rules and Regulations brochure for either-sex days.)
You may take antlerless deer on either-sex days but you must tag the deer if you are in the ADQP program. If you are not a cooperator in the tag program, then you can take deer of either-sex only on the designated either-sex days without a tag. For more information call Deer Project Supervisor at (803) 734-3886.
Some of the files/publications above are provided in the Adobe® Acrobat® (PDF) format. Adobe® Reader® is required to open these files and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site.