The S.C. Department of Natural Resources has scheduled seven public meetings to receive input from hunters concerning legislation the agency supports related to future deer management in South Carolina. 

Senate Bill 454 was filed on behalf of SCDNR by Senator Chip Campsen of Charleston this past February. It legislation proposes a limit of four antlered bucks per year and that all deer harvested must be 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. The bill passed the S.C. Senate in March and currently sits in the S.C. House of Representatives, where it will be considered when the legislative session begins in January.

"The state's deer population has changed in recent years, and although there are still some areas where deer numbers and reports of agricultural damage remain high, the overall population has decreased as indicated by a 35-percent decline in harvest,” said Charles Ruth, SCDNR’s lead deer biologist. “Reasons for the decline include 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."

The meetings are an effort by SCDNR to work with leaders in the S.C. House of Representative to address any remaining questions or concerns related to the legislation. Each meeting will include a presentation by SCDNR on the background and data related to the legislation, as well as, public comment and questions.

Contact SCDNR at 803-734-3886 with any questions about agendas or sites. All meetings will begin at 7 p.m. and the dates and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, Sept. 22, Florence, Pee Dee Research and Education Center Auditorium, 2200 Pocket Road, Florence, SC 29506

Thursday, Sept. 24, Lancaster, University of South Carolina-Lancaster, Stevens Auditorium 476 Hubbard Drive, Lancaster, SC 29720

Tuesday, Sept. 29, North Augusta, North Augusta High School Auditorium, 2000 Knobcone Ave., North Augusta, SC 29841

Tuesday, Oct. 6, Pendleton, Pendleton High School Auditorium - 7324 Hwy 187, Pendleton, SC 29670

Thursday, Oct. 8, Greenwood, Piedmont Technical College James Medford Family Event Center Auditorium (Building N), 620 North Emerald Road, Greenwood, SC 29648

Tuesday, Oct. 13, Orangeburg, Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College Roquemore Auditorium, Building R, 3250 St. Mathews Road, Orangeburg, SC 29118

Thursday, Oct. 15, Walterboro, Hampton Street Auditorium, 491 Hampton Street, Walterboro, SC 29488