The SCDNR recently hosted several meetings and conducted on online survey about proposed changes to deer hunting regulations across the state. The main focus of these events was to get a feel for how much support South Carolina’s hunters have for those proposed changes. The agency has posted the results of those events, and it shows the vast majority of hunters approve of the possible modifications.
Among outdoorsmen who attended the seven meetings which were held across the state, over 75-percent of them approve of imposing a limit on antlered buck, along with a tagging system for all deer killed in the Palmetto State.
Numbers for the online survey were similar, with over 80-percent approving of those same changes.
These changes are found in Senate Bill 454, which has been passed by the Senate, but still faces a vote in the House of Representatives, which is set to reconvene next month.
The bill, if passed by the house unchanged, will limit hunters to killing four antlered bucks per year and four antlerless deer per year. It will also provide hunters with a set of four buck tags and four doe tags, and will require that all harvested deer be tagged.
The current system of doe days will be eliminated so that no harvested deer will ever be untagged, but the 4 doe tags held by each hunter will essentially make every day after Sept 15 a doe day, as long as that hunter still has unused doe tags.
In addition to purchasing a state hunting license, resident deer hunters will be required to pay $15 for their eight total tags (4 buck tags and 4 antlerless deer tags), which is less than the $20 fee hunters currently pay for 4 doe tags. Non-resident hunters will pay slightly more.
Under this change, the Antlerless Deer Quota Program, which in the past has been issued to farmers and large hunt clubs, will be modified, and the name will be changed to the Deer Quota Program.