Antlers will abound throughout the Palmetto State as the search for new state record deer antlers gets underway during the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources' (SCDNR) annual series of measuring sessions.

A major part of the antler measuring process takes place during the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic, located at the State Fairgrounds March 24-26.

Each year during March, SCDNR measures deer antlers across the state, with a major effort taking place during the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic scheduled for March 24-26 at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia.

"A total of 6,782 sets of white-tailed deer antlers, including 6,517 typical racks and 265 non-typical racks, are currently ranked on South Carolina's all-time antler records list," SCDNR Big Game Coordinator Charles Ruth stated.

"Minimum scores for state record listing are 125 points for typical antlers and 145 points for non-typical antlers. Measurements are based on the Boone and Crockett system."

According to Ruth, the objectives of the state records list are to recognize outstanding animals and to identify areas that produce quality deer. This information allows biologists to take a closer look at habitat and deer herd conditions in order to make future management recommendations.

Although record deer have been recorded from all counties, Aiken, Anderson, and Orangeburg counties have produced the greatest numbers in the past three to four years. Generally, larger deer are more abundant in areas that have fewer deer, as compared to parts of the state with high deer numbers. Last year's measuring sessions produced 217 new entries into the South Carolina records list.

Hunters must provide necessary documentation, such as the date and county of the kill, and sign a "fair chase" statement when they bring in a set of antlers for measuring. Antlers in velvet or those that are broken and repaired, or antlers separated from the skull plate, cannot be officially measured for the state records list. If the lower jawbone of the animal was extracted during taxidermy or otherwise saved, it should be brought to the scoring session so biologists can determine the deer's age. An accurate weight measurement at the time of the kill is also helpful.

More information about the Antler Records Program.

2017 ANTLER MEASURING SESSIONS

Thursday, March 2, 2-8 p.m., Seneca, Ace Hardware, 1645 Sandifer Blvd., 864-882-2100.

Friday, March 3, 8:30 a.m. -5:00 p.m., Bath, Wilson’s Taxidermy, 158 Victory Lane, (803) 593-3357.

Tuesday, March 7, 2-8 p.m., Easley, Academy Sports, 201 Rolling Hills Circle, 864-850-6130.

Wednesday, March 8, 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Bonneau, Dennis Wildlife Center, 305 Black Oak Road. Please call ahead (843) 825-3387.

Thursday, March 9, 2-8 p.m., Greenville, Cabela’s, 1025 Woodruff Rd. Suite H101, 864-516-8100.

Friday, March 10, 1-5 p.m., Gilbert, Price’s Country Store, 540 Peach Festival Rd., (803) 892-2457.

Tuesday, March 14, 2-7 p.m., Greenwood, Hunter’s Headquarters, 1845 Calhoun Rd., (864) 223-1911.

Thursday, March 16, 2-7 p.m., Anderson, White Jones, 104B Watson Village, 864-225-1406.

Friday, March 24, noon to 8:00 p.m., Columbia, Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, State Fairgrounds, (803) 734-3886.

Saturday, March 25, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Columbia, Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, State Fairgrounds, (803) 734-3886.

Sunday, March 26, 1:30-6 p.m., Columbia, Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, State Fairgrounds, (803) 734-3886.

Camden: At DNR Office, 632 West Dekalb St. Room 211, by appointment only during March 843-309-5165.

Clemson: At DNR Office, 311 Natural Resources Dr., by appointment only during March (864) 654-1671 ext. 16.

Columbia: At DNR office, 1000 Assembly St., by appointment only any time of year, (803) 734-8738.

Florence: At DNR office, 295 S. Evander Dr., Florence, by appointment only during March, (843) 661-4768.

Union: At DNR Office, 124 Wildlife Drive, Union, by appointment only during March, (864) 427-5140.