Youth Hunting - Frequently Asked Questions

Deer Antler Records:

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. For more information, contact Deer Program, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3609 or see Deer Antler Records.

Deer Harvest Information:

An annual post season deer hunter survey is conducted to estimate the statewide and county level deer harvest in South Carolina. Harvest results are published in news releases and as an annual report. For more information, contact Deer Program, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3609 or see Deer Summary Harvest Page.

Deer - Disposing of Remains:

After taking a legal deer and dressing it, what can I do with the remains?

Litter laws apply to deer remains and throwing remains in a creek may violate even more serious laws. All hunt clubs should have a pit to bury deer remains and all hunters should have private land somewhere with permission to bury deer remains. These preparations should be considered before a deer is taken. For more information, call SCDNR Deer Project at (803) 734-3609.

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.

Deer - Rifle:

Can I hunt deer with a 22-caliber rimfire rifle?

On WMAs statewide it is prohibited to hunt deer with .22 rimfire rifles. Only .22 centerfire or larger calibers may be used to hunt deer on WMAs. There are no restrictions on the caliber for hunting deer on private lands statewide. However, a .22 rimfire rifle is totally inadequate to harvest deer. The deer is most likely to be wounded and never recovered. 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. For more information, call SCDNR Law Enforcement at (803) 734-4002.

Deer Rut:

What is the peak deer 'rut' in South Carolina?

Generally, the last two weeks of October through the first two weeks of November, although individual bucks may be in rut at almost any time of the fall and winter. For more information, contact Deer Program, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202 or call (803) 734-3609 or see Map of Peak Breeding Dates for White-tailed Deer in South Carolina.

Deer - Venison:

Is it legal to sell or buy venison in South Carolina?

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.

For more information call Deer Project Supervisor at (803) 734-3609.