Along with a rifle and blazer, you’ll need to bring deer tags to the stand this season this South Carolina hunting season.
The state Department of Natural Resources implemented a new tag system in July to help control the deer harvest and promote grow in the deer population. DNR Capt. Billy Downer says, from now on, all deer must be tagged after harvet. Deer hunting begins August 15 for Zone 3 — which covers Columbia, Orangeburg and on down to the coast.
“This is new for a lot of people,” Downer said. “That includes bucks, so all bucks does have to be tagged at the point of kill.”
State legislators passed the changes at the request of hunters who noticed lower numbers of deer on their property. While DNR placed a limit on the number of deer a hunter can harvest, there is still potential for a high yield. After applying for a big game permit, each hunter will receive a total of 11 tags. Three tags will be for unrestricted bucks and eight are date specific doe tags. Hunters can also apply for two additional restricted buck tags and four addition doe tags.
Downer said the new tag regulations will help grow the deer population in the state but that will not be at the expense of hunter’s potential harvest.
“If you used every tag,” Capt. Downer said. “That’s 17 total deer.”
To get hunting as fast as possible, Downer urged hunters not to wait until the last minute to buy a license from Wal-Mart or another non-vendor. At sporting good stores, hunters will have to wait for their tags to come in the mail. Instead, if you purchase from a DNR office, you can get tags printed out immediately. The seven DNR offices across the state can print tags immediately — including an office at the State Fairgrounds.
Archers can hunt deer in Zone 4 beginning August 15.