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Deer Season Wrap Up



          January 1st in South Carolina marks the end of yet another deer season. For some the season was longer than others, but either way we enjoy the longest whitetail season in the country. With the coastal counties opening as early as August 15, the season stretches for four and one half months.

Hunters in South Carolina are spoiled when it comes to long seasons and liberal limits. For as long as anyone can remember, these long seasons and liberal bag limits have been in place. Tradition often trumps science in these decisions. And in South Carolina, the seasons and bag limits of the coastal counties are set by the legislators not the Department of Natural Resources. This enables lobbyist to ply their methods to prevent solid science of the DNR from changing the traditions that are in place.

There has been much discussion on the seasons and bag limits for as long as I can remember, and while there are some indications that something may be in the wind, I unfortunately am not hopeful that the changes will occur fast enough.

Having said all of this, the deer herd in South Carolina is healthy, the downward trend of the past fifteen years seems to have plateaued and the numbers are stable. Hunters are enjoying record number of days afield. Which translates to billions of dollars into the economy of many local communities.

Across the nation there is a trend to continue to manage deer for the purpose of hunting. Entities such as Whitetail Properties have built their business around the passion people have to hunt whitetail deer. Sound science is available from the Quality Deer Management Association, Whitetail Institute, and others that help land owners maximize their investment.

As the season draws to a close, it’s a great time to look at preparing for next year. Making a list and a development plan can help in the beginning to get the most from your land and benefit your herd.

Identify areas to set aside as sanctuary’s, begin hinge cutting trees, plan for prescribed burns, plant late season food plots, move stands. This is definitely not the off season, it’s the beginning of the season that ends when hunting season ends.

Hunting whitetail deer has become a year around pursuit. During this time of year, immediately after the close of the hunting season is the optimum time to make adjustments and identify a plan that could help you to benefit from your property as much as possible.

The season is over, deer have been killed, processed and put up for future enjoyment. Memories have been made, trophies killed and many more missed. Regardless, the time you spent in the field are irreplaceable and create in us a yearning to return once again to pursue our passion. In the meantime we, dream, work, plan and practice to make the most of the opening of the season.