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Opening Day in the Piedmont


September 15 spells the opening of archery season in Game Zone 2 one of the largest zones in the state. Archers across the state and beyond will migrate to this bastion of whitetail deer and converge on the woods and fields of the Piedmont. Small town populations will grow, community stores and crossroad diners will have an influx of patrons as the deer season grows into the rest of the state.

Some estimates put the economic impact of deer season into the hundreds of millions of dollars. Stop along a rural store and ask the merchant and he will tell you that the three and half months of deer season carry him the rest of the year. The onslaught of soda’s, hot dogs, crackers, chips and candy bars quadruple his normal Saturday sales. Add to this his assortment of bandannas, pocket knives, camouflage caps, t-shirts and packs of shot shells and bullets. License sales, broadheads, treestands, corn, minerals and the like. And you have the makings of a full fledge economic impact.

No doubt about it, when September 15 rolls around and deer season is open in the entirety of South Carolina, people and deer all across the state begin to feel the impact.

Diners open at 4:00 a.m. to serve breakfast every Saturday and Sunday. Small stores open early to serve gas, and snacks and emergency hunting supplies hunters remember they forgot in their hurry to get to the woods. Deer processors, and taxidermist are all salivating at the influx of cash that will find their way to their registers as hunters enter the woods.

Deer hunting in South Carolina is big business. From the largest retailers, to the smallest stores in no name communities. Deer hunting has one of the largest impacts on the economy in our state. Generating in excess of $200 million dollars to the economy of the state. Second only to beach tourism. Hunting is very important to the economy of South Carolina. Everything from license sales, to equipment purchases, clothing, to gasoline and food going and coming from hunting. Hunters are passionate about their sport and are willing to spend hard earned cash to enjoy their passion.

More than the money spent are the days afield. Hunters in South Carolina spent 2,264,261 man days afield hunting deer during the 2015 season. The total number of deer killed during the 2015 season was 195,030. While this is a decrease from 2014, it is still a significant kill ratio for hunter effort compared to the rest of the country. With rifle hunters enjoying a 63% success rate and archery hunters enjoying a 28% success rate.

As the seasons open in the Piedmont this month, rest assured that people all across the state are anxiously awaiting opening day with abandon. As the hunters enter the forest and fields, the support businesses will thrive in the economy that surrounds these areas.