Wednesday, October 21, 2015

SCDNR Public Meeting on Buck Limits

SCDNR's Charles Ruth in Walterboro on Oct. 15
Managing the natural resources of South Carolina is a tough assignment as the state’s population and economic prosperity grows. When it comes to game animals and legal bag limit enforcement, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources and their wildlife officers are on the front lines. Seven meetings were held across the state by SCDNR to discuss changes to deer management, with the final one taking place at the Colleton Center in downtown Walterboro.
SCDNR Game Wardens are ready to enforce any changes
Charles Ruth, the SCDNR deer and turkey biologist, conducted all of the meetings. He first visited Florence on September 22, then made stops in Lancaster, North Augusta, Pendleton, Greenwood, Orangeburg and then in Walterboro on Thursday, October 15. For anyone that did not attend one of the meetings, the same power point presentation that Ruth showed is now available online as a You Tubevideo, with an electronic survey following the video.
A large crowd turned out at the Colleton Center
The changes being discussed would place a limit on bucks, also known as antlered deer, since a decline in the overall deer herd has been happening on a state wide scale over the last ten to fifteen years. Deer hunters might recall that a similar round of public meetings was held about ten years ago calling for buck limits, and those efforts produced no changes. I personally attended the SCDNR public meeting at the Colleton Center ten years ago, and I can report that in 2015 the audience was more receptive to the idea.

SCDNR tries to keep this issue in focus
Sometimes in life change is slow to develop, but with surveys showing that 70-percent of the population approving of buck harvest limits, the General Assembly may feel that the time is right to change S.C. deer management policies. The public meeting in Walterboro went on for well over two hours, and Ruth promised a summary report from all of the meetings for the public to digest. With deer season in full swing from now until the end of the year, look for the buck limits conversation to continue at skinning sheds around the Lowcountry.  

To view this feature story in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries on deer management click on Coyotes - Game Zone Three - Charles Ruth -  Food Plots - Estimating Buck Age - QDMA Founder

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