Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Buck Tags are NEW for 2017 Deer Season

Buck Tags are NEW for South Carolina in 2017
The 2017 South Carolina deer hunting season has not yet officially begun, but with the newly mandated buck tags now arriving in mailboxes this topic is changing social media commentary from vanilla to blaze orange. The concept is simple in that South Carolina is establishing a limit on the number of bucks that one hunter may harvest, joining the ranks of many other states that manage their deer herd with tags. Years from now this buck tagging system will be routine, but in 2017 there is anxiety about when these tags would available how to utilize them correctly.

My buck tags arrived via mail by August 1
The first conversation of buck limits began in 2003 when the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources began hearing from deer hunters that they wanted to see some management changes. For instance, in the Lowcountry there had never been a limit on antlered bucks during the entire 4.5-month long season. The call for conservation of bucks grew louder as coyotes moved in to S.C. and began predating deer fawns, and overall deer herd numbers decreased. Public meetings like the one held at the Colleton Center in October 2015 brought news that the buck limit changes were likely to pass in the S.C. General Assembly and become law.

I spoke to SCDNR big game biologist Charles Ruth earlier in July and he said that they planned to mail out the buck tags by the first of August, and that is exactly when they new buck tags arrived in my mailbox. “We know that folks are going to have some questions about these changes, and I would refer them to our website and the 50-minute video where biologist JayCantrell and I explain it all in depth,” said Ruth. If any questions remain regarding the new deer tag regulations hunters may send them via email to

To view the entire feature article 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

To view past blog entries from Gamekeepers Magazine click Summer 2016Spring 2016 Winter 2016 - Fall 2015 - Summer 2015 - Spring 2015 - Winter 2015 Fall 2014 - Summer 2014 - Spring 2014 - Winter 2013

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