Changes made to antlerless tagging for 2019 season
Significant changes have been made to the antlerless tagging system in time for South Carolina’s 2019 deer season.
In the lower part of the state, game zones 3, 5 and 6, hunting season began Aug. 15. For the rest of the state, deer hunting season opens Sunday. The last day of deer season is Jan. 1.
A new law was passed by the General Assembly resulting in the elimination of the eight-date specific antlerless deer tags, replacing them with two tags that may be used on any day.
“This improvement gives people more opportunity and the flexibility to harvest deer when it is convenient to them,” said Jay Cantrell, a S.C. Department of Natural Resources big game biologist.
“Hunters were limited by tags that were only valid on certain Saturdays,” he said. “Lots of folks have to work on Saturdays, or had athletic events, family obligations and other constraints limiting their ability to hunt on Saturday.”
He said residents who currently have active Three-Year, Annual, Big Game Permit, Combination License or Sportsman License that will be valid when deer season begins should automatically receive a base set of deer tags at no cost.
A new regulation makes it unlawful in South Carolina to possess or use, for the purpose of hunting or scouting, any substance or material that contains, or claims to contain, any excretion collected from a deer, including urine, feces, gland oil or other body fluids.
It does not prohibit use of synthetic products or substances collected by a hunter from deer legally harvested in the Palmetto State. Synthetic products are clearly labeled; if not, it should be assumed to contain natural material.
The measure was established as one tool in the battle to prevent the introduction of Chronic Wasting Disease into the state. CWD is a contagious, always fatal, neurological disease that affects members of the deer family.
While there has not been a case of CWD detected in South Carolina, or in any neighboring states including Georgia, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources is following the lead of other states to minimize the potential risk for CWD introduction into the state.
The disease has been detected in 26 states.