trail cam monday inIf you’re not from anywhere near South Carolina, it will probably be hard for you to believe that in most parts of the state, there has never been a limit on the number of whitetail bucks a hunter can shoot. I repeat, no limit, ever!

That might be about to change. State bill S454 would establish a limit of four bucks and four does per hunter per year.

The potential changes in deer management are just what Charles Ruth, Deer and Wild Turkey Program Coordinator for the S.C. DNR, has been in favor of for years.

“This is looking at the future of deer management in South Carolina. We’re trying to get something more mainstream here like other states have from a deer management standpoint.”

It might also be hard for you to believe that beginning in mid-August each year, when the rifle season opens in many areas, that some hunters in South Carolina have been shooting 10, 20 or more bucks per year under the state’s current laws and limits.

I hesitate to get into a state’s wildlife management practices, especially when I really have no dog in the fight, but… There is no way you can effectively manage a whitetail herd, especially for a more balanced buck:doe ratio, with those kind of antiquated, excessive and open-ended limits. Plus, my philosophy for deer management has always been to listen to respected state wildlife officials, and lean heavily on their recommendations. Charles Ruth has been the deer man in South Carolina for a long time, and he knows what is best for the state’s herd.

“We’re kind of excited,” said Ruth about the new proposals. “We’ve been status quo for many lifetimes (in regards to deer management). We’re going to try to be optimistic.”

If the bill passes, I would think that 4 bucks and 4 does a year would be enough for any right-minded hunter.