Abstract

Title:  Deer harvest strategies in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina.
Author(s): Bara, M. 0
Year: 1982
Abstract: Diversity of soils, physiography, vegetative cover, and land use practices characterize the Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Resulting habitat quality and deer population densities further reflect these varying conditions. Management objectives and attitudes toward wildlife run the gamut. Some lands are entirely unmanaged and mismanaged, while on others, highly evolved programs result in excellent success. Harvest results vary from less than 0.5 to over 10 legally reported deer removed per square mile per season. County-wide harvests vary from less than 100 to over 2,500 deer harvested per county. Not unexpectedly, deer harvest strategies vary considerably. Still hunting, dog driving, and man driving, singly or in combination, command the most interest. Archery and primitive weapons hunting also enjoy a large following. Their application and effectiveness are examined within the context of the region's regulatory framework, hunting traditions, land use conflicts and other problems, deer harvest patterns, and land use patterns. Organized clubs lease large tracts, often from industrial forestland owners, and control major portions of the better hunting areas. Smaller tracts, particularly in farming communities, while sometimes incorporated into large clubs, are often leased to small groups, or access is limited to the owners and their guests. Public hunting areas are locally important. Large private holdings, including many of the "old plantations," account for a sizable portion of the deer harvest, particularly in certain coastal counties. A few of these tracts basically are unmanaged yet provide good hunting opportunities due to extremely low hunting pressure. On some plantations, intensive management efforts and fortuitous locations have resulted in noteworthy success and remarkable deer programs. A liberal regulatory framework and South Carolina's unique doe quota program contribute to the availability of an unprecedented array of management options. Thus, it is imperative that the choices be made intelligently. The management practices, including harvest strategies, must be appropriate to the objectives and the circumstances. The results usually reflect the capability and motivation of the people involved.

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