Antlers will abound throughout the Palmetto State as the search for new state record deer antlers gets underway during the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ annual series of measuring sessions.
Each year during March, SCDNR measures deer antlers throughout the state, with a major effort during the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic scheduled for March 23-25 at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia. A total of 6,995 sets of white-tailed deer antlers, including 6,717 typical racks and 278 non-typical, are currently ranked on South Carolina’s all-time antler records list. Minimum scores for state record listing are 125 points for typical antlers and 145 points for non-typical antlers. Measurements are based on the Boone and Crockett system.
The objectives of the state records list are to recognize outstanding animals and to identify areas that produce quality deer. This information allows biologists to take a closer look at habitat and deer herd conditions in order to make future management recommendations.
Although record deer have been recorded from all counties, Aiken, Anderson, and Orangeburg counties have produced the greatest numbers in the past three to four years. Generally, larger deer are more abundant in areas that have fewer deer, as compared to parts of the state with high deer numbers. Last year’s measuring sessions produced 213 new entries into the South Carolina records list.
Hunters must provide necessary documentation, such as the date and county of the kill, and sign a “fair chase” statement when they bring in a set of antlers for measuring. Antlers in velvet or those that are broken and repaired or antlers separated from the skull plate cannot be officially measured for the state records list. If the lower jawbone of the animal was extracted during taxidermy or otherwise saved, it should be brought to the measuring session so biologists can determine the deer’s age. An accurate weight measurement at the time of the kill is also helpful.
Additional information about the Antler Records Program
2018 Antler Measuring Sessions
Date, time, location, telephone
Thursday, March 1, 2-8 p.m., Greenville, Cabela’s, 1025 Woodruff Rd. Suite H101, 864-516-8100.
Friday, March 2, 8:30 a.m. -5:00 p.m., Bath, Wilson’s Taxidermy, 158 Victory Lane, (803) 593-3357.
Tuesday, March 6, 2-8 p.m., Anderson, Academy Sports, 3423 Clemson Blvd., (864) 261-2400.
Thursday, March 8, 2-8 p.m., Pickens, Durham’s Grocery, 3210 Walhalla Hwy., Six Mile, (864) 868-2070.
Friday, March 9, 1-5 p.m., Gilbert, Price’s Country Store, 540 Peach Festival Rd., (803) 892-2457.
Tuesday, March 13, 2-7 p.m., Greenwood, Hunter’s Headquarters, 1845 Calhoun Rd., (864) 223-1911.
Wednesday, March 14, 9:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m., Bonneau, Dennis Wildlife Center, 305 Black Oak Road. Please call ahead (843) 825-3387.
Friday, March 23, noon to 8:00 p.m., Columbia, Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, State Fairgrounds, (803) 734-3886.
Saturday, March 24, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Columbia, Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, State Fairgrounds, (803) 734-3886.
Sunday, March 25, 1:30-6 p.m., Columbia, Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, State Fairgrounds, (803) 734-3886.
Camden: At SCDNR Office, 632 West Dekalb St. Room 211, by appointment only during March 843-309-5165.
Clemson: At SCDNR Office, 311 Natural Resources Dr., by appointment only during March (864) 986-6247.
Columbia: At SCDNR office, 1000 Assembly St., by appointment only any time of year, (803) 734-8738.
Florence: At SCDNR office, 295 S. Evander Dr., Florence, by appointment only during March, (843) 661-4768.
Union: At SCDNR Office, 124 Wildlife Drive, Union, by appointment only during March, (864) 427-5140.