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Antler measuring sessions set across South Carolina

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 winter the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) measures deer antlers throughout the state, with a major effort during the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic scheduled for March 27-29 at the State Fairgrounds in Columbia.

A total of 7,469 sets of white-tailed deer antlers, including 7,167 typical racks and 302 nontypical, 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 nontypical 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 242 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.

For additional information on the Antler Records Program visit the DNR website at the following address: http://www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/deer/index.html.

2020 Antler Measuring Sessions
Date, time, location, telephone

Tuesday, March 3, 2 – 8 p.m., Pickens, Durham’s Grocery, 3210 Walhalla Hwy., Six Mile, (864) 868-2070
Thursday, March 5, 2 – 8 p.m., Anderson, Sportsman’s Warehouse, 3795 Clemson Blvd., (864) 540-7100
Friday, March 6, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., Bath, Wilson’s Taxidermy, 158 Victory Lane, (803) 593-3357
Tuesday, March 10, 2 – 8 p.m., Greenville, Cabela’s, 1025 Woodruff Rd. Suite H101, 864-516-8100
Wednesday, March 11, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Bonneau, Dennis Wildlife Center, 305 Black Oak Road. Please call ahead (843) 825-3387.
Thursday, March 12, 2 – 7 p.m., Greenwood, Hunter’s Headquarters, 1845 Calhoun Rd., (864) 223-1911
Friday, March 20, 1 – 5 p.m., Gilbert, Price’s Country Store, 540 Peach Festival Rd., (803) 892-2457
Friday, March 27, noon to 8:00 p.m., Columbia, Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, State Fairgrounds, (803) 734-3886.
Saturday, March 28, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Columbia, Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, State Fairgrounds, (803) 734-3886
Sunday, March 29, 11 a.m. to 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
Garnett: At SCDNR office, 1282 Webb Ave., Garnett, by appointment only anytime of year, (803) 625-3569
Georgetown: At SCDNR office, 420 Dirleton Road, Georgetown, by appointment only during March, (843) 546-8119
Union: At SCDNR Office, 124 Wildlife Drive, Union, by appointment only during March, (864) 427-5140.