Hunting News and Information

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Straight Shootin
Applications for lottery deer hunts on Wildlife Management Areas will be accepted by SCDNR through Aug. 21. SCDNR will accept applications for lottery deer hunts through Aug. 21.

Applications for deer lottery hunts this fall will be available from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources until Friday, Aug. 21, with applications for waterfowl and quail hunts becoming available in mid-September and turkey hunts in January 2016.


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The overall harvest may be in decline, but South Carolina continues to produce lots of trophy deer, as results of the 2015 scoring sessions attest. South Carolina hunters add 176 trophy bucks to state's record book

Despite a significant harvest decrease for the 2014 season, South Carolina deer hunters scored well on big bucks again. According to Charles Ruth, a biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, plenty of big bucks were measured at the 2015 scoring sessions held around the state in March, with 176 new entries to the state record book.


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Summer is a great and important time to reduce local populations of feral hogs. Fire up feral hog-trapping efforts

The feral hog explosion continues, and for landowners in the Carolinas, swine invasion is far less than divine. Wild hogs have been around since they were released by the Spanish five centuries ago, and even though the sausage and chops are quite tasty on the dinner table, their destructive nature is devastating to wildlife habitat. Summer is an ideal time to reduce the population by increasing trapping efforts.†


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Grazing cattle can do plenty of damage to important wildlife habitat like stream corridors. Exclude cattle from woodlots and riparian corridors

The Carolinas may not be considered top cattle-producing states like Texas, Nebraska and Kansas, but the 1.2 million head of cattle roaming the Carolinas can have a dramatic effect on wildlife habitat.†


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Late afternoons and early evenings can be great times to get a look at members of your local deer herd. Get deer work done early

For many deer hunters across the Carolinas, the intense field days preparing deer stands, planting food plots and monitoring the herd rarely start until 10 days or so before the opening day of the season. And for some, the work days may not start until after the season starts. But for diehard deer hunters looking to make a difference and improve their chances of bagging a trophy buck, summer is never the time to sit back and watch the weeds grow. There is always something to do to have a better deer season.†


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Duck numbers appear very good heading into the 2015-16 season, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Duck numbers remain good, according to USFWS waterfowl survey

Waterfowl hunters in the Carolinas can expect to see roughly the same number of ducks this coming season as they have in the past several, as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s annual report on the breeding duck population shows numbers slightly above 2014 levels.


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BlueSteel BlueSteel

Rio’s BlueSteel Game Loads pack the lethal, non-toxic punch needed for those tough waterfowling conditions. High velocities, perfectly spherical steel shot and multiple shot sizes give you the killing power you need under adverse hunting conditions. Available in 12 and 20 Gauge and in blisteringly fast speeds up to 1550 fps, BlueSteel Game Loads provide great patterns and superb knock down power in environmentally-safe conditions.†


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Amy Anderson killed this huge wild boar on the evening of June 10 in Colleton County. Charleston woman knocks off huge Colleton County hog

Amy Anderson of Charleston wasn’t aware of the stir she’d create when she pulled the trigger on her Savage 7mm-08 on the evening of June 14. Hunting with her boyfriend, Danny Buxton, near Smoaks in Colleton County, she saw “eyes” coming out of a swamp that borders the Salkahatchie River. They wound up being a hog, estimated at 414 pounds, which she subsequently shot.†


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Crystal Clucker Crystal Clucker

Call-maker John Tanner of Hemingway, S.C., knows how to make high-quality calls out of a number of different woods, as his newest turkey call, the Crystal Clucker, shows. The Crystal Clucker, which pairs a circle of frosted crystal over glass, is made in either cherry or black walnut, and it comes with an Osage Orange striker peg. The call and striker hang from an adjustable lanyard so it can be hung around a hunter’s neck for easy access.


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Battle Bones Battle Bones

Flextone Game Calls recently introduced the new Battle Bones rattling antlers. They make ultra-realistic buck fighting sounds and are much safer to carry than real whitetail antlers. They feature several design elements that add realism for deer and convenience for hunters, including hex-shaped handles in the middle for better grip and control. Battle Bones are also light and pack tight.


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South Carolina turkey hunters will have a longer season but a lower bag limit beginning in 2016. SC legislature passes turkey hunting bill, but deer-hunting bill is sidelined

South Carolina hunters will have a lower bag limit but an expanded season for turkeys starting in 2016 because of a bill that passed both houses of the S.C. General Assembly and was signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley earlier this month. But deer hunters won’t see any changes to their seasons or bag limits for at least another year, as a bill that passed the Senate was bottled up in the House.


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Decreases in the size of South Carolina's deer herd have a lot of hunters asking, Decrease in deer herd caused by three factors, SCDNR biologist says

Since 2002, the deer harvest in South Carolina has dropped dramatically, more than 36 percent, causing many hunters to ask why and what’s being done. The quick answer is a trio of factors combined in a perfect-storm scenario to create the downward spiral, and the state legislature’s lack of definitive corrective action has allowed it to continue.


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John Tanner's Crystal Clucker is Tanner's latest have-to-have turkey call

Call-maker John Tanner of Hemingway, S.C., might have cut his teeth building duck and turkey calls out of ancient cypress, but it’s clear that he’s really hit on how to make high-quality calls out of any of a handful of different woods, as his newest turkey call, the Crystal Clucker, shows.


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The statewide deer harvest was down again in 2014, continuing a trend that's lasted more than a decade. Statewide deer harvest off 9 percent in 2014, SCDNR reports

South Carolina’s deer harvest dropped by 9 percent during the 2014 season, according to the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, continuing a long-term decline in the statewide harvest.


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Guide Jamie Pritchett said that turkey hunting from the middle to the end of the season can be great, if you change tactics a bit. With midway point of turkey season at hand, savvy hunters will change tactics

There’s a mad scramble to hunt as soon as turkey season begins, but some expert hunters look forward to the middle and latter parts of the season.


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Johnathan Alford will open his bag of tricks and try several different things when dealing with a gobbler that wonít budge. Check your Ď6í when in stealth mode

Johnathan Alford said that when dealing with a hung-up gobbler, expect the unexpected.


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Change calls when working on a hung-up gobbler, and try to avoid using a standard yelp, as it may convince the tom to stand pat. Beware of the yelp

Jeremy Burnham said one thing he has learned is that a yelp is not the best call for a hung-up gobbler.†


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Choosing a spot to set up where you can see an approaching gobbler, not be seen and still be able to call is a key. Donít hang up on hung-up toms - Learn how to deal with hung-up gobblers this spring

Hunt turkeys long enough, and every hunter will learn that some gobblers are just more difficult to kill than others. †A few years of experience usually enables hunters to call reasonably well and have a suitable sense of woodsmanship. Many take gobblers with reasonable regularity. †


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