Wednesday, September 3, 2014
The complete listing of South Carolina’s antler records is now available to the public at www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/deer/alltime.html.
Although summary information has been available annually, this is only the fifth time that the complete listing of all antler records has been available since 1998, according to Charles Ruth, Deer and Wild Turkey Program coordinator for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
The South Carolina white-tailed deer Antler Records Program was initiated in the spring of 1974 and since that time, 6,389 sets of antlers (6,147 typical and 242 non-typical) have been officially entered into the list.
Since 1987 antler scoring sessions have been scheduled throughout the state with about 12 sessions annually.
Each year SCDNR wildlife biologists and wildlife technicians score approximately 500 sets of antlers. Generally, only about 25 percent make the list, said Ruth.
The new online list represents the complete listing of all typical and non-typical entries on file through spring.
The purpose of the Antler Records Program is twofold, said Ruth. First, because of the increased interest in deer hunting exhibited by sportsmen, it is a means of recognizing outstanding white-tailed deer taken in South Carolina.
Secondly, it provides management information that allows DNR wildlife biologists to identify areas that produce quality deer. When particular areas stand out it is important to attempt to recognize the underlying characteristics that produce outstanding animals.
Deductions are made for points that arise abnormally from the main beams or from other points and for symmetrical differences between corresponding measurements on the right and left antlers. For non-typical antlers, abnormal points are added to the score rather than being deducted as in the typical category. A set of antlers is classified as typical or non-typical based on its general conformation, the number of abnormal points, and a determination as to whether it will rank higher in the typical or non-typical category. Current minimum scores for the S.C. Antler Records List are 125 typical points and 145 non-typical points.
All antlers must undergo a minimum 60-day drying period before they can be measured and a fair-chase statement must be signed for all hunter-killed deer.
If a set of antlers meets the minimum score the record is added to the list and a certificate is issued recognizing the deer taken in South Carolina.