Hello, and welcome to South Carolina Natural Resources, a blog created and maintained by the staff of the S.C. Department of Natural Resource’s Office of Media and Outreach.

Over the coming months, we hope to bring to our readers a lively daily discussion on topics related to natural resources conservation, hunting and fishing, outdoor recreation and tourism, SCDNR projects and initiatives, and other news and information that will be of value to our state’s sporting and conservation communities. It’s just one more way the SCDNR is working to fulfill its mission as the primary steward of and advocate for our state’s amazing natural resources.

Whether you are lucky enough to be a Sandlapper by birth, or are one of the many thousands of folks who have “voted with their feet” to make South Carolina their adopted home, you know without a doubt that this is one special place. With the responsibility for managing more than 1 million acres of wild public lands (and counting), the SCDNR has a huge responsibility to the present and future citizens of this state. And we know that it is the sportsmen and women, the hunters and anglers, and the other individuals who love spending time in the outdoors, who make wildlife and natural resources in this state and in the United States work. Without the funding provided through hunting and fishing licenses and permits and the excise taxes paid on outdoor sporting goods equipment, firearms and ammunition, as well as the working partnerships with landowners and sportsman’s groups, our amazing conservation efforts would be a fraction of what they are today. So for that we say, “thanks,” and please come back and visit often to find out what your state Department of Natural Resources and the larger outdoor community in South Carolina are up to.  We value your input, so if you have ideas for topics you’d like to see covered here, please contact site administrator David Lucas at lucasd@dnr.sc.gov. We look forward to hearing from you.

FAQs and Answers: Is it legal to sell a mounted white-tailed deer buck?

FAQs and Answers: Is it legal to sell a mounted white-tailed deer buck?

SCDNR biologist Charles Ruth (center) helps a hunter score a nice set of white-tailed deer antlers at the Palmetto Sportsmens Classic. Main page photo: Large mounts from around the U.S. are also displayed at the Classic. [SCDNR photos by Michael Foster & David Lucas]

SCDNR biologist Charles Ruth (center) helps a hunter score a nice set of white-tailed deer antlers at the Palmetto Sportsmens Classic. Main page photo: Large mounts from around the U.S. are also displayed at the Classic. [SCDNR photos by Michael Foster & David Lucas]

[Note:  This is the first in a series of “FAQ” posts based on common questions we receive from the public. If you have a question you’d like answered in a future installment of “FAQs and Answers,” just include it in the comments section below, or e-mail it to Blog Editor David Lucas at lucasD@dnr.sc.gov.]

With the ever-increasing popularity of social media in general, and social media-linked “Buy-Sell” online marketplaces in particular, one recurring question that the SCDNR gets from the public involves the sale of white-tailed deer mounts, which are sometimes posted “for sale” by folks who may not know any better. Obviously, most hunters who spend the time and money it takes to harvest a trophy whitetail (or even just one that has sentimental value) would not part with them for the world, but tough economic times can cause people to do things they would maybe not otherwise do.  While of course you feel badly for someone who is in that kind of predicament, the fact is, this activity is against the law, and you can and will be prosecuted if you are caught--- Don’t do it!

However, the sale of antlers not connected to a mount (such as might be used to fashion a knife handle or ink pen,ARE legal. As veteran SCDNR wildlife biologist and Deer Project Coordinator Charles Ruth explained recently in response to one of these inquiries, the state law that prohibits the sale of antlers “is related only to antlers that are attached to the skull (pedicle), therefore, if this is a mounted buck then it cannot be sold because the antlers are still attached to the skull within the mount. Shed antlers or parts of antlers are okay to sell.”

The complete text of the law reads as follows:

SECTION 50-11-1910. Sale of deer or deer parts; penalties.

(A) It is unlawful to buy or sell, offer for sale, barter, or have in possession for sale the following: any live deer (family cervidae), the venison of any deer except as provided in Section 50-11-1920, any whitetail deer gametes or antler velvet, or any whitetail deer antlers attached to the pedicel.

(B) For a violation of this section, upon conviction, the guilty party for a first offense must be fined not less than one hundred dollars nor more than three hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days; for a second offense within three years of the date of conviction for a first offense, the person must be fined not less than three hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for not more than thirty days; for a third or subsequent offense within three years of the date of conviction for a first offense, the person must be fined one thousand dollars or be imprisoned for not more than sixty days.

If you see or hear of someone selling or attempting to sell any live deer, venison (except as provided in Section 50-11-1920), gametes, antler velvet or antlers still attached to the pedicel (skull), you can report that information directly to SCDNR Law Enforcement via text, telephone or e-mail using our through our Operation Game Thief (1-800-922-5431) or SCDNR Tips programs. This can be done anonymously.

In discussions of this law that have popped up on various discussion or social media groups online, someone will invariably make the suggestion that, “what you have to do is offer to sell the plaque and just throw in the head for free” or similar advice.  This is terrible advice.  It would be hard to think of a more transparently obvious way to try and evade the law, and it seems unlikely that any magistrate hearing such a case (you would be arrested if caught and have to make your case to the judge) would agree with such a poor excuse. In any case, would it be worth it to risk the potential fine and  jail time to find out?

 

###

The Best of the Best

The Best of the Best

​Ancient Footprints…..at the SCDNR’s Altamaha Town Heritage Preserve

​Ancient Footprints…..at the SCDNR’s Altamaha Town Heritage Preserve